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Cas City Forum Hall & CAS-L  |  CAS TOPICS  |  The Longbranch (Moderators: Marshal Halloway, Silver Creek Slim, Camille Eonich)  |  Topic: Wood finish to match history of sport 0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic. « previous next »
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Author Topic: Wood finish to match history of sport  (Read 6160 times)
Hargrave
" Prairie Smoke" Jake
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« on: February 22, 2016, 06:45:50 pm »


Ok ... I thought some of you all might like to see and comment ...

Issue: I had a few Italian guns that work great ... But I always hated the synthetic finish they put on their wood, so I decided to recreate a true old time stock.

Goal: use only what would have been available in the mid 1870's (when possible) to give me the warmth and feel I love so much on my originals.

Guns: 1970's vintage IAB sharps carbine (weird finish that when dinged ... Was green!!, thick finish that hid all the beauty of the wood. )
2015 uberti 1873 Winchester ... Beautiful wood with shinny gloss poly finish .. Slick and too smooth to hold tight)
2014 cimarron saa (same as above Winchester)

Tools: citrus strip to pull off old finish
Pure un processed tung oil
Etc ...

Photos ... If gun is complete ... Old finish ... Hanging parts = first few coats of tung oil

Process:
Wipe on stripper ... Sit for 3 hours ... Scrape off with old fashioned straight razor... Was with soap and water with green scrub sponge and scrape any missed finish off.... Let dry overnight.

Apply tung oil directly .. Just enough to soak in but not drip ... After first coat ... Wet sand to crear mud and fill in pores ... Progressive fineness with sandpaper .. Starting at 320, 600, 1500, natural sponge for last coat ... I am on the 600 grit for sharps and 320 for uberti's

I will post as I go ... When done with apply (1 week) I will let cure in sunlight for a day and then sit for a couple of weeks to cure

Jake
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"Prairie Smoke" Jake
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Hargrave
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2016, 06:56:48 pm »

Had some trouble with the pictures ... here they are so far


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"Prairie Smoke" Jake
Houston, TX
In matters of style, swim with the current;
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(Thomas Jefferson)
Hargrave
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2016, 07:17:16 pm »

Here is the forearm

And: I decided to convert an old gun safe to ammo storage ... I stripped out the carpet and a buddy had some cedar planked from an old tree that had to be cut down at a local church ... We cut, butterflied the plank, planed and set them in place for fit ... I plan to glue them in this week and then make some shelves .

Thought I would share that too if anyone wants to see


* image.jpg (102.06 KB, 640x480 - viewed 139 times.)
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"Prairie Smoke" Jake
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Delmonico
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2016, 07:30:36 pm »

Except those guns used the old type /linseed oil/shellac varnish when they were new.  Tung oil was almost unkown in the US till after WWI.
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Mongrel Historian


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The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Hargrave
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2016, 08:14:26 pm »

Delmonico ... you are killin' me .... well, I like the way it looks so I guess that is good to know for a future project :-)
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"Prairie Smoke" Jake
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2016, 08:39:42 pm »

Delmonico ... you are killin' me .... well, I like the way it looks so I guess that is good to know for a future project :-)


Linseed oil was only on special order on high end guns.   And it was a true filled finish, often called a London's Best type, takes 30-60 days to lay down right.


BTW as far as I know you'll have to make your own varnish also.
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Hargrave
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2016, 09:10:08 pm »

Tung oil may be new to US but great stuff !!

Was used to seal boats and ship masts ... No varnish needed if done right ... Just have to "cure" in the sunlight
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"Prairie Smoke" Jake
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Red Cent
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2016, 09:38:03 pm »

Interesting thing about the finish.

http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=331108



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* Copy of Win 1873 comparison 001.jpg (104.2 KB, 640x480 - viewed 130 times.)
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2016, 10:05:27 pm »

Tung oil may be new to US but great stuff !!

Was used to seal boats and ship masts ... No varnish needed if done right ... Just have to "cure" in the sunlight


Rapeseed oil works great for stuff like that also, slow to dry though, the genetically modified version called Canola is very easy to get at the grocery store, I use it for knife handles, dish soap don't bother it, just wipe them a bit in the spring.  Also use it on my folding camp stool, just sheds the rain.   Used to be used for marine based paints because it held up to salt water better than the linseed and later soy bean oil based paints. 

Of course some chose to cook with it but for the life of me I don't have any idea why.   Roll Eyes


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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
nagantino
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Oh yeah.......


« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2016, 04:28:18 am »

I've been trying to produce a darker finish on a Rossi 92. I dismantled the rifle and stained the would back, but I noticed that the wood did not get darker after the first coat. It was darker than when I started but not the dark rich tone I wanted. The rifle was out last Saturday for the first Cowboy Action of the year. In sunlight the wood was much the same before I started. Rossi use a plain grained timber. I thought about the problem and I think that some kind of sealant is used to finish the wood and this is preventing any penetration of wood dye, so, I will strip the wood back using Nitromors and try again.
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Delmonico
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« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2016, 09:18:21 am »

Yep, uses a poly coat of some sort.   

Use an alcohol based leather dye for your stain, they water based wood stain at the hardware store are not that good.
 
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2016, 12:44:23 am »

  I use BLO/pure gum turpentine in a 3/1 mix. Sanding in coats with wet/dry starting with 220 grit, then 320, 400 and so on, wiping off the "mud" and letting each coat dry for a couple of days between grits, until the grain is filled. Then hand rub small amounts of the mix into the wood again drying a couple of days between coats. It's a long process and I only do it during warm weather so the oil will dry in a reasonable amount of time. I learned this method from an older gentlemen (now deceased) who specialized in restoring old Winchesters. This oil and method does an astounding job of bring out the grain in stocks that look quite ordinary. I did a couple of old '70's vintage Ruger's and was shocked at how beautifully the stocks turned out.
  My Uberti 1866 Sporting Rifle wears a gorgeous piece of walnut, but it's covered in that hideous red finish, ditto for my '73 carbine 44 Magnum. As soon as it warms up I'm going to get started on the '66.
 CHT
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Delmonico
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« Reply #12 on: February 27, 2016, 02:51:11 am »

Silly me, i thought the tread was on doing an original type finish and I explained hand rubbed oil was not it, yet everyone wants to tell how to do one, even though he seemed to do a good job at it.   Roll Eyes

Hargrave, if you decide to do one in old time varnish, PM me and I'll tell you how to mix it.  Wink
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Cholla Hill Tirador
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« Reply #13 on: February 27, 2016, 03:43:08 am »

 Hargrave if your interested, here's the method the gentleman I mentioned used to actually finish the stocks. Sounds pretty similar to yours. Regardless of the oil one chooses, this method has worked very well for me.
 
  "... Now that the stock is prepared for finish, you will need an oil dish. We like those plastic bowls that butter or margarine comes in. They have a snap on lid. And these bowls have a big flat base, not as easy to accidentally tip over on the table. Next get some 320 and 400 WET/DRY sand paper. This is black paper. Cut it into approximately one inch squares with scissors. Pour some THINNED shop oil in your bowl.  

I use my fingers to apply a sloppy wet coat of oil. Then dip one of your 320 sand paper squares into the oil, and start to sand lightly with finger tip pressure. The wet oil will act as a lubricant, and you will not be cutting much wood with this wet sanding. You will be making wood flour from your stocks wood, and using that wood flour to fill the pores. The wet sanding will force wood flour into the pores. This wet sanding will cause a black paste to form, from the sanding dust, the oil, and oxidation. By the time the paste forms, you will feel the paper wear out, quit making sanding dust. Get a fresh square of sand paper and continue. Apply a wet coat of oil over the black paste, let set 20 to 30 minutes, wipe off with a paper towel. Donít be too particular about the wipe off, if you leave the stock a little dirty, it will do you more good than harm. LET SET TWO DAYS TO DRY. Then repeat another coat of wet sanding in, and LET DRY TWO DAYS BETWEEN EACH COAT. Put on three coats of this wet sanding in with 320, then switch to 400 sand paper and wet sand in two more coats. Your stock will now be silky smooth, and the PORES WILL BE  FILLED. The better the job you do filling the pores, the faster and easier the job will be to finish. Now the job gets a lot easier, there is no more sanding. Put the stock aside for a few days or even a week, to make sure the oil has completely dried deep down in the pores.
   For the finish coats use only a very small minute amount of oil, apply with your finger tips, and rub in with the heel of your hand. There should be no oil left to wipe off  from finishing coats,  because its all rubbed in. Again, let set two days between coats
."

 Good luck,

 CHT
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Coffinmaker
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« Reply #14 on: February 27, 2016, 04:29:26 pm »

Had Winchester actually used some of the methods some folks tout as the "best" way to duplicate the methods, Winchester would never have had any completed guns to ship.
Del, I'm with you.  Sorry, but "oil" finishes were not the primary finishes or methods used by Winchester or Colt for that matter.  Gun Stocks and Grips had to be ready to go in about a day or two.  Not a week or two.  Even then, manual labor was expensive and none
of the gun manufacturers could put much into low return labor. 
If one were to look into it, Walnut stain, mixed with a little "red" was the initial color then the actual finish was a type of lacquer or
Shellac.
As an aside, no practicing cabinet maker or gunstock maker would ever use steel wool.  Every tiny little piece of steel wool left in the wood
will absorb moisture from the finish and atmosphere and rust, creating splotches.

Coffinmaker
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Delmonico
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« Reply #15 on: February 27, 2016, 05:20:46 pm »

Actually most wood finished in the time from gun stocks to dressers used varnish, varnish properly being described as a polymer and drying oil mix, the type commonly used was a mix of shellac and linseed oil.   Now I's sure someone will say they didn't have polymers back then, but then a like a lot of big words many just assume what they mean rather than find out.   

Research is everything.   

BTW the red color in the Winchester finish was ruby shellac, an unbleached shellac that has a redish color and can still be bought today as flakes.   
   
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
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« Reply #16 on: February 27, 2016, 05:37:52 pm »

Also the wood on most repros is what is called Persian or English Walnut (Or what ever area it is grown in comes to play) or (Juglans regia).

Most American gunstocks of the era used Eastern Black Walnut (Juglans nigra)   Which tends in most cases to be darker and has larger pores in the wood, a good eye can spot the differences no matter the finish.   Also the old growth timber further east and north of where is is commonly obtained now had more of a red cast.

This shows in the 1900 built Low-Wall and yes that is an El Paso K-12 on it, Springfield barrel chambered to 22 Hornet also, no stain used on it, that is the color it was under the original varnish, and yes it is a completely filled boiled linseed finish that took about 2 months to lay down, the pores are all filled with just the oil and wet sanding sanding debris.  Was wet sanded with 800 grit as the final and polished with rotten stone after a month of drying.   


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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
Professor Marvel
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« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2016, 12:24:35 am »

As others have said repeatedly, the oil finishes are actually quite modern ( even though they look so much better!)

For a historically correct finish, Scrape the wood, followed by shop-made Shellac and/or  Varnish.

These methods have been used by gunmakers, cabinet makers and fine instrument makers for hundreds of years.
some of the best violins have the ugly reddish varnish...

For a beautiful finish that enhances the wood and shows it off, I choose the historically incorrect oil every time.

Hargrave - your stocks came out beautifully!

yhs
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« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2016, 11:39:09 am »



For a beautiful finish that enhances the wood and shows it off, I choose the historically incorrect oil every time.



yhs
prof marvel

And it makes sense and as we can figure out from this post, very few know it's not correct, in fact it looks like almost no one does.   Wink
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
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« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2016, 12:47:55 pm »

I would guess the next question would or perhaps should be, "What would be the best finish for a firearm?"
This question could be very time period related as to just what would be most correct.
My best,
 Blair
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« Reply #20 on: March 01, 2016, 03:19:46 pm »

That make the question beg, "best" for what??  Shotgun going to a Duck Blind,  Bench Rest never out in the rain, Deer Hunter out in the woods and brush, Elk rifle, riding in a saddle scabbard, Wall Hanger??  Historically correct restoration??  "Best" get very complicated.

We could get a pretty good Brouhaha going here.  The main problem, "most" don't have a clue what different finish mediums do or don't do.  Humongous number of "Old Wives Tails," based on actual ignorance generated by "information" not based on actual skill or
knowledge of "finishing."  Just something that has been repeated so much by so many, it becomes revered as "fact."  Fact even though
it may have no relationship to reality.

Delmonico is right on the money.  Most folks today have no clue what was actually used in those halcyon days of yesteryear.  Most, also
don't have a clue as to what type of application provides actual protection for the wood.  That which is ascetically pleasing to some, may
actually provide almost no protection for your valued wood.

Coffinmaker
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Blair
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« Reply #21 on: March 01, 2016, 04:08:37 pm »

Coffinmaker,

All very good points. All of which can relate back to what I said about "just what would be most correct?"

Seeing how you have some idea on, how about to start providing some answers, why don't you start?

My primary experience takes me back to the finishes used by the US National Armories starting in 1795 up to just after WWI.
I can go a little earlier than that, (perhaps about 50 year if we stay only with gun stock finishes) but that should do pretty well through most of our respective time period?
 My best,
 Blair
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« Reply #22 on: March 01, 2016, 04:18:24 pm »

That make the question beg, "best" for what??  Shotgun going to a Duck Blind,  Bench Rest never out in the rain, Deer Hunter out in the woods and brush, Elk rifle, riding in a saddle scabbard, Wall Hanger??  Historically correct restoration??  "Best" get very complicated.

We could get a pretty good Brouhaha going here.  The main problem, "most" don't have a clue what different finish mediums do or don't do.  Humongous number of "Old Wives Tails," based on actual ignorance generated by "information" not based on actual skill or
knowledge of "finishing."  Just something that has been repeated so much by so many, it becomes revered as "fact."  Fact even though
it may have no relationship to reality.

Delmonico is right on the money.  Most folks today have no clue what was actually used in those halcyon days of yesteryear.  Most, also
don't have a clue as to what type of application provides actual protection for the wood.  That which is ascetically pleasing to some, may
actually provide almost no protection for your valued wood.

Coffinmaker



Spot on, vague questions have little chance of being answered properly.   

Whats funny is the bench rest, never in the rain would in most cases today get the best stock finish, poly urathane over a true fiberglass stock, and can be applied at your local body shop.   Wink
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Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
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« Reply #23 on: March 01, 2016, 04:27:00 pm »

Most "correct" and "best" are not necessarily the same thing.  Gunstock finishing and furniture finishing pretty much followed the same
routs.  Those craftsmen used what was readily available and cheap.  Not necessarily "best."  The same criteria applies today.  Furniture makers and Stocktakers use what is readily available for a nominal cost and effective.  Some of the materials use depend on where you
happen to be.

I'm not going to address what was most correct.  The gunmakers in Pennsylvania use a different formula than the gunmakers in Missouri.

Best again, depends on intended use.  Weatherby used an Epoxy blend.  Others will use Lacquer.  Epoxy is very hard and resists abrasion
and impact.  Lacquer is fragile.  Doesn't resist abrasion and chips under impact.  Had the gunmakers and furniture makers had
Polyurethane Spar Varnish, they would have used it.  Readily available, relatively cheap, easy to apply, good resistance to abrasion and
impact, water resistant.  Looks good when done.  Not traditional.  Traditions change.

Coffinmaker

PS:  OIL finishes provide almost NO wood protection at all.
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Delmonico
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« Reply #24 on: March 01, 2016, 06:08:53 pm »

Very true about oil finishes, how ever they do have the advantage of being able to fix boo boos in many cases with out refinishing the whole stock, something the others do not lend them selves to well.   
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Mongrel Historian


Always get the water for the coffee upstream from the herd.

Ab Ovo Usque ad Mala

The time has passed so quick, the years all run together now.
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