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I wanted to share a few things that may come in handy when re-finishing.

Often, the pigment or even spirit stains cannot get some woods dark enough or not red enough(such as for older guns) no matter how many times you apply.

My last project was a three-barrel/three forestock Winchester 101 set with horribly mismatching wood. I could not get the buttstock and one of the forestocks dark enough and red enough to match the other two forestocks no matter how many times I applied stain.

Finally, I reasoned that Stamp Pad Ink would stain any wood. By adding red and black stamp pad ink to spirit stain, I was able to get close to perfect matches of all four pieces.

You need to use very little ink, just a few drops at a time to darken the stain enough to notice the difference in the wood. Too little is better than too much, as you can darken/re-tint the stain with different amounts of different inks and then re-stain. Also, don't darken/tint the entire bottle of stain - pour some out and experiment with just maybe 1/4 or 1/3 of the bottle.

This worked great with spirit stain, as the solvent bases seem sto match. I do not know about pigment stains such as from the local hardware store.

Also, Minwax Spar Urethane is a great product. Cures very hard very quickly, and can be sanded/rubbed in just a few days.

Best to ya',

Frank
 

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Thanks for the neat tip! It certainly is a convenient source or red and black.

There are dye colors available for this purpose that are designed for wood. Again, not your hardware store item but available from woodworking supply houses.

To truly "darken", or intensify, a shade, one must add more of that shade. i.e. concentrate the color. Adding black does not truly intensify the shade, it makes it blacker.

The Minwax urethane is indeed a quality product. I would not use spar, but regular exterior and apply it in several VERY thin coats, several days apart.

Reason I would not use spar is mostly personal preference left over from the "old" days when a true "spar" varnish would never quite harden completely. Just my prejudice!
 

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Spar urethane contains tung oil and the hardening issues that go with an oil finish. I like the combination it but it does slow down the finishing process a lot and makes it less forgiving of any mistake.

So the urethane gives faster building, great protection and water resistance while the tung oil gives the soft luster and repairability of an oil based finish...the result is great and stands up to the wet and rough conditions I put my guns through waterfowling.

 
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