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  #1  
Old 03-07-2012, 08:49 AM
renovate7 renovate7 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 604
Default Need Stock Stain Advice

I've just finished stripping a Krag and will probably have to do the same to a 1917 Enfield. I'm looking for a stain that will give them that rick dark redddish brown 100 year old look. Also, the best finish to go over it. Thanks for any thoughts on this.
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Old 03-07-2012, 11:00 AM
Radionicist Radionicist is offline
 
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Location: Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renovate7 View Post
I've just finished stripping a Krag and will probably have to do the same to a 1917 Enfield. I'm looking for a stain that will give them that rick dark redddish brown 100 year old look. Also, the best finish to go over it. Thanks for any thoughts on this.
You're going to get suggestions about seven or eight different methods, and all work, so I'll start with mine.

Thinks of the project in steps - prepare the wood, stain it, and finish it. Sounds like you have the prep part down, so the next step is to get the color right. I recommend using alcohol stain over an oil base, as it gives you the best control over colors and is easy to do.

Start off by scrubbing in a coat of oil - either Tung oil or BLO will work. Use two parts oil, one part turpentine, and apply to the stock using 0000 steel wool, gently scrubbing in the finish. Let sit for about a half hour, then wipe down with cheesecloth or a microfiber rag to remove any steel wool bits. Scrubbing in the oil first will close up some of the pores in the wood to even out absorption of the stain. Let sit until dry, at least overnight, longer is better.

Check the appearance of the stock when the oil scrub coat dries - do you like it? You may be able to get away with applying a few oil coats only, eliminating the need for stain. If not, prepare your stain. I have become a fan of Transtint dyes, as they mix well, are easy to shade, and dry quickly. You can also use RIT laundry dyes or a commercial stain like Fiebing's leather dye or Chestnut Ridge stock stain. If you are making your own, mix the stain or dye in denatured alcohol and apply to the stock using an old t-shirt. Yes, the stain will absorb into the rag, but that's OK - it will help you to control the color. Go easy, here, as the color will darken as it dries. If it gets too dark, buff with 0000 steel wool to lighten it up. Repeat if necessary, and remember multiple light coats of anything are better than single heavy coats.

When you like how the stock looks, finish with oil - again, Tung oil or BLO are fine. Raw linseed oil is also fine, but with a stain coat under it, you won't be able to touch the rifle for a month without getting red hands, so save it for the next stock. I use multiple coats (thinned with turpentine for the first few) until I'm happy with the finish. If it looks too shiny when you're done oiling, lightly buff with 0000 steel wool, and you'll end up with a deep, matte finish.

I did this Mauser stock with RIT dyes using this exact method. The stock is European walnut and the handguard is elm, so it took some work matching it up:



it finished up beautifully:



Do some searching on the Forum - I've written up a RIT dye article, and hammonje did a great one on using Transtint dyes. You'll find lots of other refinishing advice, and I'd be glad to help you if I can, just send a reply or PM. Oh, and one more thing: take your time. Oil coats need at least 24 hours to dry properly, and longer is better. The stock I showed above took about three weeks to do, start to finish.

Good luck!


Tony

P.S. Take some pictures as you're doing the work and post 'em up!

Last edited by Radionicist; 03-07-2012 at 11:05 AM.
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  #3  
Old 03-08-2012, 03:42 AM
Darreld Walton Darreld Walton is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arco, Idaho
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For a long time, I've been using Feibing medium brown leather dye that I get from Tandy Leather, though I'm sure it's available other places.
I do the usual prep, on 03's, that means going no further than 100 grit, then I go over it with a fast drying solvent to get any crud out of the surface, don a rubber glove (unless you enjoy walking around with dark brown fingers), use a corner of a towel, soak it, and apply it quickly in as long a stroke as possible, overlapping the coats. Seems to work best if left overnight. Scruff it down the next morning with a clean piece of towel, with BLO soaked into it, and a lot of the excess stain comes off, so I have several old towels sitting around. With a good heavy coat of BLO on, I let it sit for a couple hours, then wipe it all off with a rough towel, apply another coat of BLO and let it sit in the corner of a warm room for a day, and start the process of once a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, once a year for the rest of your life.....or.....I hand apply several coats of tung oil, or tung oil finish. If I use the finish, I'll usually apply maybe two coats, and then wax it with Johnson's paste floor wax, if it's even still available, the two cans I work out of have lasted at least ten years, even using it as a release agent when glass bedding.

Last edited by Darreld Walton; 03-08-2012 at 03:45 AM.
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Old 03-09-2012, 07:00 AM
renovate7 renovate7 is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Florida
Posts: 604
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I found some Chestnut Ridge military stock stain. The color is "dark wlanut with a hint of red". I've got 3 coats on and it looks really good. I'm comparing it to another Krag and a US Enfield. I'm going to give it a day or 2 to get really dry and oil it. It is alcohol based.
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Old 03-09-2012, 09:59 AM
VMFn542bob VMFn542bob is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Arizona
Posts: 1,066
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Quote:
Originally Posted by renovate7 View Post
I've just finished stripping a Krag and will probably have to do the same to a 1917 Enfield. I'm looking for a stain that will give them that rick dark redddish brown 100 year old look. Also, the best finish to go over it. Thanks for any thoughts on this.
For stain, have you considered this ?
Birchwood Casey® Rusty Walnut Wood Stain
Only one review found here :
http://www.amazon.com/Birchwood-Casey%C2%AE-Rusty-Walnut-Stain/dp/B001F0KCPM
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  #6  
Old 03-09-2012, 03:10 PM
dave tengdin dave tengdin is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,845
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I've used several methods over the years. The CMP article says to do a mix of the Chestnut Ridge, and another Brownell's walnut colored stain to give you the red and the brown, and you can blend them (by sequential application on the stock) to get the exact color you want. Both are alcohol-based stains. When dry, follow with a few coats of rubbed BLO. On other stocks I've use pure Raw Linseed oil, and waited a few years for it to start oxidizing. My oldes CMP stock is only 5 years in to the oxidization process, and has just now started turning red. On another forum post they say that the RLO you get from the grocery store (marketed as flax oil) is cold pressed RLO, and the military for the last 150 years has been using hot pressed RLO. I'm not sure if hot pressed RLO is available anywhere, but would like to know if it is myself, so that I could try that too.

Any way you go will probably be fine.

Last edited by dave tengdin; 03-09-2012 at 03:12 PM.
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  #7  
Old 03-11-2012, 10:41 PM
Oryguner Oryguner is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Oregon's Willamette Valley
Posts: 111
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No refinished bolt gun stocks to offer as examples but I like to keep things simple. After the wood is cleaned, prepped and lightly sanded, I apply a coat of MinWax Red Mahogany stain. Let that dry a day or so and then thin pure Tung Oil with 50% mineral spirits for the first coat and then straight oil for the next 3 to 5 light coats with a 1/2 day or so between. Works good enough for me.



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