Boiled Linseed Oil Finish Pointers........
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  1. #1
    Tinhorn
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    Boiled Linseed Oil Finish Pointers........

    I have tried numerous wood gun stock re-finishing products and methods over the years including various polyurethanes, varnishes, tongue oil, and boiled linseed oil products but have found that I generally prefer the results of the boiled linseed oil process the best. The boiled linseed oil that I use is just the old generic stuff that you can get in any of the hardware or home depot type stores.

    I guess that I prefer the boiled linseed oil finish, because to my eye it seems to look the best on my older lever guns as it is not too shiny and does not look out of place on a gun that has some bluing loss or other wear and tear. On such rifles, I will often leave minor defects in the wood as they seem to add to the character of the rifle rather than detracting from it.

    Although I will be the first to admit that a quality finish with boiled linseed oil is without a doubt the most labor and time intensive process that I have ever used.

    Here is the process that I currently use, and that I would like you to critique in an effort to improve upon it. So please feel free to add your comments pointing out mistakes and offer any suggestions or tips that you think would be helpful.

    1 strip the existing finish with commercial paint stripper
    2 wash with hot soapy water to remove remaining stripper and surface contaminants.
    3 If oil / solvent staining is evident, soak effected area in acetone, followed by a soak in denatured alcohol.
    4 Raise any dents with an iron.
    5 Allow stock to dry for several days at room temperature.
    6 Repair any cracks with gorilla wood glue
    7 Glass bed areas as needed
    8 Initial sanding performed with 320 grit, working progressively finer with the sandpaper thru 400, 600, 800, and finish with 1200 or crocus cloth.
    9 Apply first coat of boiled linseed oil and let sit for several hours. Wipe off excess and polish with paper towels.
    10 Set aside my boiled linseed oil applicator (a large cotton cleaning patch)
    11 When the boiled linseed oil soaked cleaning patch has dried, usually about 2 days, I polish / card the stock with 0000 steel wool (pre-cleaned in acetone and alcohol to remove any oils) and apply another coat of boiled linseed oil as in step 9. This process with be repeated until the grain is filled to my liking and the desired sheen is achieved. A long process to say the least.

    One area that always gives me trouble is with checkering and the build up of linseed oil that can turn gummy if not removed.

    Any suggestions you guys would care to offer would be greatly appreciated.
    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    Theodore Roosevelt
    "It's an .88 Magnum....... it shoots thru schools" Joe Piscopo in Johnny Dangerously

  2. #2
    Marlin Marksman
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    Re: Boiled Linseed Oil Finish Pointers........

    I would avoid the checkering during the sanding/finishing process and just before the last coat I would brush into the checkering
    and let soak in and dry (before the final finish) enough thinned coats of the finish until you reach a pleasing appearance to
    you. After the checkering is dry I would put the last finish on the stock.

    Do you sand the wet finish to fill the pours before applying the finish coats?

    SS
    In God We Trust
    L.D. the SwampSniper

  3. #3
    Tinhorn
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    Re: Boiled Linseed Oil Finish Pointers........

    "Do you sand the wet finish to fill the pours before applying the finish coats?"

    Uhmmm........... no. should I?

    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    Theodore Roosevelt
    "It's an .88 Magnum....... it shoots thru schools" Joe Piscopo in Johnny Dangerously

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  5. #4
    Marlin Marksman
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    Re: Boiled Linseed Oil Finish Pointers........

    It will give you a less porous finish which will look nicer, at least to me. You should be using a sanding block also, that
    will keep the finish from looking wavy. I prefer a really dull look on the wood and the finish just looks better if handled this
    way, as I said at least to me.

    I think the pores are filled quicker too.

    SS
    In God We Trust
    L.D. the SwampSniper

  6. #5
    Site Contibutor Super Moderator
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    Re: Boiled Linseed Oil Finish Pointers........

    I'll sometimes sand while applying the initial coat of oil. The dust mixes with the finish to fill the pores more easilly. I'll sand until the oil just starts getting tacky & wipe off the excess ACROSS the grain. If you wipe with the grain you pull most of the filler out of the pores. It'll take less coats this way. I usually dilute the first coat with mineral spirits as well.
    Ken,

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  7. #6
    Tinhorn
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    Re: Boiled Linseed Oil Finish Pointers........

    I have done a couple more rifles since first posting this and used a couple of the segestions posted in this thread. I have switched from plain boiled linseed to the LinSpeed product witch seems to provide far supirior results and much faster drying times. I also took the advice to wet sand during the first oil application and I used 400 grit with very good results and as suggested by the other posters, it did indeed fill the pores of the wood much faster.

    Thanks for the pointers guys

    "Let us speak courteously, deal fairly, and keep ourselves armed and ready."
    Theodore Roosevelt
    "It's an .88 Magnum....... it shoots thru schools" Joe Piscopo in Johnny Dangerously


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