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Old 11-08-2020, 10:30 AM
IronsightsRifleman IronsightsRifleman is offline
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Default Cold pressed flaxseed finish

Here is my CMP Special M1 rifle with 1942 receiver. It came with CMP's stained but unfinished walnut stock. I used nothing but a little food grade cold pressed flaxseed oil (aka raw linseed oil). Although you can see the high sheen, it retains all the look and feel of wood, which would be lost with a urathane or lacquer coating. I lost track of the number of coats of oil applied, maybe a hundred. But since there are no harsh chemicals or sanding or mess, the oil can be applied by hand in the home with little hastle.
I offer the following advice for anyone considering this finish. The first several coats start out looking unimpressive. Later coats develop a hazy, somewhat wax-like luster, but don't worry, it clears on its own in about three weeks. Unlike BLO which is applied and wiped off, I generally just rub the raw oil into the stock. Hand rubbing occurs both during the application and again after the oil has dried. Initial coats can be rather heavy. Final costs are very, very light, maybe just a drop or two over the whole stock to rub out. Between coats, occasionally, a little mineral oil rubbed in with a soft rag can be helpful in evening out the finish. Mineral oil is also a nice pre-conditioner before the the first drying oil coat.
This is one of three stocks I completed at the same time. Of the other two, one is BLO, the other is raw tung preceeded by a clear grain filler. Of the three, the raw flax is my favorite, although each has its merits. Tung is the least forgiving and requires some experience to get right, but develops a thick coating in less than a dozen applications. The BLO can also build quickly - and the raw flax can be used to remove any stickiness that may occur if you apply it too thickly. Unlike the unmodified flax and tung, BLO is best applied in the garage or wood shop.
The flax oil does darken the wood considerably, less so with the BLO, and least with the tung.
I know that many people are fond of the modern finishes and commercial specialty products marketed to gun owners. But if you are willing to put in the time, the traditional natural oil finishes are simple to apply and yield unparalleled results.
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