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Linseed oil

This is a discussion on Linseed oil within the The M14 forums, part of the M14 M1A Forum category; I am reading Major General J.S. Hatcher's 1948 "The Book of The Garand. Up to and at the beginning of WWII he worked at Springfield ...


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Old March 12th, 2017, 10:40 AM   #1
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Linseed oil

I am reading Major General J.S. Hatcher's 1948 "The Book of The Garand. Up to and at the beginning of WWII he worked at Springfield Armory on engineering and production issues of the M1Garand. In the book he tells that "raw" linseed oil was used for stock treatment to prevent swelling and cracking. This is different from "boiled" linseed oil (BLO) which is not actually boiled but has additives in it to promote drying as in paint. It seems the raw, while not giving that shiny surface coat, would actually penetrate and better protect the wood.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 10:43 AM   #2
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Not for the impatient!

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Old March 12th, 2017, 10:59 AM   #3
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The military has always specified raw linseed oil. It penetrates better because it dries more slowly. Stocks were dipped in the oil and then allowed to dry, It was a production line process, not a hand applied process. Raw linseed oil is also specified for the M14.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 11:08 AM   #4
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Raw linseed oil penetrates well but dries (polymerizes) very slowly taking a very long time to produce a dry finish. Stocks repeatedly oiled with plain linseed oil become soaked and sticky and may not ever fully cure (dry). There are GI stocks that are 70 years old or older that are a sticky as a 6 yearold hand at Halloween from decades of heavy oiling by GIs.

Boiled linseed oil can be actually "boiled" or heated to begin the polymerization process or have various agents added to act to catalyze the polymerization reaction with oxygen. It is thin enough to penetrate well but will harden in a matter of days instead of weeks or months (or almost never). It really is the only practical linseed oil to use for finishing a stock in a reasonable time.

Jerry Liles

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Old March 12th, 2017, 11:21 AM   #5
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I've not done much wood stock refinishing, but I did a Garand Nigerian type stock and used Lin Speed. I believe this is linseed oil with additives. I really liked the properties of the product. It seemed to be able to give a very smooth finish if you are willing to put on enough coats. It really fills the pores of the wood very well. Probably not what you want if you're going for a GI look, but you can get a mat finish if you don't polish it after the final coat.

www.lin-speed.com

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Old March 12th, 2017, 11:55 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by 13Echo View Post
Raw linseed oil penetrates well but dries (polymerizes) very slowly taking a very long time to produce a dry finish. Stocks repeatedly oiled with plain linseed oil become soaked and sticky and may not ever fully cure (dry). There are GI stocks that are 70 years old or older that are a sticky as a 6 yearold hand at Halloween from decades of heavy oiling by GIs.

Boiled linseed oil can be actually "boiled" or heated to begin the polymerization process or have various agents added to act to catalyze the polymerization reaction with oxygen. It is thin enough to penetrate well but will harden in a matter of days instead of weeks or months (or almost never). It really is the only practical linseed oil to use for finishing a stock in a reasonable time.

Jerry Liles

You are correct on all counts. I have encountered many "sticky" stocks over the years. One would think the military would also have concluded that boiled linseed oil was preferable, but the standard remained as raw linseed oil until wood stocks were phased out.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 01:09 PM   #7
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For those who haven't read this old thread here's a link.
Question on BLO for Gus
Gus did a good job of covering the subject. Yes you will see that even Uncle didn't always go by the "Book".

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Old March 12th, 2017, 03:06 PM   #8
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And here I was, planning on putting BLO on my stock this weekend. Got hung up on Honey-Do's, so I didn't get a chance to play with my wood (insert joke here).

I probably still will, but after reading Gus' comments about Tru-Oil, which I was intentionally avoiding, now gives me second thoughts.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 03:42 PM   #9
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I use BLO on all my tool handles, hammers, picks, shovels ect. And gun stocks, I like it a lot.

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Old March 12th, 2017, 03:54 PM   #10
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I use BLO on all my tool handles, hammers, picks, shovels ect. And gun stocks, I like it a lot.
Me too, it don't hurt to get a little on the metal either. I use crown brand from the local hardware store not the high dollar kind. It's like $10 a quart.

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Old March 13th, 2017, 12:12 AM   #11
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Started out with BLO and I'm sticking with BLO. It's not something I overthink.

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Old March 13th, 2017, 02:38 AM   #12
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BLO works for me.When I get to the desired coverage, I add a few coats of Butcher's bowling alley wax.

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Old March 13th, 2017, 09:55 AM   #13
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BLO works for me.When I get to the desired coverage, I add a few coats of Butcher's bowling alley wax.
Must resist urge to overthink... must resist.... must resist.

Awww. Now I want some.

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Old March 13th, 2017, 03:34 PM   #14
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If you want to wax try Gunny paste. Equal volumes of BLO, Beeswax, and Turpentine melted together over a double boiler. Apply like a thin coat of oil well rubbed in and, perhaps, melted in with a blow dryer. Leave for a few hours or overnight and buff out. Makes a nice, low gloss, sheen.

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Old March 13th, 2017, 07:05 PM   #15
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If you want your stock to get that red patina over time then you need to use raw linseed oil. BLO won't do it. Also be aware that a lot of what is marked as raw linseed oil is actually refined, not raw.

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