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Thumbs up on Ballistol. The German military developed it years ago as something that could clean and protect metal, wood and leather. They also supposedly used it on wounds in a pinch.
 

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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.
As I said above, just because a military did something doesn't mean it's the right thing to do. They also dunked those rifles, stock in all, into barrels of gasoline as a way to remove cosmoline. While the manuals may say that's the reason they used linseed oil, but the fact of the matter they didn't give a shit about the rifle stock ever lasting even 20 years. They had piles of them warehoused to replace them.

Decay happens from bactiera and/or fungus eating the organic material. A finish doesn't prevent 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.
I can tell the difference between a stock that has been slathered in lineseed oil and one that hasn't. There has to be hundreds of before and after pictures on this very site! Everyone is proud to show how the appearance of their stock changed, because they think it look prettier than it did before, but then they deny that a change in appearance happened. You can't have both!

Fact is: if your rifles go out in the elements, the wood needs a finish ..even Finn rifles.
The rifle already has a finish....why does it need more of a finish?

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.
Studies have found that leather also is preserved from a stable environment. They also found that such treatments may make the leather more usable, but in the end hasten it's destruction.
 

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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.
You haven't posted anything that constantly adding linseed oil is needed. I would love to see some actual scientific data that claims that! I've seen curator periodicals stating the opposite, but alas, I can't find them now. It's nearly impossible to find anything on it as there as everything is advertisements and forum posts.
 

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You haven't posted anything that constantly adding linseed oil is needed. I would love to see some actual scientific data that claims that! I've seen curator periodicals stating the opposite, but alas, I can't find them now. It's nearly impossible to find anything on it as there as everything is advertisements and forum posts.

Disso,

Maybe just look up "London Finish".

This finish is for high end sporting guns, Not for military pieces, but the wood is still wood, and the linseed oil is still linseed.

In the above, the oil is slathered on hand hot , all it will soak up. The finish after it is completed, is In the wood, No built-up on the surface. (Lots of folks do the Linseed wrong)

If you can't find "London Finish" I will write it out for you in a PM if you like.

All the very best,

Richard.

PS, Re. leather not needing anything;

That is downright silly unless it is only going to sit and never be used.
 

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Disso,

Maybe just look up "London Finish".

This finish is for high end sporting guns, Not for military pieces, but the wood is still wood, and the linseed oil is still linseed.

In the above, the oil is slathered on hand hot , all it will soak up. The finish after it is completed, is In the wood, No built-up on the surface. (Lots of folks do the Linseed wrong)

If you can't find "London Finish" I will write it out for you in a PM if you like.

All the very best,

Richard.

PS, Re. leather not needing anything;

That is downright silly unless it is only going to sit and never be used.
Again, I would love to see some actual scientific data. The finish actually is just on the surface. It doesn't get soaked into the wood. Cut a stock in half if you don't believe me. You'll see a ring right around the top millimeter or two.

As for the leather...why would you be using 100 year old leather? Again, such conditioners do make the leather more usable, but hasten it's destruction.
 

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The good thing about the belt sander is that it doesn't contain any questionable chemicals. Data-shmata... the belt sander leaves pure wood!
 

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Again, I would love to see some actual scientific data. The finish actually is just on the surface. It doesn't get soaked into the wood. Cut a stock in half if you don't believe me. You'll see a ring right around the top millimeter or two.

As for the leather...why would you be using 100 year old leather? Again, such conditioners do make the leather more usable, but hasten it's destruction.
Disso,

Why would I want to use 100 year old leather?

Because I have it and it still works.
I would not have it if I had taken your advise and never given it any dubbin or what not.
Some of our harness is from the 1930's at newest and still works, including stirrup leathers. My Tranter revolver still lives in a 1916 holster, that would also be Long Dead if not kept up. It is the only holster I have and use it with.
The Signaller's telescope, (also 1916 which belonged to Grandfather was drying out and the stitching of the leather cover was shrinking Until it was re-done with a leather dressing.
My shot-flasks (used with the flintlock and percussion sporting guns,...they hold lead shot, not mickeys) Made of Leather, were made in the first half of the4 19th century at the newest, and are used as often as I can make time.
The only buggered ones I have, Came that way because some ignoramus Never oiled them.
That is why I Use And oil leather.
Your view is purely academic, that leather would last longer if not treated;
This is a moot point if the leather is no bl**dy good!

As for stocks.
Yes, I'm a farmer, but went wrong and have worked on a lot of guns, inc re-stocking and repairs and making guns inc. the barrels and rifling them.
Getting a piece of wood from an old say Lee Enfield, or German Mauser stock, that can be used for repairing another stock, can be a a nightmare.
Why?
Because they are often Soaked Right Through with the oil.
Yet, the academic theory "it doesn't soak in" seems to still be an argument. Even some M-N stocks are soaked right through with oil. I know because I've worked on them. They look as yellow as pitch pine because of the oil.
You may think I'm an armchair theorist, but I must smile at this, as stock work has been pretty constant for 48 years now.

All the best,
Richard.

Nick

I like it!!
 

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"Academic theory"

You mean science? Many professionals have done tests. People who actually care about the stuff they have and want people to see it 300 years from now . And their findings are easily replicated. Sand the top layer off wood off of a stock and it's not the same color as the top layer. Leather conditioners do make the leather more usable, but they oxidize and harden over time, causing the leather to become even stiffer and brittle. Ignoramuses also include those that think they know what they are doing, but don't.
 

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I'd like to hear what people are doing to clean up their guns without destroying it's value. I'd like to clean my collection. I just don't want to trash anything and I'm not familiar with any methods or safe chemicals. Also, how do you steam out the dents? Thanks.

50+ year old stock cleaning soltions that work, and don't stink up the house AND
do not use caustic or flamable chemicals:

For cosmoline/grease/oil, there are two easy ways to get it out. Both are on the
presumption that you have stripped the stock of all metal parts.

First: WHITING, which you can get from Brownells, and maybe Midway.
Paint it on, let it dry overnight.
As it dries it pulls the cosmoline [and other grease/oil] out of the wood.
When it has dried compeletly, use a toung depressor [popsicle stick, etc.] to scrape
the WHITING off.

Repeat untill it is clean.

Second: HEAT, and time.
Put plastic down, then newspapers on top.
Hang the stock over the newspaper.
Place a small space heather where is will WARM the wood, allowing the pores to open,
and the grease will 'melt' and drip from the wood.
Every 24 hours, wipe the wood down with anything [I use papertowels], re-hang, and
repeat until the stock is clean.

For dents, the old tried-and-true method is as simple as can be, AFTER the stock is
clean.
This is on the presumprion that you do not care that you will be altering the original
finish:

Damp towel/washcloth/old diaper, place over dent, apply hot iron, steam is released
into the wood, swelling the pores, 'expanding' out the dent.
This may need to be dome several times, depending on how bad the dent is.
After it has had a day to completely dry, you will need to lightly sand, and refinish,
that area.

Hanr fun!
 

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"Academic theory"

You mean science? Many professionals have done tests. People who actually care about the stuff they have and want people to see it 300 years from now . And their findings are easily replicated. Sand the top layer off wood off of a stock and it's not the same color as the top layer. Leather conditioners do make the leather more usable, but they oxidize and harden over time, causing the leather to become even stiffer and brittle. Ignoramuses also include those that think they know what they are doing, but don't.
Disso,

Please tell, what is wrong with my old but serviceable (usable ) leather? I should have left it to dry out apparently?

If my leather is going to be damaged by my application of a dressing, (Neatsfoot oil is one) Pray tell, When is this "Damage" going to show up? ...How Long will it take?
The leather is between 90 and 160 years old already, (on average) It Is still serviceable,... and now you tell me it'll be damaged by doing what we have always done??

You asked why I would use "100 year old leather", and I told you why. Did you not want an answer?

Re wood;
Sorry I don't follow. Wood surface oxidises, so if we sand the top off, Of Course it isn't he same colour underneath. Meaning?

Some of my stocks are 300 years old already. They are still sound. They are not oozing oil, neither are they all shrunken and dry like King Tut.

Sorry if these facts are an inconvenience, but that's the way it is.

I quite agree with your definition of ignoramus though, so we can have a beer on that!

All the best, I have said what I had to say. Apologies if I got any-ones knickers in a twist, it was not intentional.

Richard.
 

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There is no set time. And it all depends on damage. Neatsfoot oil darkens the leather. Conservators would call that damage.

A finish changes the color of the wood. It's not just oxidation.

Again, how does oil prevent a stock from drying out? The oil is there to keep out moisture. Do you understand that moisture is water? Furthermore, why would a stock maker purposely (sometimes years) dry out planks of wood before being cut into a stock, just do add back moisture. That doesn't make sense.

Anecdotes aren't facts. Just because your stock that is constantly being slathered in oil hasn't "dried out," doesn't mean it would have dried out without our overzealous acts.
 

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Disso,

I am sorry, but you are making very little sense. Putting words in my mouth as well. Remember; anyone can go back and check what Either of us wrote.

I told you to look up London Finish. You prefer not to, and think you know more than the combined minds of the British Gun Trade. Again, this is senseless at best.
Actually I am quite incredulous.

As we are going around in circles, I will not be replying further.

Wishing you all the best,

Richard.
 

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If you want me to see something, then show me it. Don't tell me to look for something that I have no clue what and where to look for.
 

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Funny how a 200 year old barn can still stand with all that dusty and decayed wood that never had its yearly linseed oil coating.
 
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