Rifle stock refinishing project

Discussion in 'Rifles, Bullets, Barrels & Ballistics' started by 400bull, May 11, 2011.

  1. 400bull

    400bull Well-Known Member

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    I have decided to do a little project around the house while I am waiting for the weather to improve. I have decided that it’s time to give my trusty Winchester 270 a face left. I refinished a stock on my Marlin .22 years ago and it turned out pretty good but I think that I sanded it down more than I really needed to. You can tell because some of the coroner have been rounded off and I have a bigger gap betwen the barrel and stock then I care for. Hay it was my first attempt and it does look better overall then it did before. Before I get started on the project I was wondering if any of you professionals out there had any tips or tricks that you would like to share.

    400bull
     
  2. RT2506

    RT2506 Well-Known Member

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    I am not a pro but have done a bunch of stocks. USE A SANDING BLOCK. That will keep you from rounding off sharp edges. To cut down on a lot of sanding use a liquid paint stripper and wash the old finish off. I like Birchwood Casey True Oil finish for wood stocks. Hand rub LIGHT coats and let dry for 24 hrs then lightly 000 steel wool then another light coat. 6 or 7 coats will look like the stock is under 1/2" of glass and it is really tough. If you want a satin finish just lightly rub the stock down with auto body polishing compound after your last coat. It will cut the shine off.
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Good advice!

    I use this method for hand rubed finishes and use True oil or Formbies Tung oil.

    For high gloss I use Permalyn because it is self leveling and is tough.

    I also use 0000 after the second or third coat to level.Wet sanding will show the
    little defects and do a good job (320 to 600 grit).

    Good luck.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. 400bull

    400bull Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies. My dad is a carpenter and has a bunch of Minwax Polyurethane available that I could use for the final coating. The Polyurethane has seemed to work out great for his little home decor projects that he has done. What are your thoughts on using the Minwax Polyurethane vs. Birchwood Casey True Oil?

    400bull
     
  5. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    The Polyurethane is a surface treatment and the true oil is more of a wood sealer and soaked in
    deeper for a rubbed finish.

    So it depends on what you like as far as finished look. The Permalyn I mentioned does the same as the poly but is easier to apply without brush stroke marks.

    Polyurethane is a very tough finish but like any surface treatment it scratches easier and is
    tough to repair. The one down side to Poly is that it yellows with age.

    So if you want a beautiful stock or a durable one each type of finish has its strong points and
    weaknesses.

    J E CUSTOM
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2011
  6. 400bull

    400bull Well-Known Member

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    Well I worked on the stock most of the weekend and have it nearing completion. For my first major attempt at refinishing a stock I must say that I am pleased with how the stock is finishing up. I cannot say the same with the bedding. That was a whole new learning process that I will practice a couple time with my 22’s before I try it again. It was not a total disaster but it did not turn out as well as I had hoped. What I am trying to decide now is if I should go for a polish look to end the stock off with or a satin finish. How do you guys like your stocks polished finish or a satin finished?
    Stock preperation (I put blue painters tap over the checkering so that I would not sand down the checkering. I also left the recoil pad attached so that I would not round the edges and so the pad would be sanded to to match the stock)

    Stained (Pictures were take with cell phone. Sorry they are not very clear)


    I will get a couple more pictures when she is all finished. 400bull
     

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  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Ya' didn't take your checkering tool and clean the old finish out! I found somone who didn't know the difference and gave them my quart of True Oil after I started using Pro Custom Oil. MUUUUCH nicer results for hand rubbed oil finish. A big part of the problem when refinishing arms of reasonably current manufactuer is the quality of the wood. Sometimes, it ain't even walnut!
     
  8. 400bull

    400bull Well-Known Member

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    Shortgrass,

    I used a varnidh remover to remove all the varish from the stock. Even the checkering had all the varish removed. I did not touchup the checkering because the checkering was already in fair to good condition. Then only part in the checkering that need much help was the area that rubbes on my pocket knive. I did not see a lot of reason to touch it up if it is going to be tour up again the next time I take it out. Beside I thought that I would screw it up more then if I left it alone.

    400bull
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    All wood finishes I am aware of penatrate. That is the point, to get a barrier between the wood and atmosphere. As a stockmaker, I get approached to 're-finish' alot of different models. Because you have to get to raw wood, so it will then have the same look and color as the rest, the checkering has to be re-cut, which nobody wants to pay for and I don't want to do. Factory checkering is just that, factory. Even those Belgium made A-5s, that are so coveted in this part of the country, had their checkering cut by students (any hand engraving, too!). After ya' get the 'crud' out, under good magnification, you'll find lines running together and over. Re-cutting factory checkering,,,,,,,, well, I'd rather start from scratch and I don't do that often enough to be good at it. But that's one of those things you run into when 're-finishing' factory made (and checkered) stocks.
     
  10. bastover

    bastover Member

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    I have a couple of cents to lay out on the table if I may. I use laquer thinner to strip. To refinish I always use boiled linseed oil and I cut the linseed oil with naptha. you can get all of this material from your local home depot lowes etc.