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Tung oil vs Linseed oil?

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by BAD 303, Mar 25, 2011.

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  1. BAD 303

    BAD 303 Active Member

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    What is the difference in these two oils as far as a hand rubbed finish for gunstocks? Can both be sanded between apps? What is the best sanding method between apps? Scotch Brite pads or 2000 grit wet sand paper? How long to dry and can the process be sped up with heat? Thanks
     
  2. Nikkisdad

    Nikkisdad Member

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    First, use pure tung oil not the Forby's (sp?) it is a mixture. I have used this on my M1A stock with outstanding results. It leaves a satin sheen, waterproofs the wood and just looks great. I used 0000 steel wool and removed any little inperfections in the wood then I applied it by hand - a little goes a long way. Let it dry steel wool again let dry and so on. I let mine dry by hanging in the garage then applied a couple more coats. I had to order the oil could not find "pure" tung oil around here.
     
  3. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    A question - do you truly want a 'hand rubbed' finnish??
    If so, technically you cannot use tung oil for it - it rests more on the surface and it hardens fairly quickly and thus it cannot be rubbed out. It can be worked with sand paper and steel wool.

    Linseed oil is used as a carrier for a wax (typically carnauba), it dries very slowly and the wax allows for the rubbed finish.

    The linseed/wax mixture is applied in MANY coats (50 ~ 75 - plus - for fresh wood). It is allowed to 'dry' between coats, and as it builds up you can 'cut' it with steel wool as you apply the next coat (rotten stone can be used as a filler for deeper imperfections as this process moves forward). Initially you may be able to apply two coats per day, as it builds the drying time increases.

    The difference between 'satin' and 'gloss' is how many coats of oil you apply, and how much rubbing you do with your hands on the wet surface as you apply the final coats.

    Tough to find real linseed/carnauba finish in the USA. I have it, if you want to try it PM me. Traditional British guns are finished on the outside with the hand rubbed oil/wax and the internal wood is sealed with one or two coats of tung oil.

    There is a 'cheat' where a 'modern' finish is applied to seal and fill the wood, and then an oil/wax product is applied on top of that. This can look fairly nice, and takes a lot less time... but again, it is not a true 'hand rubbed' finish.

    David D
     
  4. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    Use a commercial Tung oil finish instead of pure oil. It will contain resins and driers that make it more durable than straight oil.

    Linseed oil is very slow to dry and doesn't penetrate wood nearly as well as Tung oil because its molecules are much larger than those of Tung oil. It has to be reapplied more often and will yellow with age and change the color of the wood. Pure Tung oil was traditionally applied warm to thin it and aid further penetration.

    Some people exhibit a skin reaction similar to poison ivy when exposed to pure Tung oil.

    Application with very fine sandpaper will help fill open pores like walnut but it slows the drying and can make the finish look muddy.

    MK
     
  5. HSLDS

    HSLDS Well-Known Member

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    Have to disagree with Unkown1 on this...

    Tung oil and linseed oil are both 18 carbon chains, and each has three 'double bonds,' each has two oxygen atoms, Linseed oil has 32 hydrogen atoms, while tung oil has 30 hydrogen atoms - in terms of organic chemicals it makes them almost identical in size and weight.

    Linseed oil = Alpha-Linolenic Acid (9,12,15-octadecatrienoic acid)

    Tung oil = eleostearic acid

    He is partly correct - the resins added help make tung oil compounds dry/harden quickly, but they make it a surface finish more than a penetrating one. I would agree, do not use straight tung oil - use one of these compounds. I perhaps mis-spoke in not speaking to tung oil compounds rather than straight tung oil.

    Linssed/wax is very slow drying, and as such it allows the wax to be worked into the wood. The wax seals the imperfections and helps to level and smooth the surface, while the linseed oil seals it (Japan drier is typically added to speed drying).

    As it ages/wears the linseed oil/wax can be re-applied quickly and easily - in a short time you can restore the finish to 'as new.'

    Tung oil compounds do tend to be less yellow in color, but I have not seen a yellowing over time with the linseed oil/wax products - rather dirt can build up. A re-application of the linseed oil/wax will clean and restore the finish. I do this to my stocks every two or three years.
     
  6. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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    Whatever cooks your noodles, einstein

    MK
     
  7. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    Linseed oil is a poor choice compared to modern finishes. It offers little protection from the elements. That is what was used when it was the only choice. It takes forever to dry. As HSLDS stated in his last paragraph, it gets dirty. Expect the grip area to turn black from handling nasty reloads. The oil will need to be reapplied on a regular basis for the rest of your life.
     
  8. WNCRob

    WNCRob Member

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    Anyone use Wanut oil? I've used it to touch-up my stock, and it works well. Penetrates. Not sticky.

    WNCRob
     
  9. hmb

    hmb Well-Known Member

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    MK,

    Can you post a picture of your noodles? HMB
     
  10. Unknown1

    Unknown1 Well-Known Member

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