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Help me Fix Ding in Browning Glossy Finish?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by musher, Nov 28, 2006.

  1. musher

    musher Well-Known Member

    I've got a browning medallion abolt with a glossy finish on pretty nice wood. I sent the rifle in for service and browning returned it with what looks like a dent from the corner of a flat bladed screwdriver in the stock.

    It's a small dent, but it penetrates the finish and I'd like to fix it. I'm not inclined to send the thing back to them since it'll cost me another $50 and 12-16 weeks.

    Does anyone have any suggestions about how to fill the dent and smooth the repair into the existing finish? I'm not sure how to go about blending in a repair with the gloss finish that's on the stock now.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. sm

    sm member

    Damp washcloth applied to dent. Using a Iron on medium setting "draw" the dent out.

    Go slow, you want to keep wash cloth damp - not dripping wet, not allowing to to get hot and dry - just moisten as need.
    Once the wood is drawn back up to surface, using 0000 steel wool or finest grit of emery "blend" to match back.
    Always start "too fine" ( better than too coarse). Then apply a polyurethane finish, again just "spot" fixing. If glossy match best can. If a slight satin, use a pc of panty hose, or 0000 steel wool to blend.


  3. musher

    musher Well-Known Member

    Can you draw a dent through the finish? I've done a bunch of 'ironing' on milsurp stocks, but I was really reluctant to put the heat to the factory finish.
  4. Chawbaccer

    Chawbaccer Well-Known Member

    You say the dent penetrated the finish so I would suppose its possible to do as sm says, otherwise you can poke some holes over the dent with a needle to get the steam in the wood.
  5. musher

    musher Well-Known Member

    Yep, the dent cracked the finish into the wood in the shape of the corner of a flat bladed screwdriver. I think the steam could get to the wood. My concern was that it would cloud the finish around the dent leaving a big white spot where a relatively small dent currently exists.

    I'm not sure how to test the safety of this process w/o potentially making a bigger mess of things.
  6. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    I have read of (not done) repairs to hard glossy finishes like that by just gradually filling the ding with clear finish.
  7. musher

    musher Well-Known Member


    I've been considering that. To that end, I tested a few clear 'varathane' type gloss finishes on top of the factory finish (inside the barrel channel). Glad I did, because the varathane products did not cure properly. The minwax helmsman spar varnish did cure ok, so I figured I could use that on top of the factory finish.

    The question is, how do I blend in the repair to the rest of the finish. I envision a bit of a bump left at the repair site after filling it with the clear polyurethane, and I'm not sure how to grind that down and blend it with the high gloss finish of the rest of the stock.
  8. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    "...the steam could get to the wood..." That's actually the idea, however, I suspect your glossy finish is polyurethane. Steaming out dents doesn't work well on plastic finishes.
    If the wood is cut put a bit of stain on it first. Then fill the dent with epoxy. It'll cure clear.
  9. PotatoJudge

    PotatoJudge Well-Known Member

    There's a decent chance that the finish is a conversion finish. You could fill it with varnish (just a little at a time so it can cure all the way through, and first test it evernight on some glass to make sure it'll cure hard), epoxy, or super glue. Really, the only way to blend it would be to sand (with very fine grit to even finer grit using lubrication and a small block to keep things flat and smooth) the repair until it's flush with the finish, then polish the area. I'd leave it or just fill it to just under flush with the surface to avoid that extra work and risk damaging the rest of the finish.
    Also, I've never had much luck with steaming dents through a finish. Doesn't mean there's not a right way to do it, just means there's at least a few wrong ways.
  10. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    That Browning finish is polyurethane, very much like your Helmsman spar varnish. If the dent is that small, you should be able to just apply a tiny bit of the spar varnish with a toothpick (from the regular can, not the spray can). If you are careful, it will not even need any polishing down.

  11. musher

    musher Well-Known Member

    Ok, I think I'm going to try the toothpick idea to layer helmsman into the hole until it it is full.

    Next question is how to go about blending in the repair with the existing finish. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to be able to fill it in w/o leaving a bit of irregularity.

    Can I sand it w/o destroying the gloss finish? I'm a bit unclear what to use for that step.

    1500 grit paper?
    steel wool?
    buffing compound?

    any thoughts?

    Edited to add I missed your response PotatoJudge. I'm a bit worried about screwing up the surrounding finish alright. I'm not sure what schedule of grits to follow so that I end up with a seamless gloss finish.

    I've been told that the browning finish is an epoxy based finish, not sure if that's what you meant by conversion finish. The helmsman will cure on top of it.

    I guess I'll fill it and see how it looks before getting out the disk sander and 80 grit.

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