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Old September 5, 2012, 09:48 AM   #1
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Refinishing a shotgun stock/fore end

I have an older Stevens 311 sxs 20 ga. that the finish is almost completely gone from the stock and fore end. I know its not a high value shotgun and mostly I just like it and want to refinish the stock to protect the wood. What would be the best finish. I have used Tung oil before on other stuff but it gave a pretty high gloss finish, do they make a more satin type of Tung oil? Would a few coats hand rubbed on the cleaned up stock look good?
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Old September 5, 2012, 01:51 PM   #2
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Many ways to skin this cat !!!

Ya know, most of us stop with what is tried and proven. There are always exceptions when going after a particular finish such as military stuff. For the most part, I'm stuck on Tru-Oil by Birchwood Casey. If you go to the Boyd stock webpage, you will find some videos on refinish nad the last time I looked, they too were using TruOil. Even though it gives a shiney finish, you can make it more satin buy rubbing down with 0000 steel wool. ...

I recently bought a Wipe-On Poly, in satin, that I intend to use on a particular Piece. One thing to watch out for, is that whatever you use, is rated for outdoor use. .....

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Last edited by Pahoo; September 5, 2012 at 02:11 PM.
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Old September 5, 2012, 02:18 PM   #3
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This is the finish I prefer....

but most any exterior varnish / like an exterior grade Spar Varnish by Verathane...that is common in a lot of hardware stores will work just fine as well.

Varnish is way harder than any oil finish.../ but a lot of products that are called Tung Oil are really Watco's Danish Oil finish ( they're really a varnish as well ).
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Old September 5, 2012, 02:38 PM   #4
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My personal favorite is Lin-Speed. It can be a little tricky to use and some folks absolutely hate it. I happen to like the no-gloss/no build-up look.
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Old September 5, 2012, 03:12 PM   #5
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I have actually used Tru-oil on an old Glenfield .22 years ago and it worked fine. I have been researching it a little and saw several who say the Tru-oil and a final buffing with #0000 steel wool to remove the "shine". If memory serves me the first couple coats take quite a bit of product the next ones don't use much, I just kept buffing and coating until all the pores were filled. Considering its an old shooter shotgun I guess it won't hurt it. The gun has plain but decent wood on it. Any reccomendations on a stripper and how much to sand the old wood if any?

BTW that was a good informative video at Boyds!


Last edited by Panfisher; September 5, 2012 at 03:18 PM.
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Old September 5, 2012, 04:19 PM   #6
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Go to Home Depot and get MinWax spray polyureathane finish in satin. Hang the stock and forearm from cords or wires and give it a couple of coats.
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Old September 5, 2012, 05:49 PM   #7
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On most stocks, I'm going to quit sanding at 180 grit...going any higher..won't really give you a better finish in my experience.

But when I start on a stock / I strip the finish any dents, by steaming them first, and then "lightly sand" ...starting with a grit that I think will get the scratches out ../without going too deep into the wood or the color in the original stock. If I have to go deep into the stock / then its going to require some color matching in stain...and then the varnish...

Most varnishes will tell you to lightly sand ...between coats...( 220 / maybe 400 or 600 ) ...

On a gun you're describing ...just to get it to a utilitarian look/protect the wood ...I might be tempted to remove the finish / lightly sand with 120 or 150 ...and then put 3 coats of a good exterior varnish on it...and let it be.
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Old September 6, 2012, 05:39 PM   #8
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I haven't sanded a stock in over 20 years, unless it needed a repair or gouge hidden.

I've long learned that the easiest way (I'm lazy) is to chemically strip the stock first (I use Formby's Furniture Refinisher from Home Cheapo, following the can directions).

After the wood's dried at least overnite, I then stain it with Johnson's MinWax Black Walnut (no matter the wood's color), to even out the wood's appearance - and let the stain also dry overnite.

I like to apply several coats of TruOil, one each day, via rubbing in & expanding a small spot of finger-dipped TO from one end of the stock to the other, letting it dry overnite, then rubbing it down with a new pad of OOOO steel wool & then a magnet (to remove steel wool dust) just before applying the next coat.

For a glossy finish, just omit rubbing down the final coat.

I top it all off with paste wax - about a week after I finish the TO coats.

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Old September 6, 2012, 05:54 PM   #9
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you're right PetahW...I don't like to sand them either....

but once in a when a buddy tripped and fell on a sporting clays course...and landed on his hands and knees ( his shotgun was in his left hand) / and the gun slammed into the gravel trail ...and then skidded on the gravel for about 3 feet...( Browning Citori O/U ) ....

I offered to help him refinish it ...and we had to resort to a lot of "steam" to get some of the dents out...and some pretty deep sanding on a couple of the stock and forend edges / fortunately most of it was on the bottom of the stock / not on the comb ...but still..../ its not perfect - but it turned out ok.
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Old September 6, 2012, 07:55 PM   #10
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I'm liking this better and better, strip off the old finish maybe scrub it a little with a plastic cleaning pad to make sure it is all off, I already have dark walnut min-wax stain, dry buff lightly with pad again, hand rubbed tru-oil a few coats. The few minor dents don't bother me and I was trying to figure a way to get the colors right if I started sanding without having to steam them out, now I see. Thank you gentlemen.
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Old September 7, 2012, 12:47 AM   #11
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When I rolled the Jeep Cherokee Jr and I had EVERY gun we owned with us...

His 336C stock was broke in 3+ pieces.... My dad got it together with West System epoxy (No more collector value for the ol' 1977 rifle)... He asked what grade of "shine" Junior expected and junior told his grampa to do it how ever he wished....

My dad found the remains of a can of a finish I will always look for...

It was a polyurethane (likely Minwax) product called stair and tread if I remember right....

It had the right amount of "dull" to look real nice on a gun stock.

It didn't have that "freshly varnished" look I worried about either...

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Old September 9, 2012, 02:48 PM   #12
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I have refinished two of my stocks with Tru-Oil and love the stuff. If you want a satin finish, let it sit overnight and go over it with 0000 steel wool. When I re-did the furniture on my Garand it took about 8 coats to completely fill in the grain. I waited until the very last coat to hit it with the steel wool. It is gorgeous.
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