oil every few minutes for an hour or so. Now let the stock alone 1 Don't apply any more oil, and don't do another thing to it but turn it occasionally for at least a week; and if you're not in too great a hurry, two or three weeks will be better still.
Time is the best stock finisher in the world ; and if you keep on applying oil before this first coat is completely oxidized by the air, you'll have to do about double the amount of work actually necessary. Too much oil, or too rapid application, is worse than none at all. The thorough and complete drying of this first coating is the secret of a perfect finish.
A somewhat better method, hut practical only in shops doing considerable stock work, is to use a sheet iron tank like Figure 97, slightly larger over all than the stock, and five or six inches deep.
A gallon or so of oil will be sufficient, as the stock will displace a lot of it, and you only need enough oil to cover the stock. The tank may be tapered toward one end as shown to reduce its capacity, and seams should be welded, not soldered.
Warm the stock thoroughly, and heat the tank of oil over stove or gas burners, but do not let it boil. When the stock is well heated through, put it in the hot oil, turn off the burners, and leave the stock until the oil has cooled to the temperature of the shop. Remove stock and stand up to drain, leaving it as long as possible—four days at least. Complete drying will take place quicker when the oil is applied in this manner.
STOPPING PENETRATION OF OIL. 'The first application should have penetrated from 1/16 inch to 3/16 inch below the surface of the stock. If wood is very soft and spongy this penetration may go on indefinitely, resulting in an oil soaked stock which
finishers follow the pumice rubbing with powdered rotten-stone, using a rubbing stick (Figure 98) about a foot long with a piece oi heavy leather glued on one side. The rotten stone is sprinkled on the leather, and the stick used like a file, mostly across the grain. By this method the rotten stone helps to fill the pores, but may work out in time.
Checking should not be done until all the oiling has been finished, provided time permits. It may, however, be done when only the last two or three oilings remain, if the gun is nceced as soon as possible. After checking treat the stock to one more oiling, well rubbed in by hand, and when the oil has stood in the checked sections for an hour, rub it out well with a stiff bristle brush to prevent gumming in the diamonds.
The foregoing is my pet method for producing a high grade finish, when there is time for it. It involves all told four to six weeks, yet the actual labor time will not total more than two or three hours. It is the easiest, and best method I know of. Yet the time consumed prevents its use many times, when a man wants his gun within a week or so.
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