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I'm getting ready to put tung oil on my walnut stock. Should I remove the metal and put oil over the whole thing including the inside or is coating the outside enough?

Second question. Does tung oil actuallyseal the wood?

Thanks,

J
 

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And, just what is a ...

Tung?
No really, what's tung oil made from? I use it on my stock. Shines up. seems to seal the wood but I don't have the foggiest idea what the stuff is made from/of.



MC1
 

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Tung Oil

It would be a good idea to remove the butt plate assembly and seal the end grains of the wood. Tung oil will seal the stock, but it does dry out and won't give a permanent seal much the same as BLO. It should be reapplied from time to time. You'll get a better seal with True Oil or any of the polyurathanetype finishes available. Tung Oil will look more military.
 

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Are tung oil and BLO used on birch stocks as well as walnut?
 

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From the Online Edition of M14 Rifle History and Development at www.imageseek.com/m1a :

"Raw or pure oils are obtained from plants. Raw oils that have been used at one time or another include linseed, tung, walnut, poppy seed, perilla and walnut oil. Raw oils take weeks to fully cure when applied to wood. All environmental factors and the applied oil film thicknesses being equal, tung oil will dry faster than linseed oil because it absorbs less oxygen. Among raw oils, linseed and tung oils are the universal choices for gun stock preservation. Linseed oil is an extract of the seed of the flax plant (Linum usitatissimum). Tung oil is made from tung tree nuts (Aleurites fordii). Tung oil is also known as chinawood oil. With age, linseed oil will turn yellow on a wood surface but tung oil is very resistant to yellowing.

Until 1942, the U. S. Army used raw linseed oil to preserve wood gun stocks. From M1 rifle production in 1942 until at least 1963 when the last M14 rifles were assembled with wood stocks, tung oil was the preservative used in the factory. Tung oil gives a more durable finish than linseed oil. For maintenance purposes, raw linseed oil was the preservative specified in U. S. Army M14 rifle technical manuals. The M14A1 stock drawing specifies boiled linseed oil or tung oil as the protective finish. U. S. Army manual FM 23-8 cautions against getting linseed oil on the metal parts. The reason for this is that a sticky gum can form on the metal parts from dried linseed oil.

Long curing time for wood finishes is not always desireable. Boiled oils have additives known as siccatives. A siccative is an oil soluble organic acid metal salt. Adding siccatives to raw drying oil reduces the cure time from weeks to less than two days. The presence of drying additives, siccatives, is what classifies it as boiled oil. Siccatives may contribute to yellowing of an oil finish but do not affect the water moisture content of the wood. Boiled linseed oil is a popular choice among civilian collectors. It gives the wood stock a military appearance without the long cure time.

There are two common polymerized or bodied oils, linseed and tung. Bodied oils are made by heating raw oil sufficiently in an oxygen-free atmosphere to complete polymerization. Thus, oil viscosity, or resistance to flow, of the polymerized or bodied oil is significantly increased. Bodied oil then only has to react with oxygen to fully cure. This results in a much faster cure time and a more durable film as compared to the raw oil. Bodied oils generally "set" after a day. Polymerized tung oil produces a smooth gloss appearance as compared to the matte finish of pure tung oil."
 

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Was it brushed on, sprayed or rubbed into the wood at the arsenals?
The bare stocks were dipped into vats of IIRC raw linseed oil, pulled out and left to dry. That's it. I have a couple of "like new" walnut stocks from Fred's, and they look very dry, like all that they had on them is one coat of brown stain. It was the GI's that worked over their rifle stocks to give them a nice finish. Just think, these two stocks I have came from demilled M14 rifles that were brand new, never issued, (unless the stocks were replaced with synthetic stocks prior to shipping to the Baltic states).
 

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A friend is a fine wood worker. W/gloves on, he takes a rag and rubs the tung oil on into all the nooks and crannies. Even the flat surfaces are done w/the rag. Multiple coats. He says brushes are for painting walls. Slow process but nice finish.
 

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You can cut PTO 50/50 with Mineral Spirits to get better penetration of the first few coats then go to 100% PTO. You can finish with the oil or gunny paste (1/3 beeswax, 1/3 turpentine, 1/3 PTO) to seal the surface even more (minwax finishing paste can be substituted for gunny paste if you like.) Liberally rub into all nooks and crannies, remove all metal except the front swivel and stock ferrule if it does not come off easy.

I rubbed PTO into my stocks with a rag, until the wood got warm, for 3 coats and the last 2 coats with PTO on 0000 steel wool. Then worked the gunny paste into the stock with a rag until warm, 2 coats. I alternated hanging the stocks butt down and butt up between coats to get different penetration. It gets hot here in CA so I left the stocks hanging in the garage for a day and wiped down between coats and applied the next coat the next day when the wood was hottest then let sit for another day, then wipe down and repeat. Hope you are not in a hurry GI3

Takes a while but the stocks will come out nice. I left my birch wrapped in a old towel for a few weeks after finishing, out of the heat, and took it out for a quick dry rub down, the smell of the paste is almost gone and the stock has a light sheen and is not tacky anymore.HTH MCORPS1
 

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For shooter guns, I like to polyurethane the inside and under the buttplate, then use 5+ coats of tung oil on the outside. Let the tung oil set for about 15 min, then buff with an old t-shirt. Make sure you let it dry completely (couple o' days) before you hit it again. Some tung oils have more varnish in them than others and will build gloss quickly (plus they can dry lightning fast and I've had trouble getting consistant results with them).

I use this stuff (100% tung oil) that I got at a woodworking shop down the street. It's very slow to build gloss and looks nice and .mil even after several coats.
http://www.oldmastrs.com/ctrwoodcarelist.html

We shot the M1A match this year at Camp Perry during an all-day soaker. My walnut stock held up fine and my zero's were dead on all day long, inspite of being virtually submerged.

Ty
 

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My M1A from SI appears to have come with the stock stained only. Would that be how they normally come? I was thinking it would be nice to finish it out more.
 

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I ordered a gallon of Pure Tung Oil today and will sell
some of it off after I get it. There are only two places on
earth that make it , China and Central America. The Tung
trees in Cen. America, were brought there from China and
I'm told the best stuff comes from China.
 

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There used to be lots of tung farms in south Mississippi until Camille in 1969 did them in. A friend of mine has 90 acres near McNeil, MS that is loaded up with tung trees. Get smacked in the head by one of those nuts will knock you right off the ATV.

I have a quart I bought at least 20 years ago and still have half of it. A little goes a long way.

CX
 

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I use 100% pure Tung oil from www.realmilkpaint.com. No additives or polyurethane. A little time consuming, (see above posts) but a gives a beautiful luster to the wood without the high gloss. Tung oil will also preserve and waterproof the wood, but a minimum of several coats is needed. I rub in a light coat every time I clean my weapon and the stock keeps getting more and more beautiful. The major benefit to Tung vs. Linseed is that it will not yellow, and it will not flake or whiten over time as Linseed sometimes does. I wouldn't use anything else.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I feel I need to say that the responses to my original question is exactly why I joined this forum.

The knowledge base here is remarkable.

Thank you for your responses. As I continue to learn, I hope I will someday be as helpful to future FNG's.
 

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I use boiled linseed and tung oil in 50 50 mix warm up on a stove and work into the stock while warm rubbing briskly gives a very nice warm glow finish.
 

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I guess if you want to be a purist and can stand the smell
of the linseed oil, go for it. All I got for my trouble the time
I tried it was "what's that smell" from the wife and everything near it smelled like it.
 

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just a reminder those rags from linseed or tung oil will easily cause spontaneous combustion. i put mine in a close pail water til they get picked up w ith trash. by the way my older sai national match had a reseblence of a oil finish the newer super match was bone dry. dont ever see rain in san diego so i have not felt need to seal stocks yet plus still recoverin from tarpel tunnel to see markmanship improvement. so did match grade rifles from sai look so bone dry. thought i might seal them during raining season after xmas. any suggestions?
 

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It seems like heresy to ask this, and I don't mean to take anything away from oils. But what's wrong with using an oil/urethane wiping finish, applying very thin coats with a rag? You can get it in matte finish, and it will permanently seal the wood and be immune to moisture. Why not?
 
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