View Full Version : How to 'finish off' re-finished stock?
05-18-2006, 09:52 PM
Wow, been quite some time since I've been on here.....anyhow
A few years ago I decided to refinish my Rem 700 BDL stock. I followed an article that I found in Guns & Ammo. Basically, I stripped it, whiskered it, and then wet sanded it about 20 times with a mix of something around 2 parts Minwax black walnut stain/3-4 parts mineral spirits. Anyway, the color I have arrived at is just what I was looking for, and the stock is silky smooth. However, during the sealing/sanding process, a lot of the checkering got filled in with the stain. I did not sand the checkering at all, but rubbing the stock down with the stain put layer upon layer that just got caught in the checkering. I would like to put a protective finish over the stain I put on there, but do not want any unnecessary shine. So, I have two questions. What to do about the checkering? I bought an 18 LPI checkering kit from Brownells, should I re-cut the checkering and then re-stain the checkering? What should I use or a final protective finish on the stock. This stock is totally utilitarian as it is for my deer rifle, I just want some protection against scratches and whatnot. Way back when the shooters forum was around, in the gunsmithing forum, someone mentioned a satin polyurethane by Varathane, it was a particular formula, anyone know what I'm talking about? As I said, I am not looking for any additional shine, a nice durable satin finish that will just show the color of the stain nicely will do. I plan on glass bedding the action when it goes back into the stock, if that matters at all. Thanks.
05-19-2006, 05:54 AM
Well, you have a bit of a mess. You need to put masking tape over checkering before doing refinishing as you did. I would suggest, you mask the edges of the checkering, and use an exacto to cut the borders out. Once you have it masked off, use some Zip Strip, applied with a Q tip or such. Let it work, then use a toothbrush to work from the edge of the checkering, towards the middle. Clean up with paper towels, and repeat until it is all removed. Once it is cleaned out, you can use your original finish, cut about 30% with mineral spirits, to reseal the checkering.
05-19-2006, 06:18 AM
Thanks Waksupi. I figured it would take perhaps a toothbrush and some sort of 'remover'. I also thought I could re-cut the checkering, right through the built up finish, as it isonly really filled at the 1/4" or so on the borders ofthe checkering. But I'm afaid the checkering tools will just gum up with finish. I'll try as you suggested.
I really would like to know what a good top coat for this would be. I'm pretty sire I can deal with the checkering, one way or another.
05-19-2006, 11:08 PM
If your are REAL steady, and have some checkering experience,you could probably clean it up with the checkering tools, with frequent clearing of the teeth. My work at Serengeti Rifles involves checkering touch up, and final finishing. I can tell you, it is a very nerve wracking process, from my perspective. Most of the stocks I work on are pretty spendy items. Some of the stocks I do are worth over 4 grand, with out any metal in them. And when they reach this stage, they are nearly ready to go to the customer. If there is any defect at all, they do not leave the shop. And as I do the final rifle inspection and sign off, before they leave the production shop, I can tell you the final inspector is a real prick about any flaws in the finished product. So, I am a bit gun shy about using any metal on the finished checkering at all. Once a custom stock reaches this point, even a fingernail can put an unacceptable mar on the finish, putting it back into the finishing process for up to a week. Just go slow, and don't rush the process.
05-20-2006, 05:03 AM
First of all let me get something off my chest. I detest checkering on rifle stocks! They serve no useful purpose..no I don't believe it helps you hold on to the rifle! It obscures the wood, is very easy to damage and difficult to refinish.
OK... That being said, I think I would try some acetone on a toothbrush and try to scrub that gunk out first. Acetone is a darn good solvent and might do the trick.
I have finished a number of stocks and they have come out quite well. I don't wet sand. If the stock has checkering I strip with "Easy Off" oven cleaner and scrub the checking with the tooth brush. I clean the stripper off the wood with acetone and the tooth brush for the checkering.
I will mask the checkering and then dry sand down to 400 grit, making certain all the scratched from the coarser paper are gone. I will then do a polish with 600 grit emery paper.
I use Tru-Oil to finish. I put a drop on a soft toothbrush and work the finish into the checkering ONE time, I use some magnifying glasses and make certain there is no build up.
I then use a few drop of Tru-Oil on my hand and see how far I can spread those drops with my finger tip and palm. I rub the finish in, and am very careful I don't put any in the checkering. I never use enough oil that it might run or go someplace I don't want it.
I let it dry..really dry and then buff with a soft white cotton cloth and firm pressure.
I repeat the process until I feel all the grain is filled. I then sand the finish with 1,200 grit emery paper until it is glass smooth. If this reveals some ufilled grain, I start the coats of oil again and give another 6 to 10 coats and repeat the whole process.
When all the grain is filled and the stock is glass smooth from the 1,200 grit, I put two more coats on and allow each one to dry at least 24 full hours. I give a firm rub down with the cottom cloth between the coats. I then let the stock dry several days.
The last step is rub down with fine rubbing compound I buy from Brownells,
This whole process will take from two to four weeks depending on the wood.
I have been useing Tru-Oil for 45 years and it hold no secrets and I can predict what it will do. It is also a finish that is easy to repair and touch up if need be.
I have read all about this wet sanding and grinding the slurry into the wood, but I have never done and nor do I intend to start. I don't mind the extra time to fill the wood grain with oil and I want a process I can control and watch step by step. If I was getting paid to do this, I might start to look for short cuts to save time and make more money..but I am working for myself so that is not an issue.
05-20-2006, 02:27 PM
Thanks for the help, guys. This is by no means a 'custom quality' refinish. I just wanted to get away from the super glossy finish that was on the factory Remington stock. So I went as per the article in G&A, and it really turned out nice, I was just wondering what to do for a final protective coat. Sounds like I can try and recut the checkering, which iswhat I'll do. Again, thank you for the advise.
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