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Reblueing & stock refinishing

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  • Reblueing & stock refinishing

    A friend of mine has a pre-64 Featherweight in .308 that has seen much better days. It's a rifle that has been in his family for many years, so he wants to refinish it. I have the name of a guy who is recommended to do the reblueing and stock refinishing, but I want to give options to my I have a couple of questions:

    1. Are the "cold reblueing" kits for do-it yourself any good? I've never used them.
    2. Any recommendations for kits to strip and refinish stocks that guys have tried?

    Thanks in advance guys...


  • #2
    He may want to take into consideration that doing this will detract from the rifle's value. I was given an Model 1892 Winchester(built in 1898) that had been in the family for yrs. Before it was given to me they had it reblued and sling swivel studs installed(right through the metal foreend cap!). Cut the value ALOT as this rifle was in GOOD shape. Just a thought.


    • #3
      Good point and I've discussed this with him, but resale is not an issue. He wants to restore it for his adult step-son, who was given it by his birth father before recently passing away.


      • #4
        I used the Birchwood Casey cold do it yourself bluing on a couple projects. One turned out good, the other...not so much. Even the one that turned out good, needs reblued now, about 7 or 8 years later. Worth a shot, and if it doesn't turn out so well, you can have it redone professionally, or try again.

        I've refinished many stocks, and they generally turn out decent. I use paint/varnish remover, then scrape the old finish off. Then try to steam out any dents with a wet towel and an iron. Then take very fine sandpaper and smooth it out. be very careful with the checkering--clean out the old finish with a vinyl brush, but don't sand it down much, if at all. Get the stock wet so the little bristly fibers stand up, then take 0000 steel wool over the stock, once it's dry.

        When you're satisfied it's smooth, you can start the oiling. I don't use varnish or polyurethane or any of the shiny stuff, I like rubbed oil, either Tung or Linseed. Cut the oil with thinner (mineral spirits). after each coat, rub it in until it's dry. You can warm the stock in an oven (very low heat) or other warm dry place between coats. Keep applying coats until you get the darkness and sheen you want. hit it again with the 0000 steel wool if necessary, and clean off the dust/fiber. One more light coat of oil and rub it in.

        I did that with this one...coulda made it shinier, but I like the matte sheen:


        • #5
          Thanks for the infromation AKroadkill, it is very informative sir, and you did an outstanding job on that looks beautiful.

          Any other ideas/experiences folks?


          • #6
            I used Pilkingtons rust blueing from Brownells. A slow job, but the results were worth it


            • #7
              The .25-06 in the above photo is not one I reblued...just the stock. The metal finishing is a teflon-type coating by Spradlin's in Colorado. I like the weather resistance and the matte black look. That (or something like it ) is what I plan on doing to any of my other rifles that need refinished in the future.

              I'll try to get a photo of my Featherweight 7x57, which I also refinished the stock, and had the metal finished with Gary Junk's Arctic Kote, also matte black. I think it looks pretty good too.


              • #8
                Some Ideas on Refinishing the Pre-64 Fwt. 70

                I would ask the owner what he wants to do with the rifle. If he just wants to keep it as a fond memento from his Dad, then I would say don't refinish it at all.

                If the idea is to hunt with the gun, I would just keep it nice and clean and protected with a light external coat of rust preventive oil, rather than refinishing the gun. Pre-64 Model 70's look great with that nice patina of honest hunting wear, and he will always know that some of his Dad's hunts are part of the gun's appearance.

                Another issue with the Featherweight is that the trigger guard and bottom metal are made of aluminum, which will not accept regular bluing, and won't match the rest of the metal if not carefully done. I believe they were painted black at the factory.

                I personally would never use cold bluing on a gun, because it leaves a chemical smell on the gun that I really hate (I have a sensitive nose). It ruins a collectable gun for me, and I don't think it protects the steel very well, either.

                Just some more ideas to consider.



                • #9
                  Sound and thoughtful responses guys...thanks for taking the time to share them with me. I will email this thread for my friend's review as he makes a decision with his step-son.


                  • #10
                    funny you should ask...

                    I was doing some Internet surfing about refinishing a stock and came across some useful information. These are some of the links that I thought were good -




                    Didn't look into re-blueing, though.


                    • #11
                      Thank you sir...much appreciated.


                      • #12
                        Save your time with the cold bluing, it is not worth the effort. I use a cold rust blue (Pilkington's) and with care, you can match pre-war quality. I have done several hundred. Requires minimal equipment.

                        For a stock finish, I use Sea-Fin. This is a finish used to finish deck trim. Works very well and is highly moisture resistant. Good luck. J.


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