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Thread: GunStock Re-Finishing, The Roger Method explained with Pics

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
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    GunStock Re-Finishing, The Roger Method explained with Pics

    Here we go..... This is the Roger Method of Refinishing Stocks.. Complete...

    Rogers Method of ReFinishing Stocks, a How To.

    Materials needed:


    For finishing or refinishing a gunstock, these are the supplies you will need.
    1. Friebings leather dye. avail. at a shoe repair shop, a saddle makers shop or the internet, and tandy leather shops. Use the color you want your stock to be. I generally use medium brown with a drop or two of red mixed into it. This gives a nice old world english red stain that is beautiful.
    2. Pumice rubbing powder and Rottenstone rubbing powder available on the internet or Constantine's or a good hardware store.
    3. HUTS plastic polish. Available on the internet.
    4. Brownells 5F finish polish. available from Brownell on the internet or their catalog.
    5. A yard of pure cotton flannel cloth, cut and folded in to polishing cloth squares.
    6. Several sheets of 220 grit, 400 grit, 600 grit, and 2000 grit wet sanding auto sandpaper, available at auto supply store.
    7. Watco Dainish finish oil clear penetrating finish.
    8. a good thinner like SunnySide Specs Paint Thinner or equivalent.
    9. Varathane's Polyurethane high gloss finish or Tru Oil, your choice.

    Some Thoughts Before you start:

    Now if your refinishing a gun stock and it is birch their could be a little shrinkage. If you are refinishing beech their could be a lot of shrinkage. Beech is strong and beautiful, but shrinks more that any other wood when worked with. Walnut doesn't shrink much nor does Maple and Cherry doesn't shrink at all.

    Cherry is the most stable wood you can use in a gun stock. Their are 3 foot levels out on ranches around here that are made of Cherry wood and over 100 years old and still perfectly straight and in real good condition. It seems to never warp. The most beautiful wood to me if your building a gun stock is:
    1st West coast quilted Maple.
    2nd Birds eye Maple.
    3rd Flamme or Tiger stripe Maple.

    Of course their are other beautiful woods and if you want a real reasonable priced wood, birch is very reasonable, stable
    strong and beautiful. Do NOT ever use Oak. It is strong and beautiful but brittle. I made a wonderful stock out of quarter cut Oak, but the first time I fired the gun a chunk flew off it. After gluing it back together several times I threw it away and made one out of Quilted Maple. For those of you who have over the counter guns that use Beech or Birch you will be very surprised at how beautiful that wood can turn out. I refinished a common CVA muzzle loader that had beech wood for the stock. It turned out to be a very beautiful piece of wood under that generic bland brown finish. Again remember beech can shrink when worked with but once you know that you can deal with that with a couple of good wood working tools. Now two things a little off the track. If you need a good wood file, the best wood file available in my opinion is a hoof rasp for horses. Nothing the wood-working guys make beats a good hoof rasp. It will last forever and really cuts.

    Another thing to think about is you are going to get very sticky and tacky feeling hands when you finish a gun stock. Here is how to clean your hands perfectly. Rub cooking oil into your hands completely and then dish soap on top of that completely. When you wash that mixture off, the varnish will come with it. No more ugly tacky hands.
    Last edited by AlaskanGuy; 01-17-2014 at 08:29 PM.

  2. #2
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    Stock Prep

    Now lets get started with the prep work. Take the gun stock off the gun and strip it down so you have just the wood stock. Remove all possible metal. Click image for larger version. 

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    If it has been varnished heavily you will have to strip it off with a good varnish remover. if it just has a thin bland generic finish, you can just sand that off.Click image for larger version. 

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    Be SURE to sand it with the grain and only with the grain. You will be wet sanding with water and 220 wet sanding paper. Never Never never ever sand across the grain as it will show up in the final finish and it is hard to sand out. Again always sand with the grain. Remember you don't have to make the mistakes I did, As I had no one to teach me but books and they left out a lot of things. If their is a crack in the wood that is small deal with it this way:

    Sand smooth on top of it and dry completely, even down into the wood. Stain with your leather dye mixture completely and let completely dry. Now into the crack drip the most thin and watery superglue. Let dry over night as super glue dries in wood a lot slower than it does on your fingers, up to a day. You may have to do it a couple of times as the glue can shrink also. Then when dry sand down to the surface. if the crack is to big, pry open a little and if clean glue with gorilla glue and bind tight with a strong cord. When dry scrape off the excess and sand to the surface smoothly. Always stain the super glue filled cracks first or you will never be able to stain that spot and it will show up like a sore thumb.

    You can also steam out small dents and such with a damp towel and a iron. Just dampen the towel, and place it over the top of the dent, and then lay the hot iron over the dent. The steam will lift the damp wood and swell it, lifting out the dent.

    Stock should looks like this when finished stripping....Click image for larger version. 

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    When you have the stock perfectly sanded, smooth and ready to finish do this:

    Put the gun back together to see if every thing fits. If the butt plate is too big you will have to file it down and then sand the filing smooth on the butt plate. If it is metal the reduced sides will have to be refinished by you. If it is plastic or hard rubber, it is no problem and done. If their is wood in-letting for the trigger guard it may have to be enlarged to fit the trigger guard into it again. The barrel channel should not be a problem except in Beech stocks. If the barrel goes in too tight, open up the channel with 180 or 220 grit sandpaper. Make sure every thing fits before you move to the refinishing. If you don't do it now, you may wish you had.

    Now put a small wood screw in to the area of the butt stock that goes under the butt plate. This is to attach a strong string to hang your stock from the ceiling in the drying room. Click image for larger version. 

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    I use the wash and furnace room in my basement. Here in western Nebraska we have real warm and dry basements as there is low humidity here in this high plains area.
    Last edited by AlaskanGuy; 01-17-2014 at 10:06 PM.

  3. #3
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    Staining with leather Die

    Grab some Plastic gloves for this part. Take your leather dye and soak the stock several times so it really penetrates. Let dry between soakings and you can work the dye into the wood with wet 220 sand paper lightly working the dye into the wood with the grain. The goal here is to not take off a bunch of wood, but to help get the stain deep into the wood. Wash the excess dye off with water before you start dyeing again. When your stock has taken dye deep into the wood wet sand a little so the dyed bare wood is smooth and ready for the Next step with Watco Oil.

    Watco oil.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    When the stock is completely dry really rub in the Watco oil. Wait several min and before it gets tacky wipe off the excess
    oil and hang up to dry for a day. Wet sand lightly again and let dry and apply Watco again. Do this until the wood can take no more. the Watco will just sit on the surface and get tacky. Watco can never build up on the surface, it just turns to gum there. Let dry and lightly wet sand again smooth and let dry completely, no matter if it takes a day or 2. Then move on to the next step.


    Polyurethane

    Now take your poly high gloss finish or true oil and thin at least to half with your thinner. Remember, don't set your stock next to a heat source as that can really ruin a stock. Just hang it in a warm out of the way room. You must keep the wife happy so be neat and clean. Maybe even put a old towel on the floor under the stock. Also never use a electric buffer to sand or polish a stock, do every thing by hand. It is the only way. If you are tired, dont work on your stock that day as that is the day you will make a mistake. You must rested
    and focused or mistakes will happen. Do you know why their are some really nice inlays on some custom or redone gun stocks? Sometimes they to cover up mistakes. A nice mother of pearl or bone inlay can cover up a flaw or mistake. Its been done by a lot of guys.

    With your index finger of your dominant hand rub a little poly finish or true oil into the whole area of the stock. let dry at least a day or more if need be, it has to be dry. Put on several coats like this over several days. Click image for larger version. 

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ID:	93811 The top gun in the pic has the first coat of Poly applied, the bottom gun in the pic is ready to have poly applied. If you have lumps and bumps sand out with 400 grit and water. When you have a good covering and it is completely dry wet sand with 600 grit and pumice stone powder on the cutting surface of the paper and water until the finish is perfect and smooth. If wood has come through the finish, refinish that spot again and again with poly finish until it matches the rest of the finish. Smooth the trouble area when dry just as you did above. now when you have a complete finish that is smooth it will be time to start the cloth polishing. Be sure to let everything dry completely.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Cloth Polishing.

    Keep all you cloths with the different polishes on them separate from each other. Keep each one in a baggy that is labeled to what it is. They last for a long time and get better with age. Take a folded square of cloth and impregnate with furniture oil and pumice powder. Use the furniture oil your wife uses to rub down her wood furniture. This can take quite a while so relax and watch tv and rub your entire stock until it shines. Wipe off the excess pumice powder. Relax again in front of the TV again but this time rub down with a Rottenstone impregnated oiled cloth. When you have finished rubbing the entire stock down, switch to the HUTS plastic polish. It comes in a cream so no oil is needed. At this stage your stock will look fantastic. Now go to the Brownells 5F polish. It is a cream also and needs no oil. rub rub and rub. The more you do with the 5F, the more it glows and gets better.

    You now have a stock that will stand out in a group, is very stable and will last and last.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now if you want a old type oiled finish stock i will tell you how to do that. Do the whole process through the staining. Then don't use watco oil or poly finish or true oil. After the staining go to thinned down boiled linseed oil or some thing like it that is oil and has no resins or Hardeners. Rub in numerous coats of this oil and then rub off the excess after several minutes. When the wood will take no more and has dried for a while rub down with a cloth impregnated with furniture oil and pumice stone powder until you get a smooth soft shine. rub in furniture oil and wipe off the excess and you have a old type stock. Walnut works best with this type of finish. I have a plains Hawken type muzzle loader i built out of plain walnut and i used this method to make it look 1840/s. It is covered in brass tacks and looks like the real thing. Shoots good also. would knock a buffalo down . Click image for larger version. 

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    Have fun and show us your work. Any questions PM me as you may run into a unexpected problems and we can work through it together. Do no short cuts and do it slowly and you will get tired explaining how to do a stock when you go to the range to shoot. Your work will speak for its self. it isn't rocket science and now you know the secrets. I am very anxious to see many beautiful stocks on Cast Boolits
    done after this post.

    Roger1942

    PS... Below are some examples of what you can do using these methods....

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    Here are the examples of what you can accomplish... I have used this method on 4 stocks already, and most of you have already seen my results. I want to thank Roger for teaching me this method, and taking the time to pass on what he has learned in his experiences. Bless you Roger, and thank you for sharing with me, and the rest of the Cast Boolits group... and Thank you sir, for becoming a friend....

    AlaskanGuy

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Now Post yours as you develop your style and skill... a great wintertime project.... I have Completed the instructions so Post away...
    Last edited by AlaskanGuy; 01-17-2014 at 08:25 PM.

  5. #5
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    Thank you, well put together and explained. My bland cherry has hope after all!
    Look twice, shoot once.

  6. #6
    Boolit Master daniel lawecki's Avatar
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    Thanks for the post well done. My gun will come apart tomorrow to start this project.

  7. #7
    Boolit Master
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    Maybe this one will become a sticky. Roger1942 worked hard on it..

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Would it be wise to steam out what a guy could of the dings and dents first, or would that complicate things?

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    Boolit Master
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    Its in there star.... He he

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    sure go ahead, if they are big enough. i would say a cotton cloth between the source of steam and the dent. im glad you brought that up as ive never faced dents, just bad cracks. i encourage anyone who has knowledge of removeing dents to help us out. thanks for the post.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    I added a small piece about dents.....

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    The thing that gets me in this type of thing is the amount of knowledge that goes along with it. I was just in my gun room looking at my stocks wondering if I should or not. With the amount of work I do now do I even have the time to do this.

    I know from my stand point this is something I want to give a whirl and see how it goes.

    Great info and thanks AG
    Click to see what I'm doing and have available, this takes you to the VS (Vendor Sponsor) section of the site. Currently..25Rem,30Rem, 32Rem, 35Rem, 257Roberts, 358Win, 338Fed, 357 Herrett, 30 Herrett, 401 Winchester, 300Sav, 221 Fireball, 260Rem, 222Rem, 250 Savage, 8mm Mauser (AKA 8x57), 25-20WCF

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  13. #13
    Boolit Master shredder's Avatar
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    Nice writeup. That is a screamer piece of curly maple on that caplock! I bet it just ripples in the right light.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlaskanGuy View Post
    Its in there star.... He he
    Yep, Bigger than Dallas, I must have somehow spaced right over that part. lol

  15. #15
    Boolit Buddy huli's Avatar
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    Very Interesting. I have done several stocks and furniture items in my time, But not this one. I will give it a try for sure, Thanks For Sharing the method.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master
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    Well it sure didn't take long to get to the top of the page.

    This has done got my mouth watering, wondering what is under the finish on some of mine. lol
    I really don't care that much what mine looks like, but I've got some old ones I'm saving for the grandson, I will have to try this on.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master AkMike's Avatar
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    Looking Good!
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    Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free. -----Ronald Reagan

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    Should definitely be a sticky!

    Excellent post and very informative.

    Larry Gibson

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    Boolit Master Wayne S's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Gibson View Post
    Should definitely be a sticky!

    Excellent post and very informative.

    Larry Gibson
    Diffidently second the thought on a sticky, to much knowledge to just get lost in the arrives, And after the curly maple , I almost needed a "moment"
    IHMSA # 566 "time sure flies when you're having FUN"

  20. #20
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    i really should have added one more thing. so here its is. if you ever work with cow bone or any kind of bone for pistol grips or knife handles, leather dye of the type and brand mentioned in the supply section above will bring out grain on that bone better than even wood. just soak them in some of it for a while and cow bone looks like figured granite. the knife in the pictures of my guns has a handle like this. ive had more than one person say, how did you fit granite on a knife for a handle. you dont have to finish bone with any sealer or poly. just smooth with wet sand paper so scratch free then soak in leather dye for a night. the next day wipe off extra dye and go to polishing the bone. if it is scratch free just go to the HUT and then the brownells 5f. i think if someone done a pistol grip from cow bone scales like on a .45 auto it would be breathtakeing. they would be explaining forever how they did it. works good for powder horns also. had to add that, johnson1942

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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