Stock repair and refinish?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing & Restoration' started by jkvirginia, Dec 13, 2004.

  1. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Guest

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    I recently picked up a nice li'l Brno model 1 .22 rifle for a reasonable price, and although the metal is fine and the bore is immaculate (the thing shoots like a laser beam), the stock is in atrocious condition. it looks like someone used what was once a nice piece of walnut with an elegant schnabel forend tip, as a cricket bat. Numerous small dings, a hairline crack at the forend tip, and pretty much no finish left on the wood.

    Anyone want to walk a relatively complete newbie through fixing her up? I have some experience at woodworking, but I'm a bit intimidated to take on a gunstock.
     
  2. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    JK,
    When I want to get dings out of a stock,I use a wet washcloth and my wife's steamiron.Have the iron heated up and lay thedamp to wet cloth over the stock and apply the heat. The resulting steam will cause the ding to rise back to the original height. For the crack,is it all the way through or just on the surface? Sometimes you can spread it out a little and get a quality glue in there. If it's cracked badly, you can pin it back together,but this may be more than what you want to get into just yet.

    HWD
     

  3. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Guest

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    well, I got brave and pulled the action off the stock. And apparently the crack is clean through, though still fairly tight, and someone had tried to glue it up once before apparently.

    The part that concerns me about pinning it (aside from my unsteady hand with a drill) is that it's on a very delicate area of the rifle. It's right along the edge and tip of the fore-end, and i'm terrified of splitting it worse if i bugger it up.

    If i can snitch my GF's digicam, i'll make some pics and upload them, to show you where I mean.

    Do you think a good slather of strong epoxy between the two cracked surfaces would be a good fix if I chicken out of pinning it?

    Also, while i have the gun apart, i'm thinking of bedding the action, and pondering the idea of either free-floating or glass-bedding the barrel. Any thoughts, or are these operations above a beginner's head?

    Finally, I'll try your idea about steaming out the dents, but I've also heard that this won't work if the actual wood grain's broken, as is the case in a few of the spots. Any comments?

    Thanks,

    Jon
     
  4. huntswithdogs

    huntswithdogs Moderator

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    Jon,
    If you use epoxy,make sure that it says on the inside of the stock. Your finish won't stick to it. I've never tried to work on the bedding of my rifles.I now some guys who will work on the bedding before they ever fire the first shot. I do know that you can get a kit,from Brownell's I believe,to do this. Though having never done it, I've read articles on it that say it's kinda stupid proof.I reckon the writers have never met me! I can screw up the simplest things at times!
    On the dents, give it a try. I've had good results on some pretty bad dents and scratches.

    HWD
     
  5. Logjam

    Logjam Super Member

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    The steaming trick works very well, but you might try to keep it secret from your wife as she might baulk as you use her steam iron on an old gun stock.

    Remember to remove all of the metal first.

    After the stock has been steamed and sanded a little (not too much!), and maybe hit with a little fine steal wool. Apply some walnut stain. Then after it all dries put on some satain finish. You can go for more gloss, but be careful as you can get carried away.

    There are some nice stock finishing kits in gun stores. They'll work just fine, but a gun stock is just furniture and anything you'd use to refinish an old hutch will work.

    As for the crack. I'd try to open it a tad and push in some white glue, or you might try epoxy. You can also just rub some white glue into the crack and wipe of the residue.

    It's important that you don't get carried away. A stock that is over finished is as ugly to one that is just dinged up.
     
  6. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Guest

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    Thanks all,

    As it wound up, I just stripped all the old finish and gunk off it (if estimates of the gun's age are on, prolly about 50 years worth of scrud), gave it some sanding (down to about 320 grit, ignoring the wood imperfections and the really deep gouges, cuz I don't feel like screwing with filler), then sealed with thinned tung oil and rubbed in several coats of linseed oil.

    It ended up with a nice "antiquey" satiny finish, with just enough of the old imperfections showing through to keep some character

    It looks nice to me, and hey, I'm the only one whose opinion matters, right?

    Jon

    PS: As for the crack, I used Elmer's brown carpenter's glue (the kind marketed for darker colors of wood). Seems to have worked okay
     
  7. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Guest

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    Thanks all,

    As it wound up, I just stripped all the old finish and gunk off it (if estimates of the gun's age are on, prolly about 50 years worth of scrud), gave it some sanding (down to about 320 grit, ignoring the wood imperfections and the really deep gouges, cuz I don't feel like screwing with filler), then sealed with thinned tung oil and rubbed in several coats of linseed oil.

    It ended up with a nice "antiquey" satiny finish, with just enough of the old imperfections showing through to keep some character

    It looks nice to me, and hey, I'm the only one whose opinion matters, right?

    Jon

    PS: As for the crack, I used Elmer's brown carpenter's glue (the kind marketed for darker colors of wood). Seems to have worked okay
     
  8. Logjam

    Logjam Super Member

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    Good for you. I'd suggest the ironing bit, but it's not necessary of course.

    BTW: When I do it, I use an old washclothe and soak it good. Then I put it on the stock and apply a steam iron. It's amazing how it will lift even rather deep dings. It seems to also sweat off some finish.
     
  9. jkvirginia

    jkvirginia Guest

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    I did steam out some of the uglier dents, but steaming seemed to get me nowhere with the actual gouges, or what appeared to be small "knots" (like moles on the wood almost) in a few places. As I said, the gun's 50 years or older, I don't *want* it to look brand new. But a gracefully aged 25-30 wouldn't be bad... I'll settle for the gracefully aged 40 or so I ended up with lol