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Well I spotted a winter project a Parts gun that somebody started then never finished He or She had great intentions and had all the right Parts but shelved the project a while back,,,any way It needs a stock and I want to do the finish work myself so has anybody ever heard of doing a French Polish to a Rifle Stock,,seen it on guitars and Most antique Violins were finished in this way but never heard of it on a rifle stock
 

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Well I spotted a winter project a Parts gun that somebody started then never finished He or She had great intentions and had all the right Parts but shelved the project a while back,,,any way It needs a stock and I want to do the finish work myself so has anybody ever heard of doing a French Polish to a Rifle Stock,,seen it on guitars and Most antique Violins were finished in this way but never heard of it on a rifle stock
Yes, I've heard of it being done, but wouldn't recommend it. The only finish available prior to 1900 or so was shellac or various tree/nut oils such as linseed, walnut, tung etc., sometimes treated in various ways to create a varnish. The natural oils take forever to dry if they ever do, and shellac doesn't do well outdoors. The linseed you get today is actually called Boiled Linseed, but it's not really boiled. It's treated with various metallic driers such as cobalt, manganese or zinc salts, which speeds up the drying process. Linseed is a lousy finish,btw. It's soft, thin, and easily penetrated by moisture. But I digress.

French polishing - several methods, all of which involve a lot of tedious work involving the shellac, pumice, olive oil, and very specific application techniques. There's several methods you can find via Google, so I won't go into details. But if you intend on doing this, I'd strongly recommend buying a copy of Bob Flexner's book "Understanding Wood Finishing". No method of French polish will protect the wood from the weather. If you do it, keep it inside or plan on redoing it frequently.
 

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I've never done a French Polish on a gun stock (or furniture for that matter) so I can't speak for durability.

It's basically an overlay coat of shellac though and I'm more of a fan of a good rubbed oil finish over any type of varnish or shellac "coat" finish since a coating can get nicked and chip where an oil finish becomes one with the wood you're finishing.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I only posed the question because of the beautiful look available,,and the fact that it,s different,,perhaps a thin coat of poly may offer some protection
 

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As a general statement, I prefer to use a finish that is easily repaired. French polish would need a bit of work to repair a mar or scratch and I do intend to shoot any/all of my rifles. I have scuffed stocks even though I am being extra careful, it is annoying, but it happens. Oil finish and urethane are easily repairable, as are wax over oil finishes.
 
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