Stock re-finishing question


July 8, 2003, 03:53 PM
I'm trying to liven up the bland, boring wood grain of my Remington 870 Express butt stock. I believe it is beech, and it has no grain or figure. I've stripped off the old finish and tried several different stains in order to bring out some character, but it remains very light and boring. Any ideas? :(

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July 8, 2003, 04:33 PM
I did the same thing with a 10/22 stock, couldn't find anything that would darken it. Ended up using a spray on wood finish which made it come out very dark and boring.

July 8, 2003, 09:16 PM
Unfortunately, I don't think that there is ANYTHING that you can do to add figure to a piece of wood that is figureless :( ... but ... you might be able to accentuate the grain that is there by putting a single layer of varnish on the wood. The varnish should penetrate one part of the grain more than the other ... lightly sanding off the varnish should leave part of the wood sealed and part of it bare. If you then apply a stain, you should get very uneven coloration that you might find interesting.

I have NOT tried this myself and you should note that I used the word "should" several times, so proceed at your own risk ;)

Good Luck,

July 9, 2003, 10:59 AM
Charles, I think you might be money ahead to trade in the the Express on a Wingmaster. You will find the Wingmaster to be a more refined gun in all respects -- slicker to operate and easier to look at.


July 9, 2003, 11:49 AM
Here's a thought....
Do a search on ebay for "Remington 870" +stock
There are usually a bunch of them there and they go reasonably. Usually some Wingmaster stocks too.

July 10, 2003, 12:55 PM
There are a couple ways to add "figure" to bland wood. A suprising number of stocks have been doctored over the years, and unless someone is very good at reading the grain of a piece of wood they can be fooled.

My favorite way to do the job starts with a clean, dry stock. All filling should be done prior to starting the work. If you are going to stain the entire stock you should do this first.

Using a black Sharpie permanent marker (thin ones work best) draw in the highlights of the grain using short straight lines in the direction of the grain. You should try to keep to a fairly natural pattern (ie. quartersawn, marbled, etc). If you need help look for a stock to duplicate in a book.

Once the heavy lines are down you can then take a small paintbrush and use a dark stain to highlight the areas around the "grain". Oil stains work better, but water stains mix best.

Once this dries you can finish the stock. You must be very careful not to cut into the wood while doing any finish work, or it will show up like a beacon on a dark night.

This is not a difficult project, but the more you work with wood the easier it becomes. I suggest the first timer try the technique on a plain board prior to working his stock.

A lot of Spanish guns, and upgraded American guns have had variations of this technique worked on them. It always schocked the owners when they stripped the stocks to refisnish them and lost all the figure they had.

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