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  1. #21
    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    As I gather from vintage specifications for SMLE manufacture, the finished woodwork, awaiting fitting was STORED in drums of raw linseed oilicon, often for months. And this was after the raw flitches had been air dried for YEARS.

    The only way you would get more linseed into the furniture is with a vacuum tank. In these, the "article" is sealed in the tank, the air pumped out and the vacuum held for a specified period,

    Then, the linseed oilicon is let in. Because most of the moisture / oil etc in the wood has been drawn out via the vacuum pump, the new oil penetrates quite deeply.

    You can substitute epoxy or polyester resins for the linseed and end up with a wood-fibre reinforced plastic stock that still looks like wood but is so rigid it will almost ring when struck. It will also be VERY resistant to dents, rot, borers and warping in the rain. NOT a cheap option, but do-able.

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  4. #22
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Boy, the BLOicon/RLO bun fight never ends, I bet people will still be arguing about the relative merits of both 100 years from now!

    My view, Raw linseed for military rifles and boiled linseed (built up to a disired finish) on shotguns and sporters.

    Clean up the surface with red scotchbite and de-greaser.

    This gets the crud out and opens up the grain, apply coats of RLO as required and finally buff up to a nice semi Matt finish with a micro fiber cloth.

    That's my approach to military rifles, if it's NOS wood with no or very little oil in it, then cut the first coat of RLO 50/50 with turps, this acts as a thinning agent and rapid catalyst, so the first coats draw deep into the wood and gives lovely a visual depth to the final finish.

    Then back to normal viscosity oil for the reminder of the job.

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  6. #23
    Member M1 C FAN's Avatar
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    As stated by the CMPicon 1. Nature of Original USGI Wood Finishes

    From the Trapdoor Springfield 45/70 era through the end of the M-14 era, the essential nature of manufacturer applied wood finishes included linseed oilicon, tung oil, boiled linseed oilicon, and what might be called boiled tung oil. While used by the Armed Forces of the United Statesicon, the rifles were usually cleaned and protected by the soldiers, sailors, and Marines using boiled linseed oil.

    As to the M1 Garand Rifle, it is believed that the original manufacturer’s finish utilized boiled linseed oil into which the stocks were dipped and then dried. Subsequently, what might be called boiled tung oil was used instead. The boiled tung oil was a mixture of real tung oil, a carrier or solvent such as mineral spirits or turpentine, and driers similar to those added to boiled linseed oil to help cure the oil.

  7. #24
    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post
    Clean up the surface with red scotchbite and de-greaser.
    I never found the need to go any color scotchbrite route or any abrasive at all on stocks that have seen normal duty. A simple but slow process of 91% or better Isopropyl Alcohol in a pan, then brushed up and down the stock with a firm paintbrush and after a rub down using a rag dripping with Isopropyl Alcohol is all that is needed. You can refinish with RLO the next day - or steam out dents and apply the RLO. Bubba Stocks, on the other hand, thats a whole different story.... especially the ones covered with 10 coats of Poly.
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  8. #25
    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1 C FAN View Post
    While used by the Armed Forces of the United Statesicon, the rifles were usually cleaned and protected by the soldiers, sailors, and Marines using boiled linseed oilicon.
    Hmmmm. Did the person from the CMPicon site a source? I only ask because in all the books I have there is not a word about BLOicon with it comes to the Krag, Model of 1917, and the 1903 Springfield (I don't own a Garand yet so haven't collected old books on them)

    Manual of Military Training By Major Jas. A. Moss Copyright 1914 page 557 "The stock and hand guard should receive a light coat of raw linseed oil once a month, or after any wetting from rain, dew, etc, -- this should be thoroughly rubbed in with the hand"

    TM 9-1270 War Department Technical Manual U.S. Rifles, Cal. 30, M1903, M1903A1, M1903A3 and M1903A4 20 January 1944. Page 104, " About once a month apply OIL, linseed, raw, with a CLOTH, wiping wood."

    TM 9-280 War Department Technical Manual Caliber .22 Rifles, All Types 16 March 1944. Page 93, "Wipe off the exterior of the rifle with a dry cloth to remove dampness, dirt, and perspiration. About once a month, apply OIL, linseed, raw, to the wood with a clean dry cloth or the palm of the hand."

    Privates' Manual By Capt. James A Moss Copyright 1910. Page 48, ""The stock and hand guard should receive a light coat of raw linseed oil once a month, or after any wetting from rain, dew, etc, -- this should be thoroughly rubbed in with the hand"

    --- I have more old books, but it just repeats the same... ---

    So if these were coated in anything other than RLO I don't thank that up into 1944 they would be using RLO on top of other finishes. Just my 2Cents on the subject.
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  9. #26
    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    I just remembered I have the FM 23-8 for the M-14 December 1959. The M14icon would be the last wooden stock and even it doesn't have anything but RLO

    "Raw linseed oilicon should be frequently applied to the wooden parts to keep out moisture and prevent swelling."

    "Wooden parts must be kept oiled with raw linseed oilicon to prevent drying"

    "c. Preservatives. A medium corrosion-preventive compound is used to protect the metal parts of the rifle during storage, and raw linseed oil is applied to the wooden parts to prevent their drying."

    So I don't know where the CMPicon author of the article you read got his reference material.
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  10. #27
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usabaker View Post
    I never found the need to go any color scotchbrite route or any abrasive at all on stocks that have seen normal duty. A simple but slow process of 91% or better Isopropyl Alcohol in a pan, then brushed up and down the stock with a firm paintbrush and after a rub down using a rag dripping with Isopropyl Alcohol is all that is needed. You can refinish with RLO the next day - or steam out dents and apply the RLO. Bubba Stocks, on the other hand, thats a whole different story.... especially the ones covered with 10 coats of Poly.
    The great thing about red scotchbrite is that correctly used, it will only remove the old built up crap from the grain and won't affect edges, markings or anything else.

    This built up crap is a mix of compacted skin oils, gun lubricant, soil etc.



    It simply allows the RLO a good unhindered and even entry to draw deep into the woodwork and do its job.

    After all, you wouldn't wax polish a car covered in mud!
    Last edited by mrclark303; 10-05-2019 at 10:04 AM.

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  12. #28
    Contributing Member WarPig1976's Avatar
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    I'm avoiding this thread on purpose but I thought I'd post these pictures.
    This is what it looks like when one gobs BLOicon on a stock that will take no more and leaves it for weeks to polymerize. This was the owner's Grandfather's gun. He was very distraught but I fixed him up.


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  14. #29
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by WarPig1976 View Post
    I'm avoiding this thread on purpose but I thought I'd post these pictures.
    This is what it looks like when one gobs BLOicon on a stock that will take no more and leaves it for weeks to polymerize. This was the owner's Grandfather's gun. He was very distraught but I fixed him up.
    A common mistake, I made that one when I was 15, a lesson learnt well! I prepared my first restored rifle woodwork, smothered it in BLOicon and left it for a few days .... came back to a rock hard mess and had to start again....
    .303, helping Englishmen express their feelings since 1889

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    Member M1 C FAN's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by usabaker View Post
    Hmmmm. Did the person from the CMPicon site a source?
    The CMP website was my source. As far as real field usage my Uncle who fought with the 82nd airborne used to tell us they would use anything including grease from a Sherman tank for a rifle stock. In the field anything worked.

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