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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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Oldbloke » 05 Apr 2022, 9:33 pm

No1_49er wrote: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



How did the stock turn out?

This reminded me.

https://ssaa.org.au/stories/hints-tips- ... shing.html
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by GQshayne » 06 Apr 2022, 7:55 pm

Oldbloke wrote:
No1_49er wrote: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



How did the stock turn out?

This reminded me.

https://ssaa.org.au/stories/hints-tips- ... shing.html


I have that old article printed out!! LOL It was one of the references I used when working out the best way to do my stocks. Ultimately I found a better one, published by Brownels. It was quite detailed and covered all aspects such as steaming, and staining, filling etc. So more than just the basics. I found using a different technique allowed a much better result from the Tru Oil that I use.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by str8shutr » 07 Apr 2022, 10:59 pm

I had a bit of a job trying to find some quality nourishment for my Enfield's woodwork. Reading up on various advice, I was seeing boiled linseed oil (BLO) commonly referenced as the treatment of choice.

Problem was, that the standard fare on offer from places like Hammer Barn is fundamentally blown linseed oil doped with various organic solvents:
https://diggersaustralia.com.au/wp-content/uploads/sds/Pale%20Boiled%20Linseed%20Oil%20v5.pdf
See page 1 for what's in it.
For further detail of how to understand that "oils ain't oils, Sol", I found this useful explanation from the bowels of the interweb:
http://www.seatons-uk.co.uk/home.aspx?s=62&r=109&p=453

So, I gave Diggers a swerve and went for Swedish gear:
https://linoljeprodukter.se/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/SDS-Allback-Linseed-Oil-2021-01-20.pdf
Refer page 2 for formulation detail.
Those Swedes are pretty emphatic when it comes to the question of solvents, i.e. they don't use any:
https://linoljeprodukter.se/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/webLilla-Handboken-Eng.pdf
Take a look at p.5.

The Allbäck linseed oil is available locally from an outfit in Sydney. Just do a web search.

I thought I'd pass this on, to add it into the mix and share.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Oldbloke » 08 Apr 2022, 5:38 am

I used diggers on the 2 stocks I did. Come up nice.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by dnedative » 08 Apr 2022, 4:36 pm

Boiled linseed oil mixed with some turps warmed with a bit of beeswax mixed in is my go-to military stock oil.
I wouldn't overthink it, never had any issues with diggers BLO but they have the regular old untreated stuff if you want to use that.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Florey55 » 30 Apr 2022, 8:01 am

deanp100 wrote: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.


Instead of using 2 pac car lacquer, try this stuff -https://www.amazon.com.au/CrystaLac-Solids-Polyurethane-Instrument-Finish/dp/B075TSG35K?th=1

It dries in minutes, is self-levelling (no thick or thin areas) and is amazing.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by deanp100 » 01 May 2022, 3:37 pm

Florey55 wrote:
deanp100 wrote: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.


Instead of using 2 pac car lacquer, try this stuff -https://www.amazon.com.au/CrystaLac-Solids-Polyurethane-Instrument-Finish/dp/B075TSG35K?th=1

It dries in minutes, is self-levelling (no thick or thin areas) and is amazing.

Cheers. I will try that. It sounds good.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by MtnMan » 02 May 2022, 5:44 am

Florey55 wrote:
deanp100 wrote: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.


Instead of using 2 pac car lacquer, try this stuff -https://www.amazon.com.au/CrystaLac-Solids-Polyurethane-Instrument-Finish/dp/B075TSG35K?th=1

It dries in minutes, is self-levelling (no thick or thin areas) and is amazing.



How do you find it for chemical resistance? can you rub it with acetone after it's cured with no effect? durability against scratches etc? UV exposure?

I have been using POR15 Glisten PC/2K urethane for years for refinishing my wooden recurve bows etc. Also used it on a pair of canoe paddles I made and a gunstock.
I'm currently refinishing the stock on my M70 featherweight .270win.
It has been a great product but like most good things it is no longer being made. I managed to source a small amount for my featherweight but it might be the last job I can use it on so I'm looking for an alternative.

must be a hard, durable, scratch and chemical resistant, UV stable finish.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Florey55 » 02 May 2022, 3:58 pm

Yes to all those points. It gives a wonderful finish like you wouldn't believe. From their website -

Brite Tone Instrument Finish is a High Solids, Super Hard, Scratch resistant, Clear Finish with exceptional Clarity. It is by far CrystaLac's hardest and clearest top coat. Brite Tone will build to a high depth very quickly due to its high solids content and will not leave a blue cast on dark exotic wood. Adheres to wood, metal, plastic and glass.

Excellent for use on Instruments, Tumblers, Tables, Bar Tops, Tumblers, Bowl Turning & More...

Water Clean up - All brushes can be rinsed with Water!
Easy to Use - Can be Brushed or Sprayed. Self leveling.
Non-yellowing
Environmentally Safe - Low V.O.C - No Toxic Chemicals used and No Obnoxious Paint Odor.
Quick Drying - 1 to 2 Hours. Can be re-coated every 3 - 4 hours.
Scratch and Chemical Resistant.
Made in the USA
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by MtnMan » 03 May 2022, 6:06 am

Thanks, I'll have to try it
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Florey55 » 03 May 2022, 10:20 am

MtnMan wrote:Thanks, I'll have to try it


You won't be disappointed in it. Buy some now whilst it's still around. I googled POR15 Glisten PC/2K and can't believe how much it costs !
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by MtnMan » 03 May 2022, 3:26 pm

yeah! if this Brite Tone does what I want it to then I would buy a bucket of the stuff.
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Re: Stock, surface finish

Post by Florey55 » 03 May 2022, 5:59 pm

MtnMan wrote:yeah! if this Brite Tone does what I want it to then I would buy a bucket of the stuff.


It does. It's rare that something I buy exceeds my expectations - this does, in buckets !

Ditch that crappy 2 pac junk you're been using and get some Brite Tone now.

Some reviews below, to further tempt you :)

https://www.reddit.com/r/Luthier/commen ... eap_brush/

https://thecrystalacstore.com/products/ ... ent-finish

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iFtsXkHCbgM
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