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Thread: Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil ... What is this stuff??

  1. #21
    DOR RED BEAR's Avatar
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    I have never used tru oil. May have to give it try. I make grips and refinish stocks all the time.

  2. #22
    Boolit Master redhawk0's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by swheeler View Post
    It almost sounds like you are making Teak Oil. I've used Helmsman Teak oil on a couple stocks and like it, fast drying and durable.
    It could be...I got the recipe awhile back....I don't remember from where. I think the original recipe used urethane and I switched it out for the Danish Oil. I liked the Danish oil results better.

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  3. #23
    Boolit Master
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    The properties of linseed oil and tung oil are so nearly the same that manufacturers of "finishing oils" routinely interchange it in their formulas, depending on how cheaply they get either one at any given time.

    Truoil is a marketing success because of Birchwood Casey's omnipresence on the racks of every gun shop in the world it would seem. "Hey it's gotta be good because it's everywhere and everybody seems to use it." Just mix your own out of tung/linseed oil and spar varnish, roughly 50/50. Thin it with mineral spirits if you feel you must but that's pretty much a waste of time. (Mineral spirits don't aid in penetration or dry time- the solvent will leach into the wood better, for sure, but it doesn't take the oil/varnish in with it. Don't believe me? Do a test board and see for yourself.)

    After it's all said and done, with Truoil (or any oil) finish the protection it gives a gun stock is nil, in terms of water fenestration. It looks pretty for sure but as a barrier to water absorption it's terrible. I only use oil finishes on guns that will only see outdoor use on sunny bluebird days, ie: range time, not serious hunting, or on guns that require it for historical reasons. For real protection a barrier coating is necessary: varnish, lacquer, epoxy, etc. (Note also that a varnish job if properly done and subsequently rubbed out and waxed will fool the uninformed bystander into believing it's a "handrubbed oil finish".) When doing an oil finish, at the very least give it a good wax job (and not with Birchwood Casey Stock Wax either) for at least a modicum of protection against water fenestration.

  4. #24
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by waksupi View Post

    When done using, wipe the cap and neck clean.

    Seal tight, and store upside down.

    +1

    Also, If Tru-Oil is applied correctly, little bits in the oil don't make a difference.

    Part of that application involves spreading a tiny bit of oil, starting on one end of the stock, finger rubbing that little drop out to an area about the size of a dollar bill - the continue finger rubbing that area until the fingertip "squeeks", which indicates that the oil is ready for a drying period before the next coat (I usually let it dry overnite).

    That will remove most of the particulate.

    The next part of the application is to let each coat dry before rubbing the stock down to the wood with a new/clean pad of 0000 steel wool - which will take care of any remaining particles.


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  5. #25
    Boolit Buddy
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    when anyone says that tru-oil is a oil finish, they are 100% wrong. for those of you that say that ii is not "waterproof"; you too are wrong. whatever tru-oil is derived from; it now acts as a varnish. IT IS NOT A OIL FINISH. just because it uses the word "oil" dosen't make it so!!! when i was younger i was a all-weather trapshooter. shot in rain and snow. i still have the rem. 870 that i had refinished with tru-oil. it shows no ill effects from the 4 or 5 years that i used it in the 1970s. i've since moved on to other guns that were also refinished with tru-oil. in the early 1990s i changed over to Gun Sav'r gunstock finish. it works the same as tru-oil and looks the same when rubbed out. the reason that i changed to it, is that is a lot harder to rub out. it is a mixture of urethane and tung oil. the urethane makes it tougher. now, let me finish with this. for 20 years before i retired in 2012 i made my living in the shotgun shooting sports industry. i have istalled close to 4000 adjustable combs, a couple thousand recoil pads, repaired broken stocks and refinished several hundred gunstocks. i've tried everything out there. i changed to Gun Sav'r because most of my work was on target shotguns. shooting in excess of 10,000 rounds a year from a gun dictates that it should have a tough finish. if i would have put a few extra coats of tru-oil on , it would have the same durability.so, let me finish with this. please do not call tru-oil a OIL finish and don't say that it is not weather proof, because when you do that , it shows ignorence. now that i'm done, anyone want to beat me up on this subject??

  6. #26
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    pertnear, Okay. I have no interest in this other than got to wondering what I am going to finish my latest rifle stock with and this is what I found on Birchwood Casey Tru-oil.

    Cabela's:
    What is Birchwood Casey Tru oil?
    Its unique blend of linseed and natural oils dries fast and will not cloud, yellow or crack with age and resists water to prevent damage. Tru-Oil Gun Stock Finish penetrates deeply and forms a tough, clear, hard finish that protects and enhances the beauty of fine woods.
    Birchwood Casey Tru-OilŪ Gun Stock Finish : Cabela's

    __________________________________________________ ______
    Brownells:
    Description
    Specs

    Gives The Deep, Rich "Hand-Rubbed Look Without The Hassle

    Easy-to-use Tru-Oil brings out the warm, natural beauty of a wood stock and gives it the look of a deep, rich, hand-rubbed finish without the hassle. It requires an average of only three coats and dries so fast - 90 to 120 minutes per coat - that a stock can be finished in one day! Tru-Oil is a purified triple-processed blend of all-natural oils that penetrates into the grain to seal out moisture. Won’t yellow or cloud the grain, and the surface becomes harder and tougher. Apply multiple coats to produce a high-gloss finish, or for a more subdued satin finish, cut back the gloss with fine steel wool or rubbing compound, then apply Birchwood Casey Stock Sheen & Conditioner (sold separately). Tru-Oil is perfect for refinishing existing stocks; for an unfinished stock, first apply Birchwood Casey Clear Sealer & Filler. Minor scuffs and marks on a stock finished with Tru-Oil are easily fixed: just rub the spot gently with a pad moistened with Tru-Oil.
    Chill Wills

  7. #27
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    I had an old double barrel 12 ga. shotgun from Montgomery-Wards that Dad bought for me when we lived in Saugerties, N.Y. the stock was a plain brown stained finish. When I moved to Alabama I sanded the stock and found a beautiful blonde color wood. I put Tru Oil on the stock and forearm, making sure that I got the end grains and the barrel channel well. Then just for S&G after coating and rubbing and coating and rubbing some more I waxed the stock with Johnson's Paste Wax. I never had any issues, and my shotgun looked marvelous.....
    Tom
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  8. #28
    Boolit Master
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    I think it’s BLO plus varnish and diluted a bit with mineral spirits.

    If you wrap the threads with teflon tape when you recap it you can reduce future frustration.

  9. #29
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Everybody's got their own magic finish. Most of them work.

    Paying scalpers' prices for tiny bottles of moose milk is for the naive who have too much money to spend.

    I can't say I've done 10,000 stocks, but boiled linseed plus 25% real spar varnish has done it for me.

    BTW when you buy varnish make sure it's REAL varnish, not synthetic. Traditional varnish is linseed oil and rosin, proportions according to the whims of the blender.
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  10. #30
    Boolit Grand Master

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    IMHO somewhat like French Oil used for finishes in the early days. Shellac, lindseed oil and turpentine is the formula I have used.

  11. #31
    Boolit Bub Ajohns's Avatar
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    IF, True Oil and linseed are close to the same, it would probably not do one much good to put linseed on first and after some time apply the true oil? I haven't used much linseed but have used true oil quite a bit. Was just looking for some different things to try out. I thought true oil gave some good protection to outside elements, but from what I'm reading maybe not?

  12. #32
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Oils are not a moisture barrier. They do shed water, but water vapor will get through them all, True-Oil included, which over a few days can make wood warp. Varnishes are better, but not by any means true moisture barriers like the modern urethanes. I mostly used boiled linseed with a small proportion of varnish, and didn't try to hurry the process. The elegant London oil finish takes weeks to accomplish correctly, although the vast majority of that is curing time.

    The legendary stockmaker Alvin Linden would start by applying a generous coat of straight spar varnish, which he then sanded down until none was left except what was in the pores of the wood.** Then he'd start applying linseed oil, waiting long enough between each coat for it to cure, then rub it down vigorously with burlap. He was following a rule I learned in my thirties about lacquer finishing on custom motorcycles. That was that "you cut down to a gloss finish, not build up to it".

    **In my experience, this is just a quicker way of getting the wood pores filled - you can get the same result by applying thinned linseed oil warmed to about 200 degrees, then following up with four or five applications of straight oil. Alvin was, after all, in the business, and time was money to him.

    One critical "secret" to using oil is that you must let each coat cure. If you don't, you'll never get a finish at all. Another that Alvin never mentioned is to wet the burlap with oil when you do the rubbing-down. This worked very well for me. After the rubdown, there is a thin coating of wet oil on the surface, and this is your next coat.
    Last edited by uscra112; 06-19-2019 at 12:50 PM.
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  13. #33
    Boolit Bub Ajohns's Avatar
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    Interesting, thank you! When you say oil, you mean the oil that you have chosen to use?

  14. #34
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    There are only two oils we commonly use - linseed oil and tung oil. Tru-oil is alleged to be tung oil, maybe with some additives. Linseed oil has an interesting history; it is oil pressed from the seeds of flax, which before the introduction of cotton to Europe was the only fiber except wool that was used in clothing. The name of the woven cloth is linen. Thus it was grown in great quantities, and of course there was a lot of seed left over as a waste product. From this the oil was pressed, and used medicinally as well as to finish wood. The mash left over from the oil pressing was and is fed to cattle. And vegans. Go into any health food store and you'll find flaxseed oil for sale. Which is just food-grade linseed oil.

    Tung oil is said to be non-toxic, and in its' purest form that seems to be true, according to the FDA, but the treenuts from which it is pressed are most decidedly toxic. This has always bothered me, which is why I don't use it, whatever its' benefits may be. Most of it (92%) still comes from China.
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  15. #35
    Boolit Buddy
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    Tru oil is a short oil varnish product. It's nothing like a raw oil.

    My guess is that because they say it's made of oils - it's an alkyd varnish. Aka the "Resin" in the varnish is made of natural oils

    I am glad they have left it's formulation alone - it's a fantastic product.

    My favorite varnishes in the world are the older phenolic varnishes.. So easy to use. So forgiving. So durable and resistant once cured. Unfortunately - "They are known to the state of California....." and so are gone now..

  16. #36
    Boolit Master Shawlerbrook's Avatar
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    Whatever it is it does give a good finish and is easy to use.

  17. #37
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by truckjohn View Post
    Tru oil is a short oil varnish product. It's nothing like a raw oil.

    My guess is that because they say it's made of oils - it's an alkyd varnish. Aka the "Resin" in the varnish is made of natural oils

    I am glad they have left it's formulation alone - it's a fantastic product.

    My favorite varnishes in the world are the older phenolic varnishes.. So easy to use. So forgiving. So durable and resistant once cured. Unfortunately - "They are known to the state of California....." and so are gone now..
    Alkyd is a technical name for polyester, so it's not "natural". Phenols all date to 1909 (yeah, I hadda look it up), so they're not that old, compared to the ancient recipe of oil and pine rosin. Phenolic resin was the basis for Bakelite. You've got me there - I never knew it was used for varnish. Ought to work though. California probably hates because it was formed using formaldehyde.
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  18. #38
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    Raining like **** here**, so for something to do I pulled up the MSDS on Tru-Oil.

    Principal ingredient? Stoddard solvent.

    https://www.birchwoodcasey.com/files...Data-Sheet.pdf

    So all the scuttlebutt that I had taken for gospel over the years about it being tung oil are wrong. The second ingredient is "proprietary", so it could still be partially tung oil, but no more than 40%.

    Apparently no resin in it at all.
    Last edited by Pressman; 06-21-2019 at 08:51 PM. Reason: Inappropriate Language
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  19. #39
    Boolit Master Tenbender's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pertnear View Post
    I'm your average gun tinkerer that loves wood stocks that finds himself refinishing a stock every year or so. I love to use Tru-Oil & I can get a great finish of my choice. But the little 3 oz bottle it comes in has me pretty peeved[sic]-off! That little bottle, for sure, will finish several stocks, but once opened & resealed the child-proof lid glues itself on. Then when you need it & you manage to get it opened again, you have to break through a 1/4" of dried goop to get to fresh oil. After that you have to be careful not to get any loose particles on your stock! Topping that off, the cheapest I've found this is $8.44 at Walmart, which just seems like a lot for 3 oz of stuff. Is it just polyurethane or some other elixir the hardware store sells by the quart with a real lid? What is Tru-Oil?

    Attachment 243284

    The best stuff I ever used. Rub it like oil. Drys like urethane.

    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...-prod5531.aspx

  20. #40
    Boolit Buddy
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    When I was about 19 or 20 I got TC muzzle loader kit. A friend's dad was in to restoring old lever guns and was coaching me. When it was time to finish the wood he told me to mix spar varnish 50/50 with Colman fule and soak the wood in it till it wouldn't take any more and then hang in the garage till you couldn't smell it any more. He told me that would seal from water and then put the Tru oil over that. Well the only spar varnish I could find in my dad's stuff was all rusty inside so I strained it the best I could but it was stained from the rust but I used it any way. After it dried and I buffed it out it looked so nice I never put any thing else on it but past wax. I have not shot it in a long time but it still looks great.

    In hind site I wonder if he told me that as joke on my dad. My dad bitched about the smell all summer. But it did come out nice and have had offers to buy it. I did all the metal with Plum Brown and it looks better than the cold blue ones I have seen. That was 42 years ago.
    We go through life trying to make the best decisions we can based on the best infomation we can find, that turns out to be wrong.

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