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Old August 28, 2019, 02:20 PM   #1
LCK
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'03 Woodwork

Hi, I've acquired an M1903 Remington. It has a cracked hand guard, so I ordered up a replacement. The new replacement is unfinished, and I've tried to stain it to the level of the original. I haven't come close yet. I've attached a photo of the rifle with the new for arm. Anyone know a good method of dying the new wood to the level of the original stock? Any help is appreciated! Thanks, larry.k
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Old August 28, 2019, 04:42 PM   #2
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I'm not altogether sure. I don't know the kind/type of stain you're using, but my first thought would be to go over it with some very fine sanding and keep putting the stain to it until it darkens up to the lower wood.
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Old August 28, 2019, 04:59 PM   #3
LCK
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Thanks, I'm thinking that also. I think I'll go to HD and get some
really dark gel stain. This wood is walnut and has a very hard surface. I wish
I knew how they finished these stocks back in the day!

larry.k
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Old August 29, 2019, 05:58 AM   #4
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(back in the day) These stocks were dipped in linseed oil. They got darker over time. But; the oil will have an immediate darkening effect. Consider that and do not stain to dark. Go easy on the stain.

My first step would be to oil 1/2 of the underside and see how it looks. It should match close. If not, then yes, try some dark walnut or walnut on the other 1/2 of the underside. Note how the oil effects the wood and try and guess how much color is needed. It should be very little added color.

The Remington stocks were left rough from the factory, not sanded smooth. Dont do any more sanding than needed to match the feel of the bottom. And do not sand the bottom. Linseed oil is considered normal maintenance.
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Old August 29, 2019, 06:09 AM   #5
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I saw your other post. The stock looked pretty good from the distance. The guys who know how can often repair a crack and have it completely invisible. Since you already have a new fore arm, you might try sa repair of the old one. Nothing to loose or call it a learning experience.

Potterfield did a youtube on crack repair. Or try Gorilla glue, figure a way to open and close the crack to work the glue in. Clamp gently. I use rubber surgical tubing as a clamp. I believe that was a Potterfield tid bit.
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Old August 30, 2019, 12:02 AM   #6
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Use "Boiled Linseed Oil" (that's the product name)
heat it to as hot as you can stand it short of boiling (do not boil it), do it OUTSIDE (use a Coleman stove or something like it) don't breathe the vapors

Wearing gloves (due to the heat) soak a rag in the oil and rub it on the (prepared) stock.

Rub firmly, so friction generates heat as well. This helps the oil soak in.

Do this over and over, multiple coats (allowing drying in between) until you get to the color you want. The more coats of oil in the stock the darker it will get.

Done right there is a LOT of hand rubbing and time involved, but the end result will be a close match to the original finish, if the wood is a close match to the original wood.
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Old August 30, 2019, 12:44 AM   #7
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If you have not already oiled it,you might look at Brownells for their milsurp stock stain. t should achieve that plain,dark,dull "dirty motor oil on walnut" look.
And no,I don't recommend dirty motor oil.
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Old August 30, 2019, 08:44 AM   #8
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1903

My American Legion post has some 1903a3’s that we fire at funerals and events. I fixed the cracked forends by forcing a strong epoxy into the cracks. I then refinished them using the boiled linseed oil.
It takes time but is well worth it.
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Old August 30, 2019, 12:39 PM   #9
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An 03 will have 75 plus years of oil and grease and grime on it. That's almost impossible to match. However, regular black walnut stain and some BLO will get you close.
A cracked hand guard can be fixed with a syringe style epoxy applicator and a clamp. Probably best to use a heavy rubber band vs a clamp though.
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Old August 31, 2019, 07:45 PM   #10
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Completed woodwork

I finally figured out how to get the color I wanted. The walnut won't take the color by itself, so I built up a layer of stain color. I applied alternate layers of stain, first expresso, then ebony, letting each layer sit for an hour, then adding the next. I kept this up for 16 hours straight, then let it dry and then added a layer of satin poly to seal it up. Attached is the result, looks pretty good, I think!! Thanks for all the advise!
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Old September 1, 2019, 05:45 AM   #11
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Well done! Nice match.
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Old September 2, 2019, 06:01 AM   #12
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looks ok in the photo, but; you really should have used boiled linseed oil. Over time it will not wear and age the same.

I only point this out because others may find this with a google and decide to copy the idea. I am not in the least bit upset, your gun and all that. For the sake of others who come hear and read - This is not a good method.
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Old September 2, 2019, 09:29 PM   #13
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Looks like a nice color match (which actual in service rifles didn't always have) but how well will it last? Only time will tell.

One thing about the boiled Linseed oil finish, tis not a one day project and then done, it takes quite a while to do it right. However, it is also the one finish that can be easily repaired and restored with the same work it took applying it to begin with. If you get a scratch, exposing light wood, some sanding and oil applied the right way will restore the finish identical to the original
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