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stock refinishing Model 60

3455 Views 17 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  hauptbuilder
I love my model 60, but ,as someone said, the stock looks like its made of pressed sawdust. It's lightweight, and has nice lines, but has anyone refinished the factory stock? I'm thinking of a dark walnut stain with a satin tung oil finish. I know factory stocks are cheap, but I would be interested in seeing some ideas before start sanding.
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I do not claim to be good at refinishing

However, when I got back into guns a few years ago I naively thought I could take my rifles with "inexpensive hardwood" stocks and make them beautiful by refinishing. Well, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I have seen some pretty nice looking non-walnut stocks pictured on this forum. However, when I stripped them and used walnut stain and Birchwood Casey Tru Oil I found the results to be very disappointing. In fact I have a Marlin 70 HC right now that I will be so happy to get the stock off of and replace with a walnut stock. That homely stock is one I redid and it is just homely to me. So, before you dig in too fast get some good ideas from our cohorts here. One option...it may not be as fulfilling as refinishing your own stock is to find a walnut stock that is already finished to put on or order a walnut stock and strip it if needed and refinish it yourself. You know...the Marlin Model 990 was simply a very nice Model 60 with walnut wood. If you can buy a 990 stock you would have a walnut stock for your 60. If your 60 has LSHO you would need to just cut a coin sized hole in the t/g area to accommodate the LSHO lever. Anyway, there are several people who will read your post and help you out with refinishing more than I can. But I do understand what you are saying. We get a nice rifle we love and we want to have a stock on it that does justice to it. If looking for a replacement stock check Numrich Gun Parts, Bob's stocks, Midway, etc. And, there is another good reason to go to gun shows. As someone suggested in another post or forum take your gun stock with you to a gun show so if you see a bunch of gun stocks you can compare right there to see if one you want is for sale. Good luck.

Oh, one more thing, does the thought of painting the stock appeal to you. You could paint it with say, Krylon, and then put topcoat of Krylon Polyurethane on it. I just did that with an old 60 I bought and cleaned up. I painted it an olive green and thought it looked good. Matter of taste of course.
 

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That's a tough stock to get to look good with stain. It's going to splotch. If you are dead set on stain, mix up some gel stains and experiment a little. If you want to control the splotching, use some dyes instead of stain.

Still going to be harder to get a real good look, but you can get something that looks cool.

An example... had an old CM2 rifle that the stock was terrible on. Wanted something "different" so used some leather dye mixed with different amounts of alcohol. I call it "big red". Looks better than what it did.


You can get about any color you want with dye, and even put different "looks" into the wood where you want.

Good luck with it.

Kenny
 

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I agree on the factory finish, just ugly. I left my 60 natural

I used analine dye on a couple of others that turned our very well

Go ahead and try it yourself if you don't like it you can redo it or buy another. It is satisfying to do it yourself.

Mals
 

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BEFORE you start sanding, go to the store and pick up some CITRUS STRIP. Smells ok and easy on the skin. Put a nice thick layer on the outside of the stock.
Come back in a few hours with a hard PLASTIC putty knife or spatula.
You'll love how easy it is. You may have to hit a few spots again.
When done, Wipe it all down with rubbing alcohol and a scotch bright scrubby...let dry.
If there are dents, you can "raise" them with a damp towel and a hot iron.
Sand dry stock to about 600 grit.

Rule #1 --- Birch is a beeeatch to stain, all kinds if banding in a "tiger" pattern.
If you like it, you're in luck. If not, the heavy solid stains are needed to hide the banding in the wood.

I did two and would still do something different. I don't care for the banding myself. I tried Minwax on both, it doesn't cover the banding.



Some here have had great success with other stains. Do a search in this forum...you'll find some great posts. Good luck and post pics!!!!
 

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Here's how my 60W turned out...

I stripped it to bare wood, then smoothed with 0000 steel wool. I applied dark Walnut stain, let it sit for a while and wiped off. Let it dry overnight, then gave it a few coats of Tru-Oil and buffed with more 0000 to a semi-gloss finish and waxed with Butcher's.
While I had it stripped I also added pillars to the stock, this old guy is a treasure!
 

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Very nice, Radar et al

who posted photos. I am going to try and post a photo of one I did that was not walnut and I think it is ugly. The rifle at the bottom is the nonwalnut stock for a Marlin 70HC. It may not show very well in the photo but I think the color turned out ugly. I used Birchwood Casey Walnut stain and the Tru-Oil. Luckily, I found a Marlin factory finished walnut stock that is on the way that will fit right on it.
 

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@ XUSNORDY that is great

That is a beautiful stock and certainly not knocking the two products you mention. However, what happened with me and my ugly stock is that the walnut just came out a weird bad color and I probably did not know what I was doing. The walnut stain made the grain lines in the wood black and the lighter wood "background" kind of a washed out yellow look. Maybe I needed to keep staining but if I remember correctly the wood would not take the stain well.

That is a stock refinish you have a right to be proud of. Thanks for the photos.
 

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Trying one more photo

but you know, these photos do not always realistically show everything. My stock redo on the 70HC does not look bad in photos...this is just one of five I took a few minutes ago but will not waste space posting all of them.
 

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No worries..

I have tried Birchwood Casey other times with dismal results. But I think it was all me and not the wood:eek:. This time I took my time staining, and made sure it was on evenly. I diluted the stain 50/50 with water first, but was light and soaked right into the wood. I let it dry and stained with about a 70/30 mixture. It went on better. I let it dry and stained one more time. I lightly sanded again, wiped off with slightly dampened cloth and let dry. Five coats of tru-oil. Let each coat dry thouroughly, and lightly sanded between the coats.

Ithacabuff I don't think your stock looks bad at all.
 

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Birchwood Casey Stains

Sometimes, lots more as I become more mature, my mind gets our of whack with my typing so you might want to read the whole post. Sorry about that.

BC stains are one of the newer water based stains and are a lot closer to dyes, application wise, than to the traditional stains. Actually better for DIY people than the traditional ones IMO and IME cause the carrier is water and you don't have to screw around trying to figure out what it is.

Thinning with water is a fundamental protocol with dyes and works well with the BC stains also. Some small differences though. Dyes, no matter how many coats you put on will not change color, assuming the dye strength is not changed.

Stains add color with each coat, even if the stain strength is the same or even if you thin it after each coat or "unthin" it after each coat, if you will. Reason is that stains are essentially a really thin paint. Can be really subtle depending on the strength of the chemical, but there none the less.

Some wood just is simply not gonna come out really nice no matter what you do but having said that, you might want to try this with the BC stuff next time or if you strip the stock and start over again. No guarantees and no Magic Bullets either.

Need a small jar, like an airbrush jar or something similar, of clear glass with a tight fitting top. Want glass not plastic.

Mix the stain in the original container really well by stirring with something like a Popsicle stick. "Stirred not shaken. . . . . ;);)" Since they are a paint the colorant particles settle to the bottom regardless of the carrier and you need to get em solution well. Shaking makes bubbles and you don't want that. Might not be able to see em but they are there.

Pour some into your air brush bottle, no more than 1/4 of the original stain, now mixed. Can eyeball it. Don't need a statical analysis to do it. Take a look at the level in your air brush bottle.

With an eyedropper, add enough of the carrier, in this case water, so that you end up with about 70% stain and 30% water. Again can eyeball. This formulation is called by many woodworkers a "wash" coat. Wanna go light with the colorant to start.

Put the colorant, assuming the stock has been prepped well, on the wood and WHILE wet, look at it in sunlight, if possible, directly under a fairly strong incandescent light if not. You will get a pretty decent idea of the color etc. again while wet, is gonna look like when you add a topcoat. Read below on what a topcoat is gonna do.

Generally it will look like you almost did nothing which is the whole purpose. If you like it then what I recommend is to wet sand it with like 600 wet dry automotive sandpaper and don't wipe off the slurry that is created. The slurry has a tendency to fill in the pores and even out the wood cause as the wood fibers are raised you are knocking em back into the wood which is a good thing cause they will be the same color as the base of the wood itself now colored. So you have an exact color match for a "filler".

Let it dry overnight and wipe the stock down with Mineral Spirits to get any slurry off without raising the grain again although if you do the stain thing with water, after like three shots the grain ain't gonna raise anymore. MS has some valuable side benefits though.

Again check it while the MS is wet! Will get even a better idea of the color and shading etc.

Let dry over night. Next morning, smell the stock, if MS smell is strong then let it dry another day. Even if you have some on there it won't matter on most reactive finishes like Poly's or Tru-Oil cause MS is the carrier for those.

If the color is too light, then take your handy dandy eye dropper and add maybe 1/2-3/4 of an eye dropper's worth to the concoction you have and read do the stock. Will get darker but only like a shade. Again look at it while wet. Of course if you use a kitchen baster it is gonna get a lot darker in a hurry. :p:p:p

Since stains keep adding color, you can simply keep staining it with the original wash until it gets where you want it to be if you wanna go that way. Just take longer. Sometimes that's a good idea as if you make it too dark it takes awhile to make it lighter. Your choice and how much confidence you have in doing something like this. Sometimes slow/easy/light color many coats is the best way to go. Can't advise you on that and another reason to have a piece of scrap wood to mess with.

If you get it fingered out on a piece of scrap then hopefully you have made notes about what you did to get your personal stain. Throw it away and start all over from the beginning on the real piece. Should still have plenty of the store bought stuff left.

Go back to the above steps and redo until happy then prep for the topcoat.

Reactive topcoats such as poly's or Tru-Oil are gonna do two things. The first is they are gonna add color. In most cases a yellow or golden tint, with each application and you cannot do anything about that if you use that type of topcoat. They are also gonna add a sheen which is directly Dependant on how many coats you put on. That sheen is gonna highlight any imperfections in the wood prep or the wood itself which again, you can't do much about unless you strip and go back. Another good reason to look at the wood when wet.

When you get all done, keep your "personal" stain bottle for future touch ups and take it AND the BC stain and store em upside down. Make sure the tops seal well. ;);););) This will keep the pigments at the "top" when you turn em over to use em which will keep the chances of skinning and having em turn into globs of pigments. All coatings that have pigments in them should be stored like that if at all possible.

Again, you can't make a really plain piece of Beech or Birch look like burl walnut by only staining and topcoating. You can get close with other techniques but they are labor and clock time intensive.

Good idea to mess with a piece of scrap wood or the base of the stock, where the buttplate goes first. Normally the base is not "colored" like the rest of the stock cause normal topoats are toners which have color in them to cover imperfections and once you get that off you will have the "real" wood. Barrel channel ain't bad either but gotta be quick to see color and need great light.

If'n you screw with scrap wood etc. and it is too dark, you can always had a few drops of water to make it lighter before you have at it on the stock itself.

Of course there a variations of this coloring approach. You can simply keep recoloring to a darker color etc. until you get what you want, again looking at while wet, and then wet sand it, wipe with MS and have at it for the topcoat instead of doing it a layer at a time and checking. Depends on how much patience you have.

This protocol is done with dyes, which again don't add color with each coat unless the strength is made higher and the only difference is that you are putting in small amounts of dye powder to make it darker. Essentially the same process. Dyes will get you a much deeper penetration though.

The whole idea of this post is to point out that the water based stains allow the DIYer a lot more versatility than the solvent based ones and "going light" instead of right out of the bottle can do a lot for you.

Good luck

noremf(George)
 

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Thanks, XUSNordy

I suppose when I look at it today it looks better than before I stripped it. And, nothing ventured, nothing gained is the saying.
But question: I am not sure what diluting the stain with water does? And another thought...what about other stain colors that I might find at the supplies for redo furniture?

1st edit: Oh, overlapping posts so to speak, I think Noremf, has answered my question. Never mind.

2nd late post edit: Noremf, thanks for taking all your time to spell that out in detail. And, I just printed out all those instructions for my gun files.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
some nice results

Thanks for the ideas and photos. Some of those do look better than the factory finish! With birch it's hit and miss, just like shooting. I'm thinking of replicating the birch stock with a piece of walnut and maybe adding a few custom features like a slightly longer L.O.P., southpaw palm swell and a nicer buttplate:bthumb:
 
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