gun stock refinishing

gun stock refinishing

This is a discussion on gun stock refinishing within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Just picked up an unfinished stock for my 10/22. Fits and looks great after a little sanding. That where my woodworking stops. I sprayed it ...

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Thread: gun stock refinishing

  1. #1
    Member Array sportkcjc's Avatar
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    gun stock refinishing

    Just picked up an unfinished stock for my 10/22. Fits and looks great after a little sanding. That where my woodworking stops. I sprayed it with a clear-urathane to complete the finish, but lost that smooth stock feel. Anyone know what you could use to smooth the finish without actually sanding the clear coat away and dulling it? I was thinking maybe a fine steel wool, but some suggestions would be appreciated. Go Phillies!
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    Last edited by sportkcjc; October 22nd, 2009 at 10:04 PM. Reason: photo


  2. #2
    Member Array itsatoolbox's Avatar
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    Congrats on finishing your own stock!

    Very fine steel wool is a good first try to smooth it out...usually this will solve the issue, but that depends a lot on how you applied the finish, how thick it is, etc.

    If that doesn't work, tell more details about how you find the finish flawed or in what way it isn't smooth.

  3. #3
    Ex Member Array Ram Rod's Avatar
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    Go ahead and sand the clear coat in my opinion. 320 grit, or 400 grit wet or dry. I just finished one of my own actually. Bought it off Ebay...Boyd's Barracuda Bumble Bee. Buying unfinished net me more than half off a factory finished one. Years ago I bought a finished Blaster thumb-hole laminate in pepper.
    I have a total of twelve coats of Deft clear wood finish in semi-gloss on the stock I purchased, and I sanded some in between coats to get out rough spots or runs. Some of the sanding I did before fully cured coat which left a white powder residue simply wiped off with a damp microfiber towel. I asked questions on several forums including this one even before my stock arrived. I am more than happy the way my stock turned out, and maybe it could use another twelve coats whenever I get the urge. But for now, my wife and I have been shooting it! Refinishing a stock will be almost like finishing an unfinished stock in my opinion. You don't necessarily need to take it all the way down...just get rid of the imperfections you want to. The Deft Clear Wood Finish is very easy to apply, and very fast drying times. I did my stock outside when temperatures and humidity were pretty much out of the norm for this type of project. I've also been spending some time at rimfirecentral forums and learning even more about how to's on my 10/22s. Here's my thread on the finishing a laminated stock: http://www.defensivecarry.com/vbulle...inishing+stock

  4. #4
    New Member Array davev's Avatar
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    It is best to apply a few thin coats rather than thick ones. letting each coat dry very well then wet sanding with 600 wet /dry paper and buffing with #0000 steel wool in betwen coats. For the final coat wet sand if necessary, steel wool and then apply a good paste furniture wax and buff when dry. If you need to maintain it down the road just apply another coat of wax.

    This will give you a very nice smooth finish. I do the same all the time with various finishes. Schellac, varnish, lacquer. The trick to any good finish is the rubbing out in between each coat and the final rub and wax.

    Dave Vallone
    David Vallone Restorations
    Antique Furniture Restoration Sarasota / Bradenton Florida

  5. #5
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by davev View Post
    It is best to apply a few thin coats rather than thick ones. letting each coat dry very well then wet sanding with 600 wet /dry paper and buffing with #0000 steel wool in betwen coats. For the final coat wet sand if necessary, steel wool and then apply a good paste furniture wax and buff when dry. If you need to maintain it down the road just apply another coat of wax.

    This will give you a very nice smooth finish. I do the same all the time with various finishes. Schellac, varnish, lacquer. The trick to any good finish is the rubbing out in between each coat and the final rub and wax.

    Dave Vallone
    David Vallone Restorations
    Antique Furniture Restoration Sarasota / Bradenton Florida


    What's your opinion of oil finishes on walnut stocks?

  6. #6
    New Member Array davev's Avatar
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    Oil finises are very good long lasting finishs. All the oil finishes out there on the market are basicly a varnish with different amounts of boiled linseed oil and other solids mixed in. Oil finishes are very easy to maintain and will darken slightly over the years and give a very nice warm color and patina.

    In order for the oil finish to go on and build up correctly it needs to be applied and then sit for a few minutes to flash( almost dry) and then rubbed hard into the wood until the lint free rag glides over the wood and it doesn't feel sticky or wet. Too soon and the oil will be too wet and too late and it will be too dry to rub in nicely.

    After drying overnight this process would be applied many times until you build up a nice deep finish.

    All of the old gun stocks were either finished with schellac first ( much different than the commerical grade at Home Depot) with a varnish top coat or just Linseed oil or some other mix of varnish.

    I would rather use a good schellac base then a varnish top coat. It takes a little getting used to and the varnish/oil takes longer to dry in between coats but if it is done correctly it is the best looking and most durable finish that there is.

    It has been used for hundreds of years and will wear better than any of the new finishes out there. The key to any good finish is the prep work before the finishing begins.

    Walnut is a open grain wood and after I sand my work down to a 400 gitt paper I always use an oil base paste grain filler. You push the grain filler into the pores of the wood and wipe of the excess with a heavy cotton cloth or a piece of burlap. This makes for a good grain filled base on the wood and makes it much easier to build a great finish no matter what type of finish that you use.

    The only finish that I do not use is Poly. I don't like the way it works. It is hard to maintain and will sometimes produce white marks or scratches that go all the way through the finish to the wood are very hard to repair or touch up.

    Stick with the old stuff if you can. It's been around tried and true forever.

    I hope that this helps a little. If any one else has finishing questions I would be happy to help.

    http://www.davidvallonerestorations.com/

  7. #7
    Senior Member Array mr surveyor's Avatar
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    Davev

    Thanks!

    I had a friend leave a gallon of Danish oil with me last year when I was talking about refinishing my old Marlin 336. After complete dis-assembly, I used Formby's stripper and completely sucked all the old finish out. That took 3 different nights to get it down to good, bare clean wood. Then I wet sanded with 320 to knock off the fluff. Next I worked in the first two night of Danish oil in with 600 wet/dry. The next 6-8 nights were with the oil and 1200 wet dry, followed by 2-3 more nights with oil and 1500 wet/dry. Finish polishing was with paper coffee filters (really neat stuff for final smoothing). The whole thing probably didn't take more than 6 ounces of oil, so a gallon would last me a lifetime.

    I have done a couple of antique pieces (one was the shelves of a mid 19th century round glass front china cabinet - with original glass- that someone had "refinished" with sticky shellac) that came out really nice, although not professional quality. The Marlin, though, was the first that I tried oil only. I was half way through the project before I did a bit of research and found that the sanding dust should not be wiped away between coats, rather it WAS the filler needed to close the pores in the wood.

    My 336 really came out great, considering what I started with, and even the added stain to the birch forearm I had to use to make a decent color match with the walnut butt stock came out "acceptable". The oil leaves a deep luster, rather than a "plastic" finish as you indicated.

    You guys that do this work as a profession definately have my respect. It is certainly an art form.


    surv
    Last edited by mr surveyor; October 24th, 2009 at 12:26 AM.

  8. #8
    New Member Array davev's Avatar
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    Mr Surveyor,

    You are welcome,

    It sounds like you really know what you are doing just fine. The sanding dust will fill the pores of the grain very well also. Sometimes on my final sanding with 400 paper I will just lightly wave over a tack cloth and begin finishing without blowing out the pores first and work the dust into the grain.

    The old English restorers used to use a fine pumice and some still do but over several years the pumice will show white in the pores through the finish so it needs to be mixed with a stain or dye first so that doesn't happen.

    The Danish oil is a nice hard finish with a great finished look and it builds fast. I see that you know the joys and pain of rubbing out.

  9. #9
    VIP Member Array automatic slim's Avatar
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    Oil finishes. Most commercial oil finishes contain a lot of varnish or shellec. They do an OK job on furniture but I've found them next to useless on stocks and grips with one exception, Min Wax Antique Oil finish. I used this on the wood of an old Thompson and got excellent results. It is time consuming as I applied 12 coats and 24 hrs drying time is necessary between coats.
    I think the best finishes are obtained using pure Tung oil, not the commercial stuff like Formbys (varnish and shellec).
    I refinished some nice Bocote grips from a Kimber. I wanted a slick feeling, so I sanded starting with 400 grit and ending with 2000 grit. It was like glass. Using pure Tung oil, I applied 6 coats allowing each to dry in between. The end result was a deep clear finish with the grain showing through just beautifully. I couldn't be more pleased.
    "First gallant South Carolina nobly made the stand."
    Edge of Darkness

  10. #10
    Member Array sportkcjc's Avatar
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    getting some good info thanks. Knew I would! Sanded and awaiting the dry time for my next coat. Thanks
    Last edited by sportkcjc; October 24th, 2009 at 08:58 PM. Reason: sp

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