Originally Posted by tinman
I can't tell you what Ruger used back in the day, but my vintage Walnut stocks have received several rubs with Howards Feed-N-Wax.I have never seen a bad reaction on any oil finished stock that I own.
Do not put it on a poly or varnished finish! Only on bare wood or older pure oil finishes.
There will be some who disagree, and push some super finish that takes 2 weeks to complete. But, I'm lazy and it has worked for me, a looong time.
While you personally have not experienced any adverse effects using Howard's Feed-N-Wax they are there whether you recognize them or not because chemical properties don't change unless they are altered.
This sticky about HFN sticky goes over the product.
And what Mineral Oil is.
"Pure" unaltered vegetable/plant "oil" finishes never were used on wood unless there was nothing else to be had which was pretty rare as tallow, which was made almost every time you cooked something, was mixed with Beeswax which you could find just about anywhere and stored well, was used instead.
That stuff could be used on wood, leather, hides to water proof them and you could also eat both of em.
I don't know of nor ever heard of any manufacturer of either mass produced wooden stocks or mass produced non-engineered wooden furniture that has or is using pure unaltered
vegetable/plant oils. If one wanted to use either of those they have to mixed with a resin to make them work. As soon as you do that they become a varnish and no longer belong to any of the vegetable/plant oil families.
If somebody has an actual plant/vegetable oil that has been only slightly modified to perform as a wood finish it sure was not done by any manufacturer that makes consumer mass produced wooden stocked firearms or military wooden stocked firearms either.
Going back, like to the Egyptian days, the resin added was normally Turpentine Oil
which is abundant and easily refined from Turpentine. Even then lacquer was the preferred finish.
The major use and where the money was was using them as either a food additive or "dipping" oil for like bread. Also if you were really well off financially they worked good on stopping rust on iron or steel armor but needed to be replaced every day so you had to tote a lot of it around and keep it sealed until you used it or it would go rancid quickly.
Just because products are advertised as 100% XXXX oil does not mean it is not modified from the way nature made it.
This is 100% Linseed Oil with only a very slight modification to make it edible.
Tung Oil looks pretty much the same.
Wanna put that on your unfinished wooden gunstock?
There are two stages for Chemical Coatings. The first is dry to the touch, sometimes called hard, which is used as a measurement on how long a chemical coating(s) takes before you can put on another coat without possibly screwing it up or for sure not allowing the previous coat(s) to reach their interim design specs. That ranges anywhere from 30 minutes to overnight.
If somebody chooses to view that stage of the topcoat/finish as complete then so be it but it is not.
The second stage is how long they take to cure which is the time it takes on Planet Earth for chemical coatings to completely reach whatever final stage they are designed to be at. Regardless of the chemical coating they cure through oxidation via being exposed to oxygen.
When that point is reached it is then complete.
That time frame runs right around between 10 days and 2 weeks for reactive finishes with optimal/controlled conditions but 3 weeks is recommended for when finishes are applied under non-optimal/controlled conditions by a human being. Evaporative finishes, and there are only 2, go from 6 days to 2 weeks depending on the formulation(s) but again the 3 week "rule" is still recommended.
During that 3 week period they can be handled without damage, within reason
, but rubbing or polishing them out or adding wax to them for a final protective layer is not only not recommended but warned about. On new automobiles or repairs on non-new ones the warning is 10 weeks.
During that time no additional labor time is required. Just patience.
There are a HUGE
number of differences between them but the quality of the topcoat/finish is not one of em. If it is a "super" finish it is not because of the cure time.
Natural plant/vegetable oils that are cold pressed and only slightly modified do have their place in wood finishing. While they are not film forming, are only slightly more robust then wax, and need constant maintenance they do present the visual illusion of depth well and also for the most part enhance subtle colors but they don't play well with film forming finishes in case you want to put one on over em. They are only used on bare wood or to refresh themselves.
Niche market but some folks like em better then BLO and lots of folks for wooden knife handles and wooden pistol grips. The more educated woodworkers also use that stuff on things they need to be "food safe" like cutting boards or salad bowls instead of Mineral Oil.
If that is what you want, which IMO Howard's attempts to simulate, then you are far
better off using one of them then anything with Mineral Oil in it. At least you will be using something pretty close to what what "Mother Nature" has evolved over time instead of a refined motor oil with some really small
amounts of waxes, including stuff again made from petroleum in it which just junks up the wood even more.
These folks, one of only a few, make that type of product:
Tung Oil or wiping varnishes that simulate it, is heads and heels above either Linseed oil or the wiping varnishes that simulate it.
If you are bound and determined to use stuff that contains Mineral Oil in it, Johnson's Baby Oil is 100% refined Mineral Oil and a whole lot cheaper then stuff that contains it.