Stock Polishing Question

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Tumbleweed, Sep 27, 2011.

  1. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    Hi guys. I took on my first stock refinishing job last week. It's a walnut stock on a Rem 700. Instead of stripping i sanded the whole thing, turned out looking very nice. The original finish had completely warn off of the checkering so that made it easy. I bought a pint of semi-gloss Minwax Helmsman polyurethane to coat it with and also bought a spray can of the exact same stuff. I used the spray can for the checkering and used a small foam brush for applying to the rest of the stock. I applied about 3 coats sanding with 220 in between to get good adhesion. I wasn't happy with the finish so a sanded lightly again and sprayed the whole thing this time- man I should have done that to begin with, looked much nicer and smoother. I noticed now with about 4-5 really good coats on this thing it looks pretty good but it has a slightly rough feel to it and I would like to be able to remove the slight roughness but not lose the shine that I have. What would you recommend at this stage for a finishing polish up that will smooth it out and really shine things up? Really fine wet sand then automotive polish? Appreciate your experienced opinions.
     
  2. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    Well, I didn't hear from anyone so I went ahead and polished this thing out tonight. I ended up wet sanding the final coat with 1500 grit. This definately smoothed it out but of course took some shine out of the finish. I went over it with automotive Turtle Wax Polishing Compound and that brought back about 90 percent of the shine (darker) color. I got all carried away and put 2 coats of regular Turtle Wax on it too. She's as smooth as glass now and looks pretty darn good for a first refinish job. I definately learned a few things that I would do differently on the next job. Like spray all coats rather than brush on and sand with much finer sandpaper than 220 between coats as well.
     

  3. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    Sorry no one got back with you.

    I was out of town or I would have offered some suggestions .

    I like to strip a stock first to hopefully leave the checkering in good shape then use 4x steel wool
    to level the wood grain.

    Next I apply several coats of a good sealer,sand with steel wool, then apply one or two coats
    of the finish and allow to dry good 24 to 36 hours.

    Wet sand until all the shine is gone and let dry.

    Apply another coat of finish and inspect for blemishes and wet sand these. repeat process until
    the stock is the way you want. use the 4x steel wool to bring back most of the shine.

    Finally, apply the finish coat to suite you. I do not use wax because it makes the stock slippery
    and does not allow touch up later with the finish coating in case of a scratch or ding.

    (To touch up, I use a little finish on a lint free cloth on the area damaged and just rub it in).

    Not much help now, but maybe later.

    J E CUSTOM
     
  4. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to reply JE. I'll keep this information as I'm sure this won't be the last stock that I refinish.
     
  5. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Don't know how I missed this thread or I would have responded sooner as well..

    Here's my .02 cents..

    On bare wood, I apply oil, my own custom mix, with my fingers. After about 10 coats or so, I wet sand with mineral spirits and 600 grit paper. I repeat this process until I have the finish to my liking. Usually about 40-60 coats. Then I wet sand again with 600 paper and mineral spirits.. I then hang the stock and start spraying my final coats. This will allow you to apply the last few coats about as near perfect as you can. After a few coats, then wet sand... I usually work my way to 6000 grit paper in the final stages of sanding. There are a few different techniques for the final buffing. Some use pumice, some use rottenstone... Without giving any trade "secrets" away, I do not use either, nor do I use wax. I have developed a method of hand rubbing in the final stages that is sure to please...I can bring the stock to a high gloss or tone it down to a satin/matte finish with all the beauty and depth the piece of wood deserves. Wood has heart and soul, and a proper finish will allow the piece to speak for itself.
    Hope this helps..
     
  6. shortgrass

    shortgrass Well-Known Member

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    Now, to the OP, look at all the time and "elbow grease" Joel puts in,,,,, and I'm sure that is a custom piece. Is a 'factory' stock worth it?
     
  7. Joel Russo

    Joel Russo Official LRH Sponsor

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    Good point Ted!

    Tru Oil, steel wool, sand paper, and a little practice/patients will go along way on a factory stock.
     
  8. Tumbleweed

    Tumbleweed Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the input guys. I fired a 3 shot 9 and 9/16ths inch group at 1,150 yards this morning with it. Not the best that I've done with it but I did notice because of the wax it moved around on me more than I like. Gonna have to at least get the turtle wax off of it. Any ideas on doing this without too much more work?
     
  9. Gene Jr.

    Gene Jr. Well-Known Member

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    Anywhere that sells automotive refinish supplies will sell a "wax & grease" remover product. It's used in the bodyshop business to remove wax prior to repairing/refinishing painted parts.

    +1 on Joels Truoil comment. Easiest way to get a factory stock to look nice without a ton of work. Truoil can be used as the grain filler, finish, and then steel wooled/buffed to the any desired gloss.

    Gene