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I am about to refinish my 10/22 carbine stock(nothing fancy). I will remove the old finish with paint/varnish remover. As for sanding, do I use a palmsander first then sand by hand? What grade of sandpaper do you recommend as a starter? I hope to put at least half a dozen coats of stain on the stock and at least the same amount of coats of TungOil. Thanks for the info.

Canuck :D
 

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Canuck,

The finish on the factory carbine stock is not a thick "top-coat" type layer that would require removing with "paint/varnish remover". It's just a very thin, almost "painted-on" finish that removes easily with just sanding. Save yourself the time and trouble of the paint remover, and just start sanding. Try 100 or 160 grit to start, finish with about 220 or so.

FWIW, the factory birch wood takes "real" stain unevenly, so after you sand off the orginal finish, you might want to use something like Minwax wood prep to help even out the stain finish.

HTH
Good Luck, gb
 

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Id strip it with some automotive paint remover,let it dry then sand it with black automotive 220 sandpaper.The black sands the wood smoother than the tan or garnet paper.You can go over it with 320 if you want and your ready for color.Some wood like birch and beech ends up being blotchy with stain.Try some wood dye. You can order it from woodcraft.com.Multiple coats of stain dont really do much past the first or second coat. The stain has some shellac or sealer in it that seals the grain so not much gets absorbed after a couple coats.The dye doesnt seal the wood so oil finishes work good with it. Alcohol base is best since it doesnt raise the grain much.

.You mentioned tung oil.There is pure tung oil and tung oil finish like minwax brand.They are 2 completely different things.If it were me I would save the real tung oil for fancy wood,I use it on walnut and it super nice.For a tough ultra easy to do finish I would use the wipe on polyurethane at walmart.If you apply it right it doesnt come out plastic looking.All you need is a can of the wipe on poly ,some 0000 steel wool and some clean rags.It will come out looking like a factory finish. If you decide to try it this way let me know and Iwill outline how to do it.Good luck.
 

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The simplest method that I have found.

I use spray stripper (outside or very good interior ventilation.) Let it bubble for 5-10 minutes, wipe off with a shop towel. Rinse with very hot water. Then bleach with a spray bottle, hit it once thoroughly, then again after 30 minutes then let it dry for an hour (outside or very good interior ventilation.) Then rinse with hot water. I then use a wet towel and hot iron to bring up any dents and scratches. If the finish looks good I go directly to 000 steel wool, if not I use 60, 100, 150 then 220 sand paper followed by 000 steel wool. I have finished over two dozen this way so far...two outside drying right now as we speak. Works very well, very simple, and very easy and fast. From old to new in less than two hours most times. Mostly I use RIT and spar for finish, but that's just my little experimental process.
 

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I just started modifying a factory stock, and the finish sands off pretty easily. I wouldn't bother with chemical strippers, just sand it. I have some 3M sanding pads laying around so I'm using those right now, but they don't cut as well as good old sandpaper. Start with 100 or 150 grit to remove the finish, or even 80 if you are planning to shape the stock anyway. Then work your way down to 220. I like to put a coat or two of finish on at the 220 stage, then keep sanding down to whatever degree of smoothness you're after. One way to make sure you've sanded enough with each grit is to alternate the direction of sanding: once you can't see any sanding marks from the previous pass, you know you're finished with that grit. Yeah, you're supposed to sand WITH the grain, I know. But birch is fine-grained, and as long as your final sanding goes with the grain, you should be fine. And once you get down to the finer grits, it doesn't take that long to sand out the marks from the previous round.

Post pics of your progress!

c.
 

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Interesting suggestion, Mandrake. I'll try it on my next project.

FYI, genuine steel wool makes a superior finish over synthetic 'steel wool'. I read an article about the two, and the authors even made photomicrographs of the resulting finishes. The photos proved what many of us have suspected all along; the steel wool acts like little razors, slicing away the material, while the synthetics act more like little scrapers, leaving a rougher (microscopically) surface. Which explains why there is NO substitute for buffing with 0000 steel wool for producing a lustrous satin sheen; the synthetics leave a 'hazy' finish. Interesting reading for us DIY geeks...

c.
 

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cc_rider said:
Interesting suggestion, Mandrake. I'll try it on my next project.

FYI, genuine steel wool makes a superior finish over synthetic 'steel wool'. I read an article about the two, and the authors even made photomicrographs of the resulting finishes. The photos proved what many of us have suspected all along; the steel wool acts like little razors, slicing away the material, while the synthetics act more like little scrapers, leaving a rougher (microscopically) surface. Which explains why there is NO substitute for buffing with 0000 steel wool for producing a lustrous satin sheen; the synthetics leave a 'hazy' finish. Interesting reading for us DIY geeks...

c.
Interesting observation cc rider. I have been experiementing with steel wool & the 3M synthetic steel wool. My results are exactly what you describe.

One question: for you guys who use steel wool to buff, what do you do to make sure no steel wool particles are left behind in the finish? I have always feared having rust spots appear years down the road.

I use a tack rag and follow that with blow from a compressed air hose. Is that enough?
 

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You're doing it right. Tack rag and (clean) compressed air is gonna get it about as good as it can be got. The only concern with steel wool is using water-based finishes, like Minwax's 'Polycrylic' products; the container specifically warns against using steel wool. But I'm not a big fan of the water-based products (at least not yet), and haven't noticed anyone here evoking a preference for such stuff.

But if you DO prefer a water-based finish, use copper or bronze wool instead of steel. No rust. I've heard of folks using those old-school copper wool pot and pan scrubbers, but I haven't actually SEEN one of those in years. I think HD and the like carry copper and bronze wool in the paint department; latex paints would rust steel wool residue as well.

c.
 

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The way to minimize the specs left behind is never use steel wool dry.They make a special steel wool lube so it minimized the particles broken off while using it.You can also use the finish you are applying for the lubricant.That is what I do,Use the 0000 wool as your applicator,for oil or poly type finishes,then just wipe off the excess with a soft rag and it comes out ultra smooth and no rust particles.I have been doing this for years and I have never seen a rust spec in any of my stocks.Try alcohol instead of water for the base of your dyes and you will get a smoother finish because the alcohol wont raise the grain as much.Another thing to end up with the smoothest finish is use black automotive sandpaper instead of the brown garnet type.It has a more uniform media on it and will give a smoother sanded finish.I go along with cc riders advice to about the water base finisheswith steel wool,there is always a non water base to replace the polycryl or most any water base finish.
 
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