Refinish opinion.

ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,765
1,189
My best shooting gun I currently own is a very well used model 70 in 06. Had plenty of wear on it when I got it, and I've added to it plenty as I hunt in some thick stuff at times and some very wet conditions. It got good and soaked again this yr. Dings, scratches, and finish coming off is getting slowly but surely bigger over time.


It's gotten to the point that the well used look is bordering on abused. I could live with just making sure it's treated well every yr with a good penetrating wood moisturizer and wax, but I've been thinking about doing my first ever full stock refinish job. If I strip it down I'd probably not go back to the factory red finish and go with whatever the natural wood reveals. What do you all think? Keep it as is, or strip it down and give it a whole new look?










 

elkeater2

Handloader
Jan 5, 2009
738
15
Strip it down and have fun. There is a lot of finish advice out there, I'll pitch in if you want!
EE2
 

Dwh7271

Handloader
Nov 18, 2013
2,461
1
I agree with strip it although battle scars on a rifle are marks of achievement I believe.
If you do strip it, hard to beat Waterlox products. Fwiw, I start with multiple rubbed coats of the Sealer/Finish with 4/0 steel wool between coats and finish with one of their varnishes.
https://waterlox.com
 

salmonchaser

Handloader
Dec 13, 2013
3,449
802
The biggest mistake I've committed is not filling the poors in the wood. Take your time. I would also call Dembart checkering tools in Snohomish Washington. He can get you set up with the tools you need to clean up your checkering. Pretty easy to do as long as you match the lines per inch.
Have fun, take your time and you'll have a great looking rifle.


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ShadeTree

Handloader
Mar 6, 2017
2,765
1,189
Thanks all. Makes the decision easier. The gun is so good that I hate to mess with it but it's getting to the point I almost feel guilty about not making it as good as I can for the future. I've got a decent amount of experience with wood projects so I'm not a total greenhorn in that respect, but zero experience on stock refinishing, just never had to do it before.

I already done some studying and had it in my head that if I attempted this I would start with the Waterlox for the best moisture protection and finish off with either Pilkington's or a Pilkington/Linseed oil combination.

Salmonchaser, thanks for the advice. Something I hadn't considered as I wouldn't have a clue what I'm doing with checkering, but if someone like that can help point me in the right direction with advice and tips, I'm not afraid to do something I've never done before.
 

salmonchaser

Handloader
Dec 13, 2013
3,449
802
I forget the guys name but he was very helpful. I've checkered and refinished about a dozen guns, definitely a learning curve. The cutting tools are designed for specific lines per inch. You can find at a parts or hardware store an inexpensive gauge used to determine threads per inch or you can count them. Match that and follow the lines. Best to practice first on a block of wood then a baseball bat. A couple of hours doing that and you're golden.


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elkeater2

Handloader
Jan 5, 2009
738
15
It's pretty tough to turn impressed in checkering into real checkering. It looks like that is what the stock has presently. Perhaps someone has pulled that off, but not me. As you are finding out, there is plenty of finishing advice out there. I have been successful refinishing stocks and still leaving a few of the "experience marks" without trying to make the stock look totally new.
EE2
 

RaySendero

Beginner
Jul 27, 2015
234
1
Yep - Me too, I'd refinish it.

Done a bunch.
As long as the refinish doesn't detract from the value, I do it.
 

Darkhorse

Handloader
Mar 14, 2014
750
19
I would refinish it also. A stiff toothbrush will help you keep that checkering clean when stripping the stock and later when applying stain and finish.
There are a couple of good finishes most people aren't aware of, my favorite now is called Jim Chambers Original oil finish. I also like the Laurel Hill Forge assortment of stains. These were developed to use on muzzleloading rifles but they would work good on other guns too.
A couple of examples.
 

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Polaris

Handloader
Dec 16, 2009
1,223
0
Yes, strip and refinish. Good job for long, cold, winter nights...except the stripping, best done outside.

Refinishing a stock, you likely will need to do little or no filling. Pores should remain filled from previous treatments. If you do remove some wood to get to the bottom of some deeper scratches, you may need to wet sand those. I like to use turpentine/BLO for finishing hardwood. Start with a dilute mix, aprox 50/50 turp/BLO, use this through wet sanding to 400 grit. I then use progressively higher concentrations of BLO depending on how "thirsty" the wood is. I do not use steel wool, it leaves steel fibers in the wood, even a couple are unsightly as they oxidize over time. I use burlap lightly damped with turpentine to buff out the oil coats after dry time, and cotton muslin to buff the final coats and wax, followed by soft cotton chamois, both of these are dry buffs.

Once I'm satisfied with the wet sanding and oil finish, I apply a couple coats of a beeswax based product called Howards feed n wax. I have also used birchwood casey gunstock wax, and it is functional, but I think the Howards makes the grain pop a bit more.

Might as well glass bed while you're at it. The brownels accraglass kit has all that you need, with straight forward directions. Follow them and it will work. Below is a stock I did for my wife with BLO/Turp and howards wax. This was virgin walnut, refinishing is not much different, you should get a similar look.
 

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Guy Miner

Master Loader
Apr 6, 2006
16,643
1,353
I've used Tru-Oil on three stocks now, and the results were very good.

It's a nice winter project, enjoy!

Guy
 

Polaris

Handloader
Dec 16, 2009
1,223
0
I would keep the factory impressed checkering. I did this on a friend's Rem 722. Cover neatly with tape when doing any sanding. As above, a toothbrush with chemical stripper should be used on this area. You'll need to pay special attention when applying oil based finish. I'd use a turpentine diluted oil on this area, and hit it lightly with a toothbrush and turp after 15 min dry time. Tape again before applying wax or it will get gummy. Just the oil finish will sufficiently protect the checkering.
 

6mm Remington

Ammo Smith
Feb 27, 2006
5,092
72
Thankful Otter":2s8x4ny0 said:
good luck with your project

But as you stated.....pretty won't get it to shoot any better! True that! They all get character after awhile and some of those dings and dents bring back memories for sure. I know that but I also like them to look nice too. A lot of those factory finishes aren't worth a darn anyway and they don't last that long, or at least as long as they are supposed to.

My wife looked at me sideways when I got her to go hunting with me. I told her you go down, rifle stays up! Body down rifle up. She thought I was nuts when I explained it to her. Dear you must sacrifice your body for the rifle! Well it was worth a try anyway. :lol:
 

elkeater2

Handloader
Jan 5, 2009
738
15
Or a steam gun like my wife loans me works on dents, too. I've played with finishes including Tru-oil, Tru-oil mixed a drop or two of Armorall; linseed oil, and lately Minwax Antique Oil (which is more closely related to Tru-oil than pure oil of any kind). There's a bunch of finish info on rimfire central, btw.
Here are a couple I did recently with the Minwax stuff: its a Rem. 788 which was really pretty sad, with much of the finish flaked and a few dings. Some of those experience marks still show, but just enough. The finish is not as glossy as it appears in the grip picture, that's just the light. Overall it is like the full pic.
EE2
 

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cloverleaf

Handloader
Sep 10, 2006
3,894
229
That may be the best looking 788 I have ever seen. Shooters but not beauty queens....yours looks nice. Not ridiculous...just really nice! Not sure if I would refinish or not. Dads is in the safe and could use it, but those scratches hold too many memories..... Probably different though. Refinish and make some more memories..... CL
 

salmonchaser

Handloader
Dec 13, 2013
3,449
802
Oh boy, didn't look at the photo close enough. Don't try to fix pressed checkering.


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