Stain it or don't stain it?

Dosh

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IMG_0359.JPG IMG_0360.JPG I acquired a tiger maple thumbhole stock which was included with a model 77 Ruger 7mm mag. The factory walnut stock is flawless, like new. This maple stock is a bit rough, needing a lot of sanding and bedding. I'll have to admit I'm not a fan of the natural look of maple, but if the consensus is leaving it I will since I'll likely sell it anyway.
I welcome any input of forum replies.
Thanks
 

RockyMtnMT

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If you are going to sand it down, I would darken it. Would look much richer.

Steve
 

26Reload

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Yeah...to see the true beauty of the grain you have to put some kind of colors to it....although some guys used to run a torch over the hard curly areas and then steelwool that down......but that is only one way to show the grain of the wood....
 

Ckgworks

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I have a couple beautiful tiger maple blanks that I can't bring myself to use because I'm not into blonde stocks, and stain just looks like stained maple to me, .....The old school way to darken maple involves "burning" it, Google can explain specifics, but in short, you heat it to the point the softer wood darkens, and the lines pop. Done right, it is down right purty! There is a modern way that comes close to replicating this, is with nitric acid. Some day, I'll play with these as it's a way deeper color change than just wiping stain on.
 

Canhunter35

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I disagree on the staining it. Use tung or danish oil mixed with some oil based varnish for hardener and it’ll darken it to bring out the grain or just keep oiling it give a really nice classic look.
Pm a guy like Joel Russo on this forum and ask his advice. He’ll know the best route
 

Joel Russo

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Dosh~
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder...
There are many different ways to achieve a finish on stocks. Maple tends to be challenging at times as it is a naturally blonde colored wood. A clear finish will maintain that blonde look, but not bring out the figure. Any type of oil finish will impart an amber hue, and will accentuate the figure. The figure is actually the soft wood, as the “field” is the harder wood. If you decide to apply a stain, I would suggest a light sanding of the stock to remove some of the stain from the field, which will allow the figure to be accentuated. Have fun with it, and keep us posted on how it turns out.
 

Dosh

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Thanks for all the great replies. Definitely going to add a little color. The sanding will start next week since I've been in northern Az all last week and am returning there Friday. Fifty degrees cooler there. The stock as I said is quite rough. The previous owner must have gotten tired of working on it. Looks like he shot it with a clear urethane and called it good. This will take a lot of work. I'll be fitting the action a lot. Not going to give up on it.
Thanks again.
 

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