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  1. #1
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    Question Mosin stock re-finish?

    I recently aquired a mosin with a stock that is in need of a refinishing (no bubba jobs here...), and I not only need to know what the best way to strip the stock is, leaving any stamps in place, but also, what is the best way to refinish it. I have heard that linseed oil is good for stocks. Any help appreciated,

    Nick
    Ahhh... I love the smell of cordite in the morning!
    -looking for WWII ammo made in Milwaukee or Eau Claire arsenals

  2. #2
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    Nick
    Sorry I didn't see your post until just now. Here is a link to where most of my stock work stickies are over at SRF. http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewforum.php?f=137
    Shellac can be removed with Denatured Alcohol and 0000 steel wool. It will come off realy easy.
    The Shellac on a refurbed Mosin is about the worst shellac finish I have ever seen. Ivan just sanded the stock, put a few stamps on it to say that it was finished and then I think they had a bunch of 4 year olds slap on the Shellac.
    Some here will want you strung up for removing what is left of a piss poor finish that will only fall off on it's own in due time. Just remember that when you do strip the finish off your $69 refurb Mosin and apply a nice new Shellac finish, it will only be worth $60 to a collector. Now after you have it finished do not let Bubba see it because, he may try to get you to sell it to him for $100 to $150.

    I will be the first to say that an oil finish is one of the best looking finishes that can be applied to a rifle stock and it is not hard to do, but you must take your time and not get in a rush.

    Check out some of my stickies ( you can copy them and and give then to your friends if you like. :D) If you have any other questions, just ask.

  3. #3
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    Actually the absolute best looking finish is shellac - when put on by the French Polish method. A lot of work but very pretty. Used to be on very top level guns but today is used only on musical instruments. So technically it'd be a correct "shellac" on a Mosin, the only problem being that it looks way too good!

    http://www.ehow.com/how_14586_apply-...paign=yssp_art
    Last edited by jjk308; 10-03-2008 at 06:47 AM.
    I swear by Jupiter Optimus Maximus .... in the army of the consul Lucius Quinctius Cincinnatus and for 10 miles around it I will not steal anything worth more than a sestertius in any one day.

  4. #4
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    while i prefer a oil finish the ruskies just look right with a very good amber tinted shellac. i prefer to buy it in flake form & cut it with denatured alcohol
    Last edited by dirtyjim; 10-03-2008 at 08:44 AM.

  5. #5
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    I see that in your other post that your stocks are Finns. Try a pine tar and oil finish.
    First clean your stock with Denatured Alcohol and steel wool. Then mix your pine tar with some thinner and hand rub it into the stock. Let this dry in a cool dry place for a day or two. Then hand rub in a coat of BLO but, only apply a thin coat (you don't want any standing oil to dry on the surface) and be sure to rub it in good. Allow it to dry for 24 hours and apply another thin coat of BLO. You can do 2 to 4 coats of BLO. After the last coat allow it to dry for 48 hours then apply a coat of paste wax, let dry and buff.
    This will take a week or so to do but take your time and you will be very happy.

  6. #6
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    Search the posts in the forums as "correct" finishing with shellac has been discussed many times, including how to obtain the correct tint.

    Shellac is not very durable and easily beat up or scratched.
    It bubbles up and flakes off if you shoot the gun to blazing hot.
    However, it is easily repaired by light rubbing with alcohol or completely stripped with liberal application and some rubbing with steel wool.

    For something exceptionally "collectible", it is better to leave the original finish (what's left of it) alone.
    For a "shooter", if you want to spruce it up once in a while, complete stripping and a re-shellac will make it look like new.
    The "new" shellac will take on the appropriate worn look very quickly after a few range trips as the powder residue darkens it up a bit.

    A very durable and good looking finish is Formby's Tung Oil.
    It penetrates the wood and has a bit of lacquer in it which dries to a low luster and hard finish more resistant to nicks and scratches.
    Easily touched up.

  7. #7
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    My wording in the other post is a little weird, as I meant that the finish is worn, not that I am working on a Finnish stock. I was thinking of a Linseed oil finish, after stripping the stock of shellac, because the shellac is not only about 75% gone, but it also has some fresh scratches and scrapes that stick out like a sore thumb. Thanks for the replies,

    Nick
    Ahhh... I love the smell of cordite in the morning!
    -looking for WWII ammo made in Milwaukee or Eau Claire arsenals

  8. #8
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    I stripped mine with an acetone and rugs in minutes. There was some oil under the shellac. Superfine steel wool to make things smooth and tung oil for finish. One coat per day . I wish I had bleached the stock in some dirty places, but there is no going back now. It looks like new now.

  9. #9
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    Gunny,
    Those are some excellent stickies; thanks for posting the link and
    Semper Fi

    Here is one that I had bookmarked; I like the results he got using RIT dye and alcohol: http://www.theboxotruth.com/newforum...ead.php?t=2069

    Regards,
    Greg

  10. #10
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    Well, I used some acetone for the shellac, and very fine sandpaper for the tough stuff. For a finish I applied 4 coats of BLO, sanding a little off after #3 and re-applying a 4th coat. I almost regret not leaving it blonde, or only doing 1 coat... Anyone know if there's a clear varnish (don't know what else, maybe not varnish...) or shellac type substance to give it a shine? Or should I leave it... I'll try to post pics in a little bit.
    Ahhh... I love the smell of cordite in the morning!
    -looking for WWII ammo made in Milwaukee or Eau Claire arsenals

  11. #11
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    Btw, this is an EXTRA replacement stock I have, so I don't have a handguard done for it yet. I only bought the stock. I'll try to do a side by side with a regular shellac stock.
    Ahhh... I love the smell of cordite in the morning!
    -looking for WWII ammo made in Milwaukee or Eau Claire arsenals

  12. #12
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    Here are some pics of the stock side by side with one of my mosins. The BLO is still a little wet, so it's a touch darker than it will dry out to be.
    Ahhh... I love the smell of cordite in the morning!
    -looking for WWII ammo made in Milwaukee or Eau Claire arsenals

  13. #13
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    Shellac is not very durable ,but easy removable . Tung oil is more durable but there is no going back . It is also easy to refinish if you get scratches or so. You can make it as shiny as you want by applying more or less coats. 4-5 coats seems like the minimum. Around 7-8 layers you get some shine. If you want it varnish-like , you would have to do about 10 layers. The good thing about Tung oil is that it only takes a minute to apply a thin layer. The bad- you have to wait a day before the next layer. It is believed to be one of the best and most durable finishes for rifle stock.

  14. #14
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    I've had good luck with MinWax Helsman spar Urethane .

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by panrobercik View Post
    Shellac is not very durable ,but easy removable . Tung oil is more durable but there is no going back . It is also easy to refinish if you get scratches or so. You can make it as shiny as you want by applying more or less coats. 4-5 coats seems like the minimum. Around 7-8 layers you get some shine. If you want it varnish-like , you would have to do about 10 layers. The good thing about Tung oil is that it only takes a minute to apply a thin layer. The bad- you have to wait a day before the next layer. It is believed to be one of the best and most durable finishes for rifle stock.
    Your talking about Tung Oil Finish, which is a thin varnish and not Tung Oil. It can be made to look like a Shellac finish.
    Pure Tung Oil is a real oil made from Tung tree nuts.
    Here are some stocks finished with Pure Tung Oil (PTO)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Chinese Type 53.jpg   Tom's stock 13.jpg  

  16. #16
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    I used Linseed oil, and it kind of reminds me of some of the finishes on Finn stocks, like on some of the M39's. It looks really good on one of my 91-30's with about 90% finish on the metal.
    Ahhh... I love the smell of cordite in the morning!
    -looking for WWII ammo made in Milwaukee or Eau Claire arsenals

  17. #17

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    I'm similarly re-finishing my Mosin, it's a 91/30 that the shellac basically flaked off most of the gun. I'm almost done getting the old shellac off (I've been using rubbing alcohol, it doesn't seem to dissolve the shellac like I had hoped, I may have to pick up some acetone or some rubbing alcohol and see if that works better...)

    I'm a little concerned about how light colored the wood is, I'm afraid it will be too blond if I just apply BLO. I'd like to give it some red, any recommendations?

    What sort of stain will work well with the BLO? I've heard some people talk about RIT dye...I'm planning on stopping by a hardware store on my way home from work, and I just wonder what I can find that will work with the BLO. I'm assuming this should be a stain, then oil deal, or is there something I can use to 'tint' the BLO a little red?

    Chris

  18. #18
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    I used nail polish remover on the shellac, and straight BLO on the stock, and it's actually quite dark.
    Ahhh... I love the smell of cordite in the morning!
    -looking for WWII ammo made in Milwaukee or Eau Claire arsenals

  19. #19

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    The 'darkness' is about right on your picture, although I'm afraid mine is going to come out lighter than that, simply based on the usual test of wetting the stock.

    But the 'darkness' isn't really what I'm aiming at, it's the blonde/yellowish color, I would like it to have a bit more a 'red' tint. I don't need to match the original shellac by any means, i just want it to have something of the red color that it did before.

    I'll have to see what I can find at Menards, I'm sure some kind of mahogany color stain will do the trick, it's just hard to judge what it is going to look like just by looking at the can.

    I was sort of wondering if there is something I could use to 'dye' the BLO to a bit of a red tint, which is where I was headed with the RIT dye idea. That way, I could start out with a small amount of dye in the BLO, and increase as necessary to get the desired effect, then use straight BLO to achieve the desired finish once I get the color right, and I can always sand the last coat with 600 grit or steel wool it if it is too shiny.

    I don't know if RIT dye, or anything else, will mix well with BLO. I guess I'll experiment...

  20. #20
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    Now I have put on about 5 coats of BLO, lightly sanding in between with 200 grit, and leaving the last layer un-sanded. It definately isn't shiny, and the only issue is that the handguard is a darker wood than the stock. It's pretty close, especially after thick coats of BLO on the stock, but it's still kind of like those yugo 24/47's with the light colored handguard and dark stock, except reversed.
    Ahhh... I love the smell of cordite in the morning!
    -looking for WWII ammo made in Milwaukee or Eau Claire arsenals

  21. #21
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    If you're slathering on "coats" of BLO, then sanding it down afterward, you're doing something fundamentally wrong. Linseed oil isn't a surface treatment to be painted on as you would do with paint or varnish. It's supposed to be rubbed and worked into the wood & not just be allowed to slop onto the surface.

  22. #22
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    MosinMan check out this post to help with a BOL finish because what you are doing is not the way to apply an oil finish. http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/vie...3bed7a987b7270

  23. #23

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    Well, I picked up some red stain, and I think what I ended up doing was probably dumb, and I wouldn't recommend it to others.

    When I looked at how dark the stain was, I was worried it would be too dark (I think that I was correct on this point). So I mixed the stain with some BLO, cut it with a little mineral spirits hoping that it would 'sink in' a little more.

    Applying it was fairly messy, but the look came out right. I rubbed the BLO into the wood on the first several 'coats', as the wood soaked it up pretty quickly. It looks great, but now when I try to give it more coats of pure BLO, the rags I apply it with are getting full of stain. Not really a big problem, just kind of mess. I should have stained the wood first, let it dry completely, and then applied the BLO.

    I'm going to let the rifle sit for a few days, maybe all week, before I try any more applications of BLO. I think I'm going to need to do several more applications, as the wood on the Mosin was a lot dryer than on the other 2 rifles I've done (enfield and m48 mauser) and the BLO is really soaking in. At this point, it almost looks like the rifle is just stained and not really oiled yet. Except that if you rub it with a dry paper towel, the towel gets oily and red...

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorklord View Post
    Well, I picked up some red stain, and I think what I ended up doing was probably dumb, and I wouldn't recommend it to others.

    When I looked at how dark the stain was, I was worried it would be too dark (I think that I was correct on this point). So I mixed the stain with some BLO, cut it with a little mineral spirits hoping that it would 'sink in' a little more.

    Applying it was fairly messy, but the look came out right. I rubbed the BLO into the wood on the first several 'coats', as the wood soaked it up pretty quickly. It looks great, but now when I try to give it more coats of pure BLO, the rags I apply it with are getting full of stain. Not really a big problem, just kind of mess. I should have stained the wood first, let it dry completely, and then applied the BLO.

    I'm going to let the rifle sit for a few days, maybe all week, before I try any more applications of BLO. I think I'm going to need to do several more applications, as the wood on the Mosin was a lot dryer than on the other 2 rifles I've done (enfield and m48 mauser) and the BLO is really soaking in. At this point, it almost looks like the rifle is just stained and not really oiled yet. Except that if you rub it with a dry paper towel, the towel gets oily and red...
    You need to allow the stock to dry. Allow it to dry 24 hours between coats of oil. Do not apply heavy coats of oil. Hand rub in a thin coat until the stock is warm and then let it dry in a cool dry place.
    The stain that is coming off is no big deal. After the oil in the stock is allowed to dry it will stop coming off.
    The key to a good oil finish is to rub in thin coats and allow them to dry before applying the next coat.

  25. #25

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    I've been doing very thin coats and rubbing it in, there really isn't much shine of oil on the surface after applying each coat. I'm not sure if it is the little bit of mineral spirits or if it is the stain itself that is slowing the drying process of the oil (it isn't drying nearly as fast as the other rifles I've done, it's looking like 2 or maybe even 3 days instead of 1 to dry enough that it doesn't get your hands oily when you pick it up).

    I figured that the stain would stop 'bleeding out' once the oil was completely dry, although I expect a little stain to come up when I apply another coat, as some of the previous, tinted coat of BLO will be dissolved by the new oil.

    I'm just saying that as far as the experiment goes, for future reference I would simply apply the stain as normal first, and then apply the BLO.

    Removing the shellac has revealed a lot of 'character' as the wood has quite a few cartouches that were not very visible before.

    I really like the nice star that showed up on the right hand side of the stock, it's got a letter in a circle next to it, that was an area that was basically black under the shellac, and now it's got nice markings.

    There are still several darkened areas on the stock that no amount of rubbing with mineral spirits changed, it's entirely possible that they aren't any sort of stain, they may simply be discoloration of the wood from before it was made into a stock, or from the making itself (burns from sanding too fast?) and there are a couple of repairs done to the stock.

  26. #26
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    I am interested in that almost black looking remington 1891 a guy posted earlier.

    How to get it? Do you really just rub WD40 into the wood?

    http://forums.gunboards.com/showpost...46&postcount=1

    The info in this thread should be pinned in the Mosin HQ section.
    Last edited by oldFred; 03-31-2009 at 10:23 PM.

  27. #27
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    Avoid putting WD-40 on a stock. It is not good for the wood.
    Check out this post. http://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?t=95727
    If you use a darker dye or add some black dye to the brown, you can get close to that very dark finish.
    On that Remington stock, that is true Patina and not crud. Crud fills and hides the wood grain. Patins is caused from BLO and other oils that have oxidised. To put it simple, Patina on wood is wood rust.

  28. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hans Jahn View Post
    I've had good luck with MinWax Helsman spar Urethane .
    I was just in my local hardware store yesterday afternoon looking for MinWax Helsman spar Urethane. They told me that it has been banned for sale here in California. For whatever reason, anything that works well gets banned by the enviro-nazis out here...

  29. #29
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    Why are posters putting oil on Mosin Nagant stocks? It's the WRONG finish, unless the rifle is Yugoslav refinish, which none of the ones I see here are.

    If you want a correct Russian finish, as used since at least 1891 it seems by the Russians, it's shellac or nothing.

    I had to recently redo a Mosin Nagant sniper that was almost ruined by someone who decided shellac wasn't thier liking... thankfully, I saved it (see Collector's forum)

  30. #30
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    Hey Vulch what do you think about the spray on shellac, says clear but leaves a golden color? They also have a $6 spray on in the can. They also have Amber but only in the quart/gallon size.




    Some of the other exceptional performance properties of shellac include:
    • Cold temperature application – Unlike other finishes shellac can be applied in cold temperatures (40o F. and below) without concern over proper drying and curing.
    • Non-toxic/hypoallergenic – Dry shellac is certified by the Food and Drug Administration as a protective glaze for candy and pharmaceuticals.
    • Non-yellowing/non-darkening – Shellac is UV resistant and will not yellow or darken with age – unlike oil-base finishes.
    • Dried film is impervious to odors – Two or more coats of shellac will seal in any kind of odor in any type of porous surface.
    Last edited by oldFred; 04-02-2009 at 06:06 PM.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldFred View Post
    Hey Vulch what do you think about the spray on shellac, says clear but leaves a golden color? They also have a $6 spray on in the can. They also have Amber but only in the quart/gallon size.




    Some of the other exceptional performance properties of shellac include:
    • Cold temperature application – Unlike other finishes shellac can be applied in cold temperatures (40o F. and below) without concern over proper drying and curing.
    • Non-toxic/hypoallergenic – Dry shellac is certified by the Food and Drug Administration as a protective glaze for candy and pharmaceuticals.
    • Non-yellowing/non-darkening – Shellac is UV resistant and will not yellow or darken with age – unlike oil-base finishes.
    • Dried film is impervious to odors – Two or more coats of shellac will seal in any kind of odor in any type of porous surface.
    If you can't even mix and apply garnet flake shellac without having to spray it on, yopu've got no business working on a stock.

    Honestly, rubbing on shellac with a lintfree pad is relatively child's play. Just avoid over brushing or wiping the shellac when you apply it and it won't have any streaks or brushmarks in it. Remember, this isn't a French-Polish finish on a baby grand piano, it's a government contract, low-bidder finish applied without all the dye, BLO & stuff some others propose. You either want a refurbed milsurp rifle that emulates the condition it was produced in, or you want a super-duper custom-finished & non-authentic glitzy redo.

    Many Mosin Nagant stocks do have pretty wood - this wasn't a motivating concern with the Russkies, & their handiwork often reflects that fact. If you want a pretty stock, stick to a Garand or Mauser, where linseed oil & hand-rubbed GI makework finishes were common. Just be sure you keep up with proper & frequent application of your linseed oil to build a proper finish - it takes months & more to do it right.

  32. #32
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    Oh I don't want to strip or change it. I just want to touch up the handguard/under that match the rest of the original stock.

    A "restore" if you will.

  33. #33
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    OldFred
    I think that a few members here missed the part about you asking about the finish on the Remington M91 that was in the post that you had the link to.
    That Remington has a BLO finish on it and not Shellac.
    Now we all know that Ivan used Shellac but I don't think that it was applied by a government contract, low-bidder. Everything was owned by the government.
    I do much prefer a correct finish on my milsurps Out of the 20 or so Mosins that I have, only 6 don't have Shellac on them and that is because they are not Russian.

    I just find it funny when someone starts talking about putting something on a Mosin stock other then Shellac, the amount of people that damn near $hit a cow.
    You would think that you were messing up the Holy Grail of Mosins and not some $60 run of the mill rifle that will never be worth more then $200 in their lifetime.

  34. #34
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    Thanks for the info guys. Like I said earlier I like the BLO look, but I ALSO like the shellac look and will be using it as it is correct for a MN.

    Having trouble finding garnet shellac.
    Last edited by oldFred; 04-07-2009 at 10:24 AM.

  35. #35
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    Well Amber shellac defintely isn't the color of the original.

    When I was cleaning it, I rubbed too hard and took off my brown in spots (I said earlier I was leaving it and only redoing the handguard), so I ended up having to strip it all away. It doesn't look bad, quite good actually. I got 2 coats on and my brush marks are showing. Should I steel wool it before a 3rd coat?
    Last edited by oldFred; 04-08-2009 at 06:58 PM.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by dorklord View Post
    I'm similarly re-finishing my Mosin, it's a 91/30 that the shellac basically flaked off most of the gun. I'm almost done getting the old shellac off (I've been using rubbing alcohol, it doesn't seem to dissolve the shellac like I had hoped, I may have to pick up some acetone or some rubbing alcohol and see if that works better...)

    I'm a little concerned about how light colored the wood is, I'm afraid it will be too blond if I just apply BLO. I'd like to give it some red, any recommendations?

    What sort of stain will work well with the BLO? I've heard some people talk about RIT dye...I'm planning on stopping by a hardware store on my way home from work, and I just wonder what I can find that will work with the BLO. I'm assuming this should be a stain, then oil deal, or is there something I can use to 'tint' the BLO a little red?

    Chris
    Denatured Alcohol melted it RIGHT OFF!

  37. #37

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    I recently finished refinishing one of my Nagants and I think it tured out amazing. The original factory coating loved to rub off around the lower foregrip from the handguard bands.

    I actually just picked up the Birchwood Casey stock refinishing kit and used that. I picked up some spray on paint stripper for wood from Home Depot. I sprayed that on the stock and let it sit for only a minute or two then wiped it down with a shop rag and a bit of steel wool to make sure all of the original finish came off. I then wiped it down with a clean damp rag and let it dry.

    The next step was to use a heat gun on the areas of the stock which looked darker than the rest, much of this darkness was a result of oils from use being absorbed into the wood. The heat gun when used properly causes the oil to rise to the surface where it can be wiped off. I did this until I had a very uniform color across the entire stock.

    I then diluted the walnut colored stain with water to make sure that I did not go too far and make it too dark. I used paper towels to wipe the stock with the stain just a little at a time. I let dry and repeated until it was just barely lighter than I wanted, expecting the oil to darken it to the desired color. I used the Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil and applied by hand (literally with your fingers) and let dry 24 hours between coats. I used around 6 coats on mine, I then finished up with the Satin Finish product to add some shine. It looks great and is much more durable than the original finish.

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