It makes me happy to hear that the refinish turned out nice, and I'm glad that we could offer suggestions on how to do it.
I have a couple of well used 22 lever actions that I've had for many years, but had been way too busy to take time to refinish the stocks - but last year I finally just couldn't put it off any longer. I used the method outlined above on the Winchester 94/22 and found that the walnut was terrific. The walnut on the Marlin was no where near as nice, but it still turned out much better than before. Whenever I look at them or use them I'm happy that I finally took the time to do it right.
As for your rifle, you could put just one picture up so that we could see how it looks. And did you give it to that old friend or did it go back in your safe?