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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
For those of you with a gun that has an oil finish stock, what do you use on a regular basis to wipe the gun down after shooting? After a day of shooting the wood stock is all full of crud from your hands, what is good for the oil finish. Some type of lemon oil?? I don't want to use wax on the oil finish as that seems like it could become a mess if you ever have to reapply a coat of oil. I am not looking to re coat the finish, but rather maintain it on a weekly shooting basis.
 

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To clean it, I use Murphy's Oil Soap, followed by Howard's Feed N Wax, which is an orange oil and beeswax formula - same stuff I use on some custom designer-built wood furniture I have. Works great
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks Oneounce. I was also thinking lemon oil for just an occasional wipe down.
Its a Browning Citori 625 that has such beautiful wood and a nice oil finish and I don't want to change it, but rather just do whats needed to protect and maintain it.
 

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I've used Howards feed n' wax as well, works good but I prefer to use Birchwood Casey Stock Wax, a put 2-3 coats on each gun every summer, maybe anothe rcoat or two througout the year as well, works great.

I've heard Trewax is good but never used it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
JungleCruiser said:
Any thoughts by people experienced with Ballistol?
I am curious about that as well. That was another one that keeps coming up.
Does the Howards give a gloss after you use it? I don't want it to become a high gloss, I want to maintain that rich luster look of the oil finish.
 

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If the stock is finished as it should be, the pours of the wood are all sealed and something like lemon oil will do little good. Murphy's Oil Soap is a good cleaner for stocks. The waxes mentioned, such as the BC product, would be fine.

All of the so-called hand rubbed oil finishes have something in them for hardening/setting the finish. Otherwise the wood would continue to soak in the product. I did stock work for many years, especially finishing and I have used many, many products, including some very old shop formulas. The newer, synthetic products are the best and any finished look can be obtained with them, with the right technique. They are easier to use, protect the wood, look great and last much longer without replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
LCSMITH26 said:
All of the so-called hand rubbed oil finishes have something in them for hardening/setting the finish. Otherwise the wood would continue to soak in the product. I did stock work for many years, especially finishing and I have used many, many products, including some very old shop formulas. The newer, synthetic products are the best and any finished look can be obtained with them, with the right technique. They are easier to use, protect the wood, look great and last much longer without replacement.
Thanks LCSmith, great feedback. Since you are familiar with the oil finishes, Browning recommends when you want to refresh the oil finish to apply a coat of either Watco Danish oil, Deft danish or Formbys tung oil finish (of course after cleaning it first with alcohol or mineral spirits). Does that sound right to you? Which if any of those have you used in your years of refinishing?
Thanks again.
 

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The gun smith at Joel Etchens told me to use KIWI neutral shoe polish on an oiled finish. I have tried it and it works quite well.
 

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I just got a Beretta Silver Pigeon lV and it has a oil finish. I wiped it down several times with a silicone treated cloth that are used for gun or reel and it seemed to shine the stock up very nicely. Will the silicone hurt anything ? Should I still put a couple coats of gun stock wax on it? Thanks!
 

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Beretta 391 said:
I just got a Beretta Silver Pigeon lV and it has a oil finish. I wiped it down several times with a silicone treated cloth that are used for gun or reel and it seemed to shine the stock up very nicely. Will the silicone hurt anything ? Should I still put a couple coats of gun stock wax on it? Thanks!
Never, ever use a silicone based treatment on wood or fiberglass!!!! Silicone can impregnate any pourous materials and if you ever have to do a repair, it will not work. Waxes work short term. They do create a slight glow to the wood making it look better, but wax does wear off as it should and will need recoating. If your oil finish is showing some age/wear, the best thing to use on it to renew a finish is a cleaning with something like mineral spirits on a small white scotchbrite pad or 0000 steel wool and waiting for it to thoroughly dry and applying a new oil type coating. Finishes like Watco, Formbys Tung oil finish and the danish oils are oil based finishes with different amounts of some type of a varnish/poly mixed in to allow a quicker build and other additives for qiucker drying. If the finish on your gun needs "refreshing", these are good alternatives. Just remember to wipe off excess and buff them with a soft rag as they start to dry. Be careful using them though. I know using Watco, you can, with multiple coats, build a pretty doggone glossy finish with relatively ease. If your finish is in good condition, lemon or orange oil based cleaners work well to remove teh sludgy build ups and get you back to the finish.
 

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Any thoughts by people experienced with Ballistol?
I do use it, and I like it. The advantage is you can wipe the entire gun down with it.

I'm gonna try the kiwi polish idea. I'm curious.
 

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In my opinion, you have gotten some good advice here and some not so good. LCSmith26 pretty much hit the nail on the head. And as advised, do not use any silicon products on your stock. They are hard to remove if you ever want to refinish.

I do not have any problem with using my gun and having grit and grime embed in my finish and I do not use any wax or anything else for that matter. If you want to refresh the surface you can use the oil again. I would advise using a modern finish and certainly not linseed oil. It is one of the poorest finishes available today. It never dries well and will absorb materials and grit from your hands. That is why it "darkens" with age (and dirt). I generally use a modified tung oil.

I do not like putting any kind lubricant or solvent on my stocks. The surface of the finish will in most cases suffer from this.

Most guns you get from a gun manufacturer will have a very poor oil finish. For the finish to be effective you have to fill the pores of the wood and to have the best moisture protection, you need a built up finish. Basically a built up finish is a surface film that looks more like a sprayed on finish. Most manufacturers will put one or two coats on the stock and that is a long way from sufficient. For example Seven Mary Three's 2nd photo show pores that are not filled. I am not picking on him, he has done a fairly good job if he did this, it just isn't done. If you look at that photo near the recoil pad you will be able to see what I am talking about. The built up finish is done by hand rubbing coats onto the stock. I would recommend this method also if you wanted to refresh the finish. You basically use your hands to rub the finish onto your stock. And you use a very minimal amount. I get the ends of a finger or two wet with finish and daub it on an area of the stock and then use the palm of my hand to rub the oil until it is hot and smooth. Then do the adjacent area until the stock is covered. A good built up finish is the composite of anywhere from 10 to 20 of those coats.

The following photos are of a rifle I just completed for a client. There are no pores that are unfilled and you can see the finish is on the wood as well as in it.



 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
WOW..lots of great info. Beautiful job Customstox, could you share with us what you used? It looks nice and finished, but has a nice luster to it. So many times I see some finished with soooo much gloss that it looks plastic, but whatever you used really makes it look great and brings out the grain.
 

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Customstox said:
I do not like putting any kind lubricant or solvent on my stocks. The surface of the finish will in most cases suffer from this.
Customstox, I assume you are talking about my recommendation. I in no way meant for someone to use a solvent on a stock unless they were refreshing a finish on a stock. There is no reason why this would or could harm anything if done as recommended. A fully cured oil finish will not desolve under a light rubbing of common solvent like mineral spirits. I did not recommend that it should be soaked which could break down the finish in time. It is absolutely best to get all grease and oil along with any dirt embedded into the stock prior to applying a new coat of oil and the best, easiest way is to use a mild solvent such as mineral spirits or pure gum turps.
 

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(No fair,,,customstox is a professional dealing with us amateurs!!! :lol: :lol: :lol: )

Every truly knowledgable, excellent stock man I've ever talked to hates boiled linseed oil. All of them.

But,,,when my retired gunsmith neighbor across the street isn't looking, I get out my five dollar quart of BLO and rub in just the tiniest amount I can. Rub it in completely,,,,make sure it's warm,,,,dry as it can get,,,,and set back and look at the wood glow like something alive. :wink:
 

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I agree with SuperXOne. As I said I use a bit of cold pressed artist's linseed oil to clean and freshen the finish and I rub it off with a soft cloth. Customstox may be a professional, but I've done this for years and my experience is that it does not darken the wood or feel sticky. I don't use linseed oil as a stock finish.
Joe
 
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