Oil for Stocks

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by 25yretcoastie, Feb 14, 2012.

  1. 25yretcoastie

    25yretcoastie Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Fort Pierce Fl
    Does anyone have any input as to the best oil to use after cleaning with Murphys Oil Soap?
  2. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    For starters, what are you cleaning up? Military, vintage commercial, etc? Is the original surface an oil finish or is it a varnish?
    If you can, post up a picture of what you're working on.

    With an oil finished stock, either old or new, I still tend to prefer Watco's Danish Oil finish. I use the natural color stuff for almost all of my gun woodwork. These are an oil-blend type finish...they've got some bioled linseed oil content plus some solvents and varnish parts to dry out the finish faster than pure boiled linseed oil.
    Watco also makes a product called Teak Oil Finish which is the same oil-blend type finish as their Danish Oil except it contains more varnish than Danish Oil. Deft also makes a good one called Deftoil Marine Teakwood Finish which is very similar to Watco's Teak Oil Finish. These are geared more for use on wooden boats and outdoor wood furniture so that's why they have a bit more varnish in them. The higher varnish content makes for a better waterproofing product but it also will build up on the surface after several coats just like a straight varnish will. They make a good tough gunstock finish though.
    Birchwood Casey's Tru-Oil falls into this type of category too.

    I've also used Tung Oil finishes before too, but for some reason I just prefer using the Watco Danish or Teak finishes instead.
    Formby's is probably the most common brand name you'll find but I've also used Deft brand Tung Oil and it works about the same.
    These are also oil-blend finishes...meaning that in addition to the tung oil they also include a solvent/varnish component to make for faster drying time and a harder shell once the finish is dry.

    You can also get pure tung oil, but it's like pure linseed oil or boiled linseed oil in that they take longer to cure out than any of the oil-blend finishes. These offer the least water resistance so they're not my favorite choice for gun wood...but on an old piece it is more authentic.
    Klingspor is about the only brand I can think of at the moment that markets a pure tung oil finish but I'm sure there are more out there too.

    When finished up applying the new oil (whatever type you choose), finish up with a coat of wax to seal the wood against water.
    I know guys that also just use a coating of Pledge or Old English furniture polish too.
    If you've got a nice clean finish, maybe all you need to do is to reseal the wood since Murphys strips off the wax seal pretty well.
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2012

  3. Twicepop

    Twicepop Well-Known Member

    Jan 9, 2012
    NW Ohio
    A couple or more coats of hand rubbed linseed oil followed by a coat of either tung oil or a product called Linspeed, depending on how much shine you want afterwards. Let the linseed oil dry between coats, and lightly rub with 0000 steel wool that has been cleaned in alcohol to remove the oil on it. Repeat this as many times as you like or get tired of doing it. Follow this up with the tung oil or the Linspeed, these need nothing done to them afterwards. There is also a wax finish that is made by disolving bees wax in turpentine (real not synthetic). Make a paste and apply directly after the linseed oil has dried (no tung oil or Linspeed),apply lightly and rub out as you would any paste wax for a protective military type finish.

    those who beat their guns into plowshares, will plow for those who didn't
  4. 25yretcoastie

    25yretcoastie Member

    Aug 27, 2011
    Fort Pierce Fl
    Oldest is a 1943 IBM M1 carbine then a 30 year old Glenfield 22 model 60
  5. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    You've got two different finishes that you're working on there.
    The M1 will have an oil finish and can be repaired/refreshed using either a linseed or tung oil finish as Twicepop or myself outlined above.

    The Glenfield 60 will have a stained and varnished stock (typically birch or some other "white" hardwood). It does no good to apply an oil type finish over varnish as it doesn't have a chance to soak into the grain. It will just build up on top of the varnish instead.
    If there are chips in the varnish, you can feather these out with fine (400, 600, or even finer) sandpaper and apply another coat of varnish over the existing coat. You might need to do some shopping for a stain to match the existing if the damage or the sanding goes down below the level of the original stain. Menards, Lowes, etc..., usually have small packages of stain from various companies that will be enough to touch up a few small spots as long as you can find a close color match.
    If it's not chipped, you can just do a final polish over the varnish with a furniture polish (Pledge, Old English, etc).
    If it's scratched and dented heavily, you might want to just strip the entire stock and refinish the whole thing, but that's getting fairly extreme.
    All depends on how rough of condition your rifle is in.

    Good luck and keep us posted with your results or any other questions.
  6. Bushmaster1313

    Bushmaster1313 Member

    Sep 13, 2009
    Danish oil on a 1934 Remington 31R:

    I normally would not have refinished a classic, but the original stock finish was beyond keeping:
  7. beleive it or not,after using tung oil i follow up with weimans lemon oil.it cleans,polishes and preserves.the added benifit to that is it has a natural sunscreen that will prevent fading. old semperfi
  8. Bindernut

    Bindernut Well-Known Member

    Oct 24, 2007
    ND, USA
    Yup, lemon oil is a good cleaner and top-coat/finisher for oil finishes.
    Wax is a tougher final coat for use on gun wood that's out in the elements though.
  9. GunnyGene

    GunnyGene New Member

    Oct 12, 2012
    Here's a handy guide to oil finishes. From "Understanding Wood Finishing", by Bob Flexner. Anyone who finishes wood ought to have a copy of this book.


    Last edited: Nov 8, 2012
  10. cpttango30

    cpttango30 Guest

    I just is deft spray lacquer. It comes in flat, satin, gloss. I am using glass on my 25-06 stock.
  11. da357mag

    da357mag New Member

    Sep 26, 2009
    Just about any wood wax will seal the finish on the stock. Formbys makes a good one as well as Minwax, There is another I have heard of but I don't have any experience with is feed and wax( don't know the name:confused:) but even Pledge does work OK. Just a thought!:) Doug
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