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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Thu Feb 16, 2012 10:34 pm 
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Sorry about that, but there IS something wrong, somewhere there! I have applied five and six coats in a day. I would guess that you are using too much. After the first coat, (which is best applied as wet sanded, more if necessary), it should be dry enough to coat again, in no more than a half day. Otherwise, two hours tops. The secret is drops , not even a half teaspoon. I actually bave sat and applied a coat, spent a little more than normal time rubbing, until it was actually dry, and gave it another coat in under an hour. The last one, about 25 coats in less than a week.



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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 8:47 am 
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Jug -I nomally use an eye dropper or a large syringe to place a few drops on the wood, so I don't think too much finish is the problem. I'm planning to reapply on two of the stocks that have dried and starting a new one this weekend. I'll report back if problems continue.


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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 9:24 am 
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What about boat deck finishes? Seems like something meant to spend its life in salt water should hold up to a duck blind fairly well. (see http://www.boatwoodfinishing.com/)

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:47 am 
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Faust, way too much. Typical butt stock, finger tip over the open bottle, shake and wipe the excess of on the mouth of the bottle, that one one side, same fot the other. .Now rubb until practically dry, 10/15 minutes. It will be ready for another application within an hour.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:49 am 
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DougF wrote:
What about boat deck finishes? Seems like something meant to spend its life in salt water should hold up to a duck blind fairly well. (see http://www.boatwoodfinishing.com/)


Wooden boats look best with varnish. Their owners will affirm that varnish is a real PITA. Most boat varnishes need constant attention, many needing complete refurbishing every 2-3 years. It really doesn't hold up that well ... and it's not the salt water; it's the sun.

Stick with what's been proven for decades, either plain oil or an oil/varnish mix like TruOil.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sun Feb 19, 2012 7:37 am 
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Agreed, varnish isn't very durable. I was thinking more along the lines of Danish Oil.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Thu Feb 23, 2012 10:03 pm 
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DougF wrote:
What about boat deck finishes? Seems like something meant to spend its life in salt water should hold up to a duck blind fairly well. (see http://www.boatwoodfinishing.com/)
Doug:

Boatbuilders products probably offer the best protection. They may even be somewhat of an overkill.

'Varnish' just means some sort of a clear coat. It covers such diverse coatings as Polyurethane or Acrylic water based finishes. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varnish

All clear finishes can be damaged by sunlight, including the ten or twenty coats of a hand rubbed 'Oil' finish. ('Oil' also covers a wide range of coatings and can also be referred to as a Varnish.) In year round outdoor uses they flake and crack due to Sunlight damaging the surface of the wood. Even Varnishes designed for outdoor use, often called 'Spar' Varnishes after the wooden sailing boat Sail Spars they were originally use on, that have UV absorbers fail after a number of years.

New boat builders sometimes use an Epoxy base coat with a Polyurethane top coat. The Epoxy provides the best water penetration protection and may increase its' scratch resistance. The Polyurethane Varnishes used are usually the two-part types made with a high loading of UV adsorbers. The two-part urethanes also have a higher scratch resistance the the one-parts.

I'm thinking of trying it on a gun stock. The Expoxy should be viscous enough to fill the grain in a coat or two. A couple coats of Polyurethane Spar varnish should provide the shine and protection needed. A Satin Varnish could be used to provide that 'hand-rubbed' look.

I find the Water Based finishes the easiest to use on Floors. They dry sufficiently in 2-3 hours for recoating, can just be applied with a cloth w/o worrying about bubbles in the finish and are easy to cleanup. They come in both Acrylic versions and Polyurethane versions for Floors. They may not darken the finish like Oil based finishes so you may want to try them on something first and use Stains if required.

For some reason most people seem to treat finishing wood on a gun differently than wood used anywhere else. Doesn't make sense to me.

All that said, I'm using Minwax 'Tung Oil' on a stock right now. It's easier to put on a recoat or two than it is with Urethanes which must be sanded or removed for recoating. It's is actually a blend of Tung Oil with other Varnishes and hardeners. I belive TruOil is a similar blend but with Linseed Oil.

I always finish the end grain at the action, under the Buttstock and on the Forearm. If rain gets in it will be quickly absorbed by the end grain and can only dry slowy through the woods finish; a sure method of rotting the wood.

Here's some info on the Epoxy/Urethane coating: http://www.westsystem.com/ss/varnish-over-epoxy/. Note that they emphasize the importance of sealing the wood even around screw holes. You might be better off leaving the wood unfinished than trapping moisture under an impermeable surface.


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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 12:21 am 
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I just a couple days ago, picked up a gun that I had out on consignment. It was in a shop rack, close to a window but not in direct sunlight. When I saw and felt the butt stock I was astounded by the change in its appearance and surface. It felt similar to sand paper and was very, very dull. Almost like wood that had been sanded, wetted and allowed to dry without "whiskering"! Out comes the Arrow finish, wet sanded the first coat, and it has had another 5 coats since. No stripping or pre sanding, and it now feels and looks like a completely different piece of wood.

It had been there almost a year, but the finish aged way more in that year than in the previous 25 years. It went in, hardly told from new, but came out looking like crap. Its back to looking new again.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:03 am 
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The best finish I have ever used and the only one I use on customer's stocks is Daly's BENMATTE. It is not difficult to apply although not without normal effort. I have never seen a finish that is simple to do that is worth using. And I have never used a finish that produces a great and lost lasting finish that does not involve some effort.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:09 pm 
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Not to argue with your experience, Custom, but the Daly's web site says it's for interior use (only, apparently).

Your thoughts on how it holds up to weather would be most welcome.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:21 pm 
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Chic/others:

can you guys post any photos of gun stocks you've finished with Benmatte and Arrow?


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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Fri Feb 24, 2012 7:17 pm 
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I don't believe that any of the finishes discussed here are rated for exterior use except for the boat finishes mentioned above.
Non-Exterior finishes are used for normal gun exposures: short Sun exposures and some rain once in a while.
'Exterior' clear finishes should last for several years of constant outdoor exposure. The UV rays in sunlight decompose the wood after the UV additives are used up.

CustomStox has a link to pic's of his stocks on his web site. Looks like expert work to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:13 pm 
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I hope this isn't a dumb question, but is stripping and oil refinishing hard to do? My wood finishing experience is limited to painting trim.

Mark Gruber's removal process sounds pretty doable, although I'd worry about clearing out the checkering.

I ask this b/c I'm about to bid on a Beretta that's OK, except for dings in the poly finish and it's looking like a good deal at the moment. I thought I'd solve that problem by refinishing with an oil finish, which I prefer anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sat Feb 25, 2012 2:41 pm 
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tubex wrote:
I hope this isn't a dumb question, but is stripping and oil refinishing hard to do?
I love 'dumb questions' they are the easiest to answer.

Stripping is just dirty work. No experience necessary. Some strippers can 'burn' you so keep it off of yourself or anything else. Marks' method of wrapping it in foil is the best. It keeps the solvents from evaporating so you don't have to worry about timing and recoating. Use the heaviest coat of stripper you can apply.

BTW: mfgs of boat owners finishes often reccommend using a heat gun to bubble up the finish alond with scrapers to remove the finish. It should work on stocks and you avoid the noxious strippers. Steel wool should get the finish out of the grain.

The checkering can be cleaned out with a tooth brush or something similar. After stripping rinse the stock with the reccomended solvent and a wad of fine Steel Wool. Water based strippers are the least noxious but solvent based strippers are usually stronger. You can always change to a stronger stripper if the first one doesn't get it.

Minimal sanding is best if it's not needed to remove dents/scratches. The steaming method for dent removal helps. Don't sand the checkering or remove wood around the metal/wood joints; it could show as a poor fit and obvious refinish.

Choose any finish you want, it doesn't have to be made for guns. Minwax has a broad range of finishes including a wipe-on a Poly and a 'Tung Oil' finish. The Wipe-Ons are usually fool-proof. They are less affected by bubbles/runs in the finish.

If you choose an Oil finish get smallest container you can find. Oils harden in the can after being exposed to the air.

Only apply a few applications to the checkering. Heavy coats fill the checkering. It's best to hang the stock in an area that is dust free. A rarely used closet should work.

All clear finishes will shine if the top coat is properly applied. 'Oil' finishes usually take a lot of applications to shine, they are applied and then wiped off so the coats are very thin. The finish can be shined more by using automotive polishes or dulled with Pumice/Rottenstone or even fine Steel Wool. If want a non-shiny finish, using a Matte/Satin finish is the easiest, no polishing involved. Using a gloss finish for the first coats and a Satin for just the top coat or two gives greater depth to the finish.

The rest is patience especially with wipe-ons. Don't worry too much about your experience. You can always sand or restrip if you goof.

Searching this site for something like 'refinishing' shough provide more info.


Last edited by Bob S on Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:23 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:20 am 
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Bob,

thank you very much for the help!


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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:13 am 
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I forgot to mention that aerosol cans can do as good a job as professional sprayers. I just looked at one of the stocks I did with a can. Looks great to me. Shiny, smooth and the grain highlights show well even though it is a plain piece of Walnut.

You can apply several coats in one day and be done. It's actually better to apply the next coat before the previous one drys too much or it may not adhere well. Not to worry if you can't finish all at once, jusy lightly sand the dry coat and proceed on.

The trick is to apply several light coats. Heavy coats take longer to dry and they can run. Runs aren't a disaster, you can sand them out after they have dryed thoroughly but it sure is disheartening.

Hold the can about 12" away and move the can sideways fairly rapidly. It's better than twisting the can to spread out the coat. The spray nozzles pattern is usually up/down so moving the can up/down can cause too heavy of an application.

If you are moving too rapidly the coat may look dry and dusty; there isn't enough finish for the droplets to run together and smooth out. Just take another pass and don't be tempted to move closer or slow down the movement too much. It's better too dry than too wet. If there is a dry look after you finish a coat it should disappear when you apply the next coat or you can sand it out.

Best to practice your technique on a piece of wood or even some cardboard.

Heavy applications of Poly can look 'plasticy' to some so you may not want to apply too many coats. Mask the checkering with Blue Masking tape except for the last coat so the checking isn't filled.

Not selling Minwax but they do have an awful lot to chose from and they are easy to find in most any paint department. There are Matte/Satin versions for the hand rubbed look if that is what you like. The Helmsman version is designed for outdoor exposures. It may be a little yellower/warmer that the interior versions. There are low low gloss versions or it can be rubbed out to take off the gloss.

I've used their water based products on floors. They are easy to wipe on and I haven't had any problems with bubbles in the surface that I get when using brush on products. They also have a wipe-on oil based Poly that you don't have to wipe off the excess like you do with Tung or Linseed products. Several coats should be enough instead of the ten twenty coats for the Oils.

It's best to hang the stock from a wire so you don't have to touch it. If there are bumps from dust or wood fibers after it drys you can lightly sand them out before the next coat. Wipe off any dust with a damp cloth or paper towel just before applying the next coat. Water works as long as you let it dry but Mineral Spirits or thinner is easier.

Mixwaxes' web site has lots of info and some short videos which may be a help.

If you don't want to go the full strip route most all finishes can be reapplied. For hard coats like Poly it is be best to sand them first to improve adhesion of the new coats. Wash off any 'gunk' with a handwashing soap or a mild solvent like Mineral Spirits. As a general rule you can apply softer finishes like Tung/Linseed types over harder coats like Poly. If you reverse the order the hard coat may not adhere well to the softer undercoat.

Different types of varnish can react differenty to changes in temperature and humidity so it may be best to stick with the same type of finish when recoating. Unfortunately I can only guess what the original mfg finish is, probaly a Poly and often two part types that can be sprayed on in thick coats and harden quickly.


Last edited by Bob S on Sun Feb 26, 2012 5:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Sun Feb 26, 2012 11:22 am 
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DougF, they are referring to wood finishes that spend 100 % of their time outside, like bright wood on boats. They will tell you there is no problem with wood like gun stocks.

VTH, there are pictures on my website under my name.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:06 pm 
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Years ago when I was a young man I worked in a boat and outboard motor shop, and I got the experience of restoring several beautiful old Chris Craft wood boats. The only finish that we would use on those boats was Valspar Spar Varnish because it was quite simply the toughest finish available in those days. Even then, the finish would begin to crack and split in a could of years. I am sure that there are better finishes available today, but that was it back in those days. I would certainly not recommend using it on a gun stock.

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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:33 pm 
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Customstox wrote:
DougF, they are referring to wood finishes that spend 100 % of their time outside, like bright wood on boats. They will tell you there is no problem with wood like gun stocks.

VTH, there are pictures on my website under my name.


Chic:

yes, I have seen you website several times and you do incredible work! I'd love to have you do a rifle stock for me one day (after the kids are through college most likely...........)

Are all of the stocks shown on your site finished with Arrow by the way? That's what I was curious about. Also, do you plan to add any shotgun stock photos on the site?

Thanks Chic


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 Post subject: Re: Poly vs oil finish
PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2012 12:41 pm 
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Chic's work is outstanding. He re-did a 687 eell for one of the shooters at ou club - new finish on the stock and rust-blued the bbls. Better then new.

System 3 epoxy has a clear (gloss or matte) 2 part polyurethane finish available as well. If you have to have a bulletproof, waterproof, poly finish. this stuff is tough! It would never be confused with a fine hand rubbed oil finish. I used their 2 part LPU on the interior of a wooden driftboat. You can't hurt the stuff with cleats, rocks, sand, sun.

http://www.systemthree.com/store/pc/WR- ... at-c29.htm



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