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Tung oil or boiled linseed oil

FreezerFreezer Senior MemberPosts: 1,936 Senior Member
While in California I was visiting with my son's best friend. He's a LEO and has a number of Remington 870 pumps that were retired duty shotguns. I was looking them over when I saw the most beautiful piece of wood scratched, filthy and worn from years of use. I begged him to let me work on it and he agreed. I stripped it last night and this evening I spent a couple hours sanding and prepping the butt stock. My suspicions were confirmed, under all the muck and dirt was a fantastic burled fancy stock. I have it buffed and ready to start applying a finish. I have both Formby's high gloss Tung oil and boiled linseed oil. Since this is the prettiest piece of wood I've worked on I need opinions, Tung oil or Boiled linseed oil?  
I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:

Replies

  • FisheadgibFisheadgib Senior Member Posts: 5,797 Senior Member
    Tru Oil seems to be the universal standard of gunstock finishes and it's a blend of oils but primarily linseed oil. I've used it on countless stocks and it is easy to apply and you can achieve anything from a high gloss to a satin finish with it.
    snake284 wrote: »
    For my point of view, cpj is a lot like me
    .
  • zorbazorba Senior Member Posts: 24,323 Senior Member
    I'll second TruOil. Apply it with your fingers.
    -Zorba, "The Veiled Male"

    "If you get it and didn't work for it, someone else worked for it and didn't get it..."
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 17,442 Senior Member
    Apply tung oil sparingly and rub it with the palm of your hand until it feels dry...let it set overnight..
    4/0 steel wool between coats for a deep satin finish...I usually do 8 to 10 coats...

    Linseed oil is ok but it takes forever to dry since there are no hardening agents in it...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,142 Senior Member
    I've used/tried about every finish in the world. Was never a fan of Tru Oil. I use Brownells Permalyn or Minwax Wipe On Poly.
     Once sanded to 220 grit I apply several coats of thinned finish allowing to dry between coats, until the wood will absorb no more. I then start wet sanding with 320 grit wet/dry paper and finish wiping down after each sanding and leaving a minimum amount of finish in the wood. The wet sanding creates a sludge with the sanding dust that fills the pores of the wood. After wet sanding several times with 320 I move to 400 than 600 grit. It sounds tedious but it doesn't take long to wet sand. After letting dry between coats I then wet sand with 1200 grit. The finer paper polishes the wood, so the finer you sand the more shine you will get but it is in the wood and not a layer on the wood. I then buff with finish and rottenstone on a cloth pad. Set aside until dry and then buff with paste wax.

    I did this one last year with Permalyn, if that's the look you are going for, try my  method!
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    edited December 2018 #6
    Your work is totally beautiful Al. I've seen it first hand. Your .284 looks like a satin finish but you could shave in it. I followed your advice and I came out with a beautiful finish. But I messed it up some fitting the barreled action in it. But it still looks great. One thing you better have before attempting work like this is a barrel full of patience. That's the Key Ingredient.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,936 Senior Member
    Thank you gentlemen! This is what I needed to hear. I've refinished many gun stocks through the years but this is the best looking piece of wood I've ever but my hands on. Alex had won the three weapon contest three years straight. They have to use a "department issued shotgun". I can't wait to hear the reaction of his buddies when he shows up with this one. When he gets the stock he going to take the best of the old  war horses out for repair and re-bluing. 
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • Six-GunSix-Gun Senior Member Posts: 8,155 Senior Member
    Jayhawker said:
    Apply tung oil sparingly and rub it with the palm of your hand until it feels dry...let it set overnight..
    4/0 steel wool between coats for a deep satin finish...I usually do 8 to 10 coats...

    Linseed oil is ok but it takes forever to dry since there are no hardening agents in it...
    Yep.  Some might argue that linseed oil *never* actually dries. It’s also finicky in wet weather.  It’s a beautiful finish, but it’s never truly “done” curing.

    Tung oil or TruOil are the way to go.  A lot of traditionalist frown on TruOil and view it as more of a varnish, but it’s very pretty when done, cures completely and is WAY less of a headache than pure linseed oil.  Rain rolls right off of it and, as has been pointed out, you can hit it with #0000 steel wool for damned near any level of sheen you please.
    Accuracy: because white space between bullet holes drives me insane.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,142 Senior Member
    Put me down for Tru Oil.  You've got to let it dry between coats, maybe a day or two between coats, but it dries to a very hard finish.  The boiled linseed oil you get at the hardware store doesn't dry nearly as quickly.  I wouldn't use it.

    I've tried Tung Oil, but it took forever to build up a coat.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • Gene LGene L Senior Member Posts: 12,142 Senior Member
    To add: Tru Oil and probably Tung require a filler with typical open-pored wood.
    Concealed carry is for protection, open carry is for attention.
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,936 Senior Member
    There are two ways to punish someone. Don't give them what they want or give them what they want!

    The butt stock was a straight forward job. Strip it, let it dry. Sand it to 320 starting with 150 grit. Wala! Smoother than a babies bottom and prettier than their smiling face!


    The forend was another issue. This is an 870 with a round forend. It has 56 groves that form the grip surface. I used a tooth brush to strip it but there was no short cut to prepping the groves. I had to fold the sand paper and work each of the grits into the grooves that have never been sanded before. It was tedious work keeping the grooves sharp and straight. It came out well and now I have to wait for the finish products to get here.

    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,142 Senior Member
  • FreezerFreezer Senior Member Posts: 1,936 Senior Member
    Thanks BigAl, The grooves look OK but not the way I wanted. I ordered the cords and some sticks. I'll try to get some pics this weekend. Brownell's finish is on back order so I have a little time. 

    I'm thinking a soft tooth brush might be the way to apply finish to the grooves. I could use a soft cloth the dry the brush to limit the amount of oil that's applied each time. Your thoughts?
    I like Elmer Keith; I married his daughter :wink:
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,142 Senior Member
    Great minds think alike!!:)
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