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Thread: How many coats of Tru oil?

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    I am nearly finished with my project .338 win mag Howa 1500 barreled action. I ordered and have sanded and coated a Boyds laminate stock. Just got the stock back from the smithy who cut it down and fitted a Limsaver pad for me. I have 3 coats of Tru oil on the stock now and it looks pretty good. How many should I put on? I have heard some say that six -12 is a good number. That seems to be a lot to me. I plan on covering with B.C. Stock wax one I finish the oil coats.
    Dave
    2 Chronicles 7:14

    Where's the intersection of Buck Ave and Bullet Place?
    Chasing the Doe and not seeing the Bucks!

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    In our shop it is usually around 12 to 16 coats of finish depending on how fast the pores in the wood fill. We wet sand between coats with black oxide paper starting with 220 grit and going up to 600 grit. Mineral spirits is used as a wetting solution. The wet sanding is important because it fills the pores of the wood with the sanding dust of the wood and the finish. This way the pores will match the color of the wood and not end up black as will happen with a silica filler which will also dull checkering tools. If a high sheen finish is wanted we use a wipe off coat or two. This is done by applying a coat of finish then wiping off as much as you can with a lint free cloth or paper towel. Finally buff out the stock with 0000 steel wool and wax and you should be done. Hope I have been of some help!
    It is not what you hunt with, it is how you hunt that is important!

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    Judson nailed it. I did a stock about 3 months ago and it took about 15 coats to get it looking good. I didn't do much wet sanding inbetween but it sounds like a good idea after looking at the finished product.

    just my

    -jd

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    Thanks for the help.

    I haven't done any wet sanding yet and have 4 nice looking coats on it. I will try to find some wet/dry paper to use over the weekend and that should solve one of my other issues, as there are a few spots where the laminate has left a small gap between layers and all the sanding I did hasn't filled it completely. The stock looks and feels smooth, but I know there are a few spots. I have been using a 0000 steel wool between coats. I'm going for a semi-gloss/satin finish.

    Am I using too much oil as the bottle I bought is over half empty as well. Starting to think I may be a Tru Oil pig.
    Dave
    2 Chronicles 7:14

    Where's the intersection of Buck Ave and Bullet Place?
    Chasing the Doe and not seeing the Bucks!

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    The best place to get the wet & dry paper is at a paint store or auto parts store like NAPA. When you wet sand you will get lots of "mud" from the dust. I wipe this off with a paper towel but not to vigerously as I want to leave the "mud" in all the pores, or in the case of a laminate stock also the voids between laminations. (In reality, there should not be any voids!)
    As to being a finish hog, well, maby, a little but you have to fill the grain and the wet sanding prevents a build up of finish that gives that Epoxie shine which looks bad. So slap it on and wet sand untill the pores are full. One other thing, if you want a good fit install the recoil pad/ butt plate while you are finishing the stock. This way you will have a perfict fit between it and the stock because you are sanding it down with the stock. In general when I build a rifle I do all but the finish sanding with the rifle all togther for the most part. This way the wood is never proud of the metal or below the level of the metal. When done right the only difference you should feel when running you hands over a rifle is diferences in texture where metal meets wood.
    It is not what you hunt with, it is how you hunt that is important!

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    Sorry, but I for got a few things! When you think you are ready for the last few wipe on coats of finins use the steel wool. Look the stock over in good light, it will be dull from the buffing with steel wool, I use a Opti Visor and 2.5 power to do this. If you see tiny shiny spors, you are seeing pores that are not filled to the surface and you will need more coats to fill them. Another hint is when everything is right mix up a maintainance finish, this will protect your finish and over the years enhance it. After a few days of hunting, rub in a few drops of this stuff, and I do mean a few drops. Too much and you will have a sticky mess that you will have to clean off with mineral spirits or somthing like Scotts Liquid Gold. When done right this maintainace finish will give you that hand rubed English oil finish look that is so nice. To make this glop mix 1 cup of boiled linseed oil, 2 table spoon of mineral spirits, 1 tablespoon of Birchwood Casey and 1/2 tablespoon of bees wax in a double boiler for about 20 minuits or untill the water boils and every thing goes into solution. This is enough of the stuff to last for years and years. By the way do not use this on a Epoxie finish like Browning uses, the only thing to do when epoxie gets dinged up is strip it and use a good gun finish.
    If you have any questions please feel free to call me; 207-938-3595
    Oh, one more thing, the rifle in the pictures is my .366 DGW. It has been to Africa twice, once for 28 days and the second time for 33 days. It has also been used here in Maine for deer hunting since I build it in 2001 for deer hunting almost every day of the season. The only thing I have done to the finish is rub in my super goo, try it it works!!!!
    It is not what you hunt with, it is how you hunt that is important!

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    Judson thanks or all the excellent information. I have to do some manuevering to pick up the extras as my work schedule often keeps me from shopping when I want to. I just ran my hands over what I've done sofar and it's pretty decent. I will be following your advice to finish it off. I have had the rifle together for much of the final work and only pulled the action from the stock to coat in oil. I purchased som Birchwood Casey stock wax for the final protectant coat. I take it that isn't as good as what you're suggesting with the "goop"?

    The stock you made for the rifle in the pictures is very nice to look at. Great shape and figuring in the wood. I'll keep you all posted on the project as it progresses and I'll have s series of pictures at some time soon to post of the project.

    Dave
    2 Chronicles 7:14

    Where's the intersection of Buck Ave and Bullet Place?
    Chasing the Doe and not seeing the Bucks!

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    Judson, Outstanding information!!!! Maybe you can help me while we are on the subject.

    Here's my question; at what point do you stain the stock. I always assumed that this was done before applying the oil. It seems that some gun makers add stain to the oil. I buffed out some factory rifles and noticed the color of the stock got much lighter! OOOps!

    When refinishing my Steyr, I stained the stock a dark brown. When I applied the first coat of birchwood casey, it took it right off?!?!

    When and how do you apply stain?


    Nice rifle BTW!!
    "There's two kinds of men in this world, those with guns and those who dig....."

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    Stock wax such as you mentioned works well also but it will not seal and blend scratches as well as the goop I told you guys about. I use both, after the goop has dried I buff it out if there is any excess then apply a coat of wax over the hole rifle. By the way take care that you do not fill the checkering with either stuff. If you do get a build up in the checkering you can usually clean it up with mineral spirits and a soft tooth brush.
    It is rair that I stain a stock unless it is a light wood and the customer wants it. When choosing a stock blank one of the things you take into account is the color. I usually wet the blank with either mineral spirits or laquer thinner in order to see the true color of the wood. I do not use water as it tends to raise the grain and after all that drying time some how it would not seem right even though I know it will not realy raise the moisture content of the stock.
    If you do stain a stock it is best to apply several coats of finish and then use steel wool not sand paper when cutting down the finish. This is alot of extra work but if you cut through the finish you will probably remove some of the stain or at least enough to leave a light spot. My advice would be to leave the stock its natural color.
    It is not what you hunt with, it is how you hunt that is important!

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    When I bought my Steyr Mannlicher a few years ago it had a very dark walnut stock. Who would of thought that it was stained? I didn't find out until I rubbed some tru oil on it and the stain came right off!?!?!

    I wanted to duplicate the origional color and put a nice oil finish on it.

    What would be the best approach.
    "There's two kinds of men in this world, those with guns and those who dig....."

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    Originally posted by Judson@Oct 2 2004, 04:12 PM
    To make this glop mix 1 cup of boiled linseed oil, 2 table spoon of mineral spirits, 1 tablespoon of Birchwood Casey and 1/2 tablespoon of bees wax in a double boiler for about 20 minuits or untill the water boils and every thing goes into solution.
    Double boiler: Are you putting this solution in a pot and placing this pot into a pot of water?

    Where do you get bees wax? (I've never had a reason to buy it)
    "There's two kinds of men in this world, those with guns and those who dig....."

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    Yes, I put all the ingredientsin somthing like a coffee can and then place this in a pan of water and heat on the stove. You can find bees wax at most sewing stores and many hardware stores.
    It is not what you hunt with, it is how you hunt that is important!

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    Well I need to get out the digital camera. I have now finally put on 12 coats of Tru-Oil and have been wet sanding with 600 super fine grit between each of the last 8 coats. I have one coating of Tru-Oil left in the bottle and will apply it tomorrow. I hope to get some of the materials together this wekend to make up the goop adn get it on. I have a few questions though. 1.) I believe I read that the goop is a filler sealant? not to compare my work to Judson's, as I really can't, but my stock finish is starting to look alike the one in his photos. I still have a few spots where the laminate has not completely filled in with Tru-Oil. That isn't to say that it's not coated well just that even after all the sanding and coating that there are pores that are resistant to filling. I have also incorporated a furniture fill stick in the approximate color of the stock. This may be cheating, but has cured some of the more difficult spots on the stock that wouldn't sand out even after much attention. 2.) Also what I believe that I am reading is that I need to put on a few more coats of Tru-oil and get after some of the left over spots before putting on the maintenance finish? or will the maintenance finish (goop) fill in some of the small dips and "pores that have been sore spots? I'll try to post photos tomorrow. I don't expect to have a flawless finish on this gun stock , but I am working towards close. I figure that somone could nit pick it but I'm pretty happy with how it's turning out. Since there is no checkering to worry about it's that much easier.

    Note: see my next Rifle in Progress" thread for some before pictures of the stock in the Medium Bore section of this page.
    Dave
    2 Chronicles 7:14

    Where's the intersection of Buck Ave and Bullet Place?
    Chasing the Doe and not seeing the Bucks!

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    Many sidetracking items have transpired since I sent out the last post here. I know as of tonight have the 14th coat of Tru-oil on. I found that I neded to sand out a few spots with 320 and 600grit again and was remarded with a much smoother finish. Just like Judson was saying with the wet sanding as it helps fill in the pores, this backwards move on my part filled in a trouble spot I did't realize I had.

    One thing I did notice as I have had the stock hanging in my garage for several months. Is it possible that due to our reasonalby cold weather that my laminate stock may have developed some raised veneers? I notice near the pistol grip a few high grains that weren't that way before. I tried a bit of sanding and that seemed tonot help. The stock had been coated 12 times with Tru oil by the time the weather cooled and since the stock has been out there it should have stabilized long ago.

    Lastly I am noticing that even with wetsanding between coats that there is not much difference in the coat or I am getting somerunning. Does this indicate that the wood will no longer take more coasts and that I should move to the final finsh reciepe? Look forward to the comments.

    PS you can see the current status on the thread " Next Rifle in Progress under Medium Bore rifles.
    Dave
    2 Chronicles 7:14

    Where's the intersection of Buck Ave and Bullet Place?
    Chasing the Doe and not seeing the Bucks!

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    Couple of tips:
    Depending on where you get your steel wool, it may have oil in it (to keep it from rusting). Easy enough to wash out and let dry. If you're not having a problem, don't worry about it.
    An alternative may be a product called Scotch brite, color coded as to coarsness, found at auto supply for body work, white is the finest, works well for me.
    Sanding or buffing between coats is a must, not only for filling pores, but to keep from developing "orange peel", a dimpled appearance like...an orange peel.
    If you want a high gloss, after sanding/buffing your last coat of rub on, put on a finish coat of spray Tru-Oil. Even passes, end to end.
    CAUTION: rags soaked with linseed oil, if left laying in a pile, in a poorly ventilated area, will SPONTANEOUSLY COMBUST ! This plus a bunch of firemen with big hoses tend to play heck with a newly finished stock.

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