1st Stock Refinishing - Advice/Tips Would Be Appreciated


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TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 06:26 PM
I've posted about this before but basically, I'm 16 years old and I'm from NYC. I have been into guns for about a year or so and I don't really have that much hand on experience except for going to the range every one in a while
(which is way overpriced). I wanted to get into something related to firearms that is legal in NYC so I got into stock refinishing. I began looking into it and I found it interesting. Anyway, I still have a couple more coats to put on and I didn't really know what I was doing because I have no refinishing experience. To be perfectly honest, this is the first time I've actually used sandpaper :) I kinda taught myself while I was doing it. I want to thank the people on THR that have helped me out and especially Sam1911 who has answered ALLL of my questions. I'm not really 100% happy with it, but I'll keep practicing and learning more until I get it down :)
Sorry the pictures aren't good quality, my phone camera is horrible.

Before:

http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/382789_102777336510075_100003334266215_11622_736385597_n.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/394084_102754439845698_100003334266215_11387_1664157669_n1.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/395230_102753523179123_100003334266215_11386_1922663695_n.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/390612_102778679843274_100003334266215_11631_1354839514_n.jpg

After sanding:
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/386004_102753026512506_100003334266215_11385_1235289243_n.jpg


After finishing:
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/375226_103360466451762_100003334266215_15145_1379256093_n.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/339919_103374033117072_100003334266215_15191_2038291206_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/339780_103375463116929_100003334266215_15196_5946854_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/337819_103380773116398_100003334266215_15218_1208274166_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/337746_103382523116223_100003334266215_15224_1376248290_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/336586_103368099784332_100003334266215_15166_267475394_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/324823_103366843117791_100003334266215_15161_1736841264_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/323484_103361703118305_100003334266215_15148_1913384313_o.jpg

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busstonedfx@gmail.com
January 1, 2012, 06:28 PM
Hell of a <deleted> job man. Good stuff

TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 06:38 PM
I would also love for anyone to give me some pointers on what I may have done wrong or better. Here is what I did:

1) Brushed mineral spirits on stock and I let it dry for 5 to 10 minutes. Then I wiped it off with a rag. I repeated this a couple of time until there was barely anything on the rag.
2) Steamed out the dents
3) After waiting for a few hours, I began sanding first with 80 grit (maybe too aggressive?), then 150 grit, finally using 320 grit. I used cheese cloth to wipe away saw dust and went over stock with 0000 steel wool after last sanding.
4) Applied two coats of tung oil so far and left to dry for about 12 hours in between coats. I also used 0000 steel and wiped with a cheese cloth in between each coat.

I still have more coats to apply. Should I even bother continuing with this stock or moving on to another stock? Also, what do I do after the last coat? Do I buff with 0000 steel wool or with fine sandpaper? Thanks in advance.

TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 06:41 PM
Hell of a <deleted> job man. Good stuff
Really? Thanks alot :) I tried..

Dr.Rob
January 1, 2012, 06:43 PM
Great job! I'd say move onto the next project.

TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 06:52 PM
Great job! I'd say move onto the next project.
Thank you. And alright I will. But before I start, I'm going to get a refinishing book from the library.

TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 06:53 PM
And everyone please don't hesitate to give me some constructive criticism :)

Sam1911
January 1, 2012, 07:14 PM
That's quite an improvement! Looks nice!

More coats of finish will just make it look better and better.

Nice job,

Elkins45
January 1, 2012, 07:31 PM
I would give it a very light sanding with the finest sandpaper I had before giving it the final coat. I find that gives a smoother final finish.

Another tip I have found for really cruddy oil-soaked stocks is to spray them with oven cleaner and let it work for a while, then take steel wool and give it a good rubdown. Do this outdoors and wear some sort of chemical resistant gloves. It helps remove some of the soaked in oil and will prevent your sandpaper from clogging up so badly.

Be careful not to get it in your eyre either-oven cleaner can be some nasty stuff.

TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 07:32 PM
Thanks Sam :) I guess so, but it could have came out better

TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 08:37 PM
I would give it a very light sanding with the finest sandpaper I had before giving it the final coat. I find that gives a smoother final finish.

Another tip I have found for really cruddy oil-soaked stocks is to spray them with oven cleaner and let it work for a while, then take steel wool and give it a good rubdown. Do this outdoors and wear some sort of chemical resistant gloves. It helps remove some of the soaked in oil and will prevent your sandpaper from clogging up so badly.

Be careful not to get it in your eyre either-oven cleaner can be some nasty stuff.
the finest I have is 320 grit.. would that be too coarse? and was the stock that I had really oily? It looked like it but I can't really tell. That might have been why it was so hard to get the old finish off.

BrocLuno
January 1, 2012, 09:12 PM
Looks like you are doing well so far :)

Usual order of work in my shop:

1.) Something to strip the old finish. Depends on what it is? Seems mineral spirits worked for you this time. Purple Power or something similar may be needed next time.

2.) Steaming any dents or depressions.

3.) Crack repair.

4.) Now start sanding. Grit depends on outcome. Always use a firm rubber sanding block or a a piece of softwood to back the sand paper. Way to easy to take out softwood and leave a rippled finish if just fingers and hands (uneven pressure - can't be helped).

5.) Stain or dye.

6.) More sanding with fine grit and more stain or dye. Let fine sanding dust and stain work as a "rub-in" filler.

7.) Start finish with fine metal wool and oil (I like bronze wool, no possibility of micro rust from broken pieces). Rub oil in with wool and fingers. Let dry. VERY LIGHTLY rub with wool to knock down "zits" and rub in next coat. DO NOT get into stain or dye :(

8.) Start final finish. After about 4 base coats of oil worked in, it's time to wet sand with 600 grit on a rubber block as you want to start really "flattening" the surface. Next coat of oil goes on with badger hair brush (for me) and 600 grit wet paper between each for about 4 more coats.

9.) If you want a stunning gloss finish, some guys have luck rubbing last coat(s) of oil on with a coffee filter (or two, three, etc.).

OK, look at the list above and see what you might have missed? Any corrections you can practice on this piece before you move on?

You might try for the final high gloss finish? Good practice :)

Big20
January 1, 2012, 09:21 PM
Elkins45 has it right with the oven cleaner suggestion. Next time, after the stock is stripped down to bare wood, saturate with with Thompsons Water Seal several times until the stock will hold no more. Wipe dry then let it sit for two weeks. An oil coat can then be applied, steel wooled down to bare wood and repeated until satisfied. This applies to oil finishes only since TWS has a fish oil component that never really "dries". Another way is to use True Oil without the TWS, steel wool between coats. I've put up to 7 or 8 coats on to smooth out the finish. It will finish very shiny but can be dulled to a satin with fine steel wool after the last coat.

langenc
January 1, 2012, 09:27 PM
Sand it, sand it, sand it and sand some more.

Use a Stanley, I believe they still amke em, sanding block w/ rubber pad. Use 150 paper. As noted-steam the dents before sanding.

To steam get your moms iron as hot as it will go-then w/ wet stock and sloppy wash cloth apply the iron to the cloth on the dent. It will steam and fizzle. That is a sigh it is working. CAUTION--place a bath towel on the ironing board cause you will be in trouble if it gets stained.

After the steaming start the sanding. You will want some 0000 steel wool for the final sanding-couple times over the stock. Prep time will be LONG-that means your doing it right.

Go to rimfirecentral.com and somewhere there are threads about stock finishing. I suspect you can google them much better than me.

For finish get some Birchwood Casey tru-oil and armorall. Apply TO with your palm/fingers. No rags/brushes. They just waste the Tru-oil. The rimfire site tells how to use together. The armorall acts as a catalyst for the TO andit will be dry in minutes instead of overnight(s). Beautiful stocks result. The stock pictured definitely has possibilities.

DO NOT be in a hurry. This is a couple week project-in your spare time-perhaps more.

TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 10:38 PM
Sand it, sand it, sand it and sand some more.

Use a Stanley, I believe they still amke em, sanding block w/ rubber pad. Use 150 paper. As noted-steam the dents before sanding.

To steam get your moms iron as hot as it will go-then w/ wet stock and sloppy wash cloth apply the iron to the cloth on the dent. It will steam and fizzle. That is a sigh it is working. CAUTION--place a bath towel on the ironing board cause you will be in trouble if it gets stained.

After the steaming start the sanding. You will want some 0000 steel wool for the final sanding-couple times over the stock. Prep time will be LONG-that means your doing it right.

Go to rimfirecentral.com and somewhere there are threads about stock finishing. I suspect you can google them much better than me.

For finish get some Birchwood Casey tru-oil and armorall. Apply TO with your palm/fingers. No rags/brushes. They just waste the Tru-oil. The rimfire site tells how to use together. The armorall acts as a catalyst for the TO andit will be dry in minutes instead of overnight(s). Beautiful stocks result. The stock pictured definitely has possibilities.

DO NOT be in a hurry. This is a couple week project-in your spare time-perhaps more.
oops i forgot to mention that i steamed out the dents, it worked pretty well.

TMiller556
January 1, 2012, 11:43 PM
By the way, what does wetsanding do? and do I do it with the finish or the stain?

Sam1911
January 1, 2012, 11:58 PM
does wetsanding do?
In one of our PMs I explained that process.
Some woods react well to being wet-sanded with 320 or 400-grit wet/dry paper after you've applied a coat of oil. Then the sanding dust gets picked up by the finish and as you wipe off the excess, the oil remaining in the pores is sort of "charged" with the same wood particles as the rest of the stock, for a perfectly color-matching filler.


with the finish or the stain? I do not use stains on rifle stocks, pretty much ever. Too easy to end up with a rifle that looks like you used a stain, which is a bad thing.

When you determine that you really need to stain the wood, for whatever reason (fixing blemishes maybe, as we discussed via PM), you do not want them soaking into the grain as that concentrates the pigments in the portions of the grain where the pores are more open, instead of simply giving a subtle tone shift to the entire surface, but letting the figure stand (and shine through) on its own.

If you can look closely at the stock when you're done and tell you used a stain, you screwed up.

TMiller556
January 2, 2012, 12:03 AM
Wow I posted without thinking, now I remember. And I was going to use the stain to hide the blemish from the chemical that made that mark on the stock. Thanks for the reply.

Sam1911
January 2, 2012, 12:06 AM
For that one, yeah. I think you can improve things with a stain to tone down that bleached out area. I'd consider a gel-stain perhaps, and an artist's paintbrush to follow that splotch closely. Wiping the whole area won't fix that mark, but you can paint it away with the stain, applied with finesse, and in multiple coats. Be patient with it, and good luck!

GunnyUSMC
January 3, 2012, 08:41 AM
Hi there TMiller556:neener:
It's me, Candyman from SFR. I tried to regester with my regular screen name but could not so, I just used the one I use at Gunboards.
From your pics your stock looks good.
I will start off by saying that there is more then one way to skin a cat and even more ways to refinish a stock. :rolleyes:
Hint #1 When posting pics resize them for a 15" screen 800x600. That way it will fit just about all forums and make your post easier to read.:cool:
Hint #2 Sandpaper is not your friend. What it takes away can not be put back.:banghead:
Hint #3 It is best to remove old finishes with a chemical striper, not sandpaper.:)
Hint #4 Oven Cleaner is Evil:evil: You have to be careful when using chemical cleaners on wood. I could go into detail about what makes oven cleaner so bad, but I will just make it short. It's bad JuJu. It breaks bown the natrul glues in the wood that holds the fibers togeather and will also get chemical burns. When you stock gets that grayish green to black color after using oven cleaner, that is dead wood.:(

The question, How to refinish a stock?, is about about like asking, what is the best vehicle? This question is way to general.:uhoh:
First off you need to refinish a stock for the gun it will go on. You don't wont to put a pretty finish on a stock that will be going on a rifle with a worn finish. You will just end up with a pig in a prom dress.:barf:

Some here may know me or heard of me, but most don't. So here is a little about me.
I started doing stockwork for 24 years, started back in 1988. I met an old Gunsmith that took me under his wing and tought my how to do stockwork. He became my best friend and my father in law. I did stockwork and gunsmithing for 4 or 5 years then just went to doing stockwork.
Back in 2006 I found out that I had tonsil cancer and started treatments. While going through treatments I started thinking. My father in law passed away and I was the only one that he passed his skills on to. I thought, If I died there was no one that I had passed my skills to. So during me recovery after treatments I started creating post on how to refinish and repair stocks.
I also teach stockwork at my home.
Now I am not the guy that will just tell you how to fix something. I will aslo tell you why and show you how.
Here is the VZ52 stockthat I just finished for a member of anothe forum. Someone (a Gun Expert) told him that It could not be fixed. :neener:
http://i41.tinypic.com/2ms2edd.jpg
http://i35.tinypic.com/mvkv1t.jpg
http://i36.tinypic.com/iygbqx.jpg
http://i40.tinypic.com/rtjczq.jpg

GunnyUSMC
January 3, 2012, 08:42 AM
Here are a few more.

This is the M44 stock I redid with the Pine Tar with a Shellac overcoat.
http://i40.tinypic.com/2qkma8y.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/hrc5ki.jpg

This Remington 1100 Butt stock had seen it's better days.
http://i42.tinypic.com/28chp91.jpg

http://i44.tinypic.com/14tuvt.jpg

And this Remington Sportsman 78 stock took a little fall but is ready for another hunt now.
http://i42.tinypic.com/95oeqg.jpg

http://i39.tinypic.com/2dkwsut.jpg

Here is a nice little Walnut 10/22 stock that I fixed for one of the guys over at Remfire Central.
The finish is Hand rubbed BLO with a hand pollished wax top coat.
http://i39.tinypic.com/mcrtih.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/21l99b4.jpg

http://i40.tinypic.com/vnfcwk.jpg

http://i42.tinypic.com/oq90df.jpg

VancMike
January 3, 2012, 03:28 PM
Wow, Gunny, you sold me. Care to tell us the secret of repairing the cracks as in the Rem 1100 buttstock?

GunnyUSMC
January 3, 2012, 03:41 PM
The repair on the 1100 stock was pretty easy. Clamp, drill into the cracks fron the front, wax the checkering, epoxy dowels onto the drilled holes, clean up and match the finish.
The hardest part was cleaning up the checkering.:cuss:
I have plenty of How to stickies over at SRF.
http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewforum.php?f=137

VancMike
January 4, 2012, 12:17 AM
Now see, I would have done it wrong: drill @ 90d to the split, dowels and glue. Your way is much better, and the dowels don't show. Thanks!

Didn't know that forum existed; will make it one of my favs!

GunnyUSMC
January 4, 2012, 01:04 AM
I teach Stocksmithing and the first thing I tell people about making repairs is, Forget everything you know about nails, pins, screws and glue.
I will do my best to show TMiller556 how to step out side the box when looking at stock work.
Most people use sand paper to remove a finish. It removes wood along with the finish.
Most people sand to make a stock smooth, that also removes wood. I like to Bone a stock to get it smooth.

Here is the damage on a bolt action stock, just a chunck of wood missing from behind the cross bolt.
http://i56.tinypic.com/2myxb8o.jpg

http://i55.tinypic.com/2h55ukx.jpg
Most would fix it by gluing in a block of wood and putting a screw through the stock. :banghead:
Here is how to step outside the box.
I cut a channel across the area.
http://i52.tinypic.com/2pyxt9k.jpg

Then cut a brass screw to fit.
http://i52.tinypic.com/2enb2ux.jpg

http://i56.tinypic.com/30vzkts.jpg
Built dams with clay.
http://i56.tinypic.com/igm1i9.jpg
Fill with Acraglas.
http://i53.tinypic.com/eaimw9.jpg

http://i52.tinypic.com/s3it03.jpg

After the Acraglas was cured, I cleaned up the repair.
http://i53.tinypic.com/29w7ga9.jpg

http://i53.tinypic.com/xqbakh.jpg

http://i53.tinypic.com/2qvv6dc.jpg

http://i55.tinypic.com/21kfls5.jpg

http://i56.tinypic.com/okyiyw.jpg

TMiller556
January 4, 2012, 07:55 PM
Hey candyman, thanks for the reply. Your story inspires me and I also find your work amazing and inspiring. I appreciate you taking the time to help me out and the fact that you're helping people out and passing on what you learned is great. It must be the best feeling to prove people wrong when they say a stock cant be fixed :) What really threw me off is all of the different methods that people use to refinish. Everyone I have asked has had different methods and I did not know which one to use. For example, I hear people mention steps such as filling the pores and sealing the grain and then I look at a different method and they don't even mention it :confused: The stock that I'm working on (the pictures above) doesn't look right and I guess I didn't start off on the right foot. I should have done more research before I started but oh well. Like you said I should, I'm currently reading a book on refinishing, it's called Furniture Repair and Refinishing Ultimate Guide... and I'm learning a lot of new things. I'm also using the stickies on SRF and find them extremely helpful and they also teach me new things. So my question is, the stock that I'm working on now, should I wet sand a couple coats of finish? I've applied 4 coats now and the stock still hasn't started to look any better. From the pictures and the steps I listed above, can you tell what I didn't do right so I don't do it next time? How long should I wait after wet sanding before apply another coat? Thanks

TMiller556
January 5, 2012, 08:18 AM
I'm not sure if you can tell from the pictures, but there is still what looks like the old finish still on the stock, how do I get rid of that if I already put tung oil on the stock? When I was sanding, it all came off but now it seems to have started showing again. Is it natural or can it be oil, dead wood, etc.

GunnyUSMC
January 5, 2012, 08:45 AM
Like I said before, There is more then one way to skin a cat and even more ways to refinish a stock.
First you have to ask yourself some questions about the stock you are going to work on. You don't have to ask these questions out loud, someone might think your a little nets.;)
#1 Why do you want to refinish?
#2 What type of use will it see?
#3 What type of look do you want the stock to have?
#4 Will the finish on the stock look correct with the finish on the rifle?
#5 Will the wood you will be working with allow you to get the finish you want?

You ask about wet sanding, filling the pores and sealing the grain. I answer with WHY?
WHY do you need to wet sand? Are you trying to get a super smooth finish?
WHY do you need to fill the grain? Are you applying a finish the will cure on the surface?
You question about sanding, filling and sealing will be answered by the first set of questions.

First off you are working on a M14 stock. It is a military stock. Do you plan to sell this stock?
If you plan to sell it, What would the buyer want?
I would say that your best finish would be a military finish. One that would look close to what it would have looked like it did when it was used by the military.
Here is another question. Are there any military markings on the stock? If so, your stock could be worth more with the markings.

Here is a Spanish FR8 Mauser. The shiny finish is wrong for this rifle.:barf: It should have a matt oil finish. Someone put the finish on the stock without taking the rifle out of the stock. :banghead:
The finish on the metal shows some wear so, the stock finish also needs to match the metal.

http://i54.tinypic.com/s4za53.jpg

http://i54.tinypic.com/nyd734.jpg

So here is what needs to be done.
#1 Remove the shinny finish.
#2 The stock does not need to be pretty.
#3 You don't want the stock to look like it was just refinished.
#4 Sanding will remove the aged look of the wood. So no sanding.
#5 The grain will need to be closed, some what.
Now to put the plan in action.
#1 Strip the stock with a paint striper.
Stripped
http://i51.tinypic.com/2nqxztj.jpg

http://i56.tinypic.com/2ez6vtc.jpg

I didn't want the stock to look like it had just been refinished.
So no sanding was done. What I did was Bone the stock.
Boning is done by rubing the stock with a hard smooth object to compress the wood grain. I use an Ash wood dowel for this. (pool cue)
http://i55.tinypic.com/mm93is.jpg

http://i55.tinypic.com/kams05.jpg

I then did a hand rubed BLO finish, toped off with Tom's 1/3 Mix.
Tom's 1/3 Mix is a 3 in 1 wax and looks great on military stocks. It is a soft wax and will not give you that shiny finish.
http://www.thegunstockdoctor.com/
Now the rifle looks like it should. This finish took about 3 weeks to do.
http://i55.tinypic.com/mvqes0.jpg

http://i53.tinypic.com/25f69es.jpg

So always have a plan of attack before you start. Know what you want and then do what it takes to get the look you want.
Ask questions. Take your time.

Sam1911
January 5, 2012, 09:15 AM
TMiller556,

What the Gunny just showed you in pictures are some of the things I was trying to explain in text through some of my PMs. Functional beauty. Restored, not "gussied up." Appropriate, not immaculate.

I've not personally "boned" a stock before, but I much prefer it to almost any application of sandpaper, though I will admit to using 220 and higher grits to smooth after steaming.

This should almost be a subtitle for our Gunsmithing forum: :)
#3 You don't want the stock to look like it was just refinished.


Beautiful work, Gunny -- just beautiful!

GunnyUSMC
January 5, 2012, 09:27 AM
Thanks Sam.
I've been at it for some time and have learned from many. I also had to learn a few things the hard way.:banghead:
Teaching stock work can be hard when the student is far away. It is sometimes hard to put things into text.
Here is a post I did at SRF about helping others and making friends.
http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=83&t=114293

TMiller556
January 5, 2012, 10:10 PM
Ohhh I get it now. I feel bad now because Sam has been telling me this all along and I didn't really get it until now. Now I understand why people use so many different types of methods/steps, because the person wants a different appearance or maybe they don't need it for in the field, they just want it for show. So it can be glossy vs. satin, worn looking vs new looking, etc. So for the m14 stock I'm working on, I would personally want a military finish like you said. So basically I guess I would want to go with a non glossy finish, but a durable finish and non glossy wax to strengthen it and to give it the military look. And occasionally I hear certain terms that and I have no idea what they mean. For example, you mentioned, "compressing the grain" and I have no idea what that means. I also hear things such as "raising the grain" which I don't understand. I'm sure reading up on refinishing will help me out with that. I kind of jumped right into refinishing without doing much research about wood refinishing in general. I looked into different methods of stock refinishing without understanding the characteristics of wood and without understand what such words as "filling" and "sealing" actually mean and their purpose. One thing I am curious about is, when I first started on my stock, I brushed on mineral spirits very lightly (thin coats) to strip the old finish. I let it dry for maybe 5 to 10 minutes and then wiped it off with a rag. I saw some black stuff (which I guess was dirt) come off onto the rag. I repeated this process a couple of times until there was barely anything showing up on the rag. I didn't rinse the stock and went right to steaming about an hour later. I looked at one of the stickies on SRF and saw that what I was doing was wrong. But could it have been because of some kind of polyurethane finish where I needed a stripper specifically made to remove it? How can I identify some kind of hard-to-remove finish such as polyurethane? After reading the stickies, I found out that I should have applied more of the stripper onto the stock and waited about 30 minutes until it was able to do its job. Then after the old finish starts dripping off, keep on repeating the process until there's no more finish coming off. Then immediately rinse and dry. And the main reasons why I want to refinish is because I want to learn the art of it and maybe eventually pass on my skills just like you're doing. Also, when I eventually move out of NYC, I would love to be able to restore milsurp rifles. You've cleared up a lot of things, thank you :)

Sam1911
January 5, 2012, 10:33 PM
I feel bad now because Sam has been telling me this all along and I didn't really get it until now.Do NOT feel bad. You're doing just fine, and being so attentive to everyone's advice is aking to giving a compliment to them. Lots of different goals, and several ways to achieve each goal.

Keep trying, keep experimenting and enjoy the journey.

BrocLuno
January 6, 2012, 12:27 PM
The only way to learn a skill set is by trying and doing. We can all tell you how to do it "our way" and it may work just fine? Or, it may not.

There is a lot of difference between trying to repair a Remington RKW high gloss finish and old BLO military finish. They take different techniques, tool and knowledge.

But, knowing how to do both well will get you a lot of useful information you can pass along and help you make a living in the meantime :)

Fullboar1
January 6, 2012, 01:52 PM
Hello GunnyUSMC from Australia
I am very impressed with your work and kudos for passing on your knowledge. What you should do is a book on stock repair and finishing (I would buy it).

TMiller556
January 6, 2012, 07:02 PM
Hello GunnyUSMC from Australia
I am very impressed with your work and kudos for passing on your knowledge. What you should do is a book on stock repair and finishing (I would buy it).
I would also :)

Rancho Relaxo
January 6, 2012, 07:28 PM
Bedding the stock while you are refinishing is a great way to go, and a good time to learn it.

GunnyUSMC
January 6, 2012, 07:30 PM
I have been thinking about putting together a CD. But I'm much better at stock work then I am at making CDs. :(
But for now you can go to SRF and ckeck out the Stock Care & Replacement Stocks Reference Stickies.
http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewforum.php?f=137
I have well over 20 How To topics there that will walk you through just about any repair and some finishes.
The topics are set up so that someone with basic skills can do good work.

TMiller556
You are on the right track. Keep asking questions, even the ones that you think are silly. Just don't throw out too many at one time.;)

"compressing the grain" Or BONING, This is just a way of making wood smooth without sanding. It is done by rubing the wood with a hard object but not with too much pressure. It got it's name due to it was done with bones.
I haven't gottrn around to writing a topic on it yet, but here is one where the guy uses it when making bows.

http://www.primitivearcher.com/articles/boning.html

Sam1911
January 6, 2012, 07:39 PM
BONING, This is just a way of making wood smooth without sanding. It is done by rubing the wood with a hard object but not with too much pressure. It got it's name due to it was done with bones.
I've used that extensively in wood-turning on a lathe. Produces impressive results. I'll have to try it out on a stationary object next time.

BrocLuno
January 6, 2012, 08:26 PM
As long as we are getting into the esoteric areas like boning, here are a couple more. You can do additional research on the 'Net. And, if you try them you can come back and ask questions about how we make them work :)

Flame Graining - that is, using a controlled heat source like a propane torch and playing it over the wood to bring out the features in the grain. This is an especially good technique for Birch which appears light colored and bland on first glance. Many birch pieces have pretty grain hidden in the wood. With the right technique, you can get fiddle-back, tiger stripe, and many other grain patterns to come out while darkening the wood without the need for stains or dyes. It's an old technique that stock makers used before modern stains were readily available. It takes practice and is one of the best reasons to play with old stocks. Once you get the hang of it, you will be surprised at what is hidden in that bland stock :)

Conversion Varnish - this is the factory applied hard finish used by some stock makers and most production cabinet shops. It's a bit costly to set-up and it is not cost effective for one stock, done one time. But, having a catalyzed hardening varnish available will let you make a finish like RKW that is nearly impervious to the elements. Yeah, it can be scratched and banged, but it's about as tough a wood finish as man has thought up yet. This is the basic technology behind Remingtons RKW and Brownings "diamond gloss" and those really high gloss Weatherby stocks from back in the 1970's. Gloss has gone out of favor for now as folks seem to be happier with matte or semi-gloss. Of course conversion varnish can be applied as either of these as well. And some modern factory finishes that look like rubbed oil are conversion varnish processes. It's a good one to know about, even if you don't ever use it :)

TMiller556
January 6, 2012, 09:35 PM
I've been reading and it all makes sense now. The reason why some people fill the pores and/or seal the grain is because of the different types of wood and finishes they want. So correct me if I'm wrong, but the main reasons for sealing the grain are:
-To reduce the amount of stain absorbed by the stock
-To prevent the stain and filler from bleeding onto the top finish.
I know there's more but I forgot :uhoh:
And filling the grain is used by some to give the stock a smoother finish, mainly if they are working on a open pored wood. So basically it comes down to personal preference. And Sam, I think I'm going to add the stain because the blotch that was left by whatever chemical spilled on it is getting on my nerves. :banghead: after the stain dries, i'll add a couple more coats of finish and eventually use some 0000 steel wool to smooth it. Then I'll add some wax and see how it looks. If I want a military finish, does sound like a good idea? I know that they used BLO but I still have tung oil left. I don't really want anything too glossy, but maybe on my next stock I will try something different.

BrocLuno
January 6, 2012, 09:58 PM
You have the gist of it. Filling and sealing the grain are options depending on how you want the final job to look. Once you have a few of these stock jobs under your belt, you'll be able to envision the final "look & feel" and you'll be working toward a planned outcome. Right now, you are learning what does what.

Also, some woods "blotch up" when staining, so you need to use a pre-stain (actually a semi-sealer) to stop the blotchy-ness. In the old day, stock makers would use flame graining to get a good appearance before the first coat of anything, and then it was all clear hand rubbed (or as close as they could get, which was usually a reddish yellow oil). Tung oil is fine. It's in the class of "Drying Oils" which is what you want to work with. Think an oil that is actually catalyzed by exposure to oxygen. Motor oil would be a good example of a "non-drying" oil.

About that chemical stripe - it's actually a chemical bleaching that has occurred. And bleaching wood is something we have not discussed up till now. But, it is a common practice in refinishing fine woods. You often have to bleach a wood to get old iron stains out from some piece of hardware that rusted while in contact with the wood. The most common techniques involve oxalic acid. It's another area where you will have to do a bit more research :)

But, about that stripe area, You may want to try aniline dye (alcohol based) and see if you can get it to take just along the stripe? Is that area bare wood, or does it have anything on it?

TMiller556
January 6, 2012, 10:33 PM
Yeah I hear you, it all started to make sense once I read about it. And does walnut blotch up? I heard it is takes the stains evenly but I'm just making sure. So I wouldn't need to use a pre-stain since walnut is already likely to stain evenly? Isn't tung oil a semi-sealer? Most of the stripe isn't noticeable anymore after I sanded, but on one side of the stock it's definitely visible. The stripe was bare wood when I first started. It doesn't appear as bare wood now because of the sanding and the tung oil.

Sam1911
January 6, 2012, 10:45 PM
And Sam, I think I'm going to add the stain because the blotch that was left by whatever chemical spilled on it is getting on my nerves.
Yup that sounds like a plan. I'd definitely do that very carefully, with an artist's brush to paint in the stain exactly on the blotch, and choosing a stain that aims at leaving that blotch with the same tone as the wood around it (without stain on it).

If you stain the whole stock, you'll probably leve the blotch a little darker, but the wood around it will be darker too, so it will still be quite visible.

I'd expect to need to do a few passes on the blotch to blend it with the rest of the stock, and I'd probably use a gel stain as they're a little easier to keep focused. (Or analine dye as Bronc said, but for different reasons.)

GunnyUSMC
January 7, 2012, 02:42 AM
TMiller556
You say that you are using Tung Oil. Is it Pure Tung Oil (PTO)? Or is it Tung Oil Finish? A lot of people think that Formby's Tung Oil finish is Tung Oil, but it is not. It is a weaping varnish and will give the look of an oil finish. It is great for indors but is not the best for stock finishes.
Here is a link to Real Mil Paint. They have some of the best PTO.
http://www.realmilkpaint.com/oil.html

Us military stocks were finished with Leen seed oil. BLO is close to what the military used up to 1941. During WWII a problem came up. Stocks were molding in the tropics. In 1942 the US started using PTO on all wood stocks, leaving the factory, because it prevented molding better the Leen seed oil. The problem never really went away due to the military having so much of the old oil in their supply system.

TMiller556
January 7, 2012, 10:35 AM
Thanks Sam, I would have stained the whole stock. And I'm using Formby's, I didn't know it was a varnish until I got home and looked at the bottle. And thanks for the link, next time I'm going to pick up PTO instead or maybe try BLO. If I want to stain the discolored chemical spots on the butt of the stock, will I be able to use Minwax Wood Finish to match the rest of the wood? I've already applied about 5 coats of Formby's and I know that the Minwax is an oil based stain, so will they work together? I've heard oils work with other oils but I'm not 100 percent sure. Will the stain be able to penetrate the wood? Doesn't the tung oil prevent the wood from absorbing the stain?

GunnyUSMC
January 7, 2012, 11:24 AM
The Formby's will block oil base stains.
You will need to use an alcohol base dye.

Sam1911
January 7, 2012, 11:27 AM
The stain absorption will certainly be slowed/hindered by having finish already in the wood. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Stain soaking into bare wood can look terrible. Blotchy as Bronc said, "muddy" is my term for it. Some of my instructors just said it looked "dead." The grain pattern is muted and the fire or shimmer of the figure is simply killed by the pigment sucking down into the fibers in a very uneven way.

The great finishers apply stains over clear/natural sealers, pre-stains (or whatever they get called) as that changes the overall color without muffing the figure and "depth" beneath.

(As a huge "aside:" If you've ever taken a close look at raw, unfinished oak, and ever gotten the chance to look at antique oak furniture or woodwork -- and then look at the stained oak furniture that was so popular in the 80s, you can see some of the worst offenses. All these rustic furniture companies did it, and those "unfinished furniture" places promote it -- just swab on Minwax stain and you'll have beautiful furniture! ... except what happens is instead of getting a golden honey toned product with amazing depth and "flame," you end up with the summer and winter growth rings alternately sucking down, and refusing, the stain, which leaves your oak stained to look like zebrano (http://c69282.r82.cf3.rackcdn.com/_S040094H.jpg)or zircote (http://www.kaleidoscopefactory.com/woods/Zircote.jpg) -- and muddy at that -- instead of what it could look like (http://lumberjocks.com/assets/pictures/projects/41408.jpg). So many folks did that, and bought that stuff, that people think that's what it's supposed to look like...)

The oil stains will not absorb well. You may get the results you want, but it may take many passes. I agree that the dyes will work faster and quite probably better. Go light, be patient, much easier to darken things with a little more work than it is to strip it all off and start over cause you went too heavy.

TMiller556
January 7, 2012, 02:14 PM
I just tried to stain the spots with light coats and I don't see any difference yet but I'll keep on staining the spots and maybe I'll start to see the spots blend in with the rest of the stock. Are there any alcohol based dyes that you recommend?

Elkins45
January 7, 2012, 02:50 PM
Just to throw in a dissenting opinion: if you are doing this for paying clients you will likely find that many of them will want a "gussied up" finish on their guns.

I think that will be the case even if you try to convince them otherwise. A lot of people just like that shiny look because they equate it with new or "fixed good as new". You can explain about making guns period correct and appropriately finished but a lot of folks just won't be interested. If you spend a lot of time at gunshows you'll meet a lot of these people.

TMiller556
January 7, 2012, 03:07 PM
Elkins I know what you mean. Most of the stock refinishing videos I've seen are really glossy finishes and stains that make the stock look unnatural. Here is the stock now, it's coming out my glossy than I thought it would. I guess it's because the tung oil I'm using says high gloss on the bottle, which I didn't even notice until after I bought it. Why does the butt and the front of the foreend look darker than the rest of the stock? Is this natural? Or could it be because I didn't remove all of the old finish from these parts? Is it starting to look better at all? By the way, the white specks came from something that I laid the stock down on, which I shouldn't have done. It came off with some steel wool.
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/323426_108732215914587_100003334266215_47480_863800487_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/322413_108698712584604_100003334266215_47327_2058296616_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/330902_108719752582500_100003334266215_47405_852283842_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/332774_108716152582860_100003334266215_47394_897721311_o1.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/341224_108726539248488_100003334266215_47434_972624855_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/378837_108700869251055_100003334266215_47333_282048566_n.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/411963_108730559248086_100003334266215_47462_786643787_o.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/406903_108698712584604_100003334266215_47327_2058296616_n.jpg
http://i1193.photobucket.com/albums/aa353/TMiller556/396297_108708615916947_100003334266215_47382_1320252444_n.jpg

GunnyUSMC
January 7, 2012, 04:44 PM
The stock looks good.
If you wish to knock the shine down some there are two ways.
#1 Use 0000 steel wood and BLO to lightly scrub the stock. You will need to keep the wool wet and scrub with the grain.
After you scrub the stock you will need to wipe it dry. Wait 24 hours before waxing.

#2 Do a wax buff. Using past wax and 0000 steel wool, scrub the stock in the same way. Once you are done, buff with a soft cloth.

Sam1911
January 7, 2012, 06:27 PM
Yes! Look at the difference from where you started! There are things you could have done to get more of the old finish off before you started, and bleaching techiquest as we've discussed, but many of us who do old military stuff won't get into those except in special cases.

You've brought out some nice figure and it does look to me like the finish has a bit of visual "depth" to it. I'd say job well done.

You can reduce the gloss if you don't like it, as the Gunny says. I probably would, but that's my tastes.

TMiller556
January 7, 2012, 10:53 PM
thanks guys.. next time ill work on removing the finish a little bit more and i think iam going to get rid of some of the gloss. right now im still trying to blend the spot in with the rest of the stock using the stain.. i cant tell if it working yet. its still drying aboit 5 hrs and counting..

GunnyUSMC
January 8, 2012, 12:35 AM
Your stain is not working.
Go pick up a bottle of boot leather dye. Don't get that cheap spong on stuff from Walmart. Check with a boot store. Get med. brown.
You can apply it with a q-tip. Apply a light coat over the mark. it should dry pretty fast.

TMiller556
January 8, 2012, 12:31 PM
Thanks Ill pick up some later. if im able to get alcohol based dye for staining wood would that be better than leather dye? why doesnt the stock take the stain after being coated with tung oil? is it because the tung oil seals the wood and prevents the minwax from penetrating the wood?

Sam1911
January 8, 2012, 01:33 PM
why doesnt the stock take the stain after being coated with tung oil? is it because the tung oil seals the wood and prevents the minwax from penetrating the wood? Yup, that's it. Repeated applications of stain over the finish can impart a tint, but it takes a lot of coats. When stain can soak in, all that pigment is going into the wood fibers. When those fibers are sealed, that doesn't happen.

The dye will be able to actually stain the finish itself with some of the color you want.

BrocLuno
January 8, 2012, 03:46 PM
Stain has to go on bare wood. Same with dyes. The tung oil has sealed the wood and nothing will penetrate from here on out. The boot dye will act as thin paint and it will "dye" the tung oil some, so it may help blend the bad spot away?

Another choice is to lightly sand/wool the discolored area pretty close to the wood, or maybe back to wood. You can use 10mil plumbers tape on either side of the bad spot so you don't sand the whole thing again. Then get some artists oil paint colors that are close to your wood finish (usually slightly darker). Put some on the edge of an old saucer with some tung oil in the middle and using a brush dab and mix until you get close to the color you want and then paint that on and feather it out toward the rest of the stock. It'll take 48 hours to dry, before you can wool it again. Look it over, if good, top coat as you normally would. If not there yet, wool it back a little and do another blended color treatment and carry the "shading" out a little further onto the rest of the stock. Soon, it will be gone/buried under tint. You over coat as normal and then "de-glaze" as you want :)

TMiller556
January 9, 2012, 01:12 AM
Thanks for the reply Broc. I think I'm just going to forget about the spot on the butt and just add one more coat of tung oil and then use some wax and steel wool to get rid of some of the shine and then just move on to the next stock. The spot is not as noticable as it was before so it's not a big deal and I also didn't epoxy the gouges in the wood which I should have done but I didn't want to because I figured since it was my first stock, that it was way above my current skill level (I should have at least tried). I'll keep in mind for the future that dye will stain over tung oil, but next time I'll make sure I stain before I finish. I didn't want to stain at first, that's why I didn't do it before the finish. After I take off some of the gloss by buffing with wax, if I want to add some wax afterwards for protection, such as beeswax, will that make the stock glossy again? Can I keep on wax buffing until I get the gloss I want?

GunnyUSMC
January 9, 2012, 04:20 PM
If you use a wax like Tom's 1/3 Mix, you will not get the gloss from buffing. There are many different types of wax out there. The harder the was the more gloss you will get.

Also remember that you are not using real Tung Oil.

This post will cover the topic of applying dye over oil to get the look of an aged finish.
http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=137&t=73332

And here is one on a PTO Finish (Pure Tung Oil)
http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=137&t=61650&p=434931#p434931

BrocLuno
January 9, 2012, 07:30 PM
OK, you did that one and it came out pretty nice for the first attempt. Now I'd strip it right back down to bare wood and re-do it with a different scheme. It's just a piece of wood. It's as good as a black board to use over and over.

I'd take it down to bare wood with stripper, then stream the gain again to get all the little nicks and even the gouges up as much as possible. Epoxy the left over holes and gouges and file flat to the surface, stain (experiment on both sides), then try another finish treatment like satin polyurethane or something. Again, you might surprise yourself :)

Id visit all the old men in your neighborhood and offer to refinish their old wood tool handles. Most of this will be hickory, but some will be birch and or bass wood, box wood, etc. All good to learn on. Easy to do small projects. They will be happy to get their tools back with nice smooth handles and a nice finish. You'll learn about gluing cracks and more about finishing.

I learn a lot about products I have not tried before on tool handles - wear and toughness, chipping resistance, color retention, etc. AND, if they decide to lay up their old tools, they may call you and offer them to you. Old tools are GOOD in this business.

On all these practice stocks, I suggest doing two colors (left & right) as way of looking directly at what does what on that kind of wood :)

GunnyUSMC
January 9, 2012, 08:27 PM
try another finish treatment like satin polyurethane or something
:what::what::what::barf::barf:

TMiller556
January 9, 2012, 08:58 PM
Thanks Broc and the reason I wanted move onto another stock is because the other stocks I have need different types of repair such as fixing cracked foreends, filling deep gouges, splicing repairs, etc. And that's a good idea. Actually, since my uncle knows about my interest in refinishing, he told me that she will save left over wood after he cleans out his garage. I think most of it might be furniture. I know that the m14 stocks I have are milsurp, but since I'm not selling them, I'm going to try out different types of looks, methods, finishes, etc. Gunny, I bought Minwax Paste Wax but it says that it's for light wood on the top of the can. I didn't open it yet, so should I return it or will it work? What's the difference in paste wax for light wood and dark wood? When I use steel wool to rub in the wax to remove some of the gloss off the stock, I just wait until it dries and wipe it off with a cloth right? And that's it?

GunnyUSMC
January 9, 2012, 09:21 PM
The wax you have will work fine. And your right, about 20 min after buffing the stock, buff it with a soft cloth.

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