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  #1  
Old 03-04-2017, 01:30 PM
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Refinish stock or not?


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I recently acquired an old German stalking rifle by Franz Kettner. It is a thing of beauty both as to the engraving and the fit of metal to metal. It has a Kersten cross bolt whch locks into twin lugs extending from the barrel breech and fitting into recesses in the standing breech. When the action is closed the cross bolt and lugs fit so precisely as to be invisible. The stock wood shows some normal scratches and dings as are unavoidable in a hunting rifle which has seen years of actual use. There is however one very irritating flaw, the name "Mersmann Beckum" has been crudely scratched into the wood of the cheekpiece.
I am thinking that I can sand our the scratches and refinish the raised cheekpiece only. I would not even consider refinishing the whole buttstock. I realize it may be difficult to match the wood color but I have had some experience in staining gunstocks and am very tempted to give it a go.
What do you gentlemen think, would it be worth the effort or would I be compounding the damage by trying to fix it?
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Refinish stock or not?-mersmann-beckum4jpg.jpg   Refinish stock or not?-kettner2.jpg  
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Old 03-04-2017, 02:52 PM
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Country is right on.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:02 PM
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Angry Irritating and then some.

His middle name musta been BUBBA. I'd say the whole gun could use a little TLC, but stick to what you know, you don't want to make it worse by sanding down too much. Plus 1 on the steam, maybe leave some of the dings/dents/scratches rather than sanding too deep, don't sand the checkering, the name has gotta go but hopefully it's in a good spot to get rid of, unless he is someone famous? I'd probly re-do both stock pieces as well & go with hand rubbed tung or linseed oil. Nice rifle, good luck, & post more pics when done.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:44 PM
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Refinish JUST the cheekpiece. It'll never perfectly match but at least you preserve the wood fit. Those guns were stocked TO the metal so there is no extra wood to sand without ruining the gun.

That's a Kerstner action just like my 201 Merkel.

Look familiar?
Attached Thumbnails
Refinish stock or not?-merk-42079-left-.jpg  
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:53 PM
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That's bull he is not going to need to sand down around the fit just scrape it back slightly in those places . That's the thread ruined.
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Last edited by Country; 03-04-2017 at 03:57 PM.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:54 PM
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Beautiful rifle, congratulations. On my last your in Germany I bought a couple shotguns from a very nice merchant in Stuttgart. The Simson Suhls were oh so nice.

I can't stand not knowing the cartridge your rifle is chambered in.
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Old 03-04-2017, 03:55 PM
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Country---Maybe read my comment again. I SPECIFICALLY said NOT to sand the entire stock and said why. Is there something wrong with that?

BTW-- The two guns shown above my picture have different wood and that's why they're different colors.
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnhunter View Post
Beautiful rifle, congratulations. On my last your in Germany I bought a couple shotguns from a very nice merchant in Stuttgart. The Simson Suhls were oh so nice.

I can't stand not knowing the cartridge your rifle is chambered in
.
Ed click and zoom in on the barrel just below the front scope mount. Maybe you can decipher that. I don't know those calibers that well, but looks like maybe 7mm something. On second look, I don't even know if that's the caliber. Maybe it's 7x55 or maybe just some makers marks.
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:21 PM
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It seems to have been re-marked by Bubba. The caliber should be on the swell of the barrel below the action sides.

It needs a chamber cast and measure to be sure.
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Old 03-04-2017, 04:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tnhunter View Post
Beautiful rifle, congratulations. On my last your in Germany I bought a couple shotguns from a very nice merchant in Stuttgart. The Simson Suhls were oh so nice.

I can't stand not knowing the cartridge your rifle is chambered in.
It's 6.5X52R, otherwise known as 25/35.
The forearm appears to have been damaged and repaired. You'll see that the wood does not reach as high as the iron. My guess is that it suffered an accident which split off a sliver on one side and someone just sanded it down and then cut down the other side to match.
Attached Thumbnails
Refinish stock or not?-kettner5.jpg   Refinish stock or not?-franz-2.jpg  
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:35 PM
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I wouldn't do anything to it if was mine. What a beautiful gun! The name etched into the cheek piece adds character.
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Old 03-08-2017, 12:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CoyoteJoe View Post
I recently acquired an old German stalking rifle by Franz Kettner. It is a thing of beauty both as to the engraving and the fit of metal to metal. It has a Kersten cross bolt whch locks into twin lugs extending from the barrel breech and fitting into recesses in the standing breech. When the action is closed the cross bolt and lugs fit so precisely as to be invisible. The stock wood shows some normal scratches and dings as are unavoidable in a hunting rifle which has seen years of actual use. There is however one very irritating flaw, the name "Mersmann Beckum" has been crudely scratched into the wood of the cheekpiece.
I am thinking that I can sand our the scratches and refinish the raised cheekpiece only. I would not even consider refinishing the whole buttstock. I realize it may be difficult to match the wood color but I have had some experience in staining gunstocks and am very tempted to give it a go.
What do you gentlemen think, would it be worth the effort or would I be compounding the damage by trying to fix it?
Whoever scratched his name into the stock really did a serious dis-service to the rifle in the first place, so I doubt that refinishing just the cheek piece will devalue the rifle any more than it already has been. The main problem is going to be matching the part you do with the original.

Good luck with the project.
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Old 03-08-2017, 01:15 PM
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Repair or not repair

Since the gun is already damaged, it seems to me that no matter what you do, the gun is still damaged. The answer seems to be that either you leave it, and have ugly damage, or refinish it, and have nice looking damage. Since the gun is yours, please yourself.
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:30 PM
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That's for sure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by JBelk View Post
Refinish JUST the cheekpiece. It'll never perfectly match but at least you preserve the wood fit. Those guns were stocked TO the metal so there is no extra wood to sand without ruining the gun.

That's a Kerstner action just like my 201 Merkel.

Look familiar?
I'm wondering if someone has already re-finished it in the past & sanded it to the limit. Do as Belk suggested, & A BIG MAYBE, just strip the finish, re-stain, & hand rub to get the wood colors to match??? Your in a bit of a tough spot there. You won't make it worse by doing nothing. Hang it up with Bubba's name facing the wall.
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Last edited by nachogrande; 03-08-2017 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 03-08-2017, 02:59 PM
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Find out who Bubba was and attach a small bio to the gun rack. Since you already know he's a bubba it would be easy to just make something up....like, "At the age of 32, he learned to write his name and destroyed most of small village where he was the primary idiot..."
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:41 PM
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I can't get out and hunt anymore so I've taking to refinishing old guns.

I've done several Mauser's and an old Vetterli. The name in the gun doesn't look to deep, if it were me I'd sand it right out of the cheek piece.
What I did with the Mauser's was to sand most of the dents out, bleach the stocks white and stained them. After that I mixed stain with True oil, put on 3 or 4 coats sanded them and than 3 or 4 more coat. I let them dry and finished them with pumas and last I used rotten stone, they came out with a great satin finish. Didn't have to sand all the finish off, the bleach took care of it. You can get wood bleach from Sears web site.
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Old 03-08-2017, 03:48 PM
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I don't know how it would look, I can't tell much from the pic on my high resolution computer, but how about getting a GOOD silversmith or someone that checkers and use something like that maybe both to hide/cover it up.

Paul
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Old 03-08-2017, 05:26 PM
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If you did anything to it, I agree with you to only refinish the cheek. You do run into the problem of not being able to match it with the rest of the stock, but you have some edges and such that will hide some of that.

Do you know who the person is? You should research it first. Maybe you might dig up some information that will change your mind about removing it. Highly unlikely, I know. In fifty years from now, it will be referred to as "part of it's history"

I guess it could be used for identification in case of theft... Wasn't that what was recommended sometime in the past? Ruin your gun with your name scratched in the stock so you can possibly get it back...

Just slap a plastic stock on it... problem solved!
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  #19  
Old 03-08-2017, 06:31 PM
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I'd strip (not sand) the finish off, then evaluate and go from there.
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  #20  
Old 03-09-2017, 02:15 AM
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If you strip it.

You will be committed at that point, & it's NOT a piece for a beginner. Even with good skills, there isn't room, near the metal for sanding. I THINK you would just have to live with some of the dings/dents, but could get rid of the name. No margin for error if you decide to go for it. At least by doing nothing, you can blame Bubba. You would be a hero, or a goat.
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