I have a couple of stocks I am working on. The first appears to me to be walnut. The wood is fairly dark. I did quite a bit of sanding to get rid of the scratches and gouges. Right now it is pretty close to applying finish.
Do you use water to raise the grain before finishing? Do you stain walnut stocks, or do you just seal them? What product do you like for both?
I also have an old shotgun that looked bad. Not that it is worth anything, but thought it would be good to play with and practice on. I sanded it down as there were a lot of scratches and gouges. Some of the wood had to go. The wood is very blond. I am guessing it is not a hardwood, so plan on staining it. For non walnut stocks, what do you like to use to darken them up and bring out the stain? Do you use something different to seal softer wood stocks?
The shotgun I could really care less about. I just want to practice, but I don't want to work for the next month on it either. The rifle stock is nicer, and I'd like it to look pretty good when done.
I am also thinking about refinishing the stock on a Ruger Mini 30. Just not sure yet. It is pretty ugly though. There is quite a bit of damage to it. The dents I'll try steaming, but the gouges and scratches will need to be sanded. Do you steam the dents before or after sanding out scratches? For stocks like the Ruger, do you use any type of wood fillers for deep gouges? If so, how well do they accept stain, assuming of course that this stock is not hardwood either and will be light when stripped.