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Stock Refinishing Question-(update)

Discussion in 'Shooting Related Threads' started by grntitan, Aug 24, 2011.

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  1. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    My Beretta 682 Gold E Trap has some pretty nice looking wood in my opinion. No its not the high grade stuff found at some of the custom stock shops but i think its quite nice for factory wood. Anyway, Beretta uses the low shine matte type finish on alot of their guns wood. I would like to maybe put a gloss or even high gloss finish on the stock and forearm to possibly bring out some of the woods grain a little more. Can anybody give me some advice and/or products to use? I'm not new to wood finishing but i'm far from educated on it. I'm up for any and all suggestions. Is this something i can do myself?? I'm gonna make this my winter project as i'll have plenty of down time after surgery. Thanks.--Matt
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  2. bluedevil

    bluedevil Active Member

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    Have done many like that, finish that is, you can use Tru Oil, a poly or spray the auto stuff. Tru Oil is easy if you take your time. Strip old finish, stain to your desire, thin T/O 50/50 with mineral spirits for at least 2 coats then start adding thin coats till you get what you want. I use Brownells rubbing compound and you can make it look like glass or by using more compound you can tone it down to suit. Sure more will kick in with their recommendations. Great project, have fun. PS, I have used as many as 20 coats of T/O and the density of the wood will dictate that.
     
  3. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    bluedevil--Thanks for the tips. If i want to maintain the color but just change the gloss what should i use? I mean can i just use 0000 fine steel wool to take the clear down and then apply your recommended Tru Oil??
     
  4. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    I will be one of many. I use standard extra strength paint remover, to remove the finish. Keep applying to keep it moist, as it evaporates quickly. Use a tooth brush in a circular motion on the checkering. For the main finish area I would think you would just need a stiff nylon brush. If it was the hard epoxy type finsih I use a putty knife very carefully to scrape the finish off. Then wipe off the excess and let dry. Sand smooth, avoiding the checkering at all times of course. Then I use a stain and pore filler from Brownell's. You can just use stain and 800 grit sand paper to rub into the pores. Let it dry. I then apply masking tape to the checkering and cut the outside edge of the checkering lines with a very sharp razor blade. You can see and follow the edges because the tape will appear lighter where it is not stuck to the wood, and the blade will guide itself along the checkering outline. Then I apply about 15 to 20 coats of Tru-Oil spray. With a day between each coat. Don't worry about imperfections, runs and dust, unless it looks major. Then I just smooth it out with my fingers. After the final coat I wait a week for it to cure. Then I wet sand the stock with 1200 grit wet/dry paper with my fingers in the curved and small areas, and I use a small sanding block on the main stock to level off the imperfections. Then I buff it with Headlight Lens Cleaner. Then apply a coat of hard automotive finish wax. Take the tape off the checkering and clean out the edges of the checkering with a riffler file. Apply some stain if you remove it during the checkering cleaning process. I then take some Tru-Oil and thin it down about a third with mineral spirits. I apply it to the checkering with a small artists paint brush. Two coats with a day in between. Make sure you wipe of the excess if you get it on the other finish. It is faster if you use the two part acrylic finsih because of the drying time and amout that is applied in each coat, but I feel the oil finish looks deeper and brings out the grain more, due to the fact that oil penitrates the wood surface. The pictures below are of the stock before buffing and the comb piece after the buffing and wax. So, do you think you still want to tackle the job?
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  5. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Matt,

    If you try to take the finish down to the stain you may end up with a blotchy looking color to the stock. It is such a fine line to do it that way. It may be possible to apply Tru-Oil over the original finish if it is compatible. You would have to fill the pores though, and clean off the stock with some mineral spirits.
     
  6. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    " So, do you think you still want to tackle the job?"

    Oh yeah. These things don't scare me. I'm a DIY'er and love the gradification of fixing and building stuff myself. I mean worst case i have to redo it again.

    The comb looks beautiful after your polishing. What do you sand with between coats?

    What do you mean by "fill the pores"?? How do i do that? I thought about trying to do the comb first by just lightly sanding with 0000 steel wool and then applying the Oil right over the existing.
     
  7. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    If you look at your finish you can see little dimples or grain holes. That is what has to be filled so that the shinny finish will not show those marks. No need to sand between coats. Just make sure you have enough finish to sand that you will not go through it.

    That is a great idea to work on the comb first and experiment. What I would do is wipe down the comb first with mineral spirits to get the grime and sweat off. Then take a small amount of Tru-Oil and some 1000 grit sandpaper and start sanding the finish lightly until you feel like it is developing a paste. Then rub it with your fingers unitl it rubs smooth into or fills the pores, or grain. It should feel smooth and soft. Let it dry. Then apply some spray coats to it and let it dry. Don't forget to tape over the metal post holes and cut around. Once it has dried for a couple days see if it will chip off the underside of the comb piece. If it holds then apply another 8 coats or so. Then finish it as described above. If you sand through the finish, you need to apply 5 to 10 more coats. I use a piece of wire and poke it through the tape into the post hole, and hang it from the ceiling.

    One more thing, when you remove the tape, cut carefully around the border with the razor, so that it does not lift the finish off the wood.
     
  8. high 2

    high 2 Member

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    Matt, the pics of your stock looks like an oil finish. If it is, lacquer thinner will take it off. I wouldn`t stain it myself, just let be natural. For the do it yourself guy without spray equipment, the best and toughest finish that I know of is a product called Permalyn sealer sold by Brownells. It`s a modified urethane that leaves a super tough finish. It can be done satin to high gloss. Give it a try. If the wood is porous, they also make a filler that`s a little thicker to fill pores faster. You do want to mask the checkering. It will fill it up and is pretty tough to get out. Good luck, Larry
     
  9. over the hill

    over the hill Active Member

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    Some great methods above.

    Above all, patience is the key. Don't be in a hurry.

    An old machinist trapshooter at one of our local clubs used Tru Oil rubbed with his fingers on a 391 Beretta. Looked like glass. You could experiment with an old stock or a piece of walnut.



    Regards.....Gerald
     
  10. IcySwan1

    IcySwan1 TS Member

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    Matt, here is a link to an excellent process for using Tru Oil.

    http://www.shotgunworld.com/bbs/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=136366&hilit=refinish

    I did two stocks last winter using this advice, but not on my higher grade guns. The stripping and finishing worked fine, but maintaing crisp margins on the chechering interface was a challenge. I opted to to have my "good" guns done by a professional mainly so they could repoint the checkering and also have a better margin between the checkering and the rest of the wood. Good luck. It is an enjoyable project.

    Mike
     
  11. John Thompson

    John Thompson TS Member

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    I have finished close to 100 fancy walnut stocks. The prep is 90% of the finish. One thing I had not seen in the other posts, raising the grain to improve finish and smooth the surface. After having all the original finish removed and lightly sanding the surface, throughly wet the wood then hold over a heat source (gas range burner) being careful to only dry the surface then resand with a 600 grit. Repeating this will raise less of the grain each time. You will enhance the surface appearance and reduce the need for fillers. For finishing, tape off checkered areas with masking tape, using a very soft lead pencil, rub the edge area of the pattern to get a good outline of the pattern then trim with a sharp single edge razor. Finish the checkering after the stock is finished with Tru oil and a soft tooth brush. I tend to like oil finishes because of their repairability. For dents in the wood, with all finish removed, place a wet towel over the dent and apply an iron, repeat until the dent is fully raised.
     
  12. bluedevil

    bluedevil Active Member

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    Agree with John about grain raising but note that English walnut or it's variants have much tighter grain than American walnut. Am walnut takes much more grain raising and filling in my experience. I do not use fillers, I still use the old 50/50 oil to mineral spirits combination for at least 2 and maybe 4 coats and I heat the stock with a hair dryer before each treatment. You want the finish IN the stock/grain before you put it ON the stock.All good comments here.
     
  13. schockstrap

    schockstrap Active Member

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    When you guys apply the 50/50 mix of tru-oil, do you use wet/dry sandpaper to create the slurry to fill pores? Or do you apply a few coats of 50/50 first and the use the wet/dry paper with full-strength tru-oil?

    --Dan
     
  14. JerryP

    JerryP Active Member

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    It could be an expoxy finish and you will regret messing with it as soon as you start to strip it. If you want a gloss finish just rub on a coat of Tru-oil. If you don't like it you can just strip off the Tru-oil and not even disturb the finish underneath if it is epoxy. Glad you took pictures so you will remember how it used to look before you buggered it up. Make sure you understand just how much work it is to strip and refinish a stock before you start.
     
  15. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    "Glad you took pictures so you will remember how it used to look before you buggered it up."

    Glad you have so much confidence in me.
     
  16. bluedevil

    bluedevil Active Member

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    I use 600 or 800 wet and dry between coats, very lightly, patience is the key here. I also don't use a slurry mix, never liked that idea but some do and that is fine too. When you get done use brownells rubbing compound real thick for satin and real thin for shine, up to you.
     
  17. grntitan

    grntitan Well-Known Member

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    Thanks to the kindness of TS.COM member "Jim R", i was provided with a practice stock. He has refused to let me pay for it and shipped for free as well. Talk about a nice gesture from a nice guy i have never even personally met.

    I have spent alot of time practicing my sanding methods and learning what to do and most importantly what not to do. I see now why the stock guys get the money they get in the stock making and refinishing buisness. LOL I'm not discouraged though, and will get my Beretta stock done eventually. The amount of time spent sanding has played heck on my bad shoulder. I may wait until after my shoulder replacement and recovery as i don't want a partially done stock.

    This is the practice stock. I believe it is a Ljutic stock. Anyway, i wasn't smart enough to take before pics but Jim will testify it was not very pretty with some ugly dents and dings. The clear on the stock was coming off and was very hard to remove. Its not quite done but thought i'd share my progress. Remember, this is my first attempt so i'm open to suggestions on problems you see.
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  18. AveragEd

    AveragEd Well-Known Member

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    Matt, I'm no woodworker but I am a fellow Beretta owner who wasn't happy with the muddy oil finish they now use. I elected to have a local stockmaker refinish mine for me and I learned a few things about Beretta wood in the process.

    The first thing he told me was that my stock was made of 300 year-old Turkish walnut (it is Beretta's EELL grade with 30-LPI checkering). He then told me that to speed the finishing process, Beretta is rubbing clay into the pores and then applying the oil finish. The clay is causing the finish to become cloudy and hide figure (mine looked much nicer in direct sunlight).

    He sanded the old finish down (how far, I don't know) and left sanding dust on the stock. He then started with the oil finish application, allowing oil and sanding dust to fill the pores (as much as oil-finished pores are filled). Numerous coats of finish later, I have a glossy stock with more visible figure.

    Below are some photos. The first is a shot of my 687 Silver Pigeon II and my son's three year-older one - mine is on top and you can see how dull the finish was compared to Jason's, which has the oil finish Beretta used to apply when it was specified. I guess that when they elected to do more oil finishes, they tried to make the process less time-consuming.


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    Next are two photos of my stock after it was refinished (a pistol grip extension made of Buffalo horn was also added).


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    Unfortunately, I don't have any "before" shots of the right side of the stock but the fiddleback that came up on the right also is now visible on the left. On both sides, the clarity of the grain is greatly enhanced.

    I hope this helps you and I know you will like your gun's wood a whole lot better when you can actually see it!

    Ed
     
  19. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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    Matt,

    Your refinish job (Practice) looks pretty good. Just remember to cover the checkering with tape. IMO, the checkering has to heavy of a finish on it. Once you take the tape off you only have to seal it, with two reduced coats (50/50)at most. The first coat usually soaks in, and the second one will seal it good.

    Ed,

    Your pictures show why I prefer the oil finish. The oil soaks into the wood and gives it an almost 3D look. It really adds depth to the figure in the wood. Very nice. Jon
     
  20. Stl Flyn

    Stl Flyn Well-Known Member

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