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Thread: Stock Finish Clean Up, how would you do it?

  1. #1
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    Stock Finish Clean Up, how would you do it?

    I have managed to bring home two rifles that bubba has slathered polyurethane on the stocks. Both look terrible.
    One is a TC Hawken that seems to have a great original finish under the poly. The applied finish is streaked and thin in spots. I am not thinking I want to strip this stock totally and start over. I would rather clean it it up and stay original.

    Two is a Winchester 52 stock and who knows where it's been. It has a complete poly finish that is rough and bubbly, not applied well. This stock could be stripped or cleaned up doesn't matter.

    My thoughts are sanding with 400 grit and 600 grit then completing the job with Brownells stock rubbing compound. It's going to take a lot of sanding to remove all the ridges and brush strokes on the TC stock.
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  2. #2
    If you like sanding that goop off, go for it. I'd try to find one of those furniture stripping places nearby. We had a guy local called "Dip n Strip" fast, cleaner & neat. Comes back dry as a bone, ready to sand for re-finish. mike in ct

  3. #3
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    I just did an old model 50 winchester 12ga. I used citristrip. It had a thick coat of something on it. I highly recommend the citri strip. Two coats and it was done.
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    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  4. #4
    Boolit Master
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    I try to avoid sandpaper at all cost unless fitting. If fitment is good, I would chemical strip and #0000 wool prior to stain, Tru-oil, etc.. Great light project a whole lot less work than surgical sanding and much nicer in the end IMHO.

  5. #5
    Boolit Master Wheelguns 1961's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gtek View Post
    I try to avoid sandpaper at all cost unless fitting. If fitment is good, I would chemical strip and #0000 wool prior to stain, Tru-oil, etc.. Great light project a whole lot less work than surgical sanding and much nicer in the end IMHO.
    This is basically what I did. After it was stripped, I used steel wool, but since my stock was rough, I worked up from courser to finer steel wool. Next, I put two coats of tru oil thinned with mineral spirits. Then, I added about ten coats of full strength tru oil, sanding with 0000 steel wool between coats. After the last coat, I hit it with the 0000 steel wool for the satin finish.
    Due to the price of primers, warning shots will no longer be given!

  6. #6
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    2 comments. do not sand finish off. use paint stripper. next comment: this will make some mad, but here it goes. do not use steel wool between coats. it rolls over some of the higher spots. cut between coats with 320 or 400 "no load" paper. yellow stuff at Lowes. you can put as many as 4 hand rubbed coats on between sanding. i have refinished many hundreds of gunstocks before retirement, so, i know what works best. oh, i forgot to mention that when sanding, use some type of sanding block . mine are 1/4 in. thick neopreme or hard rubber that is flexible; cut to various sizes.

  7. #7
    Boolit Grand Master

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    I would strip off what you can then , sand as needed with blocked sand paper. I dont care for steel wool it rounds corners and makes details fuzzy looking. Tru oi makes a nice easily repairable finish. I thin it 50/50 put on a light coat then wet sand it in with finer and finer grits. This helps to fill wood grain. after 3-4 coats ( or the sanding is done) I go to full strength and hand rub it in. Inside inletting I coat heavy with the 50/50 brushed on and let to soak in. Dont forget to seal the inletting.

    Now is also the time to bed them while they are being refinished. I have bedded several of the TC traditional styles Hawkins and renegades. It did improve accuracy and sealed the barrel channel very well. Pivk up a wedge and thin it slightly,

  8. #8
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    The TC has a good original finish under the gobbered poly, so I am reluctant to totally strip it. The idea of sanding through the poly but leaving the original finish looks promising. Both are very similar in appearance.

    The Winchester needs redoing and stripping is a good idea. The coat of poly on it is bad enough that polishing it out may not be worth the effort.
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  9. #9
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    Pressman: Save yourself a bunch of work and just use paint stripper on both stocks and get all the goo off them. It will take you 1 hour to do both and then you can start over with the color you want to end up with as opposed to trying to sand Polyurethane which loads sand paper instantly.

    After you get the color you want I recommend MinWax "Helmsman" spray finish. It is the easiest spray can I have ever shot. The finish goes on really fine and if you respray every 2-3 hours about 6 times you end up with a very nice even and durable finish you won't regret. It is almost impossible to screw this stuff up because it sprays so fine, almost like a fog. You spray it until it starts to gloss up then set it aside for a couple of hours then repeat. I did 6 coats and it will never come off, even in 3 gun use.

    Here's a pic of my Browning A5 1963 model. I stripped it with "Jesco Paint Stripper" after taping the checkering. Sanded the rough edges off and used Minwax Golden Oak Stain and then the Helmsman.

    If you don't want the gloss finish they have a satin version of the same stuff.

    Randy
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  10. #10
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pressman View Post

    I have managed to bring home two rifles that bubba has slathered polyurethane on the stocks.

    I am not thinking I want to strip this stock totally and start over.

    I would rather clean it it up and stay original.


    Unfortunately, with the application of polyurethane, Bubba made finesse a non-starter.

    If the stocks are not stripped/stained, IME both will result in a very unsatisfactory result.


    .
    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  11. #11
    Boolit Master
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    Strip it and refinish.

  12. #12
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    i have no issue with careful sanding, and and a huge fan of hand rubbed stocks... but I also think you need to get the old finish off and start again, but what do I know.....
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  13. #13
    Boolit Master



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    Strip them with stripper.

  14. #14
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    Well, a consensus of folks say strip and start over. Looks like what may happen.
    And Kudo's to Randy for his refinishing idea. That would return the TC to close to it's original finish that I want to maintain.
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  15. #15
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    It is almost impossible to evenly sand off poly without going into the wood in at least some places. You are better off stripping with a chemical stripper. One coat of critristrip may take off the poly and only minimally impact the original finish. Rub it off carefully (burlap) and see what is left.
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  16. #16
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    I got to thinking about this yesterday, instead of doing something productive. Way back in 1984/5/6 I had a decent work shop and an old house to restore. Everything was finished with poly. I applied it in a 50/50 mix with mineral spirits using a soft rag. Let it dry, sand with 280 grit and apply another coat. 3 times and I had a great,and flawless finish.

    Reasoning that it would not hurt to try, the Win 52 stock has at least two coats of poly, I sanded, by hand, all the imperfections out of it. It is smooth. Now comes the next decision. I can recoat with the product Randy recommends, or I can source 2000 to 12,000 grit paper for polishing plastic windows in airplanes then finish with a liquid rubbing compound. The result is a nice matte finish.
    Still thinking, and 6 more weeks till spring.

    The Finished Product
    Lightly sanded with 240 grit to remove the runs and brush marks, then three coats of Minwax spray as recommended by Randy. It turned out nice. Thanks to Randy for the idea of using Minwax spray.

    Ken

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    Last edited by Pressman; 02-25-2020 at 10:51 PM.
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  17. #17
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    Good to hear it worked out for you. I hate it when you recommend something and it doesn't work for the other guy.

    That product is so easy to spray it is almost criminal.

    One thing to note is that sometimes when you spray over a previous finish the new stuff will lift the old stuff. This is the best reason to strip first, as it removes that possibility.

    Randy
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  18. #18
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    Thanks Randy, I have found that poly over poly is ok, but don't put poly over anything else, less it will not bond and make a real mess.

    Now to get started on the TC. Looking at it I think it was sanded heavily in some places. It will be a bigger challenge.

  19. #19
    Boolit Grand Master

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    If it was 'sanded heavily' in some places you may need to sand the whole stock to wood and then run your grits - when I do this with Tung oil/Mineral spirits I sand it in with 220 grit, 320 grit, and 400 grit. Then I start hand rubbing. The idea is to fill the pores with a paste of sanding dust and Tung oil. Then hand rub.
    Wayne the Shrink

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  20. #20
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    When I finished my TC kit gun I sanded the stock to 400 then used crocus cloth to apply 10 coats of Birchwood Casey Tang oil rubbing in till tacky. I did not stain it either.
    Steve,

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