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Crossbows - Everything about Building, Modding, and Using your Crossbow Gear

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    waterproof stock finishes

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    Post by Todd the archer on Tue Nov 29, 2011 1:54 pm

    After disapointing results with tung oil and bow string wax as finishes, I am looking for a reliable waterproof finish for my latest project (see "starting a new project"). Here in the northeast the weather seems more like Seattle. Rainy and damp. As I use this crossbow for hunting it needs protection don't want to fret over it. So if anyone can recommend a finish I am all ears.



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    Post by Basilisk120 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:09 pm

    I am interested in this as well. A good finish is important and can be difficult to pull off.

    Of course everyone has a different idea of what makes a good finish.

    I know Lightly experimented with a bee's wax/turpentine/linseed-oil finish. If that is the finish on my Maximillian crossbow then, while it looks really good, it might be a little light for heavy duty hunting use.



    A finish I have used with succsess, but not on something as big as a crossbow stock, is an Epoxy-Acetone finish.

    Its really simple:
    Mix epoxy per directions (1 to 1 or 2-1) then mix in an equal amount of Acetone (or any solvent, I have heard that MEK works well) and apply.

    An exact 1-1 ratio isn't terriable important as the solvent will evaporate out.



    I like it because it soaks into the wood a bit giving a thinner finish than straight epoxy would while still being tough. The trade off being that it takes longer to dry. Typically over night. At the very least might be worth experimenting with.


    Last edited by Basilisk120 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 2:12 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : updated directions)



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    Post by Todd the archer on Tue Nov 29, 2011 3:19 pm

    Thanks Basilisk, I will keep that one in mind. I tried wax with the help of a heat gun to melt it in. Like you said looks great but for some reason the water still gets thru.



    Will check on the internet to see what gun makers are using.



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    Post by Basilisk120 on Tue Nov 29, 2011 6:24 pm

    I can't believe I forgot about Tru-Oil from Birchwood Casey: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=4952/avs|Manufacturer_1=BIRCHWOOD%20CASEY/Product/TRU-OIL-STOCK-FINISH

    Here is something else I found: http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=42368/Product/MILITARY-oX-STOCK-OIL No Idea if its good but hey looks interesting.



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    Post by bpnelson on Tue Nov 29, 2011 8:58 pm

    Just pick up some stain for gunstocks. Birchwood Casey will never let you down.
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    Post by stoneagebowyer on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:42 am

    TrueOil is an option, and it makes for beautiful and easy to apply finish. A drawback with a hunting weapon is it is high-gloss, so you should cut the gloss after your final coat, perhaps by sanding or applying a flat spray finish over the TrueOil.

    The Massey finish is an option. That was developed by the late Jay Massey, a famous bowyer from Alaska who reported that it kept his all wood and sinew bows water resistant in some harsh Alaskan conditions. The finish is a 3:1 to up to 10:1 ratio of acetone and epoxy. I have never used this finish, as it is supposed to be very finicky to apply well, and the acetone does cause some microscopic pores that can allow moisture to attack the wood. I suspect this type of finish has fallen out of favor over the years.

    No finish is perfect. Spray poly always worked well for me with wooden bows, but I don’t hunt and can’t report on how well they protect a weapon in hunting conditions. A traditional varnish finish or spray poly may be a good and not hard to apply option.
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    Post by Todd the archer on Wed Nov 30, 2011 3:46 pm

    Thanks all, I believe I will try the tru-oil finish. Read some reviews and sounds like a good product.



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    Post by Basilisk120 on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:39 pm

    I should have added that I have used Tru-Oil and Tru-Wax to clean up a shotgun I picked up cheap. I used in bird hunting for a couple of seasons both upland bird and ducks and geese. It took being completely dunked with out issue. Of course I made sure to clean it up after each outing and didn't keep it wet but that goes with out saying.

    I believe the Tru-Wax is mostly carnuba wax.



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