What stain, etc do you like most on your stocks when you refinish them?


August 3, 2006, 02:18 PM
When you refinish your stocks do you prefer, Tung Oil, BLO or something else entirely?

I'm about to refinish my Enfield stock and am not sure what best to use.

What would be your choice?

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August 3, 2006, 02:21 PM
Plain Tung Oil never really dries.

On an old stock, that could be what you want.

B/C Tru-Oil is what I've used most, but not on an old Enfield. I'm trying to figure out what my Enfields were originally finished with, actually. It appears to be something more permanent than Tung Oil.

M2 Carbine
August 3, 2006, 03:03 PM
I haven't refinished all that many stocks. I know little about wood working. All I've ever used it BS Tru-Oil with excellent results.

This is a CMP M1 that had a pretty bad stock, oil soaked and fair size dents.
It has two coats of Tru-Oil now and I figure about two more will have it looking good.:)


August 3, 2006, 04:31 PM
I like analine dyes for staining, then a polyurethane modified tung oil makes a good finish. Tru-oil works fine, as do many ready mixed versions.Analine dyes are not as easy to work with but you get a really deep, fade resistant even color.

August 3, 2006, 04:52 PM
I've only used Tung Oil (Homer Formsby's brand) myself, but have had excellent results. Depending on weather and humidity, some coats can take longer to dry than others, but I have refinished the stocks on an old shotgun (Rem. model 11) and a rifle (Win. model 67A). I used low gloss on the shotgun, and high gloss on the rifle.

August 3, 2006, 05:25 PM
I used Tung Oil when i redid my Russian Capture K98k. Don't use more than a few coats if you like the lighter blonde finished look. The tung oil doesn't look like that dark a stain but after 2-3 coats it really adds up. When it dries it is slightly darker than when wet too.

August 3, 2006, 05:47 PM
I darken the grain with a torch flame rather than use a stain. Makes for better contrasts IMO.

August 3, 2006, 05:56 PM
Tung Oil, BLO or something else entirely

BLO and Tung Oil aren't stains. They may change the color of the wood slightly but they don't really stain it. I've used a variety of Min-Wax stains, the one I use most (on gunstocks, not furniture) is called "Natural", it stains it just enough to bring out nice contrast. I then use many coats (allow 24 hours between applications) of Tung Oil. Tung oil will ever so slightly darken the wood, with repeated applications.

August 3, 2006, 08:37 PM
Agree with Browningguy
I use a poly-tung oil mixture on walnut furniture refinishing and get excellent results, plus it is waterproof. Apply about 12 coats on tops and buff with 0000 wool between coats, and finish with wool for satin. Use lintfree cloth and just wet the surface (very, very light coat). If you can see the shade shift, that is enough for one coat.

August 3, 2006, 10:59 PM
Several years ago, about 35 or so, I traded for a single shot shot gun that had been rebuilt by an older gentleman that lived not far from me. He had made a few parts that were missing and refinished the stock. He did it with diluted Pennsoil engine oil. Darned if it didn't look pretty good and still does. repells water pretty good also. :D

Stiletto Null
August 3, 2006, 11:01 PM
Tung and BLO here.



August 4, 2006, 09:43 AM
Stiletto Null. that is one nice looking mauser. I especially like how the grain of the wood stands out. How many coats did you use and did you alternate between the two or do one first and then the other second?

August 4, 2006, 11:04 AM
I like shellac. It is non-toxic, easy to apply, easy to remove, and easy to repair. I like to take the shine down with some very fine sandpaper, which leaves a matt finish with good gripping surface that is never slippery.

You can get it in a variety of colors here:


It certainly won't look original on an Enfield, but it is correct for most Russian rifles.

Stiletto Null
August 4, 2006, 11:16 AM
Rockrivr: my procedure was something like this:

First three days: sand with 120 grit, apply BLO, rub some, sand with 400, re-wet and rub vigorously

Next week: lightly sand with 400, rub BLO in

Next two days: half-half BLO and Formsby tung oil finish

One day on a whim: full coat BLO, 600 grit sandpaper

Next couple of days: tung oil only, 600 grit sandpaper, some steel wool to break the shine off

August 4, 2006, 11:54 AM
If it's not a walnut stock, I like to hit it with an ebony stain before top coating it.

I've top coated a bunch of stocks with the semi-gloss Fornby's Tung Oil finish (which really is a varnish and not just an oil), and so far have been very pleased with it. It normally takes me about a dozen wiped-on coats to get the stock sealed. I hit it with 0000 steel wool after it's dry to knock any shine off of it.

August 5, 2006, 03:06 AM
Depends on the wood. For light-colored you want to darken, I often use an old colonial-era gunstock stain I found the formula for.

For the finish, some wood linseed oil can darken it a lot, on those I generally use Tru-Oil. Try the linseed on a spot to see how dark it gets if you're not sure.

One thing on old military wood in particular is if there's a lot of old oil/grease in the wood you'll need to clean it out a bit before putting on a finish.

August 5, 2006, 03:57 AM
I've only done one, and old Mossberg, and I used Homer Formsby tung oil, and it worked really well. I used it on a piece of furniture that I've had for 25 years, and it's held up well, even with the cats crawling all over it.

August 5, 2006, 10:40 AM
I don't use any stain or oil at all. I sand and steel wool the stock until it's smooth and then apply several thin coats of clear satin polyurethane.

I find that this method produces really really blonde wood which I happen to like, and looks especially good with walnut.

I suppose that a cheaper wood would benefit from a stain but i'll have to experiment and get back to you on that. I would never stain walnut, it's pretty by itself.

August 5, 2006, 11:14 AM
BLO. If you need to darken parts, you can rub it with artist's charcoal (not briquettes) before putting on the BLO.

August 6, 2006, 12:37 PM
You can use water to remove small dents and dings in the wood. You'll need to remove any existing finish in that area so the wood isn't waterproof. Put a couple of drops of water in the dent, it may take several applications, over several days. It will cause the wood to swell in that spot and raise the dented area. Then you can sand it down smooth after it has dried throughly. It's a trick I used to use when refinishing furniture. You can get rid of small dings completely, bigger dents you may not be able to raise flush but it will make them much smaller.

August 13, 2006, 02:41 PM
I tend to go with the traditional finish with these things and so with the Lee Enfields I rub in coats of boiled linseed oil. Eventually gives it that nice red colour from oxidation over the years.

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