Refinishing a stock

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DeLo727
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Refinishing a stock

Post by DeLo727 » Fri Jan 20, 2017 5:13 pm

Im refinishing a gun, I have never done it before and its coming out amazing. Looks great. But now I'm at a crossroads. Does anyone have any experience with this? I went through all the steps and the wood has been treated with BLO. Now the conundrum is whether to varnish. I know it can be done, but at an amateur level is it really hard to get it to look right, or is it even really necessary? Im pretty sure I know all the answers but Im looking for a little confidence.

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tekoa
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Re: Refinishing a stock

Post by tekoa » Fri Jan 20, 2017 11:09 pm

All a matter of personal preference as to degree of gloss, feel of finish, etc. If you want a high gloss finish only 'varnish' will do. My preference is for a very low gloss, or at most, a satin finish. If the stock is down to bare wood, I'd use a hand rubbed oil finish, of Tru-oil or Tung, Teak, or Neatsfoot. Easy to do and easy redo in case of dings or scratches.

Real varnish or Lacquer finishes are not difficult to do but take a lot of time and patience to get it right.Polyurethane finishes, also called "varnish" are easier and a bit more forgiving to do and easier to refinish.

If it were me, I'd use Tru-oil on my Walnut stocks and Tung oil on my Maple furniture on my upland guns and game rifles.

I'd only consider a 'Varnish' for guns used in constantly wet conditions, shotguns used for waterfowl........

Anyway you go, it's a fun project...............

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DeLo727
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Re: Refinishing a stock

Post by DeLo727 » Sat Jan 21, 2017 3:54 pm

I was already well into the project when I started it. I stripped it, stained it, treated it with BLO and was not sure what to do next. I talked to several people who agreed that a Marine spar varnish would work because this gun regularly gets wet. I was pretty clear with everyone I talked to that I had treated it with BLO but it didn't seem to be a concern. I wanted a sheen for sure so I decided to go with the varnish. Im not sure yet whether this was a mistake, I only have one coat down and its been drying for a while now and I have a lot more tack than I thought. We will see what tomorrow brings.

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tekoa
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Re: Refinishing a stock

Post by tekoa » Sat Jan 21, 2017 10:36 pm

That's what I meant by having patience with varnish. It may take several days to dry each coat. Put it on very thin and make sure it is completely dry before sanding and adding the next coat. Hopefully the wood was completely dry before the first coat was applied. If it's still tacky in three days, you'll have to remove the varnish down to bare wood, dry it and start over. If you are drying in an unheated space, like a garage or shop, in the Winter the stain may not dry for weeks.

I don't know what "BLO" is but almost anything besides clean, dry wood, will cause stain and varnish to not completely dry.

After stripping or sanding off the old finish the bare stock may have significant amounts of moisture in the surface. I usually leave my bare wood stocks in a room with good air circulation and electric heat for several days before starting final sanding and staining.

Good Luck, let us know how it turns out...............

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tekoa
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Re: Refinishing a stock

Post by tekoa » Sat Jan 21, 2017 11:11 pm

It just occurred to me that "BLO" might be boiled Linseed Oil, if that's correct then the Varnish will be a bit tacky for many weeks because the oil will dry very slowly when coated with varnish. The more coats of varnish you use the longer it will take to dry. It will dry but may take a long time. It will help speed up drying if the the stain you use is the same base (water, oil or polyurethane) as the varnish you are using.

Fastest and safest way to d all of this is to use compatible stain and varnish from the same manufacturer: sand to bare wood, dry wood, polyurethane stain ( like Minwax) dry, sand, polyurethane varnish.

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Urban_Redneck
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Re: Refinishing a stock

Post by Urban_Redneck » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:33 am

I'd strip off the finish you have applied (CitriStrip works great) and go with PRO Custom Stock Oil available from Brownells. Give the end grain special attention as that is where stocks take on water.

YMMV

nwnick
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Re: Refinishing a stock

Post by nwnick » Fri Feb 03, 2017 8:12 pm

I have never refinished a shotgun stock but I have refinished a couple rifle stocks.
I have had great luck using Tru Oil it was recommended to me by the gunsmith who built several guns for me
His method cut a dowel to fit in the barrel channel securing it with a couple small wood screws
Using the spray TruOil spray your stock but not too heavy for the first 2 coats rub it down with 0000 steel wool between coats
For the final coat rub it down with the steel wool then ( this is where it gets tricky ) but he would turn the shower on in his bathroom steaming up the bathroom and apply the final coat. The steam kept the dust down so you wouldn't have imperfections in your final coat
I've done this on 3 rifles and they've come out great
The nice thing about TruOil is if you should get a ding in your stock you can use the liquid and it blends in beautifully

Good luck

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Tooling
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Re: Refinishing a stock

Post by Tooling » Fri Feb 03, 2017 10:17 pm

I’m a fan of Tru-Oil or Dembart checkering oil for a stock finish and I’ve finished numerous stocks with both. For the guns likely to see a bit of moisture from time to time, I like to apply very thin coats of spar urethane atop either of the above finishes.

With judicious treatment, it's hard to tell the urethane treated stock from a non treated stock provided you go one step further.

First, one caveat - the urethane will add a bit of amber to the coloration. Although desirable on some pieces, do be aware of this.

The urethane will also tend to add a three dimensional “pop” to any knots in the wood..which is quite pleasant to the eye, but, that aint’ an oil finish “look”. The way to knock that down is to use some mineral oil on a pc of felt or cotton cloth loaded with pumice of choice for a good & thorough final rub. This levels the finish nicely while also leaving that nice oil finish sheen with the benefit of moisture protection.

Good Luck

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