Finishing a Laminate Stock ?'s

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by Earnhardt, Mar 14, 2018.

  1. Earnhardt

    Earnhardt Well-Known Member

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    I have Richard's Laminate stock I'm getting ready to finish sanding and then coat.

    What are the final grit sanding sequences on the wood supposed to be?
    150, 220, 400...?

    What are you guys using to finish your laminate stocks?
    Automotive clear is probably out of the question for me
    Are there any recommended kits for spraying a clear coat?
    Any rattle can companies you recommend?
    Any brush on applications?
    Or is everything going to be from an air hose?

    Do I sand with 400-600 grit between the finish coats?
    And how many coats do you put on?

    Thanks, Josh
     
  2. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    There are plenty of different products available depending on the type of finish you want.

    I prefer the hand rubbed look and use True oil or Tung Oil and sometimes use a mixture of linseed oil and shellac (French Polish)and then use pumice to polish.

    The true oil is the easiest to use and it gives you a very durable and good looking finish. If you want a high gloss finish, I like Permalyn.

    I start with 180 grit paper and once it is shaped the way I want it, I switch to 220 and then to 400 wet or dry paper to level the pores and then 0000 steel wool.

    I then apply the finish with the 0000 steel wool allowing it to cure between coats. Repeat the steep until you get the desired finish.

    The nice thing about this type of finish, It is easy to repair if it gets scratched.

    J E CUSTOM
     
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  3. Earnhardt

    Earnhardt Well-Known Member

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    I apply the finish with 0000 steel wool?
    Don't strands of wool fall off into the finish when applying?
    If I use True Oil, that is the final/protective coat?
    No clear coat over the top of the True Oil?
    Thanks
     
  4. J E Custom

    J E Custom Well-Known Member

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    No, the steel wool does not come off because it is only used one time and by the time each coat dries, the wool is no good. What the wool does is to remove any small slivers of the wood that raise up because of the finish. this normally not a problem after the first or second application.

    The true oil or any rubbed finish Is the final coating because it soaks into the wood and protects it. Most if not all of the ultra high end weapons that are built by the old world masters (Which I am not, Just old) are done this way because they are so durable, and show everything the wood has to offer. I once had a Krieghoff that the wood alone cost $7,200.00 for that model and it had this type of finish.

    When you use a clear or top coat it dries shiny but can be scratched very easy and then is almost impossible to fix without stripping and starting over. with the rubbed finish, all you have to do is rub a little more of the true oil (Or the finish you chose) on with the 0000 wool and the scratch disappears (Unless it is a gouge), then steam will normally bring it back.

    The downside is that a hand rubbed finish requires many hours of work compared to a simple top coat, But it is worth it in my opinion.

    Nothing worthwhile is easy.

    J E CUSTOM
     
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  5. woodwurx

    woodwurx Member

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    I agree with J E CUSTOM, the hand rubbed finish takes longer, but it is well worth it. The oil finishes will penetrate the wood which make the grain and colors of the wood really stand out and give it depth, versus a top coat like lacquer or polyurethane. I like to make my own mixture of 1/3 boiled linseed oil, 1/3 mineral spirits, & 1/3 deft oil based polyurethane. If you desire a quicker build up, add in a little more deft poly. Build up your desired amount of coats and if you desire a real glossy look, I like to use 3-4 stages of Meguiar’s car polishes to bring out that shine. If u are afraid of using the 0000 steel wool, you can use 400-600 wet sand paper to rub it in as well.
     
  6. huntaxhunta

    huntaxhunta Well-Known Member

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    I finished a laminate stock with 3 coats of Danish Oil Natural and 10 coats of Behlens Rock Hard Tabletop Varnish, wet sanding between varnish coats with 600 grit. Final coat was wet sanded 600, 800, 1000 and then rubbed out with Meguiars #3 Machine Glaze. I do not recommend this to anyone. The results were excellent but it took forever and was a big pain. Varnish cures slowly. The attached photos show my old .223 788 in this stock.
     
  7. Earnhardt

    Earnhardt Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the replies fellas!
    I appreciate it!
     
  8. NEMTHunter

    NEMTHunter Well-Known Member

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    This is how I do my stocks. Other then I hand rub in the true oil then after it dries I take 0000 steel wool to it. then apply the next coat and so on till its done. I love true oil! Makes for a great smooth rather thick finish. Most times a I do around seven coats. More if I feel its still not were I want it.
     
  9. Earnhardt

    Earnhardt Well-Known Member

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    What do you use to take the sanding dust off of the stock before you begin applying Tru-Oil?
     
  10. NEMTHunter

    NEMTHunter Well-Known Member

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    Just a normal piece of cloth. The oooo steel wool does not take much off. I just hit it really lightly. Just enough to knock any rough spots down and knock of the little wood fibers that might show up. After enough coats you no longer get them up. I still hit it lightly with oooo steel wool between coats.
     
  11. LoneTraveler

    LoneTraveler Well-Known Member

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    There is a cloth called a Tack Cloth that was sold by paint stores years ago.
    We used them to wipe down custom kitchen cabinets between steel wool and the next coat of finish. I Googled Tack Cloth, It showed Lowe's, Home Depot and Wal-mart's website lists it for sale. Auto paint stores list it too.
     
  12. Earnhardt

    Earnhardt Well-Known Member

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    OK, I shaped and sanded the stock and now I have 5 coats of Tru-Oil on the stock.
    Holy smokes... the colors literally jump out at you!

    After the 3rd coat I started to see a little build up, and slight imperfections in the finish here and there on the stock, in various areas.

    Do I give it a light sanding with the 0000 Steel wool, to smooth it out one last time, and then put on the last coat of Tru-Oil?

    Thanks for all of the help guys!
     
  13. woodwurx

    woodwurx Member

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    I’m glad your stock is turning out the way you want. I typically like to do 8-10 coats for that extra buildup and protection. If you are happy with it and are wanting that final coat, then yes I would use the 0000 wool and do one final coat and don’t sand it after. Just be sure to let it cure up good before assembling the rifle back together.
     
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  14. NEMTHunter

    NEMTHunter Well-Known Member

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    That is pretty much how I do it to. Other then a do the 0000 wool between each coat. And as you said 8-10 coats for a good build up.

    One thing I have learned is if you have day or two old stubble and you shoulder the gun and you whiskers catch a little. You need more coats regardless of how many are on it already. But thats just personal preference. I rub the oil in by hand and do very light coats.