Friday, June 28, 2013

Stock refinish

The J.C. Higgins model 583 (AKA the H&R Model 121) 16 Gauge shotgun, looked like this when I got it:
One of the previous owners thought they were doing the right thing when the covered up the beautiful walnut wood with a thick coat of varnish, which aged to a funky yellowish color, further hiding the beauty within

I used this citrus based stripper to remove the old varnish, after a few minutes the varnish lifted, I carded it with a piece of thin plastic
after carding I used another enviro-friendly chemical, bio safe paint thinner to clean the wood (look at being all environmental-like)
The wood already looks better, here are some after it was fully cleaned
and a close up, the wood has some really nice grain to it
The next step is sanding, I used 220 grit which is strong enough to remove the last vestiges of varnish and remove and small scratches, when sanding wood stocks remember two things: 1. always sand with the grain and 2. leave the butt pad in place.


 Luckily this stock did not have any bad dents so I did not need to steam them out, here is a video showing how to steam dents out using a clothes iron: 

 

I then wiped down the wood with paint thinner again and let it dry

I then added my first coat of  Birchwood-Casey's Tru-Oil
Add the Tru-Oil with your fingers, let the wood soak it up, then use a paper towel to remove the excess and let dry for 24hrs, Tru-Oil contains linseed oil, so dispose of the paper towels properly (they can spontaneously catch fire)
on the last go around with hot bluing I polished and reblued the trigger guard, I didn't want to put an ugly scratched trigger guard on the nicely refinished stock
the next step involves filling the grain by creating a slurry of wood dust and Tru-Oil. push the slurry into the grain by wiping across the grain, wipe off the excess and let dry 24 hrs. Remember to put the paper towels outside in a metal container (or in your fireplace)

After the Tru-oil dries you can add the final coat(s), I will only put two top coats on this stock. Be sure to knock down the shine between coats using 0000 Steel Wool.

Here is the gun finished:

 A before & after comparison