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Thread: Best gloss finish for a rifle stock

  1. #1
    Boolit Man moptop's Avatar
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    Best gloss finish for a rifle stock

    What would be the best type of clear gloss or semi-gloss finish to use on a rifle stock? I have my father's Remington 700 in .30-06 I inherited that was his primary deer hunting rifle and I would like to bring back to it's full glory by cleaning up the stock. I have a semi-gloss laquer sprayed through a gravity feed gun that I use on wood projects I build. Would this be suitable for a stock?

    Thanks for the help!
    Take care, Moptop

  2. #2
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    My vote would be for a good exterior grade semigloss polyurethane. I've had very good results on gunstocks with aerosol cans of polyurethane wood finishes from the box stores. Second choice would be an epoxy base finish, but it's not going to last as well if used outdoors a lot.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    I painted a fiberglass stock once with automotive paint, and used their clear coat finish. It looked nice, seemed to be a hard durable finish. Then one day I used spray electric cleaner close to it and the finish just peeled right off. Carb cleaner wouldn't touch it, but that other stuff did.

    I have a stock I'm working on now, I'm interested in what other responses come in.

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by moptop View Post
    What would be the best type of clear gloss or semi-gloss finish to use on a rifle stock? I have my father's Remington 700 in .30-06 I inherited that was his primary deer hunting rifle and I would like to bring back to it's full glory by cleaning up the stock. I have a semi-gloss laquer sprayed through a gravity feed gun that I use on wood projects I build. Would this be suitable for a stock?

    Thanks for the help!
    If the guy you inherited it from thought enough of you to give it to you, why don't you reciprocate and give it a Great finish?

    Strip off all that **** and wet sand down to 400, then work your way up using "Boiled Linseed oil" in layers.

    However:
    I realize this is way to much for you, so it is best to buy a good book on stock refinishing. You might actually find it fun. It is a learning experience that could help you through a lot of projects around the home and in years to come and it is very easy and cheap!

  5. #5
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Quote Originally Posted by Changeling View Post
    Strip off all that **** and wet sand down to 400, then work your way up using "Boiled Linseed oil" in layers.
    Boiled Linseed Oil is a classic finish that is really tough to beat for beauty. I've used it on many a stock, and can testify that it can bring out the grain of a nice stock like nothing else.

    It is also virtually worthless for protecting your stock from moisture and humidity.

    A linseed finish was evaluated (along with a bunch of others) and the results were published some years back in the American Rifleman. IIRC, the test consisted of finishing some blocks of walnut with the finish in question, filing the pores and giving it time to be fully dried and cured. It was then weighed on a precision balance, and exposed to water. IIRC, the block was floated in a bucket of some sort for a uniform length of time, taken out, dried and re-weighed. Linseed was the worst finish tested.

    You can expect your beautiful linseed finished stock to wander like a band of gypsies every time it rains or the humidity changes. Your point of impact is likely to shift along with it.

    Me? Now I use a good exterior grade of semi-gloss polyurethane on my stocks.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
    Boolit Man moptop's Avatar
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    However:
    I realize this is way to much for you, so it is best to buy a good book on stock refinishing.
    Strip off all that ****

    I'm just not quite sure how to respond here.
    Take care, Moptop

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Molly View Post
    Boiled Linseed Oil is a classic finish that is really tough to beat for beauty. I've used it on many a stock, and can testify that it can bring out the grain of a nice stock like nothing else.

    It is also virtually worthless for protecting your stock from moisture and humidity.

    A linseed finish was evaluated (along with a bunch of others) and the results were published some years back in the American Rifleman. IIRC, the test consisted of finishing some blocks of walnut with the finish in question, filing the pores and giving it time to be fully dried and cured. It was then weighed on a precision balance, and exposed to water. IIRC, the block was floated in a bucket of some sort for a uniform length of time, taken out, dried and re-weighed. Linseed was the worst finish tested.

    You can expect your beautiful linseed finished stock to wander like a band of gypsies every time it rains or the humidity changes. Your point of impact is likely to shift along with it.

    Me? Now I use a good exterior grade of semi-gloss polyurethane on my stocks.
    This is refreshing to see. I have done a few stocks with B-C Tru-Oil and never have gotten decent results. I did an 870 stock once (like 6 coats, hand rubbed, steel wooled etc. etc.) went hunting in humid and misty conditions and my stock turned white. I thought I did something wrong... It also will flake and peel too. That may be due to layering issues though. It looks pretty when its done though......I think I may try marine spar varnish this next time out......
    Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God

  8. #8
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    I have used a product called Pro Custom Oil by Gunsavr products sold by Brownells. it' is a mix of Tung oil and polyurethane. The tung oil really brings out the grain and the urethane gives it a tough repairable finish. Here is a browning 525 that I refinished for a friend of mine.
    Last edited by fecmech; 09-15-2011 at 12:47 PM.
    "The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools."
    Herbert Spencer (1891)

  9. #9
    Boolit Master
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    Nice, fecmech. I've used tung oil a bunch, and like it. I'll have to try the gunsavr
    product.

  10. #10
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    22 coats of watery thin poly finish.
    Takes about 1 month to achieve this finish.
    It is just as tough as it is beautiful.


  11. #11
    Boolit Master Heavy lead's Avatar
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    Wow Ben, that's just beautiful.

  12. #12
    Boolit Master uscra112's Avatar
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    If absolute avoidance of moisture intake is the criterion, don't use wood at all. Synthetics are far better.

    I remember that A.R. article, but still prefer linseed oil for the beauty of it. And the repairability. I can make a scratch on an oil finish disappear completely without having to refinish all or a large part of the stock. Can't do that with polyurethane!

    Dealing with dust when spraying any kind of "paint" finish is crucial, and may be beyond the ability of a hobbyist restorer. Another reason I like oil.
    So long, and thanks for all the fish.

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Unless you have skills on par with Ben, (which I don't) I have used "Helmsman Spar Urethane" to good effect. Comes in a spray. There is a skill of sorts to using a spray finish. Take you time, sand lightly between coats and finish off with steel wool.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    I used tru-oil on an M1 stock that had a really nice tiger stripe grain pattern, Came out really sweet, Dont know how the finish would hold up in the weather.

  15. #15
    Moderator Emeritus/Boolit Master in Heavens Range
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    Spar varnishes are good choices for gun stocks. I've used them, and they work well. They were originally made to protect the wooden spars of ocean-going sailing ships, so you can be sure they are weather and water resistant. Any polyurethane finish will do well too, but chose a polymer based on "IPDI" (isophorone diisocyanate) instead of "TDI" (toluene diisocyanate) if you can. They will both give you great protective films, but the IPDI polymers are FAR more resistant to UV degradation from sunlight.

    NO oil based finish (linseed, tung, etc) will give really good moisture resistance. Adding a polyurethane to an oil finish will upgrade their water resistance in proportion to the percentage of polyurethane in the vehicle.

    Acrylics will also generally improve oil finishes, but not always. It depends on the choice of acrylic: Some are tough, some are brittle. Some are durable, some aren't. It all depends on what problem the chemist was trying to solve when he selected the acrylic.

    You can take the preceeding to the bank: I am a retired polymer chemist with about 45 years in the paint and coatings industry, and know whereof I speak.
    Last edited by Molly; 08-03-2011 at 01:02 PM.
    Regards,

    Molly

    "The remedy for evil men is not the abrogation of the rights of law abiding citizens. The remedy for evil men is the gallows." Thomas Jefferson

  16. #16
    Boolit Master

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    All,

    What do you think of the old tried and true 30 minute waxed wood finish using beeswax or paraffin? I have seen some stocks done with good preparation and using heat to pull the way into the wood that look very nice when polished. They also appear to be quite water proof.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    My vote is for PURE TUNG OIL...

    Jon
    Col 2:13-17

  18. #18
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    Nice work Ben!
    Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God

  19. #19
    Boolit Master
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    EMC45:

    Thanks,Here is my Web Site, you can see more photos if you'd like.

    There is a link about 7/8 of the way down the page that will take you to 100 + photos :

    http://sites.google.com/site/benguns...tock-finishing

  20. #20
    Boolit Master
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    +1 for Molly, good advice.
    Here's what I would do if I was doing the job and wanted to duplicate the shine of a factory Remington finish. Strip all old finish off, remove all dents gouges, etc and sand everything perfectly flat with no ripples or waves and keeping all edges sharp, stain if I wanted to alter the color slightly, tape up all inletting, barrel channel and checkering (including the end grain where the butt plate or pad goes) and then take it to a good autobody shop and have them shoot it with a two part clearcoat. After you get it back remove all the tape and coat the bare wood with a good finish. Helmsman spar urethane is a good one, but there are others. You could thin Brownells accraglass and spray it yourself, but letting professionals spray it is well worth it. Spraying is a small part of the job, the prep work you do yourself is the most important.
    Good luck with whatever method you choose.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check