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Refinishing stock with tru oil

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Katitmail, Jan 17, 2014.

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  1. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    I'm in a process of finishing 11-48 stock with tru oil. This is walnut stock. I prepped it and there is open grain.

    So far I applied 3 coats. After first 2 I was knocking down tru oil completely with 0000 steel wool. My idea is that when I do that - there is oil still in a grain. I want to fill all the grain by keeping doing this.

    I don't see it filling too much. I wonder if by sanding I'm getting all the oil out of the grain? Or I should keep going?
     
  2. MutinousDoug

    MutinousDoug Member

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    My Tru-oil stocks have at least 10 knocked down coats. More like 20.
    Sounds to me as though you are doing it right.
     
  3. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Might have faster results by wet block sanding with very fine Wet or Dry paper on a flat sanding block?

    The steel wool will get down in the grain and take a little oil out each time while it is taking the high spots off.

    rc
     
  4. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    RC, I will do couple more coats and see. I really like how steel wool does it. No wood, just kind of scraping off top coat.

    With sanding I will have to be lot more careful.
     
  5. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    coats and coats and more coats.

    It will help you speed the process along if you will rub a little armor-al on the stock, then put on a coat. Sounds weird, but it will cause the tru-oil to harden up in about 1/10th the time it would if you just let it air dry, and if you just keep rubbing on a 2-4 square inch section as it dries the sections will blend really well and give you a nice smooth finish.

    I also let some of my base coats get pretty thick to help will the grain fill if I am not wet sanding. Any surface streaking or clumping gets sanded off and, then the surface gets built up nicely with thin coats.

    I prefer a 400 grit sandpaper to steel wool for buffing. I have missed little fibers before when I moved on to the next coat and found them buried like flies in amber later on. Sandpaper doesn't leave them.

    For my final coat I use some car polish on a buffing wheel or inside of a sock. it takes off any lint or surface imperfections and removes a little of the gloss.
     
  6. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    Thanks for advices so far. I probably won't experiment with other stuff and just keep going. Will do polishing when all done.

    Applying thin coats undilluted - this is how it looks after 3rd coat (I took off first 2 completely) 0000 does leaves dust but I wipe it well and then blow it off with shop air, nothing seems to be embedded.

    Does it look about right after 3rd coat?
     

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  7. greyling22

    greyling22 Member

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    looks pretty good to me. just keep going. And please post a pic when you have it all done. I am interested to see how the checkering turns out for you. I have a stock that needs to be stripped and refinished, but I am leery of the checkering.
     
  8. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    Checkering covered (see picture of prepped stock). My plan is to carefully soak checkering with oil maybe once or twice when I will be doing finishing coat or even after all done and I will tape area around checkering.

    I don't want any puddles in checkering and my goal is to just protect wood, no gloss.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    Apply oil to the unfinished checkering with an old toothbrush.

    Then brush out ALL excess Tru-Oil with the toothbrush before it cures out.

    Otherwise, any excess oil will settle to the bottom of the checkering and fill it!!!!!!

    rc
     
  10. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    Yes, going to do something like that. Maybe use Q-tips to soak off extra oil. Maybe dilute tru-oil with mineral spirits and just use sponge as applicator to kind of "touch" surface ?
     
  11. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

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    No.

    See post #9 again.

    Thats how you do it.

    rc
     
  12. LAGS

    LAGS Member

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    All of my stocks are Wet Sanded Durring the Finish Coat Process.
    They some out smooth as a Baby's Butt, and no open grain.
    Now I am not talking about Wet sanding with water, but wet sanding with the Finish that I am applying like Linseed Oil.
    You also have to leave the MUD or fine sanding material on the stock, and work it into the grain with your hands like a filler, and let it dry without wiping it off the stock with a rag.
     
  13. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    When you're finished putting the Tru Oil on, and you've rubbed your last with the 0000 steel wool, get yourself a hunk of burlap, about 12" square. Double it, then get sit down and commence to rubbin' that stock from one end to the other. Let your stock completely dry, letting it cure for about a week before the burlap session. You'll be amaze at how that stock looks when you're finished.
     
  14. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    Boy, are you guys gluttons for punishment.
    Just kidding (!), but a pro woodworker (like me) fills the wood pores with clear wood filler, THEN proceeds to finish the wood. Apply the wood filler (so many brands out there, just don't use water-borne), then gently sand down to the wood surface. Then use a durable wood finish, satin or gloss (your pref). The most durable and least expensive wood finish is by far Minwax Wipe-On Poly. The Tru-Oil may appeal to traditionalists because of its sort-of old-time ingredients, but it cannot offer the water-resistance and durability of the Minwax I cited. And that's a finding supported by many.
    Tru-Oil was good when there was no competition, but not any longer.
     
  15. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    Tell me about it :)

    This is my first (and probably last) stock that I do this way. I'm pretty tired by now, but 7th layer on and I can see it's almost there.
     

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  16. 351 WINCHESTER

    351 WINCHESTER Member

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    When I was a young teenager I bought a bolt action 12 ga. It was pretty beat up so Dad bought some tru oil and some filler. After wet sanding to raise the grain we coated it with the filler and it still took a bunch of coats, but it really turned out very nice. I can still smell that tru oil today. I wish I would have kept that old gun as we put a lot of time and love in it.
     
  17. natman

    natman Member

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    I learned about the limitations of finish as a filler the same way you are. It takes a lot of coats.

    Now I wet sand the raw wood with the stain. This generates a slurry of stained wood dust that fills the pores. It matches perfectly since it's the same wood. Then I apply the finish.
     
  18. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    That looks plenty good from here Kat. If thats the finish you're wanting, good to go. If not, get the burlap and shine that hummer!
     
  19. Katitmail

    Katitmail Member

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    Not sure about burlap but sock and car polish is in order. I.m still couple days out, looks like 2-3 more coats needed to make it glass-smooth
     
  20. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    All the burlap will do is burnish that finish, won't hurt it any. Like a rag on fresh polished shoes, just buffing it. I don't know about the car polish though, might have chemicals in it that will hose up the oiled finish!
     
  21. Catpop

    Catpop Member

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    Surprised nobody mentioned raising the grain, cutting off the whiskers, repeating once or twice, and applying Herter's French Red stock filler. Man, I must be getting really old! That's the way we did it in the 70's to bring out all the beauty of the wood, even old plain jane straight grained stocks. Cat
     
  22. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    I just finished reading the entire post, and I didn't see how you were applying the Tru Oil. I've all ways applied by hand rubbing the oil into the stock. It is really sticky to say the least, but it seems to work the best for a clean even surface. I just wash my hands really well using Lava soap, and that seems to take most of the sticky out. Also, using a small piece of burlap to shine the surface of the stock when all done, after the stock has had time to cure, will definitely make a difference. JMHO
     
  23. 788Ham

    788Ham Member

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    ^^^^^ Someone else knows about the burlap sequence when finishing the stock! I've used that trick for many years, even just using lemon oil to brighten up a stock works wonders.
     
  24. MuffinMaster

    MuffinMaster Member

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    Wet sand with 600+ and Tru-oil till you get a slur. Let stand till it is almost begins to tacked up then wipe off gently in long strokes. Let the pours fill up. Let dry and repeat a few times. Than is the way I was taught to hand rub. I do not use Tru-oil but raw tung oil but the method should be the same.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2014
  25. natman

    natman Member

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    Perhaps that's because Herter's been out of business since 1981.:rolleyes: ;)
     
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