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Thread: stripped weatherby stock

  1. #1
    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Default stripped weatherby stock

    My brother is having a professional (Furnature guy) strip the finish off of his 1960 Weatherby MK V with the intention of oiling it afterwards. Unfortunately the previous owner used a furnature polish on it that stained the stock horribly.

    Does anyone know what type of wood the old Weatherby stocks are, and if they will accept Linseed well? The fellow that is going to strip it said it looked like mahogony?

    thanks in advance

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eastwoods View Post
    My brother is having a professional (Furnature guy) strip the finish off of his 1960 Weatherby MK V with the intention of oiling it afterwards. Unfortunately the previous owner used a furnature polish on it that stained the stock horribly.

    Does anyone know what type of wood the old Weatherby stocks are, and if they will accept Linseed well? The fellow that is going to strip it said it looked like mahogony?

    thanks in advance
    Weatherby stocks that would be mistaken for mahogany are most likely mesquite. It is far harder and heavier than mahogany of almost any kind (there are scads of mahoganies, both true and called-alikes) and extremely stable. If you take a decent picture it should be pretty easy to identify.

    It is highly unlikely a polish stained the wood. They tend to be wax and solvent and quite harmless. The staining could be from any number of sources including the wood itself reacting with water leakage through the finish.

    The fact he felt the need to strip it indicates it may have had some damage... Which is where the water could get in.

    Oil finishes are pretty and great for keeping hand prints and such off wood, but actually do less to prevent the movement of water in and out of the wood than bare wood. It is hygroscopic even when cured. The myth of tung oil being waterproof is exactly that, also, a myth. Tung and linseed are the two primary oils used for finish and they are interchangeable and most finishes use some of each, even when called one or the other.

    An explanation for the tendency for tung oil to be better oil has to do with the fact flax seed oil (linseed oil source) is used as food and the higher grades of oil go there. The dregs go into finish. the best linseed oil is as good as the best tung oil though.

    There are many far better finishes for wood for stocks...
    art

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    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info art.

    The fellow that I bought it from (I'm a good brother huh) said his dad (the only owner) put a furnature polish on it. I assumed that was the cause because the "staining" is a through out the entire stock and is a maroon color with slightly varing shades.

    So, what are the better finishes to wood stocks that you would recommend and who to do, is the real question? I kinda suggested oil to him only because I would be skeptical of someone trying a varnish or similar, probably because I've only seen botch jobs.

  4. #4
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    A neat trick is building a better finish under oil and topping it with oil. You get the look of oil and more protection from resins and such under the oil.

    Varathane used to make a product called 66 which was a favorite of stockmakers for a very long time. It can be approximated with a good spar varnish and oil.

    Oil starts to cure (polymerize) the instant oxygen reaches it. It is often "old" when you buy it off the shelf. It should be nearly water-thin. Adding solvents never improves the weather resistance of a finish and should always be avoided on a stock finish. The solvents evaporate from the surface and the deeper solvent molecules have to migrate to and through the surface some how. They are large molecules compared to water vapor. The tracks they leave while working to surface are large enough for water molecules to cruise right in through.

    Buy a small container of spar varnish and apply the first coat straight on the stock. Make the first coat very light and wipe the entire stock dry with a clean rag immediately after applying the finish. Replace the used finish with straight oil. When the finish is dry repeat the process. Continue with more coats and more added oil.

    Because you started with a tiny can the oil will have a progressively larger effect. The coats are very easy and fast to apply and should take no more than 15 minutes or so at a time to apply, so use plenty of coats.

    After the final coat allow the finish to cure for at least 30 days and buff out with rottenstone on a felt rag with mineral oil as a carrier. No magic spells or incantations are required and it should look more than good enough.

    If you must sand out a run or other imperfection use Bear-Tex pads, never steel wool on a gunstock!

    A very common practice in the good old days of stockmaking was sanding slurry filling pores... Essentially wet-sanding the wood with the finish. Realize the high end stockmakers still using this method are doing it on wood with virtually no pores. They are so tiny there is no real mud getting in there. Look at a piece of typical claro walnut with pores like waste baskets and you will see it takes a lot of mud to fill those holes.

    The mud in the pores kills luster and is extremely obvious when compared to a good finish.

    I use epoxy for most stock base coats but have very little experience with epoxy on REfinish jobs so will not suggest it up front.

    Mesquite naturally turns fairly deep red over time. UV and oxygen are the primary "motivators" for the change. There is a lot of neat chemistry involved in the color change and the resultant colors tell quite a bit about the process creating them. Legumes, like mesquite, in general produce a lot of different compounds with incredible uses in tons of different ways, especially dyes.

    There is a fairly simple test to determine species on mesquite because they produce fluorescent dyes... But geographic taxonomy works plenty well with a Weatherby stock because they only used screwbean mesquite. There is no such thing as a stability issue with a mesquite stock.
    art

  5. #5

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    Art,

    I am quite iterested in learning more about your stock finishing techniques. I haven't (yet) finished many stocks, only a couple, but I have done quite a bit of furniture finishing and have used those techniques on the stocks I have done; right, wrong, or otherwise.

    I am curious about several things I have heard you mention in past posts. What type of epoxy are you refering to for a base coat and applied in what method?

    I remember you mentioning super glue as a base as well, how was that applied?

    In this most recent post where you said "Replace the used finish with straight oil" do you mean replace the volume you have used from the can? I think I am understanding that correctly.

    Like I said I am curious to learn. Woodworking and guns have been longtime hobbies for me but only in the last year or so have I been marrying the two.

    Thanks.

    Evan

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by evandailey View Post
    Art,

    I am quite iterested in learning more about your stock finishing techniques. I haven't (yet) finished many stocks, only a couple, but I have done quite a bit of furniture finishing and have used those techniques on the stocks I have done; right, wrong, or otherwise.

    I am curious about several things I have heard you mention in past posts. What type of epoxy are you refering to for a base coat and applied in what method?

    I remember you mentioning super glue as a base as well, how was that applied?

    In this most recent post where you said "Replace the used finish with straight oil" do you mean replace the volume you have used from the can? I think I am understanding that correctly.

    Like I said I am curious to learn. Woodworking and guns have been longtime hobbies for me but only in the last year or so have I been marrying the two.

    Thanks.

    Evan
    Evan
    I assume you mean the sanded slurry as a method you have used? Please make a sample board... It is extremely easy to disprove some of the longest held myths... A little magnification on a sanded slurry will show you why it is a bad idea, and good sunlight on the finish side-by-side with another will eliminate any chance of ever confusing it with a good idea... Yet Guild members do it every day and have been for many, many years... As pointed out earlier, the wood quality makes all the difference.

    Yes, replace the used finish with oil each time by topping off the can...

    I heat the stock to about 110 or so, for quite a while to ensure the heat gets good and deep... about as hot as you can handle without gloves... It is critical the epoxy be a slow-cure, 24 hour is my minimum. I have used a large number of different brands and blends without any epoxy failures. G-1 and G-2 from Industrial Formulators has been my standard, but they have been bought out and the exact blend is no longer available. When it is applied on the hot wood it is literally sucked into the wood by the vacuum created by the cooling wood. WHich is why the opposite plan of heating the wood after applying the epoxy does not work. It just blows bubbles.

    Epoxies are made for a lot of different uses... Wood restoration stuff (for soaking into rotted woods) usually has lots of "-cides" in it and might be best to avoid. Do not use solvents in epoxy if you can avoid it any other way.

    Superglue is just soaked into the wood and allowed to cure on its own. Paul Dressell did several I handled a bit and they were every bit as eggshell and subtly gorgeous as any oil finish I have ever seen. Paul warned me the CA shrinks the wood a little and you need to leave the wood a couple thousandths proud of the metal or it will shrink below grade on you.

    I have not finished a stock with it, but have tested blocks for water resistance and it is waterproof, period. It shrinks softer, lighter weight woods more than the Turkish walnut Paul used in the rifles I handled...

    Epoxy has been so reliable the CA has been pushed back each time I think I am going to go that route... But next time!
    art

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    I assume you mean the sanded slurry as a method you have used?
    No, I have not used the sanded slurry method, although I am familiar with it. I have experimented with both sprayed and hand rubbed polyurethanes and with hand rubbed tung oil. I cannot say I have been disappointed with the results per se but I also have not ever made any "fine" grade stocks. I have never been one to pursue "pretty" guns mostly from a budget standpoint. But now that I have built a couple myself I am interested in testing my skills a little further simply as an exercise to see what I am capable of.

    How are you applying the epoxy? Is it brushed on? And I presume some sanding is required after coating to even things up? Perhaps not. Most of the epoxies I have used are so thick I am having trouble imagining getting them applied very evenly. Thanks again for the info. I am a student of all things wood and guns.

  8. #8
    hap
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    I use my fingers to apply epoxy. The wood is hot and the epoxy thins immediately from the temperature increase. Just keep adding epoxy as it gets sucked in. The end grain areas will of course be the biggest suckers.

    After curing I wet sand with fine paper on a gum eraser. I always hope to get away with a single coat of epoxy... Will be really happy when it finally happens. I almost always have a few sand through spots and I wipe a little more epoxy on them and hope I do not sand through the second time too.

    Epoxy will not telegraph pores the way oil always does, which is enough for me to want it over oil.
    art

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    I use my fingers to apply epoxy. The wood is hot and the epoxy thins immediately from the temperature increase. Just keep adding epoxy as it gets sucked in. The end grain areas will of course be the biggest suckers.

    After curing I wet sand with fine paper on a gum eraser. I always hope to get away with a single coat of epoxy... Will be really happy when it finally happens. I almost always have a few sand through spots and I wipe a little more epoxy on them and hope I do not sand through the second time too.

    Epoxy will not telegraph pores the way oil always does, which is enough for me to want it over oil.
    art
    Then you topcoat it with oil? I forgot to ask that part.

  10. #10
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    Yes, apply lots of fresh oil, allow to stand for 10-15 minutes then wipe DRY with a lint-free cloth. Repeat after allowing the oil to cure for a few hours, or more. Very slow build, but extremely easy and effective.
    art

  11. #11
    Member Eastwoods's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    I like it. Thanks.

    I have a Kimber 84M classic, which I assumed was just oiled. Does anyone know if there is an "under coat" on these stocks? Or the Sako AV stocks? And if yes, what is it?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eastwoods View Post
    I like it. Thanks.

    I have a Kimber 84M classic, which I assumed was just oiled. Does anyone know if there is an "under coat" on these stocks? Or the Sako AV stocks? And if yes, what is it?
    I have played with both of these finishes and they are oil with some resins (think Tru-Oil) and lots of color if the wood was a little light. Both use a silica based filler and then have oil on top. I believe the Kimber claims to be hand-rubbed... but that really means nothing. The filler may not be very noticable in tight wood.

    Neither is particularly tough or even close to waterproof.

    But they do look good...
    art

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