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Stock refinishing

Discussion in 'Uncategorized Threads' started by esoxhunter, Sep 6, 2007.

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  1. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Has anyone refinished a stock and forearm? If there are no cracks or major blemishes; it seems, with a little patience and basic knowledge, one could strip, sand and refinish it themselves. Naturally one wouldn't want to try it on a top quality gun, but maybe an 870 or a Model 12 would be an interesting project. Heck, if you screw it up you can always have someone do it right! Ed
     
  2. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Ed- Jim posted a method that will work very well. There are several others but all involve the same basic steps, only the materials differ. First remove the old finish (sanding/stripper). Next apply a stain if wanted. Then fill up the pores with some sort of filler. Next apply the finish with light sanding between coats. Last step, polish with a fine buffing compound.

    When I refinished, I used different sanding methods than Jim and I do not like steel wool. I have two 25 pound of 0000 steel wool I would like to sell Jim. You must decide what type of finish you want. I preferred to finish my stocks with a high gloss finish. This finish will show every slight imperfection. If you learn how to do a high gloss finish, others softer finished can be made by buffing the high gloss finish.

    The easiest way to begin is to have an adviser who will help you through each step, one step at a time. Let me know if I can be of any help.

    Pat Ireland
    Phirel@AOL.com
     
  3. uawelder

    uawelder TS Member

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    Tired of steel wool, then try 3-M scotch brite pads. They will duplicate steel wool down to 0000 level, still messy just not as bad. I use them extensively for both wood & metal work. They can also be reused to some extent.

    Lee
     
  4. rrose

    rrose TS Member

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    lee
    which number or color of scotch brite pads do you use
    thanks
     
  5. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Thanks guy for the input. Basically what materials/equipment would I need to begin my new "venture"? I have numerous power tools, but need a shopping list as to what I would need to get started. Pat I will be taking you up on your expert advice when I get myself in trouble. Thanks Ed
     
  6. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    otnot gives a good procedure. Just to emphsize a few points. Make certain you get every bit of the old finish removed esp down in the checkering, then wipe down a few times with mineral spirits to make certain it's really clean. Some of the factory finishes are really tough, and will take multiple applications of stripper. You can keep the stripper wet by wrapping it in plastic wrap fo 15-20 minutes. When sanding, be very careful on edges and corners to not round them over. Take your time with the sanding. 400 grit works well between coats, you can sand the final coat very smooth with 1500 grit, then buff (by hand) with a bit of auto buffing compound, the white Turtle Wax compound works nicely.


    These two were done by the otnot method. I used Ace Hardware aerosol clear gloss urethane.

    <a href="http://photobucket.com" target="_blank">[​IMG]</a>
     
  7. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    Jim- Light sanding between coats will leave slight scratches on the coat you are sanding, but the next coat of finish should seal these scratches and they become invisible. The purpose of sanding between coats is to get a flat surface with no indentations from the wood pores. This is done by removing finish from the surface but not from the wood pores. I found that steel wool will actually go into the pore indentations and dig them out.

    jnoemanh - A large fluffy buffing wheel in a drill press will make the final job of buffing much faster. The wheel should be very wet with a a light coat of buffing compound. A little liquid furniture polish on the wheel can also help. No more than two light passes on the wheel are required. Also, this method makes a wonderful mess.

    Pat Ireland
     
  8. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    Pat Ireland - Yep, a buffing wheel is quick and messy. I like doing it by hand, but that's just personal preference. I have trouble buffing through corners and edges with a wheel.

    Re masking tape - You're going to be leaving it on for a number of days, so don't use the cheapo tan colored stuff. It can leave a sticky adhesive residue that's a pain to get off. Use the blue, green or purple 3M masking tapes, they're clean release.
     
  9. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    "Joeman. How do you get the finish out of the checkering?"

    I give it good soak in paint stripper, then scrub with old toothbrushes. That's toothbrush(s) plural, because they fall apart from the action of the stripper. May take several applications.

    Yes, just one coat on the checkering. Mask off while applying several coats to the rest of the wood, usually 3 or 4 with sanding between coats, then one (thin)coat, applied with a toothbrush rubbed into the checkering.

    I don't use any stain. Personal choice about that of course.
     
  10. esoxhunter

    esoxhunter Well-Known Member

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    Hey guys. Keep going; I am going to print all this out when I start my "project". However, I probably will be begging for more help once I get into this project. Thanks. Ed
     
  11. jnoemanh

    jnoemanh TS Member

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    Ed - a few more comments:

    "Heck, if you screw it up you can always have someone do it right!"

    No way. If you screw it up, do it over until YOU get it right.

    You have to decide whether you want an oil finish, which gives a semi-gloss sheen, and is somewhat easier to repair, or a high gloss varnish. You also have to decide whether you want the natural wood color, or you want to stain it. If you decide to stain, it may make future repair more difficult, as you might remove some stain when attempting a spot repair. If you look at the photos I posted, the lower gun originally had a very dark stain (typical of 101s). I decided to remove that, and refinish with no stain. The top gun is also unstained. Someone mentioned scoth-brite pads, they're good too. In fact I like them to help remove the old finish after it's been softened by the stripper. I use the red ones, don't know what else they're called. They get gooped up, just throw them away.

    You have to sand between coats. Some sand until virtually all the finish is removed, except in the pores. I just sand until it's really smooth and then apply the next coat. I like to use 220 grit, with light pressure for sanding the bare wood, 400 grit carbide paper (the black stuff) with plenty of water between coats, and 1500 grit, also wet, to sand the final coat before buffing. Others may like 600 grit or 1200 grit or something else. Truth is, they'll all work.

    There is no reason you can't do a job which you'll be proud of, and which will last for a very long time. Think ahead, take your time, don't proceed to the next step until you're satisfied you've done the present step perfectly.

    It'll take you at least a week (drying times included), and maybe 20 hours of labor. Or maybe 30. Or maybe more if you have to start over. Go slow, be thorough, be careful.



    Steel wool, sandpaper, or both? Hmmm. I don't like steel wool, but some do. You can probably do a first class job either way.
     
  12. phirel

    phirel TS Member

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    jnoemanh made a very important point-- "No way. If you screw it up, do it over until YOU get it right."

    Unless you are very talented, it is improbable that you will get a professional finish on your first attempt. I can remember many years ago refinishing the same gun stock 8-9 times before I got anything I was satisfied with. Then after 5 years I looked at the stock again and decided that the finish was not quite right, so I refinished it again.

    I was operating a custom cabinet shop when I was finishing gun stocks. I was set up to finish the wood rather fast. I used hard lacquer and it is easy to get 6-10 coats sprayed on and sanded in one day. Spraying time, 1 minute each coat, sanding time 5-10 minutes each coat. Buffing time 2-4 minutes. Usually I would have 5-10 stocks to refinish each time I started.

    After finishing the wood, checkering time was about 1.5 hours. Then came the engraving time but with engraving, one does not pay attention to time.

    Pat Ireland
     
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