Brookie: I usually thin for the initial coats to enhance penetration and my final coats are at full solution. When I rub the gloss off the finished stock I use plain boiled linseed oil thinned with mineral spirits (paint thinner). I add about equal parts thinner and oil and rub down gently with 0000 followed by rottenstone on a piece of a felt insole dipped in the thinned oil as a medium to carry the rottenstone. Don't go at it too hard with the 0000 or you will cut entirely through the finish. Following the 0000 carefully wipe off the oil residue paying particular attention to not leaving any steel wool fragments behind. One of the white fiber kitchen type scouring pads rubbed over the stock with a bit of the thinned oil on it will snag any steel wool that is impressed into the finish and then you can use your rottenstone. When you are done with the rottenstone the finish will be level and very smooth with a low to medium sheen that is quite pleasant without real glare.
Be sure you have allowed enough drying time for the finish to be as hard as it can get before doing any rub down. I usually set the stock aside for 2 weeks to a month and in some climates longer can be better. luck.
You are the best.I would have sure been shooting in the dark on this refinishing project without your great advice and kind support.
As it was I still made several errors that I was able to recover from.As I initally applied the truoil finish the first several coats and subsequent rub downs looked fine,but the last coat or two as I was about to finish would wrinkle or sag.
Through experimenting I found that the unthinned,full strength truoil was going on too thickly.The correction was to sand the finish -full strength coats off and reapply. A combination of preheating the stock in the heat box while warming the truoil container near the wood stove gave me the viscosity that I needed for a thin free flowing application.
Deer season is rapidly approaching;the week after thanksgiving so I need to reassemble my rifle and sight it in and practice with it.As I see it I have several options.
1)Use the heat box to accelerate the hardening time of the finish and then rub it down.
2)Reassemble with the finish as it now is-and give it the satin rub down after the season is over.
3)Use the original forearm(that is too large for my hand) and replace it with the new refinished and slimmed forearm after the season.
Of the above options Numbers one or two would be my preference if my assumption is correct that heat would speed the hardening process.
Brookie: Your #2 choice should work O.K. providing you don't bang it up (it can be restoredif you do). I'm not sure about your sagging problem. I usually don't heat the wood except when I use marine epoxy as a sealer which helps it suck into the wood. Most likely your coats were too heavy. Very thin coats are the way to go and I have learned the hard way that feeling dry to the touch is not the same as being properly set up and cured. It's all relative to the old methods used to produce an oil finish which could take months. The new products which have come along over the past 40 years have reduced the time so much that it's tempting to try and rush it to completion by putting it on too heavy. besto
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