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Extremely Simple, Cheap And Weatherproof "homemade" Stock Finish...


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#1 bcp477

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Posted 27 April 2008 - 07:46 PM

I have been experimenting with stock finishes lately. No particularly profound purpose, other than to (possibly) come up with a finish that will be as easy to apply as possible...dry or cure as quickly as possible....and to be as weatherproof as possible. Also, ease of refinishing would be a great plus. I have tried and like very much, the old standby of 1/3 turpentine, 1/3 beeswax and 1/3 boiled linseed oil. However, even this requires a bit of time for each coat to dry... and can be a problem in extemely humid or cold weather. I often use a product by Minwax, a paste wax product called "finishing wax" (made for fine furniture)....for a variety of purposes. This stuff is very rich in carnauba and easy to use. It seems to have good protective qualities, as well. However, in it's standard form, (the finished coat) is easily smeared and dulled by hand contact. I wondered if thinning the mixture might help. So, I mixed about 1/3 (or so) of turpentine to 2/3 of the Minwax.... and cooked the mixture on an electric burner (to melt the wax and facillitate mixing). Thorough mixing was accomplished by stirring the pot constantly. After cooling, the resulting mixture is much softer than the original paste wax....and even better - it forms a MUCH better finish. I have applied six coats now to my favorite gun stock, hand rubbing in the wax mixture. Drying time is short, no more than 10 minutes or so. Then, I buff it out with a soft cloth. The result is a nice, soft, glossy finish which for some reason is much more durable than the original wax - it is actually difficult to smear the coating (and destroy the shine) by handling. The surface (of the finish) is almost as hard as a regular oil finish. Further, the finsh is as waterproof as any I have ever tried (I actually placed the stock in the shower, under a stiff spray of warm water, for ten minutes...with absolutely no indication of any water soaking into the wood, at any point). The remaining water simply beaded up on the surface, as one might expect. Naturally, when applying the finish, I have been sure to coat all areas of the stock, inside and out. A period of extended firing of the rifle at the range produced no apparent melting of the finish, as well. The standard Minwax product has, of course, petroleum-based solvents in it. Somehow, the combination of the Minwax stuff and ordinary turpentine has proved to be much better than the sum of it's parts. Perhaps the turpentine has reacted with the other solvents in some way, causing the stuff to form a harder surface. I do not know. I can say though that this mixture is about the easiest stuff to apply I've ever used...and adding a coat takes no time. So, it seems to fulfill my purposes very nicely.

In case anyone else is looking for the easiest possible gunstock finish....I would recommend this stuff highly. The Minwax product can be found at your local Home Depot....or probably anyplace that sells the Minwax product line.

#2 walnut

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Posted 28 April 2008 - 08:36 PM

Sounds cool. What finish was on the stock prior? I'm assuming you put this on an existing finished stock.
Ron

#3 bcp477

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Posted 01 May 2008 - 04:12 PM

QUOTE (walnut @ Apr 28 2008, 08:36 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Sounds cool. What finish was on the stock prior? I'm assuming you put this on an existing finished stock.
Ron



A rather tired BLO finish was already on the stock, which definitely needed refreshing. I suppose, after having thought about it, that this wax finish would not really be suitable for a stock which is unfinished (bare wood). It probably would be better to only apply this stuff over an existing oil finish. If not, then I'd say revert to the good old 1/3 -1/3 - 1/3 mixture...so that there would be BLO in the mix, to soak into the wood surface.

#4 BradD

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Posted 06 June 2008 - 05:19 PM

bc, you're a genius! I finally got around to trying it today.

How do you rub it out? When I polished it out with a soft rag it took a sheen, but when I burnished it out with my bare hand it took quite a shine. I was surprised, much more so than the Birchwood Casey wax done that way.

Really have to watch it though and go light. It's real easy to load it up too much. A time or two I needed a rag to "card off" the excess, but then back to just rubbing and rubbing with my bare fingers until it burnished up.

Thanks for the good item.

Brad

#5 bcp477

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Posted 15 June 2008 - 11:19 AM

QUOTE (BradD @ Jun 6 2008, 05:19 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
bc, you're a genius! I finally got around to trying it today.

How do you rub it out? When I polished it out with a soft rag it took a sheen, but when I burnished it out with my bare hand it took quite a shine. I was surprised, much more so than the Birchwood Casey wax done that way.

Really have to watch it though and go light. It's real easy to load it up too much. A time or two I needed a rag to "card off" the excess, but then back to just rubbing and rubbing with my bare fingers until it burnished up.

Thanks for the good item.

Brad




You are welcome. I'm glad that it is working out for you. As to rubbing it out, I just buff each coat with a soft cloth....then dull the shine with a coarse cloth - like a piece of cheesecloth. Oh and thanks for the compliment - but I am hardly a genius - just always experimenting. Sometimes, I get lucky.




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