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How to do the World's best oil finish

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by dfariswheel, Dec 14, 2006.

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  1. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Use all sand paper dry.

    One method for a smoother finish and to clean sanding dust out and open the grain for a finish is to "whisker" the wood.

    Use a damp sponge or rag to wet the wood a section at a time. While the wood is still damp, use a heat gun or stove burner to heat the wood and force dry it.
    This will cause the moisture to turn to steam and this blasts the sanding dust out of the grain and opens the grain up.

    It also causes tiny splinters of wood to stand up. Use 0000 steel wool or a synthetic polishing pad to gently rub the wood lengthwise.
    Steel wool or the synthetic pad will catch these tiny splinters and cut them off, where sand paper will just press them back down.

    Depending on the wood, you may have to whisker it 2 to 3 times to remove all the splinters. When you dry the last time, don't rub it down.
    This will leave the grain clean ans open for the first coat of finish.

    Be careful not to scorch the wood by over heating, you just want to dry it, and you can easily see it dry.
    Also, after the last dry, use a vacuum to vacuum off any dirt left on the surface.
     
  2. myrtlesheetz

    myrtlesheetz Member

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    wow! this gun looks very awesome:)
     
  3. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Here's how it comes out

    With the oil finish wet-sanding technique. A 1948 Winchester 52B I got cheap with ruined wood but good metal. Got a Wenig rough blank, inletted the metal, shaped with a draw-knife and scrapers, glass-bedded. Was going to checker but my daughter says no. Left-handed stock but righty action.
     

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  4. Khornet

    Khornet Member

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    Model 52B

    Having trouble with attachments. Here's another. Buttplate is ebony I got from a luthier.
     

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  5. xitnet

    xitnet Member

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    Not sure if anyone is still following this thread but found a faster way to completely fill the grain on a new stock.

    I save the sanding dust and use it to fill the grain. Apply a heavy coat of Minwax with a brush and smooth it out with you finger. Then dip the tip of your finger in the dust and rub it in to the stock. After 3-4 hours, sand it down with 220 and then 320 grit sand paper. The finish is not hard and will continue to fill the grain. After two or three coats of doing this, all the grain will be completely filled.

    Had a small split on the left side of the butt on a beautiful new exhibition grade walnut stock and it absolutely filled it up on the third try. Can't even see where it was.

    Thank you dfariswheel for starting this topic 7 years ago.
     
  6. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Filling the grain with saw dust will usually give a "muddy" look to the finish and prevent good absorption of the first coats of finish.

    I whisker the wood by wetting it, drying with heat to make the tiny splinters stand up, then wipe the wood with a Scotchbrite pad.
    The pad will catch and cut the tiny splinters off instead of just pressing them back down like sand paper will.
    I used to use 0000 steel wool, until I realized that steel wool is soaked with oil to prevent it from rusting.
    The oil can contaminate stock finishes.

    After whiskering several times, I dampen the wood and quickly dry one more time but don't rub down.
    When the damp wood is dried with a stove burner or heat gun the water flashes to steam.
    This actually steam cleans the wood by blasting out the sanding dust.
    This opens up the grain so the first coats of finish can soak in deeper.

    However, if you have a crack or defect the sanding dust works very well to patch or conceal the damage.
    Old time stock workers would mix sanding dust with glue to make a filler that would match the wood.
    Today, you can use one hour epoxy to make filler or patch material.
     
  7. omcf

    omcf Member

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    Just wanted to say thanks

    I had never redone a stock like this before I found this thread. Below was a Stevens 311 from @1919, horrible shape, finish mostly off it from disuse.



    Came out beyond my best expectations!
     

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  8. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Very nice job.
     
  9. AFVet

    AFVet Member

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    I bought a TC Renegade in 1976 and am replacing the walnut stock with a beautiful curly maple stock. I plan on using a walnut dye with a tad of red. My question is does this finish darken much with age? Would it have a tendancy to obscure the grain over time?
     
  10. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    A true wood dye will not darken with age, but will gradually lighten, instead. Keep it out of sunlight most of the time and that won't happen.
    After using dyes instead of stains in my furniture business, I'll never go back to stains.
     
  11. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    excellent...keep the pictures coming

    I'll have to try this on my next project, an 1893 Marlin 30-30
     
  12. taylorce1

    taylorce1 Member

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    Long time between posts here!

    Anyway a buddy of mine sent me the link to this post I haven't went through it all but I did my first custom rifle with Minwax Antique oil and have been very satisfied with the results. I don't live in a wet conditions and this rifle will never travel with me to them as it's mainly a pronghorn and range toy.

    I haven't done too many stocks, but the last one I did I used Citri Strip to remove the old finish.

    Here is what I started with.
    Picture080.jpg
    Picture082.jpg
    Picture084.jpg

    Once I got all the old finish off I sanded the stock to 600 grit.

    DSC_1099.jpg

    DSC_1109.jpg

    Then I used Minwax Antique Oil finish cut with thinner about 50/50 and followed instructions I found on Kevin Weaver's (Weaver Rifles) tech page. I don't think it turned out too bad, I've been thinking of sending it off to Alhmans to get it checkered now.

    DSC_0018.jpg
     
  13. taylorce1

    taylorce1 Member

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    Here are the remainder of the pictures.

    DSC_0019.jpg

    DSC_0015.jpg

    DSC_0023.jpg

    DSC_0020.jpg

    P1000408.jpg

    P1000410.jpg
     
  14. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    Nice looking wood and finish.
     
  15. taylorce1

    taylorce1 Member

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    Thanks!
     
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