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stock finish

June 15 2017 at 12:08 PM
RicK Smith  (Login rsmith15)
Group #188948

I purchased a prewar Benjamin 322 with a broken stock some time ago. It was in sad shape but I decided to restore it. I purchased a very nice replacement, walnut, from James Valdez. I would like to know what would be the proper stain or oil finish for the stock. Rick

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(Login shootmore)
Group #188948

Re: stock finish

June 15 2017, 9:43 PM 

Don't know about proper, but if the color of the wood is uniform and like most benjamin stocks I would just sand it and use tru-oil. It can be made to look very nice. Others can chime in an tell you all the steps.

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Scot Laughlin
(Login classicalgas)
Group #188948

I'd use a blend of Watco Danish oil and "boiled" linseed oil

June 24 2017, 1:22 PM 

photo IMG_0751_zps0mfs0gzy.jpg

This pic is just started toward filling the grain, just two coats of wet sanded Danish oil, two with linseed in the blend. It's an older sheridan, you can see how the linseed has warmed the black walnut, and accented the color and grain.

Linseed is a traditional oil finish for guns for several reasons...it enhances color and grain, it's cheap, and its easy to apply and touch up.It also rewards attention to detail and time invest

The best finishes at excluding moisture (like polyurethane) are often not the best for other reasons(appearance and easy repair are two)but whatever the finish is, ALL surfaces need to be sealed as well as possible.

Oil doesn't dry, or just soak in, it polymerizes, the molecules link up into longer chains. Certain chemicals catalyze and speed this process, as does heat and UV light. "Boiled"linseed oil has hardeners added, as do all oil finishes (varnish is an oil finish with extra hardeners)

How "deep"(and it's only a small fraction of an inch unless you use a vacuum chamber)an oil finish penetrates is mostly controlled by viscosity...water thin finishes will penetrate deeper than thicker ones. Since most oil finishes are compatible, I like to use a very thin one like danish oil to start a gunstock finish,using it straight for the first several treatments, wet sanding with increasingly fine grit, then adding boiled linseed to help fill the grain and build the finish faster, after I'm done sanding. After several rubbed in coats of the thicker oil(about 50/50 linseed/danish)have cured, I'll go back with 800 grit paper in a semi rigid pad, wetted with straight danish oil. This will level the finish better than the usual 0000 steel wool.

Note...when you wet sand with the Watco, you make a "mud" that fills the pores...let it sit until tacky, then scrub off across the grain with a an old towel or similar

Linseed also has the advantage of warming the color of the wood(it's a light honey shade)and accenting the grain and shimmer more than anything else I've tried over the decades. Tung oil, for instance is clear, and doesn't seem to pop the figure like linseed.

This message has been edited by classicalgas on Jun 24, 2017 1:31 PM

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Jim in PGH
(Login 144man)
Group #188948

Big fan of boiled linseed oil

July 3 2017, 2:25 PM 

It's my favorite finish for gun stocks, since it goes IN the wood, not ON the wood. And it matures with use and exposure, darkening over time. It does require patience. Someone once told me one coat a day for a week, once a week for a month, once a month for a year, and once a year for life.

If you are in a hurry, Maccari's Royal London Oil gives a beautiful finish, and is pretty easy to apply.
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.

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