How many coats of Tru Oil?

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RedLabel

Single-Sixer
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Sep 11, 2003
Messages
175
I'm refinishing a nice walnut 10/22 stock and have used Tru oil several times before and I really like it. My problem in the past has been getting impatient and just saying, good enough. This time I want to get the grain all filled so it looks perfect! Its a nice piece of wood. I'm at seven coats now, rubbing with 00 steel wool in between but I've still got open pores. How many more to go?
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
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Mar 14, 2009
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Hard to say. Maybe two, three, five, eight...who knows? The thing to do is use a filler for the FIRST coat, but you're past that now. Just keep at it.

BTW, I've never used filler, I've always just used as many coats of Tru-Oil as it took. I think it usually runs six or eight coats total.
 

Tweek

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 6, 2004
Messages
22
Just keep going.

I built a flintlock muzzleloader kit that has 10+ coats.

I was getting discouraged with how it was going, then I saw a tip somewhere that said to LIGHTLY sand it with 400 grit. Did that, then lightly buffed it with 0000 steel wool. It's getting there. I've now switched to Formby's Tung Oil Finish (don't ask why - I don't know), but it's looking pretty nice now. BTW, this is a satin finish I'm aiming for.

Avoid the urge to use heavier coats.
 

WOB

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
98
The proper finish program will eliminate the pores forever:

http://www.woodworking.org/WC/GArchive9 ... unfin.html

You can use Tru-oil if you must, but there are better choices. I use Minwax Wipe-on Poly(oil base) and it makes a superior finish. It is hard, waterproof and fast drying. Pilkington's is good, too. Just follow the procedure. I know it seems awkward at first glance, it's really easy once you get the hang of it. Beware filling with Tru-oil alone. 6 months down the road after the Tru-Oil is finally totally dry and cured you will probably find those pores reappearing.

WOB
 

RedLabel

Single-Sixer
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Sep 11, 2003
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175
Snake, I tried to find the filler but none was available locally. WOB, I know there are other finishes I could have used but I am not much of a wood worker and tend to go with what I know which is the tru oil, I just hope it works out for me this time. I have done other stocks with it and have been very happy with the results. Like I say I just get impatient and finally just leave some of the pores open. I might try the sandpaper thing instead of the steel wool. I have a feeling I might be taking too much off and then reopening the low spots. The wood is however taking on a very very deep look to it which is what I am aiming for :D
 

REP1954

Blackhawk
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Jul 21, 2008
Messages
959
I have a full length curly maple stock that was built for a Ruger #3 in 45/70 about (I think it was) 30 yrs. ago. It has 28 coats of Tru Oil on it. The stock has such depth, you think you can walk right inside it. I no longer have the action only the stock maybe I should put it in the classifieds, I plumb forgot all about it.
 

Pinecone

Blackhawk
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Jan 29, 2007
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970
RedLabel, No "two" pieces of wood are the same so there is no cut & dry method when using Tru-Oil or any other finish. I usually examine the wood very closely with a magnifying glass after preparing the stock for the finish to "determine" just how poreous the wood is. That usually determines whether or not I use a "filler" first. I have done many, many stocks with Tru-Oil over the years and once did an experiment where I finished several pieces of the "same" wood from 3 to 24 coats of Tru-Oil and found no difference after the 6th coat so from there on out I usually did 3 to 6 coats on all stocks as long as the pores were filled "properly". As snake mentioned, a good stock filler will "cure" a lot of problems before they surface! Also, if you are in a very humid or cold climate, make sure you put each coat of Tru-Oil on and let dry in 70 to 75 degree heat. That is the "secret" to Tru-Oil drying quickly. I have never had a coat of Tru-Oil take more than 24 hours to fully dry when sticking to this formula! For the past 2 years I have been using WOB's formula, Min-Wax Wipe On Poly and am very pleased with the results I have gotten, also letting each coat dry 24 hours in a warm climate................................Dick :wink:
 

RedLabel

Single-Sixer
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Sep 11, 2003
Messages
175
Well, I applied the eighth coat this morning. I'll go a couple more and see what I have. If I don't see any improvement I guess I will chalk it up to experience and make sure I use a filler next time. I just figured that eventually the oil would completely fill the pores even if there was no filler. Its still looking awful nice though :D
 

deac45

Single-Sixer
Joined
Mar 14, 2005
Messages
386
Redlabel, I use Tru-oil a lot and like it. I've never used the filler. One trick I use on stubborn pores is to lightly sand with 400, leave the dust on and apply another thin coat. Let dry completely and sand with 400, completely removing this last coat. This usually fills the pores and allows the Tru-oil to build up better in later coats. I use a wood block about 1x2x4 faced with old mouse pad rubber as a backer behind the paper.
If the pores are large or if there are any cracks, a TINY drop of thin super glue applied, allowed to dry and then sanded smooth will work.

deac45
 

Snake45

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deac45":3g7pwwqj said:
If the pores are large or if there are any cracks, a TINY drop of thin super glue applied, allowed to dry and then sanded smooth will work.

deac45
I've used superglue to fill cracks and holes in plastic models, which it does very well, and it even magically seems to take on the color of the surrounding plastic and virtually disappear! Never thought to try it on wood--I'll have to give that a try next time I come across a problem of that type. Thanks!
 

Pinecone

Blackhawk
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Jan 29, 2007
Messages
970
deac45, What your doing is an old timer formula an old uncle taught me. He was a prolific furniture maker from the early part of the 1900's to the 1950's. That essentially is the "same" as using a filler (your own) in place of commercial fillers. I too, have used that method many times on both gun stocks and furniture with equally good results............................Dick :wink:
 

RedLabel

Single-Sixer
Joined
Sep 11, 2003
Messages
175
I should have posted this before I started as there are many good ideas here! I suppose I could strip it and start all over again but I'm not really in the mood for that :( . Besides it really is looking good, just not quite the way I had envisioned it.
 

langenc

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 22, 2007
Messages
409
Take a smaller area with lots of pores and work in that alone for a couple coats.

Pour a small amt of TO right onto the area desired and 'push it' around w/ your fingers (2) of your rt hand. No runs!! Wool that down and try another and that should fill most 'holie' areas.
 

RedLabel

Single-Sixer
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Sep 11, 2003
Messages
175
Since I am already halfway into this I have taken langenc advice and gone with it. This is working! Also using my fingers is giving me a thicker coat which is staying in the grain. I was using a small cloth which the bottle recommends as I thought it would give me a smoother coat however it seems to have been so thin that I was not making headway. I'm at #13 now and am finally getting somewhere :D :D This may still take a little longer though as I am concentrating on the worst spots first and then will continue on.
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
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I've always put Tru-Oil on with my fingers. Seems to work better that way.
 

Pinecone

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Messages
970
Red Label, I have never used a rag to put a finish on anything! I have always rubbed it in to the wood with my bare fingers as Snake45 mentioned. This method insures that you "feel" as well as "see" as you rub it in and get an even "spread" as you work it over the wood. You can also tell if you need "more" of the solution. Start with a thin to medium amount and observe the pores as you rub it in..........................Dick
 

langenc

Single-Sixer
Joined
Aug 22, 2007
Messages
409
You have probably figured it out. 'Push' the TO into the pores kinda sideways-not wth the grain of the prore(s).

Also by now you have figured out if you want to buff off (matte) after the final coat or leave shiney. I have buffed mine off (4 or so guns) and get compliments. Every so often take the wool and buff some and the lustre will be greatly enhanced. A good project for the next couple weeks.
 

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