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  #31  
Old 02-16-2017, 05:55 PM
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A WORD OF CAUTION!!! Different woods take stain VERY VERY DIFFERENTLY. It doesn't even matter what color they are when you start. A dense tight grained wood will not darken like a light wood. BIRCH IS ONE OF THE HARDEST WOODS TO TAKE STAIN. You will think that you are doing something wrong or that the stain is no good. After you stain it, it will look almost the same as before you started. The laminated stock in this picture IS NOT BIRCH. If it were birch, only a very experienced woodworker could get it that dark and still not cover all the grain. I posted before to get a piece of similar wood and practice on it. AS A BEGINNER, I WOULD SAY THIS IS AN ABSOLUTE MUST IF YOU WANT A GOOD RESULT. Birch is a tough wood to get to look nice even if you are experienced.
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  #32  
Old 02-16-2017, 06:52 PM
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"Your choice as to what type of protective topcoat/finish you want to use but if you want to run with the "Big Dogs" you use a dye instead of a stain, do the stock prep with a minimum of 400 grit wet/dry automotive paper, done dry especially on a laminated stock, use Shellac as a base coat and then finish with a semi-gloss lacquer."


So, George, forgive the continuing ignorance, your help is really invaluable.

But... are you saying, a layer of shellac (perhaps thinned with den alc?), followed by a dye, followed by lacquer?

My only experience with lacquer was spraying cars years ago (I grew up in a racing family). Do people brush on lacquer?

I was thinking a shellac, followed by a gel stain, followed by Formby's. But your chart indicates Formby's may be a very soft final finish. Surprising to me. I have a lot of experience with boat varnish (used to be a boat carpenter), but I can't imagine getting a perfect final overcoat with that stuff with a brush on something as roundabout as a rifle stock. How do you suggest applying a final overcoat? Is spraying the only real option for the harder finishes on a stock?


Edit: I'm working on a 50 year old walnut stock, sorry for the hijack....
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  #33  
Old 02-17-2017, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nomack View Post
"Your choice as to what type of protective topcoat/finish you want to use but if you want to run with the "Big Dogs" you use a dye instead of a stain, do the stock prep with a minimum of 400 grit wet/dry automotive paper, done dry especially on a laminated stock, use Shellac as a base coat and then finish with a semi-gloss lacquer."

So, George, forgive the continuing ignorance, your help is really invaluable.

But... are you saying, a layer of shellac (perhaps thinned with den alc?), followed by a dye, followed by lacquer?

My only experience with lacquer was spraying cars years ago (I grew up in a racing family). Do people brush on lacquer?

I was thinking a shellac, followed by a gel stain, followed by Formby's. But your chart indicates Formby's may be a very soft final finish. Surprising to me. I have a lot of experience with boat varnish (used to be a boat carpenter), but I can't imagine getting a perfect final overcoat with that stuff with a brush on something as roundabout as a rifle stock. How do you suggest applying a final overcoat? Is spraying the only real option for the harder finishes on a stock?

Edit: I'm working on a 50 year old walnut stock, sorry for the hijack....
I think maybe we need to go back to the fundamentals.

What follows are generalities and have a certain amount of "poetic license" before somebody gets bent out of shape on the titles used.

I would ask the reader to read what follows in it's entirety before selecting a specific sentence to either ask about or disagree with.

It's late and I am not a professional writer so what follows may go back an forth on specific subject.

After the stock prep you decide if you are going to color the bare wood. If so then dyes are far better then stains. Stains are simply thinned paints and a Gel Stain is fundamentally a less thinned paint. It is a Gel and you put it on bare wood and then go over it with a brush or rag etc. and create a "faux" grain and fiber piece of wood. Takes some artistic talent. You normally don't put in on over a finish albeit I suppose you could but I don't know why you would.

So after you color or not, depending on a number of reasons, you put a base coat of DEWAXED Shellac for the reason I listed. Some folks like clear some folks like the amber tinted stuff.

The "cut" designation is how many pounds of the Shellac is added to 1 gallon of the solvent/carrier which for Shellac is alcohol.

If you are using the canned stuff then thinning it is a personal choice. It is formulated as what is known as a 2 lb cut which is pretty much the cut you would make if you were making Shellac directly from the flakes. If you do decide to thin it then pour some off into and glass jar that you can seal and mess with it there....testing on some scrap wood.

When you thin it you change the "cut" number, like maybe to a 1 lb cut which means it is thinner.

If you are using the rattle can version it is already thinned.

You can reach the same amount, from a thickness standpoint with a lower "cut"...simply need more coats.

Shellac is a finish and you can color any finish by using a dye while they are in the the liquid form but you cannot add color to it once they set up.

The hardness ratings are geometric in nature, not linear. If you look at the chart, Formby's is more robust then Tru-Oil® and TO is used by lots of DIY folks and they are satisfied with the protection it provides.

You then can stop and simply let the Shellac be the final finish and while it is as robust as say a number of aerosol varnishes....and remember that a "varnish" is nothing more then some type of base like a plant/vegetable oil (rare) or simulated plant/vegetable oil (common) with a resin added. No real mystique there once you understand the differences between a reactive and evaporative finish.

So you got a finish say as robust as a number of poly finishes from a wear and abrasive standpoint but is not as robust from a chemical contamination standpoint. A beer spilled on it can cause it to get soft temporarily.

So you add another topcoat/finish over the Shellac that has more protection against chemical contamination and in general will be harder and again the "hard" ratings are geometric not linear.

Could be a wiping varnish like Formby's or a Lacquer formulation.

If it is not Lacquer you pretty much decrease the benefits of the Shellac because all other finishes are not water clear. So unless you need the Shellac as a barrier coat cause the bare wood is contaminated not a lot of reasons to use it if you are going to use a reactive finish.

The harder the rating though the more prone to chipping the finish becomes.

There are brushing lacquers such as the MinWax brand which also has the same formula in a rattle can. There are rattle can lacquers such as Deft which was the standard back in the day. Just have to look around. Each, brushing vs spray has their own good and not so good standpoints. Unless you get into the newer waterborne stuff which right now has to be sprayed the solvent-borne lacquers have not changed in well over 70 years.

So let's pretend you are one of the "Big Dogs". Or you wanna be.

You got you a nice piece of wood.

You prep it really well and slurry sand it (another protocol and there is a sticky so I am NOT going to go into that here....you can look it up....not easy to do) and make the bare wood where the pores are less visible and filled with the same wood as the stock.

So now you decide whether to color that wood. Most "Big Dogs" don't. Want to leave the wood as Mother Nature made it. Most "Not Big Dogs" do cause they want virtually all the hard woods other then say Maple to look like walnut.

If you do decide to color it you use a dye not a stain unless it has really visible "foggy" sapwood areas as shown in one of the other posts on this thread in which case a Gel Stain is use fo hide those.

So now you want to maximize whatever qualities the wood has. Grain patterns, wood fibers, subtle colors.....whatever.

To do that you put on a base coat of Dewaxed Shellac. Most "Big Dogs" don't use a colored Shellac but some do in which case they use the Amber one. Again most of em don't want to change what Mother Nature made.

So now you got the Shellac on but the piece you are finishing is going to be exposed to a variety of chemicals including alcohol or somebody is going to put a hot metal pot on it or whatever and while the Shellac is robust it does not play well with those.

So you put on a finish that plays well with those "folks".

Bunch of em around but all but two are reactive finishes which mean they have a color cast to them. See this sticky. It take awhile to load cause it is a virus free PDF file but you can save to your local PC for future reference.

http://rimfirecentral.com/rfcftp/sto...20topcoats.pdf

Well the "Big Dogs" don't want to add a color cast finish over a non color cast base coat cause if you do you don't allow the non color cast base coat to reach it's full potential so why bother with it. Non "Big Dogs" say adding the color cast adds "warmth" to the stock. Your choice.

So the "Big Dogs" use lacquer with is water clear. Won't add "warmth" though because of that.

The "Big Dog" approach in many cases is kinda frowned upon by many folks though cause they want the wood to look like walnut and if you don't color it to do that then won't be purty. Again your choice.

As an example. This is Beech stocked CZ452 that has been restored, not refinished. It has not been colored. Has the original toner topcoat put on by the factory to make it look more like walnut.



This is what it looked after being stripped.



Sure can tell it is not walnut.

This is what it looks like after it was restored to what Mother Nature made it to be.



It has been aged though.

As you can see no definitive separation of grain or fiber patterns and color sure does not look like walnut anymore.

"Big Dogs" say perfect.

"Non Big Dog" folks ie: rest of DIY folks, say...."Don't like that. Does not look like walnut. Little warmth. Kinda "flat" looking". Those "Big Dogs" don't have a clue and I did all the stuff they said and don't have an "oooh" "aaah" stock. Ain't listening to them anymore.

I don't think I can explain it any better then this. If you have a specific question then PM me so we can let this thread die with dignity.

noremf(George)

Last edited by noremf; 02-17-2017 at 06:53 AM.
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  #34  
Old 02-17-2017, 04:51 AM
Nomack
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Thank you for taking the time to write that. It clarifies things perfectly.

Nomack aka "Little Dawg"
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  #35  
Old 02-17-2017, 11:22 AM
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finish coat

The best looking, best feeling, most durable, longest lasting finish I have found is urethane "varnish" clear gloss. Put on the first coat, lightly sand with 400 or so. Apply the second coat, then rub the second coat with 0000 steel wool and paste wax. Wipe the steel wool in the paste wax. Rub within 24 hrs or the urethane will get too hard to rub. Finish by buffing with a soft cloth. I have had very bad results with water based finishes. They make the wood look like Formica.

Last edited by kkayser; 02-17-2017 at 11:30 AM.
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  #36  
Old 02-17-2017, 01:35 PM
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Steel Wool=very bad idea

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Originally Posted by kkayser View Post
The best looking, best feeling, most durable, longest lasting finish I have found is urethane "varnish" clear gloss. Put on the first coat, lightly sand with 400 or so. Apply the second coat, then rub the second coat with 0000 steel wool and paste wax. Wipe the steel wool in the paste wax. Rub within 24 hrs or the urethane will get too hard to rub. Finish by buffing with a soft cloth. I have had very bad results with water based finishes. They make the wood look like Formica.
Using Steel Wool is a very bad idea.

Why?

http://rimfirecentral.com/rfcftp/sto...lternative.pdf

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...15&postcount=1

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...5&postcount=20

Adding wax to a topcoat/finish is almost as bad.

noremf(George)
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  #37  
Old 02-17-2017, 02:29 PM
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finish

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Originally Posted by noremf View Post
Using Steel Wool is a very bad idea.

Why?

http://rimfirecentral.com/rfcftp/sto...lternative.pdf

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...15&postcount=1

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums...5&postcount=20

Adding wax to a topcoat/finish is almost as bad.

noremf(George)
If you fear steel wool and wax; use fine, wet, sandpaper. For cars, I think they use about 2000 grit. Use, maybe, 600 for a matte finish. start with coarser grits and work up to the shine you prefer. If you get in trouble, sand with 300 or so and apply another coat. I prefer foam applicators for clear finishes.

The wax is for finishing. You can remove it if you please.
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  #38  
Old 02-18-2017, 12:39 AM
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If you are looking for a product to really polish your wood with try these Micro-Mesh Soft Touch abrasive pads that we use to polish wooden ink pens that are turned on a wood lathe. I have used them to polish all kinds of stuff from a glass lens to a plastic headlight to many wood working projects including probably 100 or more custom ink pens I have made.

My neighbor is asinine about keeping his vehicles clean and shiny especially both of his Harley's. He had a stone bruise on a piece of chrome on his new Harley and couldn't get it out. I got him to take the part off and brought it over here and with a little metal polish and lots of rubbing with the Micro-Mesh pads got it out in about 30 minutes and he couldn't find the spot when I took it back home. I was amazed! If they do that good on chrome and polish a wood ink pen till it shines I bet they would work great on a gun stock, I just haven't had a chance to try since I discovered them.
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  #39  
Old 02-18-2017, 12:44 AM
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Wax

Quote:
Originally Posted by kkayser View Post
If you fear steel wool and wax; use fine, wet, sandpaper. For cars, I think they use about 2000 grit. Use, maybe, 600 for a matte finish. start with coarser grits and work up to the shine you prefer. If you get in trouble, sand with 300 or so and apply another coat. I prefer foam applicators for clear finishes.

The wax is for finishing. You can remove it if you please.
If you mix the wax with the finish then it will not break down as it is encapsulated by the finish, so it cannot be removed without removing some or all of the finish also.

If you apply the wax after the finish has cured, which means waiting 3 weeks, then the wax is easily removed.

noremf(George)
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