Spike Camp

GUN STOCK VARNISH

GUN STOCK VARNISH
« on: March 11, 2009, 05:46:24 PM »
I JUST FINISHED STAINING A STOCK AND WANTED TO KNOW IF ANYBODY COULD HELP ME WITH THE FINISH. I HAVE SOME SPAR VARNISH GLOSS, IS THIS A GOOD VARNISH TO USE ON GUN STOCKS ?  IF SO AFTER AOUT 4 OR 5 COATS WOULD I NEED TO SEAL IT OR POLISH IT WITH SOMETHING OR JUST LEAVE IT ALONE AFTER LAST COAT  ???

Re: GUN STOCK VARNISH
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2009, 07:40:39 PM »
EE, I use the gloss urethane spar varnish. I've read where automotive clear coat is the best, but I can get the spray can spar varnish at WallyWorld. I put on 3 or 4 coats 2-3 hours apart, let it cure for a week or so, and then wet sand with 400 grit to get the bumps, orange peel, and fuzz off of it. Then 1 more coat, wait a week, 4/0 steelwool lightly and put the last coat on just heavy enough to gloss over. I don't use a filler or sealer under it and don't rottenstone it. Looks OK, and is durable, but not a museum quality finish. For that, in my opinion, there's no substitute for a fine, hand rubbed oil finish. Wish I could do one!

Good luck,  Tom 
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Re: GUN STOCK VARNISH
« Reply #2 on: March 12, 2009, 12:47:22 PM »
Birchwood Casey true oil.  Very easy to use and correct any scratches that you may get while hunting.  Pure Tung Oil it doesn't darken as much with age,  Boiled Linseed Oil we used years ago in the Military, but it darkens.   I prefer the Birchwood Casey True oil you can leave it shiny or buff down with 0000 steel wool for a satin finish.  All of these you put on with your fingers and let dry and recoat until desired finish.  Just follow directions, very easy and if you goof up it's no bid deal to correct.  I have used them for years and never had problems such as cracks like varnish.  Pure Tung Oil  (not tung oil like finish) is probably the finest finish, but for me a little harder to use, I stick with Tru Oil.  If you have a stock that is a little light in color you can always stain it to your liking,,  and don't sand a stock to take old varnish off,  scrape it with a piece of glass or straight edge just don't gouge the wood, you will get the hang of it.  Sanding is only used in severe cases or filling in and not to take wood off,  if you have to sand only use super fine paper sparingly.  Trust me anyone can spray a stock, but once you hand rub one it's the only way to go.

Re: GUN STOCK VARNISH
« Reply #3 on: March 12, 2009, 02:24:22 PM »
THANKS GUYS FOR THE INFO!! WILL LET YOU KNOW HOW IT TURNS OUT!!

Re: GUN STOCK VARNISH
« Reply #4 on: March 12, 2009, 05:13:40 PM »
I wet sanded my last rifle stock with teak oil to fill and seal. Topped that with  a hand rubbed Pro Custom Oil finish and very pleased with the end result.  The so so walnut stock has some snap to it now and really brought the highlights out.  Look for Pro Custom Oil or Velvet Oil at Midway or Brownells.  I've also done hand rubbed finishes with urethane and TruOil.

If you are familar with the Accurate Reloading site visit them and do a search for stock finishes under the Gunsmith thread.

Re: GUN STOCK VARNISH
« Reply #5 on: March 12, 2009, 05:34:32 PM »
While I'm no expert on what type of varnish/polyurethane one should use, I will say that I recently wet sanded my 30 year old Vanguard with 2500 grit and polished it with 3M Finess-it, much like you would do to an automotive finish. I'm really happy with the result. The process took all the normal handling scratches out and brought back the original (maybe better than original) gloss.