The Firing Line Forums

Go Back   The Firing Line Forums > The Skunkworks > The Smithy

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old July 8, 2013, 11:10 AM   #1
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,264
Gunstock finish - new info

I've got something that should work great on what I'll call 'cheap wood' gunstocks. That would be something like birch, but not the good stuff like Walnut. A buddy of mine had a table that he needed refinishing. I sanded it down to find that it was just plain old white pine. Hmmm. So I dug around in my finishing supplies and found something I hadn't used before. It was Varathane Stain and Poly. It's water based, and the stuff I had was a golden oak color. It was terrific. I was amazed. Get some of that stuff in Walnut and I'd expect that it would turn out very well. Super easy to use. And again, it's just for the cheap woods.
603Country is offline  
Old July 8, 2013, 11:37 AM   #2
Tuzo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 724
Many years ago I used water-based poly as an anticipated durable furniture finish. Not for fine furniture but for use as a computer and office table. After a couple of years the poly began to flake off. Since then I discovered that water-based poly is not the best long lasting finish as initially advertised. Oil-based poly is more durable.

Good thing about water-based poly is the ease of stripping and refinishing with a solvent based finish.
Tuzo is offline  
Old July 8, 2013, 11:41 AM   #3
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,775
The problem with stain within poly is that any scratch will show badly - the color is only in the finish and not in the wood. Best to separate the two and color the wood itself, then use a clear finish on top of that.
Doyle is offline  
Old July 8, 2013, 05:26 PM   #4
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,264
Well, I admit that you both have good points, but if put on correctly it shouldn't flake off unless it's over some old oil finish that wasn't completely removed. As for the wood itself not being stained, that is true. But, remember that I said this is good over a cheap white wood stock, so you wouldn't want to use the stuff on a good stock. And some of the cheap wood will blotch terribly, so using a true wood stain is tricky to get just right and to avoid the blotching. Anyway, just thought I'd mention the stain/poly just in case somebody has a beat up old Stevens (or other) single action bolt gun with a nasty stock. One good thing is that this is fast to do.
603Country is offline  
Old July 8, 2013, 05:52 PM   #5
Doyle
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 20, 2007
Location: Starkville, MS (new to MS)
Posts: 4,775
If you ever need to do this again, the trick to wood that tends to blotch is two-fold. First, you use a pre-stain conditioner. Then, you use a gel based stain. Used together, they will evenly stain woods that like to blotch like pine.
Doyle is offline  
Old July 8, 2013, 05:58 PM   #6
Tuzo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: June 14, 2007
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 724
Recently refinished a Marlin 25 hardwood stock and a Mosin Nagant unknown wood stock.

Marlin: dark walnut stain under three coats of Tru Oil. Turned out a bit too glossy but made a $98 .22 look good.

MG: had a quart of Cetol window and door finish in natural color. One day to cure, light steel wool buffing, and topped with two coats of low sheen Formsby tung oil finish. The MG is no longer an ugly duckling.

Cetol is not a gunstock finish, but I tried it and gave the wood a nice color plus a very durable undercoat. It is the best all-weather exterior wood finish. I have tried them all on our front entry door with southern exposure in southeast Humidville, Louisiana. After 4 years there is no visible wear and tear. Who knows, I may be on the cutting edge of Cetol treatment for gunstocks.
Tuzo is offline  
Old July 8, 2013, 06:47 PM   #7
603Country
Senior Member
 
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 2,264
Well, let me mention that I'm a woodworker and have done quite a few stocks in several different ways, and have finished plenty of wood furniture that I've made over the last 25 years. And I've commented on this forum many times on various ways to finish gunstocks. As for blotching, and control of such, those minwax blotch control materials really don't work that well. Best option is a thinned dewaxed shellac for blotch control. Nothing much else works very well.

All that said, my mention of the Varathane stain & Poly was because it worked so darn well on the cheap pine table that I refinished. If it wasn't for the knots, you'd never know it was pine. And I thought it might work real well for somebody with a cheap wood stock that didn't want to work too hard on a refinish job. Like one of ya'll mentioned however, knock off a chunk of the finish and you'll see the white wood under it. So it isn't a perfect solution to stock refinishing, but I think it'd work pretty well for some folks.

The few times that I've redone the really cheap white wood stocks, they really blotched badly. After several tries and finish removal once again, a surface stain/poly worked best, over a thin coat of dewaxed shellac. They came out real well, but truth is (my opinion anyway) is that it's hardly worth the effort to try to refinish one of those stocks. I did it for good friends, but it was a lot of work for a stock probably worth $10 or less.

I didn't mean to start a debate, but just to throw out another option to folks wanting a cheap fast refinish that'll hold up to some abuse.
603Country is offline  
Old July 9, 2013, 07:24 PM   #8
tobnpr
Senior Member
 
Join Date: August 1, 2010
Location: Tampa Bay
Posts: 2,962
I would tend to agree.
Polyurethane is a coating- it lies on the surface of the wood and isn't actually absorbed by the wood grain like a stain.

As you correctly state, uneven stain absorption is the bane of stock finishing.
With a poly, it's easier to obtain an even finish.

And if it scratches, lightly sand, and slap on another coat.

The downside would be lack of hardness and durability. Tung oils, like Tru-Oil, provide build and protection, in addition to the waterproofing.

I've got a stock for another Mosin-Nagant project rifle I'm about ready to finish and I'm going to use West System epoxy with the clear hardener and a flattening agent to kill the gloss. Not easy to apply, but you can't beat epoxy for durability where coatings are concerned.
__________________
Custom Bent Bolts and Gunstocks for the Mosin-Nagant
www.biggorillagunworks.com
tobnpr is offline  
Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:55 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
This site and contents, including all posts, Copyright © 1998-2014 S.W.A.T. Magazine
Copyright Complaints: Please direct DMCA Takedown Notices to the registered agent: thefiringline.com
Contact Us
Page generated in 0.07264 seconds with 9 queries