Refinishing a finished gun stock…

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Own multiple Pedersoli’s where I have removed (stripped) the factory polyurethane finish and re-did them in BLO. Very happy with the results.
All Pedersoli wood is walnut but not all walnut is the same. Probably several factors in this but one common element with my Perdersoli’s is the longer the wood the lighter it is. Short stocked weapons the bare wood is nicely dark and BLO’s beautifully. My long stocked 1777 and new Bess are quite light in color. The Bess stock is currently unfinished wood and will be stained today.

The 1777: Currently all BLO’ed and pretty but a little light in color. Thought the BLO would darken it (as I have very dramatically seen on non-musket stocks) but not really in this case. Should I try stain directly over the BLO’ed surface? My instincts say “No” thinking of uneven absorption. What should I use to prep the surface? Chemicals (type?) and light sanding?
TIA!
 
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Stain needs bare wood. BLO has sealed your wood and stain will only lay on the surface and will wear away quickly, should it ever dry completely. I would strip to bare wood and try to leach as much BLO out of the stock as possible before proceeding.
 
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Thank you.
Yes I was afraid of that. And probably almost impossible to get all the BLO out of the wood without SERIOUS sanding. Unless there’s a chemical option. Had good luck with stripper. Hmmm
 
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Thank you.
Yes I was afraid of that. And probably almost impossible to get all the BLO out of the wood without SERIOUS sanding. Unless there’s a chemical option. Had good luck with stripper. Hmmm
That Orange stripper stuff works pretty well for me; need gloves, outdoors, don't soak a stock in water it swells the wood. Use moist towels or cloths sparingly to wipe down; more that one shot usually needed.
 
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Stripper first then flood and scrub with lacquer thinner. When you think you have it clean let it thoroughly dry, then to test with 220 grit paper. After a serious rubbing any gumming of the paper will show need of further washing.
 
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Stripper first then flood and scrub with lacquer thinner. When you think you have it clean let it thoroughly dry, then to test with 220 grit paper. After a serious rubbing any gumming of the paper will show need of further washing.
I have wooden 'trough' that I line w/ heavy plastic, then soak stocks to de-grease or whatever using mineral oil. Water will swell wood, of course.
 
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John Spartan
My experience with Pedersoli was just the opposite. My Kentucky long kit had beautiful walnut color on the stock from the getgo
I purchased their Bounty as a finished gun, and stripped the factory finish off. I wasn’t sure that what I was left with was Walnut at all. Quite pale. Stained up well tho
 
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Interesting. Lotsa variables with wood I imagine. Wood origin, age, where on the log its coming from, etc. My Dragoon rifle, not all that much shorter then the 1777, is very nice as is the rest of the “shorties.” 1777 and Bess very pale.
I was a little hesitant to stain the 1777 originally as the last stock I did was a unfinished 1903. Light colored like balsa wood. Gave it a BLO test under the butt plate and I couldn’t believe how it immediately darkened. Almost like I was rubbing on very very dark brown paint. I was amazed. More variability with wood I reckon.
 

bptactical

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“White” the stock.
Get “whiting” aka powdered chalk at Brownells($$$) or pottery supply($) source and mix some with denatured alcohol to the consistency of pancake batter.
Slather it on and allow to dry completely.
Repeat as needed.
It will pull the BLO out of the stock without sanding.
It works
 
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Little update for those contemplating this endeavor.
Started with a the stock that was BLO’ed very well (thanks for advice here) then had a light paste wax applied.
1) Per the internet I tried acetone for the wax and it did some removal but not much it seemed. What it did do is dry the wax out apparently so the very light sanding I did with 220 sandpaper didn’t gum up.
2) Hit the stock with chemical stripper. This did not have the dramatic results like it did on the factory polyurethane finish (where it sloughed right off) but did allow the finish/top layer to be scraped off. Got a lot of junk off the wood. Easy job but lengthy. By looks I probably got off 95% of it on the surface but figured as long as I had a mess I would do the stripper again which I did. More scraping.
3) When the wood looked mostly dry I wiped it down with acetone.
4) When dry it is clear I still don’t have absolute bare wood. The professional advice here for “deep penetration” with BLO was good! Now doing a light sanding the will do a wipe down with lacquer thinner. If still no good I will try the whiting method above if I can temper my impatience and wait for a shipment.
Not a weekend project but I got nothing but time and I enjoy working on my stuff.
EDIT: Was out of lacquer thinner but had some MEK which seems to have worked real good. Seeing light at the end of the tunnel.
 
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I'm new to some of this. OK, I'll admit it, I didn't know what the heck BLO meant. So I did an internet search. Boiled Linseed Oil. Potentially dangerous stuff. Works for me.

However, in my searching I found several comments along the lines that "once the BLO is in the wood, it's not coming out". I have nothing to back this up with so I figured I'd mention it here and see what others have to say.

I see a kit in my future so I'm researching stock finish methods. In the meantime I have a TC Renegde in .54cal waiting on a refurbished barrel. So I thought why not refinish the stock into something more original looking. Good practice?

Thanks for posting your experiences. Keep it up.
 
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BLO will come out of wood - at least 99.9% apparently by looks and stain absorption - but it was a lot of work.
Sanding is a obvious option but it removes wood of course. Multiple applications of chemical stripper, with a solvent wipe in between, finishing with the lightest sanding I could get away with seems to have done the trick. The 1777 is beautiful now but it was not a weekend project. Think I had to use the stripper (and I used two different kinds just to change it up) about five or six times.
 
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Pedersoli uses cheap euro walnut, that's why it's so light in color.
Not always but its there. About a 20% chance in my experience with mine as I stripped the factory finish off all of them.
It darkened and had a reddish tone when finished with just BLO. Actually, it was very nice looking but not dark walnut looking which is what I wanted.
 
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THE WOODS OF S.C.
when o refinish stocks, i strip with citristrip, then i use a hot bath of oxiclean, if there is dents in the wood the heat will pull most out. scrub it with 000 wool, the wood will turn white when it is dry and the bath will turn dark brown from the oil that is sucked out by the oxiclean,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,

 
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I just finished a strip and refinish with BLO on both a Pedersoli trade gun and an older T/C Seneca. I actually prefer the nice chocolate brown of the Pedersoli.
 

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Generally speaking the wood on my Pedersoli’s has been excellent. My last purchase I didn’t think much of (Jaeger kit) but 1 so-so out of 6 ain’t bad. And its gonna be a bush gun so I reckon it’ll take a beating anyway!
 
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Really happy with the walnut and results on my 1994 Pedersoli Frontier that I greatly customized and refinished. This was final sanded with 320, 4 coats of Birchwood Casey Rusty Walnut, followed by 4 coats of boiled linseed oil and 6 coats of BC Tru-oil. Then cut the gloss with 0000 steel wool for a rich satin finish and final wax with beeswax. Brass was aged with fouling patches.

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