Stock, surface finish

Improving and repairing firearms. Rifle bedding, barrel work, stock replacement and other ways to improve your firearms.

Stock, surface finish

Post by No1_49er » 06 Dec 2021, 9:43 am

I have a mid 1990's Winchester 70 Featherweight rifle that is in need of a stock finish refresh.
Before it's suggested; No, I don't want a "plastic" replacement. I like wood.
Unless I have to I don't want to attack the surface with sandpaper, which never leaves the well defined original edges as sharp as they were.
Does anybody know what chemical will soften the finish?
I have tried Acetone, IPA, Mineral Turps, Citristrip, and a couple of others, without any success. I suspect that it's possibly a Urethane of some sort, but it sure seems to be untouchable.
Any suggestions, or known remedies appreciated.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Oldbloke » 06 Dec 2021, 11:01 am

Hi mate,
Have you tried white spirits? A bit stronger than turps. If that doesn't work perhaps metho or paint stripper.

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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Larry » 06 Dec 2021, 11:32 am

Paint stripper is the go to get the varnish off.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Die Judicii » 06 Dec 2021, 4:41 pm

Spray it with Bushmans and leave it wrapped in plastic for a day or two.
An owner showed me his rifle that had been covered with it after a can leaked all over it.
Stripped it back to bare timber.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by GQshayne » 06 Dec 2021, 7:28 pm

Normal paint stripper, and 0000 steel wool works well and will not damage your walnut. I have done a few stocks like this now.

If you have a dig on here, we had a bit of discussion going on the topic. Last year I think it was. One of my threads on my .17 will have some info too I think.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by No1_49er » 06 Jan 2022, 9:05 am

Sheesh. What a mission that was.
Tried almost everything. Some industrial solvents are no longer accessible to me, more's the pity.
Even remembered that an over-spray from AeroGuard pretty much destroyed the plastic case of a fairly expensive / elaborate piece of electronic test equipment I have, so tried that too. Not a hope.
Bushman; nope.
White Spirit; nope.
Paint stripper of any kind; nope.
Abrasive 0000; nope.
Even tried scratching the surface with abrasive to allow a better key for the solvent/s, to no avail.
Only thing that got "close" was Citri-Strip. A type of gel that eventually got the coating soft enough to be able to scrape it off. But not easily. In fact, required several re-applications. It certainly didn't bubble and blister as one might expect from a paint stripper.
Whatever it was that Winchester used was never meant to come off, but god help anybody who wants to fix a tired stock :(
And I was hoping to one day remove the horrible gloss finish from a Browning rifle and revert it to a much more agreeable (to me) satin finish. I'm having second thoughts about that one, horrid though the Browning is !

The next part of the saga becomes: surface treatment.
I have Danish oil, Tung oil and Teak oil.
What, in your opinion/s will be best, for durability?
It is my intention that whatever is used will be allowed to cure, surface re-smoothed with 0000 steel wool, re-coated, etc., etc., for as many applications as may be necessary.

And when it's all done, I'll post a pic or two of the effort.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Oldbloke » 06 Jan 2022, 9:31 am

My only experience is with linseed oil. I found it easy and relaxing. Although a little time consuming.

A couple of pics here.
viewtopic.php?f=13&t=13864&start=30

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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Bugman » 06 Jan 2022, 9:37 am

I tried refinishing the stock on my old Parker Hale some time back. Not happy Jan. Took it to a local french polisher who (and I don't know what he used) BUT brought it back to bare timber and I finished from there. Mind you, this occurred at least 25 years ago.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Larry » 06 Jan 2022, 9:41 am

I am surprised the paint stripper didnt work. Was it the gel type from digger? It had certainly worked for me on varnished stocks. for just oiled stocks oven cleaner will do the job quite well.

Moving on to the next stage I like to start with a coat of Tung oil. if I want a harder finish I would use Danish oil It has some form of hardner in it. There is also a product from Watsons called Poly wipe which has a very high content oil but also an amount of poly in it.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by No1_49er » 06 Jan 2022, 11:13 am

The stripper gel was CitriStrip. Not a Diggers product.
The original Winchester finish was, I think, some kind of Urethane/synthetic, not varnish.
I'm inclined to be staying away from anything that alludes to "poly" anything. Don't want to go down that track again.
Thanks all
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by GQshayne » 06 Jan 2022, 7:49 pm

Gel stripper I what I used on the poly finishes. But that does not mean it was easy.

I have only used Tru Oil, so cannot comment on others. My experimenting has shown that the finish you end up with can vary a heck of a lot, depending on your method. I have deliberately got 3 different finishes with the one product, juts by trying a different method. I have done 5 stocks with it now.

Sorry, for some reason I cannot load pics up anymore. You will have to have a look at my old .17 Rem thread to see something.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by deanp100 » 07 Jan 2022, 8:20 pm

If you want a more traditional oil finish go Tung oil or danish oil. This will still give you a shine though and it will build up with a lot of coats. I like high shine and finish off with feast and Watson fine buffing oil. It dries hard and can be rubbed back with 5000 grit wet and dry and then buffed with car polish for a high shine.
To reproduce the ultra high shine of the 80’s remington s and winchesters I finish with a 2 pack spray-on car lacquer and again rub back and buff.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by LawrenceA » 07 Jan 2022, 8:31 pm

Traditionally Boiled linseed was used but Tung oild was also comon in the 18th century.
Keep in mind neither really provides much protection.
Tru Oil is a modified traditional Oil finish and is pretty dang good.

I would use that and do a little internet search on its use. Basically it is a coat a day for a week. A coat a week for a month and a coat a month for a year then an annual recoat.
Will give a high gloss unless toned tone but that is easy enough and scratches hide easy with a touch up.

Personally use Boiled Linseed and or Tru Oil. Maybe done 20 or more stocks. But do not expect modern moisture repellant properties.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by grumpy308 » 07 Jan 2022, 9:46 pm

A mixture of pale boiled linseed oil and pure gum turpentine 50/50 will give a very nice hard gloss finish after four or five applications. Let it dry and polish off between coats for an english hand rubbed oil finish. There is the added bonus of a beautiful aroma from the pure gum turpentine while applying as well. A small bottle of the mixture will last for years and do several stocks. I've done many stocks with this mixture and all have come up to a finish far exceeding any factory coating. Regards Malcolm.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Faedy » 12 Jan 2022, 8:25 am

Add to recipe above
Melt equal part bees wax, pale boiled linseed oil and gum turpentine. Let set and apply multiple costs
Buff by hand between coats with 0000 steel wool.
Comes up mint.
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