View Full Version : riflestock finishing problem

July 23, 2009, 06:03 PM
I've finished a few stocks and not had problems but I just finished a 22 stock that I believe to be walnut (not a wood expert) and all of the end grain came out very dark, no visible grain. I used minwax wood finish, red mahogany. was the product the problem?

July 23, 2009, 06:31 PM
Jerry I also have refinished firearm wood parts. As you probably already know from doing this before the end grain will always be darker. In your case it sounds like that particular piece of wood may have had more 'Spring' wood in it than you are used to seeing.

I know that when folks are cutting/shaping pieces of wood for really high end accents on firearms as well as other items .... efforts are made to have any exposed end grains on an item to be the 'Winter' wood.

The cells of the wood are ALL open on the end grain and will therefore accept any stain much more readily whether it is the softer "Spring" wood or the harder "Winter" wood.

Lowe's has some wood bleach that you could use very sparingly to lighten it up if it really bothers you.

Only other question I might have is: Doesn't a butt plate go over that area anyway?

July 23, 2009, 06:34 PM
what is unattractive to me is the end grain thats in the grip area and the fore-end, the grip is a combination of end and side grain so there is some striping that I dont know if I'll get used to. thanks for the reply

July 23, 2009, 06:39 PM
it is a cheap gun that I was trying to make more attractive to give my son.
see attached.

July 23, 2009, 06:42 PM
MinWax makes a "Conditioner" or in older terms; Sealer that should be applied before the stain. This limits penetration as well as equal penetration on various densities of the wood. Sound like your stock was thirsty for this finish. There is nothing wrong with your choice of finishes if that is what you wanted. You may also have gotten into another hardwood other than Black Walnut. I'd say complete the project as it may turn out better than you espect.

Be Safe !!!!

July 23, 2009, 06:46 PM
Jerry, your stock looks to be birch and some of what you are seeing is old oil that has pentrated the wood in this wrist area. That would have had to be bleached out before finishing. Notice how irregular it is. On stocks like this, I always go very dark and really don't worry about it ... :cool:

Be Safe !!!

July 23, 2009, 06:50 PM
I dont know how any oil could remain as I stripped it then bleached it and cleaned it thoroughly but this might have contributed to it being "thirsty"

July 23, 2009, 06:52 PM
Seriously Jerry... that is so great you're doing that. BTW that is walnut.

I don't know what the time constraints are for this but.....

You may not want to hear this.... but I would really consider re-doing that dark part.

It's really not that hard. Use some extra fine(the finest grit available where you get it) steel wool and just rub it until it lightens up to the shade you like better. There is no need to do any more staining. Just lightly rub it 'til it lightens up.

Also, if you want to really put the finishing touch to this consider using some Johnson's Wax. It's the same stuff you would use on a hardwood floor. Just rub it on.... let it dry 10 or so minutes and shine it. You can do this several times if you like. Every time you apply a coat it will look a little better. Also, you can use it to dress up the barrel , breech, etc.

I have surprised myself a few times refurbishing an old rifle or shotgun.

Good luck with your project.

Your son is a very lucky young man to have a Dad that is going to this much trouble.

I commend you.

( Pahoo is likely correct about the birch)

July 23, 2009, 06:57 PM
thanks guys, I was considering ultra fine paper but you say steel wool, that sounds good. I have some 4 ought that should do it.