Stock refinishing / touchup questions

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by scotts, Dec 6, 2010.

  1. scotts

    scotts New Member

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    I have an early 1900's T. Bland & Sons side by side shotgun, with beautiful fancy walnut stocks. The finish is original, not too bad, but has some scratches, dents and dings. I would like to repair some of this damage without taking from the value of the gun. (estimated at $4K) It was suggested on another thread, that some of you could give me some suggestions on how to do this without refinishing the stock. (touch-up only) I am quite capable, just need some hints. I was told, NO sandpaper! Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Scott
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  2. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    Your best bet is to do nothing. Anything you do, short of oiling the gun up will seriously detract from it's value.
  3. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

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    bill is right that doing nothing is the best thing.

    if you was to try something you could take some boiled linseed oil and mix it 2:1 with mineral spirits. dampen a soft rag with it and rub it into the stock with a circular motion. it would clean lightly and help disguise any light scratches.

    it'll brighten up the wood to some degree so depending on the way the gun looks you may or may not detract from the value.

    if value is not important as is the case often with family heirlooms i say go for it.
  4. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    I agree 100% with Bill and John above, do not refinish it.

    I also agree that linseed oil/ mineral spirits would work to clean it up.

    I'll suggest another product to clean it up, make it look better and preserve the stock.

    I use this on antiques, gun stocks and furniture.
    [​IMG]
  5. DGG!

    DGG! New Member

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    If it has an oil finish on it now you may be able to lift the ding by laying a damp washcloth over the ding or scratch and using a hot iron to force some steam into the ding/crack and slightly swell the wood fibers. This may lessen the indentation. Then use the above.
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2010
  6. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    True...IF you have experience lifting dings with a hot iron. A $4000 antique firearm is not the one to learn on.

    I have done it many times, but I learned the lessons on cheap gun stocks.

    Too much heat and you ruin the finish on the stock and you have to refinish the whole thing.

    An antique firearm should not be refinished unless it is in terrible condition and you know exactly what you are doing. Even then most times it will devalue the firearm even when done correctly.
  7. old semperfi

    old semperfi New Member

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    i live in southern indiana,old country boy at hear
    gunhugger is right,why take the chance.if it must be done then have a professional do it.make sure to see examples of his work both before and after before leaving yours. old semperfi
  8. grcsat

    grcsat Member

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    Hi, the bit about the damp cloth and hot iron really works well especaly for the more modern firearms. However you are dealing with something that is over 100 years old. Now hears the problem, we all expect the stock to have an oil finish because that is what we are used to and is most common.

    What if it's a French Finish which was common enough for high grade firearms at the turn of the century? If it is a French Finish and you apply a damp cloth and heat, then you have permanatly TRASHED the finish. It will turn whiter than snow and making a good repair is vertually imposible.

    Just something to think about and also 90% of the people out there can't even tell the differance between oil finish and french finish. Do you know which one you have?
  9. scotts

    scotts New Member

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    I know wood pretty well, this is not oil. It is a higher gloss, harder finish, obviously not marine spar varnish, but thinner and similar. I've hot ironed over a damp cloth before, awesome technique, but this finish would scream CLOUDY if tried. I wouldn't attempt it. I took Gunhuggers suggestion and picked up some Howards today at OSH. The stock seemed to like it. Brought it back nicely, at least a 50% improvement. I'm happy to leave it there. The damage left is patina-ish... it's done. Here is a link to the finished product, as you can see, the stocks are now gorgeous, the receiver came out real nice, and the barrels, as rusty and thrashed as they were, cleaned up incredibly:

    www.flickr.com/photos/13854105@N07/sets/72157625421079589/

    Thanks again to a great group; I really have appreciated all your help.
  10. henry77

    henry77 New Member

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    That wood is beautiful..
  11. GunHugger

    GunHugger Well-Known Member

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    Scotts,

    That looks great.

    I see antique fans and clocks in those pictures. I collect and rebuild antique fans and I'm also into clock repair and collecting them too.

    Glad the Howards Feed n Wax worked well for you. I love that stuff.
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