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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
There is a "S Series" rifle auction running until June 1 on Auction Arms. The rifle's stock has some finish problems. To me, it appears someone applied some shellac over or in place of the original finish. Over, most likely. Anyway, it's crazed. If the gun were yours, would you try to correct this or leave it alone?

 

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Pretty wood, looks like it be well worth a complete refinish. I wouldn't hesitate to bid on it just because of the finish.
Gunut is right, though, see if it cleans up by just taking off the crazed part with a mild treatment.

Dale
 

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Wood in that picture is OK?? Nothing to write home about. Someone hear has an S model picture posted that I look at as if it was porn. The wood is astonishing. Its somewhere in a recent thread.
 

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As long as there is no scraches through the finish, or any place the finish is peeling, that can be fixed without a total refinish. Formby's furniture refinisher is the way to go. Some #0000 steelwool and the refinisher will remove the build up on the surface without removing the oil and finish in the wood. Usally a quick rub down and wipe it off! Let it air dry overnight and apply a good oil finish. Its alot quicker then a complete strip down and refinish.
 

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I recommend a product from Birchwood Casey called "Stock Sheen and Conditioner". It is a mild rubbing compound for wood finishes.

I bought a Verona (less expensive Italian O/U shotgun no longer imported) a few years ago. It had STUNNING European walnut wood. Seriously, this walnut is better than what my Kimber Custom Match, or the vast majority of high grade Berettas and Benellis costing 3 to 5 times what I paid for the Verona were built with. I was after a rifle and had to buy it, basically because of the wood. That, and I didn't have a shotgun and belonged to a gun club. Anyhow, it had one glaring defect. There was a messed up finish job. The impression I got was the stock was finished properly, then sat on a plastic sheet with wet finish on it. The crinkled look and the fact I could feel the imperfection on the surface made me think I had a shot at removing the ugly without having to refinish the stock. An hour with a rag and some serious elbow grease, the stock finish is perfect. The stuff might dull a glossy finish, but the shotgun I used the stuff on had a satin finish, like a lot of Kimbers. If you are lucky, Kimberkook, the peel I see is on the suface layer of finish, and not the original finish. I'd say that is likely the case, because the new stuff couldn't soak through the original.

Good luck.

-Les
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks!

Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful advice. I share dlong's opinion, and it's unlikely that I will bid on this rifle, but this rifle's finish does represent an interesting, curious problem, and the person who wins this auction will be faced with it.

Dissolving or rubbing out the finish applied on top of the original finish seems to be the consensus. I've used the Fornby refinisher solution ShootNut recommends and it is remarkably effective in removing the old shellac type finishes without affecting the newer poly finishes used by Kimber of Oregon and others. (Yonkers guns use the penetrating oil finish, not the Oregon guns!) But I'm only guessing at what's been applied to this vintage S's finish that would craze as this has. Well, KoO guru SageRat22 has bid and may win. Then, he can solve this "craze-y" mystery. :D
 

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It would depend on how high it goes. $810.00 at the moment is still a very good price for an S-Series but you need to balance the cost over the fact that you would have a re-finished rifle and ( depending on what is done to it and how extensive the refinish) a possibly reduced value. Of course, the value of an S-Series is going up all the time and there are only 535 of them in 22 LR. There are two currently on gunsamarica at $1400 (no sights) and $1750 (with sights and a scope) Without seeing that rifle in the flesh we can't be sure if that is crazing in the original finish or if someone applied a a touch-up finish (Why did it need it?) over the original finish and it crazed.
I believe that the "S" Series Kimbers are some of the best rifles that Kimber ever made. They took a lot of pains with them because they were meant to be supergrade rifles in every way and I for one like them better then the later SuperAmerica's. There are reletively quite a few SuperAmerica's but whoever ends up with this one will be in a rather select group with only 534 other people.
 

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Well men, I'm hear to tell you that this is a case of where the pics actually made the wood look worse than it really is. There is no additional finish; it's all original. However, the whole stock had a real dry look to it so I wiped it down with with a gun oil I make and most of the problems just disappeared and the otherwise plain looking stock actually has some figure to it. When you consider I bought a real S Series for about what some guys are asking for a basic Classic, I think I'm a happy camper.
 

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One of my projects is to learn how to do the picture thing myself. I need to figure out the whole photo modification thing and then getting them hosted somewhere. Tom, you are an expert at it.
 

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I've refinished many pieces of furniture with that Formbys stuff, Works great, but its a lot of work. Typically when all the old finish was off I rubbed in about 10 -12 coats of tung oil, steel wool between each coat. those days are over.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
One of my projects is to learn how to do the picture thing myself. I need to figure out the whole photo modification thing and then getting them hosted somewhere. Tom, you are an expert at it.
Expert? No. But there are some simple things to do and not to do to be successful. We need some sort of "photo how to..." thread somewhere. Maybe we have one and I just haven't seen it. Until then John, I'll email you with some suggestions.
 

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According to Dennis Smith, who currently runs a business called the Stock Doctor, and who ran the KoO wood shop for over 5 years, the KoO stocks are finished with a product from Sherwin Williams called Chemvar C. I don't know a thing about it other than I wanted to buy a small quantity from our local Sherwin Williams store to touch up a stock and they said the smallest quantity they would special order it in was a case; 6 gallons.
 

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Crazed stock finishes

Without seeing that rifle in the flesh we can't be sure if that is crazing in the original finish or if someone applied a a touch-up finish (Why did it need it?) over the original finish and it crazed.
I think you might be on the right track on this. There can be several causes of cracking like this. Moisture in the stock when the finish was applied, not long enough between coats, two different finish mixtures, an incompatable filler with a final finish, etc.

An extreme example of this is the "antiquing" of woodworking projects by using a latex paint and a shellac or varnish. The latex dries fast, and the shellac or varnish dries slower. This creates a cracking in the finish, giving that "OLD" look to a newly created piece.

Similarily, not waiting enough time between coats can cause cracking, or applying a touch-up finish that is not compatable with the original one can do the same.
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