Having trouble with final coat of Tru-Oil


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awhendricks
July 19, 2010, 10:57 PM
I am in the process of refinishing a birch stock for my Marlin 336W using the Birchwood-Casey refinishing kit. I have followed the instructions, and now I am in the process of getting near my final coat of tru-oil. I have put about five coats on, and I am having trouble keeping cloth fibers, steel wool fibers, etc. from getting on the stock. :cuss: I can see and feel the fibers after a coat of tru-oil dries, and I have to use more steel wool to clean it up again. Should I use 1000-2000 grit sandpaper to prevent and get rid of any foreign objects prior to my final coat, or is there a special type of cloth that I should use to wipe the stocks down? Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

Austin

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browningguy
July 19, 2010, 11:23 PM
You need to use a painters tack rag to wipe it down before the last coat.

However, the last thing I do to a truoil finish is use 4-O steel wool to wax the stock, it gives a wonderul finish and also wipes out any little nibs of rag etc in the finish.

Ratdog68
July 19, 2010, 11:24 PM
I learned to use the equivelant to 0000 steel wool of the 3M variety (yes, like Scotch Brite) from my local wood working store. The reason explained to me is... "steel" fibers that might linger onto/into the finish will rust.

Also... I learned to "hand rub" the Tru-Oil into the stock. As in, a few drops on your hand and rub it in with the hands until heat is generated by your rubbing, moving on to the next section... and, hanging it up to dry in the sun. I had pretty good luck with Tack-Cloth between coats.

Anywho... it worked for me. This is Osage Orange/Bamboo/Bocote.

http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv134/Ratdog68/Finished008.jpg?t=1279595840
http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv134/Ratdog68/Finished004.jpg?t=1279596172
http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv134/Ratdog68/Finished002.jpg?t=1279596230

T/C Cherokee .45 rifle stock I refinished with Tru-Oil

http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv134/Ratdog68/BlackPowder/45Cherokee/StockKnives005.jpg?t=1279596389
http://i677.photobucket.com/albums/vv134/Ratdog68/BlackPowder/45Cherokee/CrackRepair006.jpg?t=1279596498

jpwilly
July 19, 2010, 11:45 PM
I have the solution; just send your stocks to Ratdog68, dang man! :)

Ratdog68
July 20, 2010, 12:27 PM
I have the solution; just send your stocks to Ratdog68, dang man! :)
Thanks, the longbow was my first attempt with the Tru-Oil... I have about 60 hours into that bow. Had a good teacher on that one. The stock refinish was needed because the first time I fired the rifle... the stock cracked... I epoxied/clamped it and then needed to refinish it. My confidence was up with the rifle since the bow turned out so nicely.

The key to the Tru-Oil is very THIN coats, rubbed into the wood. I tried heavier coats with a cloth (first), but it just wasn't working... did some asking around and learned about the very thin coats with a lot of firm rubbing in. That was the key. I had good luck with using 1000 grit or 1200 grit paper to do away with the finish I wasn't pleased with when I set about to redo the final coats. A lot of folks tell you NOT to use such fine paper... but, I like the SMOOTH, glass like finish... so, I go much finer with my sand paper than a lot of folks do.

hub
July 20, 2010, 01:44 PM
I've done several stocks now using tru oil but I'm far from being an expert. I seem to learn a little more everytime I do another.

This is the meathod that has worked best for me. After stripping the wood and staining if you prefer I hit it with sandpaper to knock the fibers down. Once lightly with 600 then 1200 wet dry. If the stain is not even I try to keep reapplying, concentrating on the lightest areas then knocking it down until it all matches.

When I start with the tru oil I cut it with mineral spirits, first three coats is 25% part tru oil, 75% mineral spirits. Second three coats is 50:50, and then full on 100% tru oil for the final three or more.

This does a few things to your advantage. First the mix is a lot thinner so it really gets deep into the grain. Second, it is a lot easier to work with. It spreads much easier without build up (runs), it does not get as tacky so no finger prints, brush marks, etc. And third, each coat dries faster, so you can start the next sooner.

I have found for me the best way to apply is with cheap foam paint brushes. It holds the liquid well, and helps spread it out. If one part of the stock has a little too much build up I lay the brush down a little to pick some up and apply it to another area. It also does not leave any fibers, or brush marks. After each coat I squeeze out an excess oil. You can wash them out with pure mineral spirits but I found a bag of ten for $1 at harbor freight so I just bought a few bags and use a new one each time.

After each coat is completely dry I wet sand the stock with a fine wet sand paper using the same tru oil mix that I used on the previous coat. Not only does this knock down any imperfections it also helps fill the grain with the sludge. I then wipe down the excess with a micro fiber towel.

On my final coats when I use 100% tru oil I use a extra fine wet sand.

The stock will obviously look like it has a deep layer of glass on it by this time. If this is the finish you want, I wax the stock at this time.

I havent really found a way yet to get that perfect satin look just yet. It still a work in progress. I've used BC's stock sheen and it works pretty good but I would like to make it just a little more dull so I'm still working on it.

jdowney
July 20, 2010, 02:11 PM
I've only tried tru oil once, but it behaved so much like the product I was already using (Waterlox), that I didn't bother switching. Final coat needs to be thin, really thin. After steelwool/tacking (I use a rag with turpentine or mineral spirits on it), fold up a rag - old bedsheets work well, tshirts ok if they're cotton rather than synthetic - and dip the folded corner in the oil. I keep the rags small, no more than 6" square, usually smaller. Then as you wipe it on, some of the dry rag will pick up excess oil. If its starting to grab the rag you need a bit more oil. You want the final look for drying to look like a polished stock, not a wet one. These oils dry fast, the cured oil below accelerates drying, so if its nice and thin, dust and such shouldn't stick. AC or forced hot air is a problem in finishing, you want still air.

Dave P
July 20, 2010, 02:48 PM
5 coats is 2 more than I ever use. And I use my fingers to apply.

I don't like gloss, so 0000 steel wool on the final dry coat, followed by floor paste wax.

jimmyraythomason
July 20, 2010, 02:57 PM
Final coat needs to be thin, really thin. I would say ALL coats need to be really thin.5 coats is 2 more than I ever use. And I use my fingers to apply. I haven't even gotten started with only 5 coats.

Ratdog68
July 20, 2010, 02:59 PM
I would say ALL coats need to be really thin. I haven't even gotten started with only 5 coats.
+1 that.

1KPerDay
July 20, 2010, 03:19 PM
I've never had any luck with steel wool and wood. It always leaves bits of steel fibers behind.

jimmyraythomason
July 20, 2010, 03:23 PM
I've never had any luck with steel wool and wood. It always leaves bits of steel fibers behind.
I've never had a problem with steel wool fibers. I used compressed air to blow away any loose contaminates and dust. I NEVER use 0000 steel wool or any cloth on the stock UNTIL the Tru-oil is COMPLETELY DRY.

aka108
July 20, 2010, 04:12 PM
I've never used TruOil. Only satin finish tung oil. I'd apply a coat, let it dry at least two or three days, light sand and tack cloth. Maybe 4 or 5 coatings. Last coat would be applied with very fine steel wool and then wiped dry. Gave a nice low lustre finish. In a high humidity climate drying can take more than a couple of days so you can't hurry the job up.

awhendricks
July 20, 2010, 05:34 PM
Thanks for the tips, I'll make sure my coats are thinner. I've used 0000 steel wool to clean up my last coat, and it feels very smooth now. I'll get some tack cloth and use that in between coats now. Thanks!

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