This is mostly for me to reference, because I keep forgetting, but maybe someone will find this useful too.
First, why wax and not oil? Wrong question. You should be doing both.
Being that I like to play with old clankers and restore them into something I enjoy shooting and having in my safe, I tend to work on stocks quite a bit, in 3 different ways.
The worst case scenario - a complete make over.
Full strip, sand, oil, wax, etc. Not important in this post, but here for completeness.
- Birchwood Casey – True Oil is really good stuff for a complete refinish (has polyurethane additive, pretty much all modern stocks have that). Tip: use your fingers, no gloves. Best approach.
- Do NOT use on old stocks that are being cleaned/preserved/refurbished, only on stuff that’s getting a complete work over.
- Research ‘wet sanding’, before you start. If the wood is in shitty shape, you’d probably want to go with Boiled Linseed Oil and ‘wet sanding’ - an entirely different, very labour intensive and very time consuming task.
Birchwood Casey – Stock Wax.
Very easy and economical option. A little goes a long way. DIY is not always the best – in a lot of situations, this is the best. I found that if the wood is in overall good condition, specifically not dry, this is the best option. It’s hard to explain ‘not dry’. However, you’ll ‘just know’. It’s pretty obvious when you see something in good shape vs dry.
I find that this wax works very well on dry wood. A little goes a very long way. Dab it on a cloth and rub, rub, rub that wood. This needs rubbing, to generate heat, which thins out this compound and helps with absorption.
Boiled Linseed Oil vs Linseed Oil. Boiled has a drying agent added to it, so you won’t be waiting for months for it properly dry. As far as I know, Linseed Oil is an oldschool traditional way… And purists will swear by it, but these are the same people who are all about making faster horses, while everyone else is driving cars. Boiled Linseed Oil dries faster and gives you the same results. The End.
Alright, so, what I have been using on stuff that’s in really bad shape or was in bad shape, rather:
2 part: Boiled Linseed oil.
2 part: Natural beeswax (eBay is your friend)
1 part: Turpentine
Do NOT use Mineral Turpentine. It has petroleum additives and you don’t want it anywhere near your wood or wood finish.
- Put everything into a microwave safe dish.
- Microwave it until it melts and blends together (4 minutes to start with, but maybe longer. It gets extremely hot, so gloves are a must).
- Remove from microwave
- Mix well to make sure all wax has dissolved and everything has been mixed together
- Pour into storage container
- Let cool and solidify
- You are done.