Re finishing the Stock of a Gun Questions??

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joshheat25

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
38
I have a few questions about refinishing the stock of a gun. This will be my first time on a Gun stock. AS I have built furniture and finished it but. for a gun stock?

1. Should I use chemicals to strip off the old finish?
2. When re-finishing the gun what should i use? I have hear people saying to use the birchwood case TRU OIL.
http://www.birchwoodcasey.com/sport/woo ... &subcat=11

I was wondering if I use regular minwax polyurathane will the finish compare to the Tru OIl?

Thanx
 

contender

Ruger Guru
Joined
Sep 18, 2002
Messages
21,223
Location
Lake Lure NC USA
I've never stripped one,, but it should be ok.
As for Tru-oil, I've used it a lot on grips,,, and it's different than the polyurathane types. I think the Tru-Oil is MUCH better than any poly type finish.
 

Snake45

Hawkeye
Joined
Mar 14, 2009
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+4020
What kind of gun are you working on, or more specifically, what kind of wood is it? Walnut or birch?

Also, what kind of finish are you looking to end up with, a very high gloss, or something softer and richer looking?
 

I_Like_Pie

Blackhawk
Joined
Aug 24, 2006
Messages
659
Location
Chattanooga, TN
I strip my stocks clean with oven cleaner. It takes tru-oil finishes off real nice.

The trick is to sand as very little as possible...only to smooth surfaces. Again - Sand very, very little.

Tru-Oil is the best in my opinion. It can give you a hi-gloss or dull finish depending on how you prep between coats. Use after stain dries. Once you have quite a few layers of Tru-Oil I have actually gone the extra step on a couple of my guns to seal them up with poly...the ones I use to hunt rather than stare at with the guys at the range.
 

WOB

Bearcat
Joined
Feb 18, 2007
Messages
98
Location
Central Texas
Minwax Wipe On Poly is my finish of choice. Another good one is Pro Custom Oil. Either can be finished in any degree of gloss from matt to mirror and they are far more durable than Tru-Oil. Tru-Oil is nothing but a ordinary old school alkyd varnish with 11% linseed oil added to make it easy to rub-on. It looks good, but that's about all you can say about it.

WOB
 

bub

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
245
Location
NE Ohio
Joshheat25, if you have built furniture or worked with wood, you should do fine. Nothing much different with gun stocks, really.

1. As to stripping, it depends on what you are refinishing. Over the past few years, I have refinished the laminated stocks for a Romy AK, the plain wood that came on the same AK, the walnut on my 10/22 Sporter, the plain (blah) wood on my Iver Johnson M1 Carbine and a couple Yugo Mausers. On all, I stripped with CitriStrip. CitriStrip is a chemical stripper but isn't very harsh, like Zip Strip. If the wood is oil soaked (my Mausers), I've had good luck with CAREFUL use of a heat gun to heat the wood a section at a time to leach out the oil, then wiping it of with mineral spirits. If the gun you want to redo already has a finish, you'll likely have to strip it.

2. The finish. Basically, it all depends on what you will use the gun for. On an outdoors gun, polyurethane might not be a bad idea. Personally, I HATE poly, but it holds up REAL WELL to moisture. I've tried Tru-Oil and don't like it at all. Looks too "plasticky" to me, same as poly. I've had real good luck with REAL tung oil. Not a tung oil "finish" (which are mostly varnishes and linseed oil that mimics a tung oil finish), but PURE tung oil. Thin the first few coats 50/50 with mineral spirits or turpentine, rub it on, let it dry an hour or so and wipe it off. Let it set till it dries/cures and go at it again. After the first, oh, 3 or 4 coats (maybe more, enough to seal the grain pretty well), wipe it on full strength, let it set an hour or so, wipe off the excess, let it cure and keep going. When you start wiping on full-strength coats, it may be necessary to steel wool between coats if the finish looks "blotchy", which means it soaked into the wood in some areas and sat on the surface in others. Keep going till you reach the desired level of gloss, LIGHTLY steel wool one last time, then finish with a coat of Johnsons Paste Wax. Looks VERY GOOD (to me, anyway), pretty durable and is easy to touch up if the stock gets dinged. Only drawback is the time involved. It took me about a month to finish each of these stocks, the vast majority of the time was spent on waiting for the finish to cure before moving on. Only takes about a day for each coat to cure but it adds LOTS of time. Here's my 10/22 with tung oil.

1022-4.jpg

1022-8.jpg


It's really not as glossy as it looks and has a warm glow to it, not at all "plasticky"-looking like poly.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Just remember, take your time and, like most refinishing projects, finish preparation is EVERYTHING! Even the best finish can be ruined by hasty finish preparation.

Bub
 

Pinecone

Blackhawk
Joined
Jan 29, 2007
Messages
970
Location
Maine
joshheat 25, I have been gunsmithing 43 + years and before I started working on guns, I built and finished furniture and refinished also. Absolutely no difference between furniture and gun stocks. Wood is wood! I used Tru-Oil for many years with excellent results. After that, I used Flecto Varathane Natural Oil finish and for the past 10 or so years I have used Poly. All gave me excellent durable finishes and you can finish to any "luster" you want. bub makes a good point. Preparation is "everything" but I'm sure you already know that if you finished furniture...........................Dick :wink:
 

joshheat25

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
38
Thanx for all the prompt response. I plan on Re-finishing a Ruger Air hawk .177 air rifle. The stocks finish is stractched and wasn't done ver well in the first place. In the Future I might get a lamintaed stock for my Ruger 10/22. And am debating what type of finish.

Wob I was hoping to hear a response like yours. I didn't think Tru Oil was anything special.

Bub do you have anymore pictures of stocks you have done with tung oil. I know what poly will come out looking like but I haven't used Tung Oil.

Pinecone yea prep is "everything" I have always used poly, so using Tung oil, or linseed oil or Tru oil. is going to be a first. I saw today in Lowe's "Boiled Linseed Oil" I am assuming thats the same thing as linseed.

I wonder what is on my Ruger 10/22 stock. I bought it last Fall? I am going to do some more research on finishes. But I am probobly not going to buy that Tru oil for $5 for 3oz.

Here are two pics of a gun rack I built earlier this year.

DSC02618.jpg


DSC02620.jpg
 

SAJohn

Hunter
Joined
Jan 6, 2007
Messages
2,300
Location
Terrebonne, Oregon, USA
In earlier days, I used spray on poly. It is tough and water proof but difficult to fix scratches.

When dealing with older oil soaked stocks I use heat plus a thick solution STP (the acid not the car oil).

As part of the prep, I wet the wood and after drying sand the whiskers at least twice. I sand the wood down to 600.

Sealing the pores of walnut is a chore. I cut any oil based finish with minerial spirits and really soak the wood. After each application I let it dry for a day and then wet sand it back to the wood. I then use alcohol to clean it before the next coat. It takes at least three applications to fill the pores.

When drying I use coat hangers to suspend the item inside a cardboard box.

I then let it rest for a week. Then comes four or five coats of Tru Oil with 0000 steel wool buffing and a day drying per coat. I do the applications in the bathroom to avoid lent.

A short amount of work time wise but a lot of drying time.

After a month of cure I apply a good wax.

Here is an example:
BrowningA-5.jpg

John
 

bub

Single-Sixer
Joined
Jul 28, 2007
Messages
245
Location
NE Ohio
Joshheat25, the only pics I have right now are of the 10/22. If the weather cooperates, I'll try a couple of the others this weekend.

Bub
 

joshheat25

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
38
sounds good guys! I am going to experiment with pure tung oil and also Boiled linseed oil. just need to try it out and see what looks the best.
 

Ethang

Blackhawk
Joined
Jun 1, 2009
Messages
695
Location
Michigan
I have used boiled linseed oil on a TC Hawken stock I built. It turned out very well. I have numerous hand rubbed coats on it. A nice winter night with a fine beverage and a fire and it gets another coat. To seal I used a combination of beeswax and neatfoot oil. It has held up very well
 

joshheat25

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
38
Thanx for the link. I wonder if I can repeat that process of wet sanding with Pure Tung Oil??? I ordered some yesterday. I am going to start on my Ruger in a few weeks and work on it over the winter.
 

joshheat25

Bearcat
Joined
Mar 13, 2009
Messages
38
I got the pure tung oil in the mail today!!! that was fast. now it's given me motivation to get started on that stock! Just wondering how I should use this Pure Tung Oil.
 
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