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Old 02-01-2015, 05:28 PM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is offline
Join Date: May 2011
Location: AL
Posts: 3,617
Default Finn Pine Tar?

I started my Milsurp collecting on Mosin Nagants. "Fortunately' I did not get the Finn bug, but have a few (you could have 25 and that's not even a good start).
I acquired an M39 Finn about 20 years ago, and cleaned it up, and finished the stock with BLO because that;s all I knew. It was, and remains, one of my finest looking milsurps.
Recently I have learned that the Finns used Pine Tar instead of BLO on most (many? some?) of their stocks. You can get pine tar, tractor supply and any other farm type store will sell it, it is used to coat horse hooves. Many coat wooden tool handles with it as it weatherizes them well (kind of like BLO....).
Tom's 1/3 mix company sells a Finn Pine Tar mix; I do not know if it is pure pine tar or if he added anything to it (I have never opened the tubs of pine tar in tractor supply, it is under $10 for about a pint or so). Anyway, as I like to support hobbyists, and Tom's 1/3 wax is one of my go-to products, I dropped $10 on his pine tar.
Of course, I forgot to take "before" pictures. My M39 was in great shape, it was cleaned and finished with BLO 20 years ago, and BLO applied every few years as needed. Summer of 2014 I decided to redo it with Pine Tar. I performed my standard stock cleaning with dollar tree cleaner and a scrubby sponge. Below is after 1-2 scrubs, it took 3-4. It was 400 degrees in the sun so I scrubbed, wiped, scrubbed, all in about an hour, and it was dry enough for the pine tar after another 30 minutes.
[IMG]DSC_3552 by MrJHassard, on Flickr[/IMG]
Per Tom's 1/3 company directions, apply the pine tar by hand. Use gloves per him; I didn't, no major issue. It has an odd smell, like pine plus an old campfire. I wiped it on, it is thicker than BLO, about like vaseline. My milsurp forum research indicated heat is needed to activate it, get it to soak into the wood, and 2 or so coats are best. As it is almost black (but when you rub it in it thins), I set it on the porch in the sun, and after 30 minutes it was easily 200 degrees (no exaggeration this time). After cursing because I burned my hand, I wiped it dry with a paper towel, and set it in the shade to cool. I re-coated after an hour, and cooked for another 30 min, then wiped it dry. Here it is cooking:
[IMG]DSC_3555 by MrJHassard, on Flickr[/IMG]
I let it sit in a corner of the garage (smell was strong for a few days; it was dry to the touch after a few hours).
Interesting finish, kind of waxy, dry and nothing oozes, but different from BLO. Really accents the arctic birch. I am looking for another project for the pine tar, while I am a fan of being authentic (that is how I decided to use it), if I see the right birch M14 stock it may get some pine tar.....

[IMG]DSC_3607 by MrJHassard, on Flickr[/IMG]

[IMG]DSC_3606 by MrJHassard, on Flickr[/IMG]


Last edited by ZvenoMan; 07-24-2016 at 11:27 PM.
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