Title says it all. I got my rebuilt coils back from the coil doctor some time ago and lately I have been wanting to stain them, not just for looks, but also as a degree of water protection in case moisture gets in the box. I have had great luck using boiled linseed oil when refurbishing old WWII rifles I collect and was wondering if it would be ok for my coils too.
I use MinWax stain and antique oil. Colors, preserves. I use special walnut color. Both the stain and oil can be applied by brush or rag. Will make them look antique.
Boiled linseed oil works very well. Colors the wood just enough and is a great protector from water. You will be very happy with the results.
I use BLO on EVERYTHING ! Spent a good chunk of today applying it
to a mountain of 1/4 pine today that will make up the arched roof of a
caboose I am building for a client. Gives a warm yellow tone and hardens
into the grain of the wood as a great preservative and moisture repellant.
Great on tool handles, wheelbarrows, ladders, and can be colored if desired
Be aware that BLO is known to spontaneously combust on rags when
left in a pile. ALWAYS burn or properly dispose of rags after you are done !!!
Will dry quicker and penetrate deeper if thinned with mineral spirits.
Didn't Ford dip them in Bee's wax?
BLO is what I use. I don't bother staining them beforehand. Just the BLO gives them a beautiful color. Of course the ones I am usually working on are old ones that have already darkened. I just clean them up, including some light sanding, and coat with the BLO. They look great.
This clip from Model T Tips shows the use of boiled linseed oil (towards the end of the clip):
Heinze Electric was the only firm that waxed their coils originally. They did it as long as they supplied coil units to Ford, which would be up into 1914. Many have survived with much of this coating intact.
If someone wants to use wax (beeswax, floor wax, paraffin, etc.) to protect his/her coils, go ahead, it won't hurt anything. Just use a thin coat and keep it off the coil tops.
I have heard but have not confirmed that Ford wrapped their coils for the repair market in Cosmoline.
Ah Cosmoline, nasty icky stuff Every world war surplus rifle I have ever refurbed has been coated in that volatile stuff and I love it. Does a great job of preserving what's underneath, even if it is a pain to remove. I put several coats of BLO on the coils. they're drying now. I'll post some photos tonight to see how they came out.
Quick scraping with a small cabinet scraper, (single edge razor blade works good too), Golden Oak stain & wipe on poly. Tops are flat black.
Here's a roll top brass. Same treatment.