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I want to do a little work on a 1982 39A. The gun is in fine shape, but I want to make the wood a little nicer. I want to sand it down to bare wood and refinish it, but I'm not too sure how to go about it. I like the Linseed oil but I'm not sure if I want to go that dark on it, and I think the Tru Oil is a little too light for the look I want but I really love the high luster finish of it.

I was considering a few coats of Linseed and then a few coats of Tru Oil on top of that.

I know someone here has plenty of experience using both; what do you guys think?
 

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I used the boiled linseed oil on my 1974 472 Mossberg 30/30. I like the look of it. Much better then when I got it! Post pictures of your finish product!


ca'jun56
 
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I have used both many times. I like Tru Oil for newer rifles, and boiled linseed oil for really old ones. Whatever you decide, if you have never done it, send me a PM, I can give you a few tips. I am not a pro, but have done it enough times to figure out what works for me and what didn’t work out, and caused me a lot of extra work! Also, there are several others on here that have done some real nice restorations, and I’m sure they would be willing to help you out with some do’s and dont’s as well.
 

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Be careful when sanding...a little bit can go a long way! I use Citristrip to remove the old coat(s), rinse, dry then 0000 steel wool or some 220 grit sandpaper, finished by a couple coats of Tung oil (my favorite).
 

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Just bought a new cowboy 45 colt, would like to darken the wood, can I apply linseed oil to the factory finish or do I need to sand or strip the finish off before I apply it.
 

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On older guns I often wipe down with alcohol to remove oil and grime. Then clean with Murphy's oil soap. Often the results will bring back the character of the wood and you might like the looks before a complete refinish job.
 

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First of all, as an alternative to sanding, you would be much better off IMHO using paint stripper and a cabinet scraper (flat edged scraper; like a spatula) to remove the original finish. use a toothbrush to remove the softened finish from the checkering. This removes the finish without altering the shape of the timber caused by sanding.

My advice is that you should definitely not use linseed oil. It gives a very dark finish and has a habit of only drying to a 'tacky' finish even when using boiled linseed oil. In my opinion you would be much better off using Tru-oil, or Tung oil, or similar. Either of these will show of the original grain of the stock in its best light.

Don't assume that Tru-oil will give you a shiny finish. You can apply one or two coats if you want a semi-gloss finish, or four or more coats if you want it bright and shiny.

Good luck.
 

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Many opinions on this. I too prefer tru oil. Some hate it. 0000 steel wool works well after light sanding. My first few was a learning experience. Patience is needed.
 

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Linseed oil takes a long time to dry. Most people use way too much on each coat. “ask me how I know”. Just a little too much on the wood, and the drying time between coats can go from a few days or a week, to several months. That’s what causes the oily, tacky feel. You use it very sparingly , and sand in the first few coats to fill the grains.
 

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I like Tung Oil, provides a deep rich finish, easily repaired and updated as your rifle gets used.
My process
* Strip the old finish
* Sand the stock with with the final grit being somewhere in the 6-800 range. Use a hard rubber sanding block on flats and where you need to maintain edges and corners.
* Wet the stock and let dry to raise the grain - sand with 800 again
* For the first application of Tung oil - cut it 50-50 with mineral spirits - helps with penetration
* Continue hand rubbing successive layers until you like what you have.
 

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Unless that stock has severe damage, do not sand it. Sanding gets you down to raw wood, and unless you stain that wood it won't matter too much what you use as a finish -- it'll look light. Of course, you can stain it before applying finish, but it is all too easy to get too much stain on there and end up with something looking more like brown plastic than wood.

Instead, use mineral spirits, 0000 steel wood, and elbow grease. It's not particularly fast, but it will remove the finish, clean the wood, and leave the stain in place and the surface smooth, perfect for finishing. Linseed oil has been used for centuries, and it works, but to get a good result it requires the patience of Job. You see, linseed oil never really dries. Yes, it'll get to the point where it feels dry, but it takes forever to get there. You will grow impatient and add another coat too soon, the #1 mistake amateur stock refinishers make. Then, you'll decide that it needs more work and you will only compound your mistakes.

Much better is to use Tru Oil. After you've cleaned the stock, let it sit for a couple of days so that all the mineral spirits evaporate. Buff the wood one more time with the steel wool. Then, apply the Tru Oil a tiny bit at a time, using only your clean fingers. By tiny, I mean no more than a few drops, rubbed in until it feels dry. It isn't dry, but it will be pretty soon. Once it is, buff again with the steel wool, apply another coat. Let it dry. Buff again. Repeat until done.

It may take 3 coats, it may take 30, but eventually you will have every pore, nook and cranny filled as they should be. If you buff it one final time, you will have a durable finish that looks like the old hand-rubbed oil finishes; if you don't buff it that final time, it'll be a glossy finish.

If you think I am making it sound like there is no real shortcut in stock finishing, you are correct; but Tru Oil dries at least 10 times faster than linseed oil, and that means you can get superb results in days rather than weeks.
 

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I don’t sand.I use chemical stripper.Then I’ll use 000 steel wool and sometimes 400 grit paper.I do a very very light sanding,if any.I will use a steam iron for dings.Sometimes a little filling.Then 4 very light coats of Minwax Tung oil blend.
IMO,this provides a gorgeous durable coat.I steel wool at end to give matte finish.I did my dad’s 1947 39A stock.I did not want to make it look too new.I just wanted it to look clean.Everything else is original.

202FF67B-A9F9-485B-B061-F08424C809D0.jpeg
 

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What is the mar-shield finish? And what would you have to remove to get it to the state where it would take a stain on top of the stain that’s already there from factory. I thought I saw where one YouTuber used a gun cleaner to some what darken wood over time, I think it was balstal.
 

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If you decide to use boiled Linseed oil dilute it with 1/3 turpentine (not white spirit) it will speed up the drying time. You can if you wish add stain when mixing up. Great advice given already my 2 cents, old gets linseed, new gets true oil. A tip with linseed go to an artist supply shop or out let and buy the artist quality stuff both oil and turps it will give you a glass like finish, as will true oil.GH.
 

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Be careful when sanding...a little bit can go a long way! I use Citristrip to remove the old coat(s), rinse, dry then 0000 steel wool or some 220 grit sandpaper, finished by a couple coats of Tung oil (my favorite).
Spot on! Tung Oil is my favorite also.
The Tung Oil is lighter than the BLO and it is possible to shine it up to a nice lustrous semi gloss finish. I use Minwax Paste wax as the last coat. I refinished this 1985 336 a couple of years ago. The Tung Oil really brought out the woods character.
IMG_0229.JPG
Andrew
 

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What is the mar-shield finish? And what would you have to remove to get it to the state where it would take a stain on top of the stain that’s already there from factory. I thought I saw where one YouTuber used a gun cleaner to some what darken wood over time, I think it was balstal.
Luke,
I use Citrus strip. I apply a rather heavy coat of Citrus strip to the bare stock and forearm , then I wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it sit for an hour, remove and rinse with warm water while wiping with a disposable plastic scouring pad. It may take two applications, but it will remove the Marsheild finish without the heavy, toxic stripper fumes.
Once the stock is throughly dry, use some very fine sandpaper to lightly work the last tidbits of finish from the grooves on the stock, followed by some 000 or 0000 steel wool. Apply whatever color stain or type of finishing Oil you like to the stock. Just follow the directions.
Good luck,
Andrew
 

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Yep, strip, no sand. And take lots of time. I strip in a tub with water everywhere. I have just started using scrapers to remove finishes. But have not used it on a rifle yet. Sandpaper is new to gun makers as of the early 1920's, I think. I have seen antique scrapers used by the guys that were building those flintlocks. Once the stock is super bone dry, I put it in an oven at about 100 degrees for an hour or so. This opens the wood and when you add your first coat of oil it will zoom into the wood. For a finish I have been using Lin-Speed Oil. Google it. Great stuff. Multiple coats will give you a great luster.
 

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Another vote here for using CitriStrip and NOT sanding the finish off. I use a plastic putty knife to scrap it off and a soft bristle brush for any checkering.

Don't quote me on this, but I believe Tru-Oil is Boiled Linseed Oil with a hardener catalyst and slight tint added. I've used it many times and never been disappointed.
 
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