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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a Browning 525 sporting clays gun with the oil finished stock.

I would really like to put some kind of poly urethane finish on it for a variety of reasons including making the top of the comb easier on my cheek/ jaw skin. right not it bite pretty good due to the grain being open .

Can this be done or has the oil finish on it removed that option?
 

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I somehow suspect that the stock hurts your skin because it doesn't fit you, not because of the open grain. You should not be getting 'cheek slap', period. If it's that bad then your fit is way off. The gun will still slam you even if you put poly on the stock
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is not cheek slap. The gun fits very well.

The open grain on from the oil finish is somewhat rough on top the comb. and after high volume shooting begins to abraid my hide.
 

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I understand your dilemma competely as I've experienced the same thing with a Browning "oiled" stock (seems like they skip the grain filling and build-up stages and go directly to top coat).

I found that there were 2 options.

I called Browning and was told that the factory "oil" they use is like tung oil (probably is tung oil with a Japanese pronunciation) and that when they do touch-ups here they use Watco. You can buff that finish back with some 0000 steel wool and then build it up again with more tung oil. Enough coats will fill in that sandpaper-like feel at the comb. I used Daly's BenMatte to fill mine in and build it up. It woked well, but ... Be very careful with the initial buffing out. The oil Browning uses has stain in it so it never really hardens well and scratches easily (my experience). I could never completely smooth out those scratches, so ...

The other alternative is to just completely strip it and put on a poly-based finish. That's what I ended up doing in the end. The Browning oil finish comes off readily with pretty standard hardware store strippers. I finally used Pro Custom oil (a blend of tung and poly from Brownells).

Since the Browning top finish has stain in it you'll likely find that whatever you do the stock will end up lighter than when you started. I ended up using some spirit stain to bring it back to the darkness it had before taking the "oil" off.
 

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Bill_in_TX said:
I understand your dilemma competely as I've experienced the same thing with a Browning "oiled" stock (seems like they skip the grain filling and build-up stages and go directly to top coat).
Boy, this is weird. I have never seen this Browning stock firsthand, but it must be rougher than a cob to be able to abrade your face! Wood filler just fills in the pores and I find it hard to visualize how walnut pores can abrade.

If you rub the oiled stock against your face (without firing the gun) does it feel rough?

If you rub a varnished stock against your face the same way, how does it feel?

I have just tried this and cannot tell the difference between oiled and varnished.

However, fortunately you know what the finish is and it is relatively easy to put an oil-based varnish on the stock. Use multiple VERY thin coats and allow a lot of drying time between them - don't believe the times given by the manufacturer - I leave a day or two between varnish coats so that it can harden as well as dry. After you have a couple of coats on the stock, I would give it several days or a week between coats.

Good luck - let us know if that solved your problem!
 

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Pumpster wrote:
Boy, this is weird. I have never seen this Browning stock firsthand, but it must be rougher than a cob to be able to abrade your face! Wood filler just fills in the pores and I find it hard to visualize how walnut pores can abrade.
It's not the pores in my case (and I suspect the same with the original query). It seems to be the way Browning (maybe others, I've no other experience) cuts particular stocks with lots of figure that they use on the oiled versions. (I've been told that it's wood from where a branch grew out of the trunk, but I don't know that for fact). It leaves an edge of cut grain right at the comb that appears almost serrated and has much deeper "holes" than pores.

If the picture below comes out, that is the type of wood grain and cut that seems to cause it.



I had to resort to paste wood filler to get it smooth enough to even start using regular finish to fill the pores. Hence the comment on spirit stain to get things back to uniform and darker look.

I do agree with your advice on letting the finish dry. Pro Custom says 8-12 hours between buffing out coats with 0000 steel wool. After the first few "filler" coats it was more like 3-4 days.
 

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Instead of filling with past wood filler, it would have been better to use dark walnut filler. This is turps based and is used to fill the open pores of wood prior to applying the finish. Walnut usually doesn't need it but in your case....

If the manufacturer recommends 8-12 hours, I would at least double the time for the first few coats and then leave perhaps several days between coats for the later coats. When I finish a good piece with oil (I like linseed, but that's a personal taste) I often leave a couple of weeks between coats - but then I often put 20-plus coats and they really need to be hard before adding another. I have seen some stocks where guys used 2 coats with 8 hrs between them and then steel-wool and wax! They weren't as nice as they could have been with some added patience.

Good luck - let us know how it goes!
 

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Pumpster posted:
Instead of filling with past wood filler, it would have been better to use dark walnut filler. This is turps based and is used to fill the open pores of wood prior to applying the finish.
For Cowpoke's sake, and my future reference, could you elaborate a bit (brand, liquid/paste, etc.?).

I did try one filler first thinking that I might be able to kill two birds with one stone (fill this "sawtooth" grain and the pores). That was Art's Walnut stain/filler, which has some sort of filler in suspension of walnut stain. I followed the instruction precisely -- twice -- with no luck. The subsequent first coat of Tung oil or Pro Custom oil lifted the filler out and floated into a sandpapery mess :cry:

That's when I gave up and went with the paste filler (and why I didn't recommend that approach here). Since the Watco oil had been removed so the stock was already lighter than I wanted, it wasn't a big deal to stain it back down with the spirit stain.
 

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There is a sort of standard sequence of finishing fine wood - stain, filler, (varnish or oil).

The filler is a heavy, goopy kind of stuff that you cut with turps to about the consisty of heavy cream. You can get this kind of filler from places like Woodcrafters or Constantine or any other purveyor of fine furniture finishing materials.

You brush it into the grain, let it partially dry and then rub it with coarse burlap AGAINST the grain. What remains is the stuff that has been forced into the pores/grain.

This stuff is STANDARD in the wood finishing trade. Get the best you can - the stuff found in local hardware or paint shops is most likely crap.

GIVE IT A COUPLE OF DAYS TO DRY/HARDEN. Most amateurs rush, rush, rush. Put the stuff on, wipe it off and go on holiday. Then, any finish you apply will not lift the filler, will go on nicely, smoothly and IF YOU LET THE DAMN FINISH HARDEN FOR A FEW DAYS will solve your problems. You can then apply as many coats as you wish, giving each a few days AT LEAST, to HARDEN (not only dry, but harden)

Stay away from local hardware store stuff and get specialty woodworker finish stuff.

You CANNOT "kill 2 birds with one stone" in wood finishing. You have to do it one step at a time. I cannot emphasize this enough. I've been making (as a hobby) fine furniture for the past 35 yrs and have learned this over and over. There is no reason why a coat of finish should lift filler unless you didn't let the filler harden. Give it a day or two. The only filler that should remain is that in the pores - nothing should be on the high parts of the wood. Once you're at this point, go away for a few days. Then come back and put a VERY thin coat of finish on it and go away again for a few days.

Keep diong this.

In a month or so you will have a stock that will run up laundry bills amongst those who see it
 

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Thanks for the follow-up response. I'll keep the reference for my next project and hope that cowpoke checks back in for it.

What you describe sounds more like what I expected for a filler.

However, the Art's stuff was more like a thin pigmented stain with some stuff in suspension and may account for the difference. Their recommended application process is very similar to what you describe except that after rubbing cross-grain they say to then let it dry overnight and finish with a rubbing off of any excess. I guess that even letting it dry for a week (second try) after that wasn't enough.

I appreciate the need for patience from my experience here in Houston. Even a straight poly finish needs several days to a week between coats here (humidity, maybe).
 

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I have a Browning 525 Sporting with the as advertised grade III/IV wood. I have never had a problem with the stock abrading my cheek, however I did notice that the wood was pourous in some areas of the stock and appeared dry looking. After each outing at the range, I rub the stock with Johnsons Paste wax. After 4 or 5 applications the pores seem to have filled and the stock and forearm have taken on a nice satin finish shine to the wood. The last time, I applied the paste wax and let it stay on the wood for about 24 hours before buffing it off. Wow, it is now even smoother and has a very nice shine to it. Worked for me. You might want to try this before going the varnish/urethane route. :D The wax also brings out the figure in the wood as well.
 
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