Linseed Oil Finish - How to Clean? Refinishing?
Anxiously awaiting the release of my 03A3 from Ca's waiting period...
It looks to have been refinished and seems to be an oil finish.
So how do clean an oil finish?
With guns I have with modern finishes... wiping it with a damp cloth, drying it, and waxing it is just fine... after all.. it's basically a clear plastic coating.
Oil on the other hand seems to make the gun a sponge for crud over the eons.
I have no idea how to safely clean it, without wrecking it.
After that... is refreshing it really as as simple an putting cold pressed flax oil on it?
The webpage over at Garand Gear claims only *raw* linseed is what turns to the red we all love on walnut.
In any event, was being a fanatic about keeping my guns shined up and preserved, was wondering what the drill is for linseed finishes?
12-08-2013 06:39 PM
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Normally I use acetone if the stock is grotty from years of grubby hands dirt etc, rub an acetone dampened cloth over the timber should get most of teh crud off. The if you are happy with the finish re oil with a 50/50 mixture of Boiled Linseed Oil and Turpentine.
If not happy with the removal of the crud do again this time rubbing the acetone in with very fine steel wool or brass wool.
Cleaning Oil Finish Wood Furniture
This is a slight variation on the linseed oil and turpentine formula - white vinegar added.
Murphys Oil Soap can also be used with warm water and a soft brush or sponge ( for really dirty stocks) But make sure the stock is finiished.
If a mild cleaning is all that's needed the product on the left seems to work well:
Made from linseed oil no less!
Really Senior Member
The more restorations I do and more original rifles that show up, the more I learn that less can be much more. I give them a good rub with a fairly wet raw linseed oiled cloth. I'll use that to scrub any surface dirt out. Then simply rub it down with an old piece of denim and let whatever is left behind dry into the finish. Especially if it has a nice original aged finish.
White Gas, Naptha, Coleman Camp fuel, They are all basically the same thing, and quite good at removing the grime from Wood stocked Milsurps while causing the least amount of damage to the finish. A gunsmith friend has, and continues to use it for cleaning stocks. It is far less harsh than Acetone which depending on the type of finish tends to dissolve some of them.
Once you have cleaned the stock down and given it a sparing rub with boiled linseed oil and let it set for a day or so, I find that a coat of Renaissance Wax will protect the oil finish, and prevent drying out.
This wax was developed for museum use and has been designed to do no harm to whatever it is put on. It can also be used for coating metal surfaces and provides good protection from fingeprints and dust damage.
Renaissance Wax is produced in the UK by a company called Picreator, but is fairly easy to obtain worldwide via Amazon..
A few problems arise when waxing the stock of a rifle that gets used. #1. It wears off from handling giving said rifle an uneven sheen only repairable by applying more wax. #2. It HAS to be removed anytime the owner wishes to apply more BLO/RLO and that's a lot of work to get it off the stock not to mention the pores i.e. steam. Much easier to just apply more oil to repair a scratch. IMO wax is best used on furniture/cabinets/woodwork etc.
When I don't have much time I use oven cleaner foam spray to clean the wooden stock and walnut oil.
Just cover the entire stock with the foam ovencleaner, after 20 minutes rinse of the remaining foam and dirt, let the stock air dry, and then I coat it again and again and again with walnut oil untill the wood doesn't absorb the oil anymore.
It is cheap, a quick fix and works great.
Thank You to UNPROFOR1994 For This Useful Post:
Good Lord.!!!!! Where to begin...
Originally Posted by UNPROFOR1994
Yes, oven cleaner is one way to STRIP a stock but not many here would suggest that method but as they say, To each his own..