Gun stock refurb

pablo.222

Well-Known Member
Hi

Was going to refurb my gun stock. Wanting bit of advice. On whats the process on working with the wood? Like which oils too choose? Order in which too put them on? If they give dark or light finish? how much coats too give? Stuff like that.
I roughly know how too do it but before i start was going to check if u guys had some tips or tricks on how too achive the best results.

cheers pablo
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
This is the stuff I use, myself. It works great either to condition the wood, or to use as a finish from scratch. I jsut work it in with my palm & polish to a sheen. Takes a wee while, but there are no shortcuts really. Tru Wax is another good one to seal the wood, and if you want a 'best' finish Tru Oilis apparently great. I have it, but I've not used it as I reckon it'll take forever & I don't like a gloss finish :confused:
 

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pablo.222

Well-Known Member
Yes oiled. Taking it right back too the wood with sand paper and re-apply new. Reason is stock got couple scratches amd dings ad like to try take out get rid of it i can.

Its a shot gun im doing.
 

Woodsmoke

Well-Known Member
I'd use wire wool & white spirit rather than sandpaper? You'll probably find the sandpaper clogs up quite quickly. The white spirit will help strip the oil & the wire wool won't excessively mark the wood. Then once the oil has been stripped back any dings can be taken out with a damp cloth & a hot iron. The damp heat should restore the fibres of the wood where the dents are. You probably won't get them all out perfectly, but a few wee dings here & there adds character I recko. Good luck with it :)
 

nuttyspaniel

Well-Known Member
Buy the Trade Secret kit and follow the instructions. There is loads of tips for steaming etc to remove dinks etc on you tube.

Nutty
 

welshwarrior

Well-Known Member
First thing you need is time if you finish in under a month you rushed it.

Oils I make my own but Trade secret is very good for an off the shelf product. Tru oil is carp and has no place near a gunIMHO, it looks ok if done well for a short time but as it's varnished base it will chip like varnish and spoil the look, it's also harder to repair than a true oil finish.

Process strip old finishes and then sand down to at least 320 grit raise grain and knock with 400 grit. Stain if needed, seal the grain and buff with 0000 wire wool until grain is filled. Apply oil and rub up once tacky repeat the oiling once a day for at least 2 weeks or until required finish is reached. Set to one side until oil is hard 10 days normally. Burnish if desired.

You can also bone the wood but good ribs are harder to find and not totally needed.
 

Jim xyz

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

I've got an old parker hale rifle with it's original laquered finish, it's in good condition but I'd much prefer an oiled finish. Are there any top tips for striping it off or just a tin of nitromorse.

Cheers,

Jim
 

welshwarrior

Well-Known Member
Nitro morse has turned a bit limp I've gone to a dip tank but people say they get very good results with B&Q own brand Dial stripper.
 

Simjim33

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

I've got an old parker hale rifle with it's original laquered finish, it's in good condition but I'd much prefer an oiled finish. Are there any top tips for striping it off or just a tin of nitromorse.

Cheers,

Jim
Find a wood finisher that's local with a dip tank. It will save you a ton of time. Explane to the dippers what your looking to achive. Trade secret is a good finish. If you can get minwax tung oil finish that works quite well too.
 

Southern

Well-Known Member
Hi All,

I've got an old parker hale rifle with it's original laquered finish, it's in good condition but I'd much prefer an oiled finish. Are there any top tips for striping it off or just a tin of nitromorse.
Cheers,
Jim
Lacquer was replaced by varnishes by 1920, and production stocks had it applied by spray rather than brush.
Either of these can be stripped easily with just lacquer thinner and some fine steel wool and a toothbrush for the checkering. Use only the finest sandpaper at the very end, to cut the whiskers off after you raise them with a damp cloth.

Modern finishes, such as varnishes with oils and polyurethanes, can be softened up and gently removed with Citristrip. After the big stuff is scraped off with an old plastic credit card, use the lacquer thinner and steel wool as above.
 

bewsher500

Well-Known Member
I still have some weapons grade nitromors from the 80's
really does the trick at shifting nasty lacquers and varnishes

I prefer a darker colour to my stocks and stain before oiling.
wait longer than indicated before oiling otherwise the oil will lift some stain and you will have very tanned hands for a while!

my process:
Strip (chemical and mechanical)
Smooth - sand and "bone" with a stainless steel spoon handle. I go down to 1500 grit, you cant be too smooth.
Avoid wire/steel wool. you WILL have some residue and it can rust if it ever reaches the surface of the end oil finish.
Seal - Grain Sealer is one of the most important steps and cannot be over emphasised IMO
Sand again to knock the sealer back - finer the better
Chase out chequering and/or sharpen up
Stain if you want at this stage
Oil - I use Phillips Walnut oil preperation, I am guessing it has some linseed in it from the smell.
apply with hands until hot, increase the gap between applications the more time you have applied, it will soak up pretty quickly
I once read:
"once a day for a week
once a week for a month
once a month for a year"

not a religious schedule but you get the idea
 

PKL

Well-Known Member
Lacquer was replaced by varnishes by 1920, and production stocks had it applied by spray rather than brush.
Either of these can be stripped easily with just lacquer thinner and some fine steel wool and a toothbrush for the checkering. Use only the finest sandpaper at the very end, to cut the whiskers off after you raise them with a damp cloth.

Modern finishes, such as varnishes with oils and polyurethanes, can be softened up and gently removed with Citristrip. After the big stuff is scraped off with an old plastic credit card, use the lacquer thinner and steel wool as above.
oh yes, brno fox polyurethane finish, FUN to get off!!!
 

nforster

Well-Known Member
Nitro more do a specialist wood stripper in a green can, I used that to strip varnish off beretta and perazzi stocks good tip re very fine 0000 wire wool but an oil finish takes time. But is easy to lift dents and scratches with hot iron and damp cloth
 

325wsm

Well-Known Member
Let me start the post by stating that I am in no way saying any of the above posts are wrong – I am just passing on my findings and experience.

I never use a paint stripper as I find the residues work their way into the grain and stay there and when a new finish is applied may often start to react with it and over time cause blebs and blisters.

I still use all sorts of finishes on gun and rifle stocks –Oils and lacquers, polishes and waxes, Some bought and some home concocted but I have developed one particular method over the years and using that I can now refinish a stock in a day ready to use the next day. The results are fairly hardwearing and the looks are similar to a buffed oil finish. The only proviso is that you need a spraying kit - nothing elaborate – one of those off Ebay for £35 would suffice but as with most things the more you spend the better the kit and the easier the job.

I strip the old finish with a selection of Stanley blades held between finger and thumb at about 45 degrees and drawn across the wood towards me. I use both small and large blades, straight edged and curved for ease of scrapping the contours of the stock. When the greater part of the finish is removed I start sanding. I only use ‘Production’ paper for 40, 60 and 80 grit and ‘Wet & Dry’ paper for the other grit sizes. These papers do not allow the grit to fall from the backing and so you will not get any unwanted score marks as you most certainly will with sandpaper.

Look around locally for the car body refinisher suppliers. Try Yelow Pages. Packets are 25 sheets and cost about £6 if you haggle. Try crumpling a sheet before yopu buy lots as some makes crack whilst other makes flex and crumple. You must have paper that does not crack as that scores easilly. It should crumple up into a ball and still be useable when smoothed out again.

Generally I start with 180 or 240 grit after finishing scrapping and work with the grain through 360 and 500grit or even 600 if I want a better finish on a harder piece of walnut.

For stain I use a spirit based stain. Originally ‘Colron’ now ‘Chestnut’ they offer a small sample selection of all their dyes in finger sized bottles and this is an excellent buy as all the stains are mixable and you will then have an infinite variety of colours at your disposal. One small bottle would easily do a stock and forend.

I use kitchen roll folded to a 2” thick square to add the stain – rubbing it across the stock with differing pressure to add more or less according to the stock colour requirement. Whilst the stain is still wet on the surface you may use a felt tipped marker to add some highlights to the stock and after each addition smear the stain across the top with varying firmness to blend the lines you have added into the background. (A finger is also a very useful tool). With a little practice it is surprisingly easy to make a £100 stock look like a £500 exhibition item. Ensure your additions follow the grain and the original highlights in your stock for best effect.

Now for the ‘Trade’ secret - I use car body finish for my stocks.
Pop into you local car body paint shop and get a tin of Cellulose ‘Blending Clear’. ½ litre will cost about £10. It’s the base material that they add the colour to to get the paint that matches your car colour. I spray the wood with a 90% thinner mix twice until quite wet. There is no need to worry about overruns or trickles as the finish is so thin they all but disappear when dry. This leaves tentacles in the pores of the wood and gives a surface for the top coats to bind to.

Using masking tape cover up the checkering. Run your thumb nail around the outside lines and then follow that groove with a Stanley blade to remove the excess and leave a perfect panel. Do the same around the cutouts for action and trigger guard but here just run the blade along the edge of the wood and then push the tape into the cutout and peel off the excess.

Tie a piece of string in a loop through the stock at some point or insert small ‘eye’ like we used to use for net curtain wire somewhere where it will not affect the finish.

Now spray 2 -3 coats of lacquer at 1/2 hour intervals mixed 60% lacquer 40% thinner all over. Spray in lines the length of the stock, round and round at a distance so that it leaves minute pimples all over the stock. After a couple of circuits the stock will ‘wet’ and now you need to spend a few moments turning it to avoid any runs until it has just ‘gone off’. Hang now and leave to dry on your string loop.

Respray to ensure full coverage and the ability to sand back any blemishes without cutting through. BUT do not build up excessively as the thicker the coat the more it will suffer when knocked latter in life. A thin layer moves with the everyday knocks and dents and will not peel whereas a thick layer may look super especially if buffed to a car body high gloss finish but it is a devil to keep in that condition.

Generally the longer you leave the finish to dry the further it will shrink into the grain so often I use it like it is for a while (its pretty hard within 3-4 hours at room temperature) and actually polish after a couple of weeks. This way you only do the job once.

I sand the stock all over with 800 grit paper until matt. Then with 00000 (5 nought) wire wool (Wilkinson Sword make a 4 and 5 nought wire wool) burnish lightly the finish from end to end as far as possible with the grain until it is starting to shine. Now add a little 3 in 1 oil and do it again – lightly though. You are trying to achieve an oiled finish look. When you get to that point stop. A good hard wax finishes the process. Now remove the masking tape carefully as it will have been coated with the finish and may just lift the edge off the stock. If necessary cut around the edge with a Stanley blade and pull the tape right back on itself ie 180 degrees NOT at 90 degrees to the wood.

A good wax can easily and quickly be made from a tin of the appropriate colored shoe polish and a similar amount of beeswax melted together with a sniff of Liquid Paraffin added for mobility.

The resultant finish is comparatively resistant to knocks and dents and pretty hard wearing.

I have now used aerosol cans of lacquer and am amazed at the results - as good as spraying.
buy from Hycote Clear Lacquer Spray Paint 400Ml (Pack Of 12) Xuk0232 McCormick Tools
but 12 tins = 10 stocks and fore-ends so find a friend or two to share.
 

325wsm

Well-Known Member
If your wood is oily - really oily then you will have problems and the following may assisit..................

Traditionally, some of the world’s most colorful woods like rosewood, teak, ebony and cocobolo are often used to build musical instruments, decorative boxes, jewelry, accents and trim on furniture. Recently though, many of these woods are being used to build whole pieces or sets of custom furniture. As more are being used by not only professional but amateur woodworkers, many people are running into difficulty when it comes to finishing of these woods.
The main problem lies in the natural oils and resins that are contained within woods like rosewood, teak cocobolo, etc. The oils create two main problems.
1. When oil based finishes like varnish, polyurethane, Danish oil finishes, and others are applied over the wood, the finish sometimes takes a very long time to dry. All of these type of oil based finishes dry by absorbing oxygen. The natural oils and resins contained in exotic woods will slow down the drying time by retarding the absorption of oxygen into the finish. Sometimes, if you happen to get stuck with a very oil piece of wood, the finish may stay tacky for weeks.
2. Adhesion. While other finishes like nitrocellulose lacquers, pre-catalyzed lacquers and water based finishes dry better over oily woods, the oils may prevent these finishes from adhering properly to the raw wood.
Below, I have included a few different types of finishes and finishing techniques that I have had success with, but first, before applying any finish, you must perform the following steps to remove any oils that may be on the surface of the wood.
1. After preparing the wood by usual methods of sanding, clean all sawdust off the surface.
2. Using a rag lightly dampened with a quick evaporating solvent like acetone, lacquer thinner or denatured alcohol, wipe the whole surface down. This gets all the natural oils off the surface of the wood, but you must work quickly to apply your first coat of finish, for if you don’t more natural oils will bleed onto the surface.
While many exotic woods are rarely stained, because the natural color of the wood is so appealing, all have to have some type of finish applied to protect against abrasion, moisture, dirt, dust and sunlight. Over the years, I have had the opportunity to try many finishes and finishing techniques over oily woods, and I have had the most success with the following:
1. Shellac Sealer / Natural Resin Varnish Finish.
If you are going to be finishing a piece of furniture that is going to get a lot of use, (like a table) you will want to use some type of topcoat finish that will protect it against abrasion, as well as spills, dirt and dust along with making it easy to maintain. This finish has worked well for me. After wiping down the surface with quick evaporating solvent, (acetone, lacquer thinner) apply two thin coats of shellac. I use 3 lb. cut clear shellac and reduce it 50/50 with denatured alcohol. Apply the two coats by either spraying or brushing with high quality natural or china bristle brush. Let first coat dry about 2 hours before applying second coat. This will seal the surface and prevent any more natural oils in the wood from bleeding back to the top. Let these two coats dry at least 2 days. Lightly scuff sand the shellac with 400 grit paper. And wipe dust off surface. Next, apply 2 to three coats of a natural resin varnish. DO NOT USE A POLYURETHANE OR ANY VARNISH THAT HAS POLYURETHANE IN IT. IT MAY NOT ADHERE TO SHELLAC. I use a varnish manufactured by H Behlen & Bro. This is called Behlen’s Rock Hard Table Top Varnish. It is a natural resin varnish that contains no poly. Reduce each coat approx. 20 percent with Behlen’s Rock Hard Reducer. This works out to 4 parts varnish and 1 part reducer. I use a foam brush to apply this varnish, but if you are used to using a bristle brush and get good results, stick with it. Let each coat dry at least 24 hours (longer if you are in a humid area). Scuff sand very lightly with 320 grit paper between coats. After the last coat is applied, if the sheen does not look even, you may apply a few additional coats until you achieve a uniform sheen. This is a gloss varnish, if you wish to obtain a semi-gloss or satin finish, simply wait about 2 weeks for the finish to cure and then rub out with 600 grit paper and rubbing oil or use 0000 steel wool or ScotchBrite or SunBrite (these are synthetic non-woven abrasive pads that replace steel wool. Purchase the fine type. The light gray color is usually equivalent to 000 or 0000 steel wool. If desired, you may also apply a coat of high quality paste wax after rubbing.
2. Shellac / Wax Finish
On furniture or wooden objects that don’t need maximum protection such as a wall clock, dresser or just trim, I have often just used a few coats of shellac and the applied a coat of paste wax over it. After wiping down the surface with quick evaporating solvent, (acetone, lacquer thinner) apply four thin coats of shellac using the same mixture and process as described in the previous process. Let the four coats of shellac dry at least 3 days, Then sand lightly first with 320 grit paper to remove any dust nibs and smooth out any brush marks. After sanding with 320, use 600 grit to smooth the surface and leave a mellow sheen. Wipe off dust and apply a coat of high quality paste wax such as Briwax or Antique Wax. Apply the wax with a soft lint free cotton cloth, let it haze over, then buff it out with a clean cotton cloth. This technique will yield a very mellow, low luster finish that is beautiful not only to look at but to touch.
3. For A Natural Look- Simply Wax
When I have to finish a decorative wooden object that will not be handled much, therefore needs little protection but also has to look and feel as close as possible to its natural appearance, I simply apply a paste wax only. Here the color of the wax is important. If you are finishing a lighter colored wood such as teak, use a natural or clear colored paste wax so the natural color will not change much. On the other hand, if you are finishing a darker wood, such as rosewood or cocobolo, I suggest you use one of the colored waxes, such as Briwax. If you use a light colored wax on dark woods, the wax may build in the pores and make the pores appear light. Dark wax will blend in better with darker woods and even accent the pores. Briwax comes in a number of colors. Along with clear, it is available in Dark Brown, Light Brown, Antique Mahogany (reddish brown good for rosewoods), Golden Oak and other colors.
REMEMBER. ALWAYS TEST FINISHES AND FINISHING TECHNIQUES ON SCRAP BEFORE USING THEM ON YOUR GOOD WORK.
 

325wsm

Well-Known Member
If your wood is only 'just' oily then...................

My method is a little more drastic but usually 100% successful. The only time I find problems is when there are cracks in the wood. Cracks open with heat and need special treatment so PM me for specifics if you find your woodwork is cracked.

So what do I do?

Before you sand the wood take an oatmeal (breakfast cereal dish) full of methylated spirits and a 1” paintbrush. Using an electric heat gun – the sort like a powerful hairdryer – and holding the one end of the wood heat the other slowly until the oil oozes. Keep the hot air moving so as not to char the wood but heat to quite hot. When there is oil on the surface hold over the oatmeal and wash off with the brush and plenty of meths. Keep heating and washing until no more oil shows. Don’t worry if the surface looks a tiny bit scorched (and I mean just a little) as it will come off with a light sanding.

Now do take care when washing as the wood can get hot enough to ignite the meths.

If it does DON’T PANIC.

You are then unlikely to hurt yourself or the wood. First smother the wood – that’s the important part - then put it down and using your other hand smother the burning hand. Then smother the bowel of meths if alight. Meths tends to burn gently on the surface with a partially visible flame so rarely actually burns your skin or even hurts. Screaming, jumping up and dancing about can easily tip up the bowl, set fire to your house and then you end up with an even darker woodwork than you started with – charcoal black. I keep a couple of damp tea towels to hand just in case and although I have set fire to myself on various occasions have yet to be hurt or damage anything.

The reason I make such a point is so you know of possible consequences and DON’T PANIC if you do set things on fire. It is not a big deal – really.

Now, next day soak the fore end in a tin or dish full of ‘Panel Wipe’ for 5-10 mins. Panel Wipe is the degreaser used by car body shops to clean the paintwork before spraying and costs about £10 per gal. Do not use this instead of meths at the heating stage as this WILL burn you and everything else – its better at it than petrol.

The stock ‘head’ can be easily soaked in a jamjar up to the comb which is usually the only area where oil has darkened the wood.

When taken out and left to dry for 10 mins it will look white. A light sanding will remove this and any browness from the heating. Recut the checkering and refinish. I tend to use a pine colour stain as the walnut is often too dark on such wood and you should be able to pick up a 12 bottle sample kit of colours for about £10. These will each do at least 2 stocks and forends with each colour so with 12 colours to choose from are a super buy.

Hope this helps but if you need more specific detail feel free to pm me
 

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