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Old October 17, 2012, 01:59 PM   #7
Senior Member
Join Date: January 6, 2011
Location: Thornton, Texas
Posts: 3,286
Paste wax by itself is not a stock finish. It's a good thing to use on top of a stock finish, but paste wax by itself is a miserable water repellent, wood sealer, or finish. Much better to go with an oil finish or varnish of some sort and when that's done, then go over it with paste wax.

Raising the grain is absolutely necessary, as scorch has said. I've taken to a more high-speed approach, in that I'll wet the stock real good and then use a spare blow drier that a granddaughter left here to dry it and raise the grain. Then lightly sand off the whiskers. Do that a couple of times until the grain won't raise anymore and then start with the oil finish or the varnish. The Oil looks better, but the varnish can be quicker. And, you can put on a few coats of Boiled Linseed Oil to make the wood grain more visible and attractive and when dry you can then use the varnish/polyurethane. Minwax makes a Fast Dry Polyurethane that works really well and does dry fast. Just spray lightly, because you don't want any of it to run. It comes in gloss, semi-gloss, and Satin. I like the Satin. I use the Poly on the less expensive riflestocks. On the good wood, I use oil finishes only.
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