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Thread: Aqua fortus finish

  1. #1
    Boolit Master
    bigted's Avatar
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    Aqua fortus finish

    Unless I'm mistaken, the very dark reddish finish on old firearms is this Aqua Fortus finish and heated with a flat iron.

    Anyone acquainted with this process and the products needed to do it? I admire this finish a lot and would like to experiment.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  2. #2
    Boolit Master



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    Aqua fortis (Nitric acid) May have been used on maple or other light-colored wood to bring out the grain or curl. However most English and European guns with the red-hued stocks were stained with "logwood." Logwood grows in central America along with Mangroves where sea water meets the land. It has been harvested for staining various things since the 1600s.

    I use aqua fortis on my curly maple projects to bring out the stripe or curl. I don't end up with a nice reddish color except temporarily. This quickly fades to a grey-brown with the curl standing out as a darker brown. I use both a flat iron and heat gun to bring out the color.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master
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    Curator, so where can i find this "logwood" stain? I never heard of it ... is it called another name? Thanks for the info.
    WHEN ALL IS SAID AND DONE...MORE WILL BE SAID THEN DONE

  4. #4
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    Try Log Cabin Shop they carry Laurel mountain forge stains and I think that might be one of the colors.

  5. #5
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    Alkanet Root shavings mixed with Raw linseed Oil is a fine Stock Finish.A little white spirit mixed in will allow it to penetrate.Apply with Wet and Dry Abrasive paper in a circular motion.Apply Terebin Driers with a cloth and mix on the stock surface with the alkanet Oil.Wipe off excess and leave overnight.Repeat all until you have the finish you like.PS Prior to all whisker your bare wood with water and dry over a flame.sand and repeat until whiskering stops.

  6. #6
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    Logwood can be obtained from trapping suppliers. It is how traps are dyed.

    Aqua Fortis can give various colors. If you use it, one coat will generally give a nice reddish color on maple. Multiple coats will make it darker. I use a heat gun to do the chemical reaction.
    I use ferric nitrate, which is what you get after adding the iron to the aqua fortis. Saves several messy potentially dangerous steps in the preparation. It comes in crystal form. I use denatured alcohol to make the mix.
    Ferric nitrate can be found through Amazon or Ebay.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
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    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  7. #7
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    I start with concentrated nitric acid diluted 50:50 with water in a ventilated hood at work (the fumes given off are deadly -- work in a well ventilated area and stay away from the fumes). Dissolve iron until it won't dissolve any more. Dilute with water as needed before using. Be carefult with the acid. It will cause severe burns.

    I neutralize with 1 M NaOH after applying the AF to the wood and heating. If you don't, it will keep turning darker until the wood is black.

    I sometimes have to dilute the AF with as much as 1:12 with water to keep it from getting too dark. Be sure to test it on a scrap of wood from the same stock. The color that you get depends on the wood and may vary. You can always tint with alcohol stains if you don't like the color.

    Here is another excerpt:
    Aqua fortis maens strong water in latin. You don't neccessarily need to put iron in the nitric acid. The iron will give you a reder color. The more iron you put in it the reder the color will be. With no iron you will get a dark brown but each piece of wood will be different. I never use stronger than 10% nitric acid. With the stronger stuff it's too hard to control the shade.

    https://www.bladeforums.com/threads/...ing-it.814843/

  8. #8
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    Alkanet Oil finish.

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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