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stain o walnut question

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by greyling22, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I had a custom butt stock rough cut for a Marlin 1894 to pair with my existing forend that I am going to refinish. I tried to match the two pieces as close as possible in terms of wood, but I am concerned that if I just finished them they will not match very well. I am thinking about hitting both of the pieces with a stain to improve color match and wanted to know if a dark stain will hide grain?

    I like the look of dark wood, but the butt stock is a fairly highly figured piece and I do not want to hide the grain and figure by staining it too dark. I have a few stains, and am trying to decide if I should just use my can of special walnut or buy a dark walnut. The existing pieces have a slight reddish tint to them.
  2. spottedpony

    spottedpony Active Member

    if you have any scraps from the stock manufacture, use them to test finish
  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    Most of the professional gun stock stains won't "cloud" the figure.
    Brownell's sell the best.
    The old American gun companies used stock stains that had a red tint.
    This is now called "Winchester Red" or "Pre-1964 Red".
    It was possibly the most attractive stock finish of them all.

    One check before staining is to just wet the wood with a little water and see how they look. That's close to what it'll look like with most finishes.

    If you'd like a stock finish that's like the old "egg shell luster" used in the old days, try my super oil finish.
    This is extremely durable, it can be refreshed without re-finishing, and is IN the wood, not ON it.

    Pictures of my Marlin 1950 Model 39-A in a page or two.

  4. greyling22

    greyling22 Well-Known Member

    I hit it with some paint thiner and the colors are pretty close, but not quite there. that's why I was looking at the stain. How do the $5 small cans of minwax stains perform? They are oh so convenient.
  5. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Well-Known Member

    Most hardware store stains don't really soak into the wood very well, and a little buffing with sandpaper or a synthetic pad will remove it.
    It's easy sometimes to be doing light sanding between coats and remove most of the stain.

    The best stains are spirit or water stains that soak in instantly.
    Most of the Brownell's stains do that.
    I used to use Tandy's water-based leather dye as a wood stain. It too soaks in instantly.
  6. beag_nut

    beag_nut Well-Known Member

    As a former furniture maker may I suggest dyes instead of stains? A wood dye does not accentuate the grain, but does change the overall color. And, repeated application will increase the color desired. I never went back to stains after I tried dyes. An excellent source of them (otherwise hard to get) is Lee Valley Tools.
  7. sage5907

    sage5907 Well-Known Member

    I have been using combinations of 3 different MinWax stains to get the color I want when I re-finish a stock and they include dark walnut, special walnut and gunstock. I would just offer some suggestions. Do the final sanding with 320 and then 400 grid sandpaper to get the stock as smooth as possible. If you try special walnut first and it isn't dark enough you can use dark walnut for the second coat. Apply the stain with a soft rag and then wipe all excess stain off with a clean soft rag. After the stain dries for 24 hours hit the stock lightly with 0000 steel wool to remove the excess stain. Dark stain will not hide the grain if you remove the excess when it is applied and again after it dries. Remember that all of the finish should be inside the wood instead of on top of the wood. I then use two coats of pre 64 Model 70 stock finish for a sealer and remove the excess lightly with 0000 steel wool.
  8. loose noose

    loose noose Well-Known Member

    I agree with sage, on this one. I just (a year ago) finished a Winchester model 12 made in 1931, a standard field gun. I used the Mini wax Special Walnut, and it came out, looking like it did when it came from the factory, or so I've been told, 80 plus years ago.:D
  9. smoakingun

    smoakingun Member

    I have serious doubts that you will get the two pieces of wood to match exactly with stain. Dye will give you more control over the process and do a better job.
  10. Col4570

    Col4570 Well-Known Member

    Stock Dye.

    It is possible to match the forend and stock if from differing pieces of timber.
    Potassium Permanganate crystals in water.can darken a light piece.Depending on how strong a mix you make will give a matching colour.Take care when using it,it stains any clothing and your Hands.Use Houshold bleach to clean your hands.
    I like to use Alkanhet Oil for finishing followed by Terebin driers to harden off the oil.

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