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Thread: Long Branch No.4 Mk1 wood/finish

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    Contributing Member MadMechaNick's Avatar
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    Long Branch No.4 Mk1 wood/finish

    Curious if a BLOicon regimen will darken a handguard on its own or if I will need do do something else. I have a 1942 L.B. that I aquired in excellent condition for an early rifle. However, it had English handguards although everything else is LB stamped (except forend was replaced at some point with a Canadianicon Arsenals unit, serial matched; likely by a unit armorer)
    I found a LB rear handguard that is a perfect match both grain and finish/color, but the only good front handguard I could find is a couple/few shades too light unfortunately.
    Thanks in advance!

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    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
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    Issue rifles in Canadianicon service did not necessarily have matching coloured wood. Not unusual to see rifles with a mix of walnut and birch furniture, let alone different shades of the same species. If you want this handguard to match, you could experiment with stains. But that isn't something that would have been done when the rifle was in service.

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    Boiled linseed oilicon is more like varnish with chemical driers. Get some raw linseed oilicon that will oxidize with age and color the wood a bit in the process. A reasonable color match was all that was required. I've seen rifles with three different types of wood installed so it's difficult to get them all colored perfectly unless you clean and stain all of the pieces to match which is cosmetically nice but not original.

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    Legacy Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Dickicon View Post
    Get some raw linseed oilicon that will oxidize with age and color the wood a bit in the process.
    The original instructions :
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    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    Contributing Member MadMechaNick's Avatar
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    Thank you hugely for the replies! Raw linseed oilicon it is!

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    I am restoring a long Branch No4 Mk1* and used raw linseed oilicon on the repro forend and handguards. I bought a butt used that pretty closely matches so I'm a fan of RLO.

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    This is the right time of the year to finish wood in the South. I get three times the work done in half the time using good old Mother Nature.

    I think I'm repeating myself again but here goes. The Britishicon and Commonwealth Armourer's workshops had a powder they added to the warmed tanks of raw linseed oilicon to color it a bit. No one really knows the exact composition of the powder but I'm guessing it's ground alkanet root. A good friend and mentor in Winchester, NH gave me some pieces he acquired in the UK many years ago as it's a staple in the high-grade British gun making community. I have a pint jar of RLO I work from that I top off frequently from a gallon can. I put the roots in the pint jar and sure as God made little green apples, the RLO turns red. If you use this "red" RLO, it'll oxidize into the brilliant reddish tinted finish we've seen and love without buying fancy and expensive spirit-based stains. It just takes time for the finish to oxidize. I used to have Chestnut Ridge military stock stain but I've run out and the company unfortunately went out of business during the Covid nonsense.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Dickicon View Post
    This is the right time of the year to finish wood in the South. I get three times the work done in half the time using good old Mother Nature.

    I think I'm repeating myself again but here goes. The Britishicon and Commonwealth Armourer's workshops had a powder they added to the warmed tanks of raw linseed oilicon to color it a bit. No one really knows the exact composition of the powder but I'm guessing it's ground alkanet root. A good friend and mentor in Winchester, NH gave me some pieces he acquired in the UK many years ago as it's a staple in the high-grade British gun making community. I have a pint jar of RLO I work from that I top off frequently from a gallon can. I put the roots in the pint jar and sure as God made little green apples, the RLO turns red. If you use this "red" RLO, it'll oxidize into the brilliant reddish tinted finish we've seen and love without buying fancy and expensive spirit-based stains. It just takes time for the finish to oxidize. I used to have Chestnut Ridge military stock stain but I've run out and the company unfortunately went out of business during the Covid nonsense.
    It's Liberon spirit based stain for me on NOS wood Brian, that an BLOicon treatments until it stops going in.

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    Legacy Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post
    It's Liberon spirit based stain for me on NOS wood Brian, that an BLOicon treatments until it stops going in.

    BLOicon is better than 'suck' but RLO is the correct stuff to use ! :
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    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan de Enfield View Post
    BLOicon is better than 'suck' but RLO is the correct stuff to use ! :


    First real good belly laugh of the day Alan!!

    My typo, I meant to say RLO!

    My system after wood prep and colour, is a few coats of warmed and Terps 50/50 thinned RLO, that really gives the initial penetration and depth of finish into the wood and sets it up for the following neat coats of oil ... Then keep on trucking until it stops going in....

    Two of mine using this system, my A4 build I fitted NOS Keystone stock to and my Maltby No4 build, also fitted with new NOS woodwork.

    .303, helping Englishmen express their feelings since 1889

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