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Darken Rossi stock - ideas?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Southmountain, Nov 5, 2022.

  1. Southmountain

    Southmountain Member

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    I stripped the finish off of a current production Rossi R92. The wood is very light color as you can see in the picture.

    After 2 coats of boiled linseed oil, it looks nothing like how a walnut stock would look - still very light color. See picture of the butt stock next to the unfinished fore end - not much darker.

    I’m not picky and not too invested in this project, just want to try something new.

    What are your suggestions for finish options over BLO for this wood? Would be nice to “replicate” the classic look of an older, darker colored walnut stock.
     

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  2. Bill Raby

    Bill Raby Member

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    I don't think that is walnut.
     
  3. Southmountain

    Southmountain Member

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    yes that’s my point - sorry didn’t word it right. Since it’s a mystery hardwood stock, what are some good options at this point?
     
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  4. Bazoo

    Bazoo Member

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    I’m going off the cuff here. I would surmise boiled linseed oil would inhibit normal wood stain. If it don’t just stain it walnut color. But if it does, and you got gumption, you could probably tint the blo. A google search is how I’d start, but I also would be inclined to try it without googles suggested help regardless, since I most often do things the Bazoo way. I’d take some walnut husks and make a mash and boil that down till it got dark as MaMaw’s coffee, then I’d boil that and the linseed oil together. And then apply as normal.

    Course all this is the way I’d do it with my background as a carpenter and having used blo and other finishes.
     
  5. Snowdog

    Snowdog Member

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    I can't put my finger as to why I chose tung oil to begin with, but many of my C&R rifles that had poor finishes or needed to be stripped and steamed to remove dents have been finished with tung oil. I couldn't be happier with the results. It really brings out the grain pattern is excellent at protecting the wood as it penetrates deeply.
    Some say it's way more expensive than BLO, but I haven't really noticed too much of a difference.

    A caveat for both: Know that you cannot simply throw used rags that you applied either with in the trash unless you want a housefire. As they dry, they produce an incredible exothermic reaction and can spontaneously combust, causing a fire hours after you finished your project. Some lay the rags flat on a non-combustible surface such as concrete, I just set mine on fire... the pyromaniac part of me insists on it.
     
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  6. Demi-human

    Demi-human maybe likes firearms a little bit…

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    Me too.:)
    It’s hard for me to tell from the pic, but European Beech is common for a stock that is not walnut.

    Stain it. Get a nice color you like and rub it in. Or let it soak in a bag, massaging often. The already oiled stock will help it be more even, provided the surface was sanded uniformly. However, because it is already oiled once, an alcohol based stain may soak in better. Since it is a two piece, perhaps wrap it in cloth or paper towel and bake it on a low heat to remove some of the excess linseed oils. Once the color is desirable it can be sealed or coated.
    Of those it’s hard for me to choose. Everything works great when it’s done with care.:thumbup:
     
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  7. 35 Whelen

    35 Whelen Contributing Member

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    Your almost on the right track.

    Cut your BLO with pure gum turpentine, 50/50 is fine. Cut small squares of 320 and 400 wet/dry sandpaper. I use my fingers to apply a sloppy wet coat of the oil. Then dip one of your 320 sandpaper squares into the oil, and start to sand lightly with finger tip pressure. The wet oil will act as a lubricant, and you will not be cutting much wood with this wet sanding. You will be making wood flour from your stocks wood and using that wood flour to fill the pores. The wet sanding will force wood flour into the pores. This wet sanding will cause a black paste to form, from the sanding dust, the oil, and oxidation. By the time the paste forms, you will feel the paper wear out, quit making sanding dust. Get a fresh square of sand paper and continue. Apply a wet coat of oil over the black paste, let set 20 to 30 minutes, wipe off with a paper towel. Don’t be too particular about the wipe off, if you leave the stock a little dirty, it will do you more good than harm. Let the stock sit for a couple of days, then repeat for a total of three coats, then do it again with the 400 grit for three coats, allowing plenty of time to dry. After this apply the cut BLO in tiny amounts with your fingertip and rub it in the wood well. Allow PLENTY of time to dry between coats. Repeat this to your satisfaction. The wood will darken.

    I've used this method many, many times on walnut and hardwood stocks and it always works.

    35W
     
  8. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    I don't really know how well stains using different solvents (alcohol, water, drying oils, mineral spirits) play nice together with different finishes. Usually I try not to mix water-based with anything else.

    I can say that the darkest effects I've been able to achieve to date were with Lincoln oil-based aniline leather dye under multiple coats of Birchwood Casey's Tru-Oil.

    https://www.lincolnshoepolish.com/products/leather-dye

    I once dyed a Marlin bolt action shotgun stock jet black with this stuff and it really stayed that way, despite dings -- the dye seemed to penetrate quite deeply into whatever hardwood they were using. Not very reversible though, and you need to take particular care against spills.
     
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  9. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

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    DSC07629.JPG
    Same deal with my Rossi, (top gun) I tried rubbing in a couple of different stains by hand, and it just would not take it. Never thought about mixing in a dye like Dave suggested. So I gave up and just accepted that I would have a blonde rifle. Yeah, when it comes to wood, I don't like blonde. It's okay on women. It did however turn out really nice, which this photo does not show, and now it's kind of "grown" on me. I finished it with Minwax "tung oil finish", which has nothing to do with tung oil, but it worked real well and a little steel wool took the shine off it.

    Actually, that Winchester underneath it would not take a stain either, and that was as dark as I could get it. The Rossi actually has a better chunk of wood on it than the Winchester, which seems unusual.
     
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  10. Bill Raby

    Bill Raby Member

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    You want to try something new and obviously don't mind doing a bit of work on the stock. Get a nice piece of wood and make a new stock. Pretty easy to carve out a stock for a lever action rifle. $250 gets you wood that beats anything you are likely to see in a gun store. Spend some money and you can make the Perazzi guys jealous. Here is where I have gotten a few blanks. Each piece comes with matching wood for the fore end.

    https://www.turkishwalnut.net/automatic.html
     
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  11. Oldschool shooter

    Oldschool shooter Member

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    I refinished an old Steven's by action that had a light hardwood stock. Even using walnut stain after stripping the wood defied taking a stain. I went to Hobby Lobby and bought a bottle of alcohol based leather die. That did the trick, then used a couple of coats of tung oil to seal it.
     
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  12. robin banks

    robin banks member

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    you could sand the inside of the handguard and try different stains and combos in small sections until you get the color you want
     
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  13. King Medallion

    King Medallion Member

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    If I remember correctly, its been well over 20 years ago, I re-stained my Rossi stock with Dark Walnut stain. It was a near black finish, sanded it bare. Cut the butt flat and added a couple inch's to LOP and a nice cover. After an action job and a Marbles full buckhorn rear sight, its a perfect 92.
    Q3pv5Eb7vbRPURMq90ykrsYDpJ09vrXrUKrbeldMTLfbtJ__wYVBQ_4iTow?cn=THISLIFE&res=medium&ts=1610923310.jpg
     
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  14. Speedo66

    Speedo66 Member

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    Rossi's being from Brazil, I'd be surprised if they are using European Beech. Mine and others I've seen have a grain pattern unlike most common wood we see here. Probably some inexpensive local tropical wood, not necessarily even a hard wood.
     
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  15. Demi-human

    Demi-human maybe likes firearms a little bit…

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    This is true. How cool would it be if they came with something nice like Honduran rose wood. Or an entire stock set of Cocobolo!:)
    Is there Brazilian Beech?:D
     
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  16. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    Lots of good advice in here.

    There are two paths you can currently take. Mix a bit of dark oil based stain with the BLO in a 1 to 20 ratio. Old Masters Dark Walnut would be a good choice. Each subsequent coat will darken it a bit more, but also cover the grain a bit more. This is known as a toner. Usually its done with polyurethanes.

    The second path is to remove the BLO, and stain it before applying a new finish. Stay with an oil based stain if using BLO or Tung oil.

    Consider NGR dyes as well. NGR means non grain raising. They are extremely strong in concentrated form. A bit of black on a rag and touched to a real porous wood will turn the wood black. And i mean black! They can be added to oil based finishes to darken them as well. But they are not something you can buy at Lowes or Home Depot. You gotta go to an actual paint store and beg them to give you a small bit of it. Its sold in quarts and gallons, which would last you 50 lifetimes. If you are anywhere near Topeka, KS, id be happy to help. Matching paint and stain is my job.

    And to whomever mentioned Spontaneous Combustion, thank you! Those warnings are REAL. A local cabinet shop burned to the ground from that exact thing. A local contractor had the rags catch fire in the back of his truck while doing 40 mph. Another caught our dumpster on fire with them. Its also possible our own garage burned from it, though we have no way of knowing. As the solvents evaporate, they create heat. If enough heat builds, the extremely flammable rags go poof! And it doesnt take much heat.
     
  17. whisler

    whisler Member

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    It is not the solvent evaporation that causes the heat, it is the cross-linking (drying) of the oil or polymer that generates the heat. If the rags are spread out (opened up), the heat dissipates fast enough not to cause problems. When they are bunched up or piled up, no heat dissipation and heat builds up to combustion temperatures.
     
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  18. BigBlue 94

    BigBlue 94 Member

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    I understand that on oil finishes, but on straight oil stain? Specifically Old Masters Wiping stain; their penetrating and fast dry stains dont have the warning sticker on em.

    I always recommend a few days in a bucket of soapy water or lain outside to dry. The look on some people's faces when i mention it is priceless. They act like the can will burst into flames if they hold it to close to their body.
     
  19. mgmorden

    mgmorden Member

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    Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil has a dark tint in it and can be applied over BLO. I'd give that a try.

    For most budget guns "hardwood" is typically birch not walnut, and the factory finish is usually stained to a significantly darker color than its natural look in order to look more like walnut. If you ever strip one I'd recommend staining before applying any finish (unless you like the lighter "blond" look of the natural wood).
     
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  20. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    This is probably your best bet for that wood. It is almost certain not to take traditional stain evenly. “Wood conditioner” can help but still leaves a less than satisfactory result if the wood is inferior for taking stain.

    I have seen poplar that looked close enough to fine hardwoods with the right dye application. Of course, this takes experience or at least a bit of trial and error to not make it too dark.
     
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  21. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

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    I’ve refinished birch stocks that won’t take stain by just tinting Tru Oil with oil based wood stain and it works great. The only issue with that method is that it’s basically a tinted clear coat, so as the finish wears from use, so does the color. If it sees a lot of use the finish will require periodic touch ups. Dying the wood using alcohol and dye is going to be a longer lasting solution.
     
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  22. Mauser fan

    Mauser fan Member

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    Blond hard woods are sometimes very stubborn when it comes to accepting stains. I have found success with mixing pure walnut oil with pure linseed oil to achieve the desired finish that I was looking for. About 60% linseed oil to 40% walnut oil with no mineral spirits at first. All hand rubbed and sanded wet and the dust rubbed across the grain to fill the pores in let dry for 24 hours and repeat the process until the desired color is achieved.

    If walnut oil is not available to you use fine walnut saw dust from a scrap piece allowing the dust to become fully permeated with the linseed oil fro at least 48 hours of course longer is better.

    Note that the mix of the oils are subjective and you are able to adjust the recipe to your own liking. Another method is to use pine tar if you want faster results. Just find a piece of scrap wood to experiment with first. After you find the right mixture of stain and get it to the color that you want let it dry and apply the desired finish gloss or satin what ever works for you.
     
  23. Bfh_auto

    Bfh_auto Member

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    I didn't know that. Thankfully I've always used small cotton rags. I always hung them from a rack until they dried. I guess accidently doing the right thing is better than doing the wrong thing.
     
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  24. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    I stripped a Marlin GG I had to find a mix of dark wood and light sapwood.:cuss: On bare wood, I used Fiebing's leather dye and top coated with clear urethane.

    315930_252940418090242_2061900491_n.png
     
  25. trekker73

    trekker73 Member

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    Yup the guys at Rossi Rifleman forums identified the wood as Brazliian rubberwood. It is actually a medium hardwood.

    Rubberwood | The Wood Database (Hardwood) (wood-database.com)
     
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