How to make the stock look old.

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G O Bushcraft

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I have a new to me Dixie Gunworks Tennessee long gun and want to shade certain areas on the stock to make it look older than what it is. I don't want to buy bone black but only as a last result. What can I use to get this effect?
 
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Seconds on the use it, you will never build the type of use and wear in to the gun that you get from actually using it.
 
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on a more serious note. I've know guys to run a blow torch over the wood to lightly char it. Brush it with steel wool to bring out some light spots in the black, then when you oil it, it will lock it in.

Beware that if you have any chatoyance in the wood grain this will ruin it. A tiger-striped stock will just have 2-dimensional dark stripes.
 

LawrenceA

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Failing that have a good look at the originals and those made by the likes of Mike Brooks.
Mr. Brooks is expert and making a gun look used and well maintained for 200 years.
Essentially you are accelerating wear.
Look where you need to wear the finish or add bruises and scuffing.
Personally I would be either not doing it or getting an expert to.
Get it wrong and it will look like cheap furniture
 

Art Caputo

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I am also a proponent of lletting normal use age the rifle......not only the stock but the barrel lock and hardware as well. Otherwise, if initial darkening of low areas and and metal to wood contact area is desired, IMO, Bone Black is the easiest and most effective way to achieve an aged appearance. If done I think it’s also important to also create some aging effects on steel, and brass parts to maintain harmony with the rifle. Jim Kibler has a video explaining how to apply Bone Black. He also sells it.
While I’ve owned this rifle, built by Jack Hubbard, for about 15 years, it was originally aged. Jack’s a master at aging guns and accessories.
1C449603-CE93-4AD5-835E-EB3421E495D5.jpeg
 

rich pierce

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1) Color and texture On many but not all originals with lots of wear, the original finish has dulled and darkened and is also worn off in areas of handling. There are at least 2 main ways to achieve the darkening look. One way is fast and easy and involves mixing bone black with finish and applying it where you want the stock darker. It looks good from 6 feet and further to me. Up close it’s easy to see there’s not much texture to it and the color variation is not due to wear. The Mike Brooks technique is to finish the gun, spray with flat black paint, and scrub off the paint except where you want it darker. This looks pretty close to originals because it looks more like wear. The laborious method involves staining darker than intended and finishing the gun. Then gunk is added where you want to simulate old darkened finish. I use finishing oil mixed with hand ground soft charcoal I make myself. I sieve it. It’s not as fine as bone black and has texture. I take a stiff 1” paintbrush, dip it in finish, dip it in the sieved ground charcoal, and apply to the stock in a rapid stabbing manner. This can be applied in the carving to highlight the design, or over the entire stock in various layers and multiple applications. Later the stock is rubbed down with pumice powder on a hard cloth pad wetted with finishing oil to cut through the crud and even down through the stain in areas of heavy wear. Some antique restorers and fakers use dryer lint, vacuum cleaner dust, and so on instead of bone black or charcoal, or make sieved mixtures.
Dings, dents, and real damage. This is another art. Eric Kettenburg is a master in this area.

All these techniques done poorly or overdone result in a gun that looks faked up and worse than before.
This rifle is waxed up because I was hunting in rain but shows the color variations I like.
C696D3D3-FB79-4E82-A2F5-6A25E04FB796.jpeg
3D917733-22C6-4C39-834B-D623F7DA7FE0.jpeg
 

LawrenceA

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Even just handle it when you are all hot and sweaty and take it for long walks or treks.
No real need to fire it all the time.
Give it to the kids to play cowboys and indians. Or the local theatre mob to do a lewis and Clarke production.
 

Whitworth

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on a more serious note. I've know guys to run a blow torch over the wood to lightly char it. Brush it with steel wool to bring out some light spots in the black, then when you oil it, it will lock it in.

Beware that if you have any chatoyance in the wood grain this will ruin it. A tiger-striped stock will just have 2-dimensional dark stripes.
Had to look that one up :thumb:
 

rickpa

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If you age the wood, do the same to the metal. One has to match the other. And add some nicks, scratches, scrapes, etc to the wood. I've never seen an old gun without some damage to the wood. You have to consider ageing the whole gun, not just one part of it. Personally, to me , it's not worth the effort but if you like it, go for it. Difference of opinion is what makes horse races.
 
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eggwelder

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i think if it`s artificially aged, it`ll end up looking like you got it at TJ Maxx, winners or home sense or some home decor place
 

White Oak

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Strange isn't it? When I first got into black powder and was searching for specific guns my want ads always included NIB or Excellent Condition. For the most part I was fortunate in dealing with honest folks and turned up with some very fine weapons. Except for one. Didn't quite live up to it's description. The metal was fine but the stock wasn't up to what I expected. Not bad but a few more dings than I cared for. My first thought was to refinish the stock. Now I am glad I never did. The stock sort of grew on me and being an older gun the bluing had turned to a beautiful bluish silver color.
Now I have gotten older with a few more dings in me and although I own muzzle loaders that are in better shape, the one I was disappointed in has turned into a favorite.
Take care,
Ed
 
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Artificial aging just doesn't have the honest look of aging through use. Besides natural use gets one out of the house and into the outdoors. Then you have memories to go with the effects of use.
I take umbrage to this, sir.

Have you heard of Mike Brooks?
 

SDSmlf

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Have best results with combination of flat black Rust-Oleum (Mike Brooks method) and fine charcoal dust on Milsurp and muzzleloader stocks. Really a personal preference thing.
 

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