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Old 07-30-2017, 11:12 PM
MGMShooter MGMShooter is offline
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 56
Default Multi-Coating Walnut Stock (M1A)

A few weeks ago, when I needed to protect a 9 y/o, unused M1A walnut stock, I ordered a bottle of boiled linseed oil because linseed oil is what Springfield Armory Inc. says it uses on its stocks. Generally, it is better to stick with what is there, but in the case of linseed and tung oils, it isn't that important. At least that is the consensus over at 14forums.com is.

Before the BLO arrived, I decided to start work on the stock. From my other thread, I explained how my bottles of tung oil were still usable, even though they had been opened years ago.

Following instructions on a woodworking website, I made "boiled tung oil" which is really just tung oil cut with mineral spirits. I mixed them in a 4oz glass jar.

Purists may scream, but using the mineral spirits makes everything much faster and much easier. Keep in mind that I am applying multiple coats, and the concentration of tung oil increases with each coat. The only thing anyone should care about is the end result.

I started with 25%/75% tung oil to mineral spirits. As I progressed, I increased the proportion of tung oil. I have gently sanded between coats. A few hours ago, I applied the 5th or 6th coat (I lost track), and I am now at ~80% tung oil. After I applied the mixture and worked it in, I took a small palmful of oil, smeared it thoroughly over the stock, and worked it in.

I will give it one more coat -- pure tung. Well, unless someone can give me a good reason not to use pure tung oil only as the final coat. In that case, I am done. It's all over but the drying.

Every time, I wore gloves, and used 100% cotton tshirt material to apply the finish. I put it on liberally, and worked it in the wood for at least 5-10 minutes. I left a small excess, but not enough to drip. I wiped the excess off after allowing time for it to soak and the mineral spirits to evaporate. I never let it go more than 2 hours before wiping the excess.

I have a makeshift drying chamber: my hall closet. It has two sliding doors, so I cracked both ends open 2-3 inches, and put a box fan in front of one to blow air in. The amount of circulation is amazing. I estimate that the air in the closet is turned over every 2-3 minutes or better.

I took a coat hanger and bent it to fit the front sling swivel. `I have curious cats, so I had to use heavy objects to secure the doors. I sure am glad I have several thousand rounds of ammo!

I'm not worried about the floor because it is a pine floor in iffy condition. It is also in a closet, and this is a rental. If it had carpet, I would have used a weighted-down plastic garbage bag for protection. Nothing ever dripped, so no problems.

Already, the stock looks great, and water beads on the surface. I am going to apply the second-to-last coat tonight, and the final, pure coat in 3-4 days or more, depending on how the surface looks. (Subject to what I mentioned above)

I have a big regret and some smaller regrets. I didn't take a "before" picture. I also didn't take pix as the project progressed. I really wish I had a pic of the stock before I started work. It didn't look bad, but the difference is amazing.

While this has not been easy, is has been rewarding. Just watching the stock look better and better is it. I think the overall effort has been about the same as a detail breakdown of an M1. Incidentally, because this M1A has only been fired at the factory, I have been breaking it down to detail inspect, clean and lube, as I do with all of my firearms. Yes, even ones from the CMP!
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Old 09-24-2017, 09:09 AM
mac1911 mac1911 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 2,751

How about a after picture?
In the end no matter how you get there if you like the end result you are victorious!
My grandmother told me there's no way to get tung oil to dry faster as it does not dry it cures.
She was a hobby refinisher and liked tung oil if she had the time for it to dry. Poly if it was a rush job. She said tung oil is dry when it does not smell ?
Well I have done many stocks with tung oil. Applied like you in thinned out coats and just straight with multiple coats. I "wet" sand with 400-800 grit between coats after the 2nd coat. I let them dry for the week between coats.
I find no real difference between the methods.
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