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1st Stock Refinishing - Advice/Tips Would Be Appreciated

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by TMiller556, Jan 1, 2012.

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  1. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    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:

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    After sanding:
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    After finishing:
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    Last edited: Jan 1, 2012
  2. busstonedfx@gmail.com

    busstonedfx@gmail.com Member

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    Hell of a <deleted> job man. Good stuff
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2012
  3. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  4. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    Really? Thanks alot :) I tried..
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 1, 2012
  5. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    Great job! I'd say move onto the next project.
     
  6. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    Thank you. And alright I will. But before I start, I'm going to get a refinishing book from the library.
     
  7. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    And everyone please don't hesitate to give me some constructive criticism :)
     
  8. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    That's quite an improvement! Looks nice!

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

    Nice job,
     
  9. Elkins45

    Elkins45 Member

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    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.
     
  10. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    Thanks Sam :) I guess so, but it could have came out better
     
  11. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    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.
     
  12. BrocLuno

    BrocLuno Member

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    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 :)
     
  13. Big20

    Big20 Member

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    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.
     
  14. langenc

    langenc Member

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    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.
     
  15. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    oops i forgot to mention that i steamed out the dents, it worked pretty well.
     
  16. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    By the way, what does wetsanding do? and do I do it with the finish or the stain?
     
  17. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    In one of our PMs I explained that process.

    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.
     
  18. TMiller556

    TMiller556 Member

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    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.
     
  19. Sam1911

    Sam1911 Moderator

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    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!
     
  20. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    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:
    [​IMG]
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  21. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Here are a few more.

    This is the M44 stock I redid with the Pine Tar with a Shellac overcoat.
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    This Remington 1100 Butt stock had seen it's better days.
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    And this Remington Sportsman 78 stock took a little fall but is ready for another hunt now.
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    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.
    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

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  22. VancMike

    VancMike Member

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    Wow, Gunny, you sold me. Care to tell us the secret of repairing the cracks as in the Rem 1100 buttstock?
     
  23. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    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
     
  24. VancMike

    VancMike Member

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    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!
     
  25. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    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.
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    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.
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    Then cut a brass screw to fit.
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    Built dams with clay.
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    Fill with Acraglas.
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    After the Acraglas was cured, I cleaned up the repair.
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