Flax seed yields from 30 to 40 percent linseed oil by weight. The oil cake, or linseed meal, which remains after the oil has been expressed, contains 30 to 40 percent crude protein and is a valuable feed for livestock.
Gun stocks were applied with linseed oil "every hour for a day", "every day for a week", "every week for a month", "every month for a year", and "every year for the rest of your life" was an oft quoted truism passed down from generation to generation... It could and did produce a very nice finish if you kept with it. The tradition and indeed institution of the professional private died out after WWII however, and the rifle no longer had an owner that would keep and nurture him (her?) for the rest of its service life! As a result, very few M1s ever achieved the marvelous finish often seen on pre-WWII M1903s.
Linseed Oil Soap[edit | edit source]
The key with linseed oil and vegetable oil soaps is to make sure they are made without any artificial solvents and fragrances. If you have hard water, you might turn to using an all-purpose detergent such as Murphy's Oil Soap, Infinity Heavenly Horsetail, or Life Tree's Home Soap. The fragrance of Murphy’s Oil Soap is a natural essential oil.
You can add some fragrant herbal antibacterial tea such as peppermint or lavender, as well as a few other ingredients I like for wood, such as vinegar or lemon juice because it pulls dirt out of wood so beautifully. Here is my favorite floor cleaning formula:
1/8 cup linseed soap or vegetable-oil soap (detergent)
1/4 to 1/2 cup vinegar or lemon juice
1/2 cup fragrant herb tea
2 gallons warm water
Combine ingredients in a pail or bucket. Swirl the water around until it is sudsy. Proceed as normal.
Note: Murphy's Oil Soap is ARTIFICIALLY fragranced, not scented with essential oils as claimed. See: http://web.archive.org/web/20101225202546/http://www.recipegoldmine.com/sources/sources.html