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I just try to keep the temp and humidity under control... for those worried about wood drying out and cracking, the opposite is true - think about your basement when the humidity gets high in the summer and the doors swell up and don't shut. A wood stock with metal attached to it, compressed with screws/bolts/etc could split simply from being too wet. Fortunately there's a happy middle ground... which for me is a dehumidifier running from around May to October. My house and everything in it is happier.

I may coat raw wood or freshly sanded wood with something, especially if it's going to be outside - for example my wheelbarrow handles are coated at least once a year in linseed oil and haven't shrunk and split at all and they are out in the weather 100% of the time. Shovels, rakes, hammers - those handles too are coated occasionally. My guns aren't stashed out in the yard so I don't worry about reapplying anything... just a quick wipe down after use is plenty.
 

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I just try to keep the temp and humidity under control...
Humidity is a year-round problem for me; my dehumidifier is always running . For this reason I store my rifles with the action screws slacked off. During my pre-fire checks at the range the screws are retorqued.
 

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Humidity is a year-round problem for me; my dehumidifier is always running . For this reason I store my rifles with the action screws slacked off. During my pre-fire checks at the range the screws are retorqued.
I have that NC mountain year round humidity as well and 3 dehumidifiers. One dehumidifier and an ac down at the same time for about a mouth this year was a nightmare. We have had record rain this year, in recorded history.

I think adding Rennaisance ?sp? to my armory may be needed. Used by museums, it is worth a closer look based on a few dozen of these threads.
 

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I normally just leave this discussion to run its course, but got weak this time. :)
If a rifle is not going to be used, a stock as dry as hades will be OK .
A rifle that Is going to be used needs some form of treatment to stop the wood cracking under concussion.
Yes, I know, Mosin Nagants aren't Lee Enfields, and I know the latter better. but we were always told to give these (L-E)stocks a good soaking in linseed, all they will soak up every few years., and up to now it has worked on stocks that may have been in use well over 100 years.
Remember dry means brittle.
I freely admit many here do not Use their rifles, but there can be no hard and fast rule for those who do and those who don't.

BTW, that 700 year old furniture will surely fall apart if not oiled occasionally, Or if it is moved from a more humid part of the world to somewhere drier. (Pianos are Very soon destroyed unless babied)
Even farm tools; We brought tools from the UK to Canada 35 years ago, and in no time they were falling apart, through drier climate. Cure? drop them in linseed. No more bothers.

There, had my say. :)

Richard.
Constantly oiling wood is a recipe for a blackened stock. The oil doesn't magically disappear! Linseed oil does not add moisture to the wood. In fact, it's one and only purpose is to keep out excess moisture. The first part of making rifle stocks was drying the freshly cut wood out. Why would they want to add moisture back?

What preserves any organic material is a stable environment. It's not that complicated to keep it that way either as most of us live in air conditioned houses.
 

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Good morning Diss0lututus,

Some of my guns go back to the early 18th century and some a bit earlier, and don't have blackened stocks. (Well Some do, but came that way!) And No, I don't keep them submerged in oil! :)
I just give them a rub over now and then. Wood that dries out Too much shrinks, and also becomes brittle.


Re your point, (A Good point) of wood needing a stable environment;
We can see in the last few posts above , that half of us live where wood constantly needs Drying out, and the other half live where wood is always getting too dry.
As this is the case, there is not going to be a single solution that works for all of us.
There are many homes in many parts of the world that do not have air conditioning. We must work with what we have.

Very best,
Richard.
 

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Good morning Diss0lututus,

Some of my guns go back to the early 18th century and some a bit earlier, and don't have blackened stocks. (Well Some do, but came that way!) And No, I don't keep them submerged in oil! :)
I just give them a rub over now and then. Wood that dries out Too much shrinks, and also becomes brittle.


Re your point, (A Good point) of wood needing a stable environment;
We can see in the last few posts above , that half of us live where wood constantly needs Drying out, and the other half live where wood is always getting too dry.
As this is the case, there is not going to be a single solution that works for all of us.
There are many homes in many parts of the world that do not have air conditioning. We must work with what we have.

Very best,
Richard.
Just because you don't notice a change in the appearance of the wood, doesn't mean it hasn't darkened over time. Linseed oil does not prevent wood from drying out. Moisture keeps wood from drying out! The oil's one and only purpose is to in fact, keep out moisture. You can't have something that does both.
 

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Discussion Starter #69
I am so thankful for having started this thread, even though some apparently has been discussed before but maybe to not so much detail? I'm new here and I've been able to glean so much useful knowledge on preservation from this thread. I very much appreciate everyone's input. I cannot thank all of you enough for your particular ways and brands to help stay the hands of time and deterioration.
 

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I am so thankful for having started this thread, even though some apparently has been discussed before but maybe to not so much detail?
Hahaha. This is one of the subjects that's periodically and perennially beaten into the ground.

Do you use windex after shooting corrosive ammo?
 

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Hahaha. This is one of the subjects that's periodically and perennially beaten into the ground.

Do you use windex after shooting corrosive ammo?
Even worse “Let’s make a data base to match our refurbished 91/30 bayonets to it’s force matched rifle!”
 

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What is everyone's opinion of Tom's 1/3 mix?
It will do an excellent job of making any stock look shiny. :barf:

If you have any desire to preserve the original finish on your military stock don’t use it. If you don’t care about originality or if your stock has already been ruined I see no harm in adding a few layers of Tom’s.
 

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A member of another firearms forum was asking the other day about how to clean the stock on an M1 Garand. I suggested heating the stock to leach out excess oil then wiping off with mineral spirits. I was pretty well flamed by the forum moderator who has cleaned "dozens" of military rifles with Strip Eze! He implied I was pretty much an idiot for thinking a chemical stripper might damage value of a military rifle or possible damage stock markings. I finally just stopped, you can't argue with an expert (moderator). :)
 

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Originally Posted by m39sky What is everyone's opinion of Tom's 1/3 mix?


It will do an excellent job of making any stock look shiny. :barf:

If you have any desire to preserve the original finish on your military stock don’t use it. If you don’t care about originality or if your stock has already been ruined I see no harm in adding a few layers of Tom’s.
If memory serves me right, during a previous discussion of this topic one of our Finnish members debunked the "pine tar" myth. The Finns used asphalt.

So Tom's 1/3 is a finish, but not a Finnish finish.
 

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Martin 08 and Richard in Ny: those rifles you covet were maintained in the military with a wood finish and in the case of US and British rifles, linseed oil was used to keep wood in top condition.

So, the application of linseed oil to wood is not harmful whatsoever...if it were, your collections of wood stock rifles would be decaying wood.

Note...I get not recommending strippers, mineral spirits or anything to take off finish and I agree on that.

Now you lads can do as you please with wood and metal but I clean and preserve the metal and wood on my rifles and I shoot every blessed one of them. Nothing has changed on my rifles and they are in top condition.

and you Martin 08, leaving old grease and crud in the bores is putting those bores at high risk but we've had that conversation about 50 times and I know you cherish old dirt and crud in bores.

As far as the Finns and this pine tar finish. A few years ago I started a thread asking about this and 30 some pages later what boiled out of the banter was the Finns used a lot of stuff on their wood, not this internet myth of only pine tar. So the Finns are not a standard of wood care to lock down in concrete because they had no standards.

Fact is: if your rifles go out in the elements, the wood needs a finish ..even Finn rifles.
 

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Very well put old sport, and I agree entirely!

Diss0lutos,

Using exclamation marks doesn't add or take away from the fact that linseed oil works well on stocks, and Has done for hundreds of years. :)

All the Best,
R.
 

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Retired safe queens likely need one treatment, which I think was the topic, and those still used and out in the elements may need another treatment. That is surely true with leather, probably so with wood.
 

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A few years ago I started a thread asking about this and 30 some pages later what boiled out of the banter was the Finns used a lot of stuff on their wood, not this internet myth of only pine tar.
So the Finns are not a standard of wood care to lock down in concrete because they had no standards..
To have many standards does not mean one does not have standards! Each contract for stock manufacturing or rifle assembly had one specific finish requirement. However, sometimes factories couldn't obtain the product or raw materials for the finish in question and had to obtain permission from the military to change the finish to another type.
 
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