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Old 06-22-2005, 09:45 AM
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getting varnish off a blr stock

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Hi, I got a browning blr in 308 cal little bit ago . Love the gun but not so hot on the very glossy finish. looking for a way to get the varnish off without damage to the wood. also what kind of refinish would you use, wax, tang oil ,or some thing else. thank you David
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Old 06-22-2005, 10:09 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Central Arkansas
Posts: 200
I've got a A-Bolt with the same stock and have been tempted to dull it some but decided to beat it up some more first. I read a couple of posts about this on a couple of forums some time back and can't remember the details exactly. Seems one fellow just dulled his down with steel-wool or sandpaper or emory cloth and the other put on some kind of oil after doing his.

I redid an old 22 rifle (Rem. 511) like that with steel wool and tung oil with walnut stain and it turned out real nice. I would put on a coat of stain, let it dry good, then steel wool it back down. It got nicer and nicer until I put on a good coat or two and left it. Still looks good.

How do you like that BLR? I just saw an article about them in Rifle magazine and would like to have one. Seems they went back to a straight stock.

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Old 06-22-2005, 10:38 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: falls church VA
Posts: 82
well not sure about how to dull the stock i like it the way it is but i have the blr .270 and love it it is my first rifle used for deer mostly but in the future possibly elk. i think it looks better in the strait stock than the pistol but now they offer both my dad also has an older .308 blr that i love because it's shorter and very easy to handle, mine is a little longer and im not that big so i need to grow into it a little more
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:16 PM
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Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: North Bay Canada
Posts: 1,339
Unhappy Wait 'til LATER

I heard one report of using Oven cleaner , then scrapping off the fininsh and applying an oil hand rubed finish.

It is hard to remove the glossy finish , but that oil rub sure makes it worth the time every time.

With my BLR I had some issues with the bolt rubbing the hammer which was corrected last year , and now it is back to browning this year . the cases stick momentary in the barrel for a few seconds after firing .It is in 358 W Cal and on it's third box of AMMO.
Since I had the rifle in my name going on for second summer and one winter in the safe , spending the rest in the browning repair shop, I advise you to just hold that thought for awhile , until you fired a few box's of Ammo in your unit.
Alter the stock "After" the bugs have been dealt with.

Lets hope there are not many rifes in the field with the issues I Have .
If So lets hear it !

Last edited by Harry Snippe; 06-22-2005 at 12:25 PM.
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:33 PM
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: falls church VA
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my dad had had his .308 blr for 15 years and never had a problem before now. in my opinion the best lever gun out there now
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Old 06-22-2005, 12:55 PM
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Location: Peck, Idaho
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Ok, you want to remove the shiny sprayed on finish. You need to get down to a hardware/woodworkers store and get a finish remover designed to take off epoxy finishes. remove the stocks from the rifle, then remove the butt plate and the grip cap. Be sure and get the sling swivels off to. You should end up with a bare stock.

Apply the finish remover as per the instructions. You may have to do this twice or more. Use a plastic scraper for the flat/smooth parts of the stock and tooth brushes or epoxy proof bristle brushes for the checkering.

Depending upon what finish you want check Brownells catalog for the finish type you need. I've had good luck with Birchwood Casey's finish and it's available at most sporting goods stores.

Just rub it on by hand, then go over with extra fine steel wool after each coat dries. Usually 4-8 coats hand rubbed in does a nice job. Apply it to the checkering with a tooth brush, but do not do the steel wool thing to the checkering. I usually finish the whole stock, then do the checkering last. You might need to get a single line checkering tool to point up the checkering prior to applying finish. The checkering usually does not take much finish. I like to thin the finish down with a solvent so as not to leave the checkering shiny.
Bob from Idaho

Last edited by faucettb; 06-22-2005 at 12:58 PM.
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Old 06-22-2005, 03:05 PM
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Location: Calera, Alabama
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Bill I Absolutely love the BLRs and would reccomend them to anyone. I have one of the new (less than one year old) straight stocked ones in .308 great deer gun, I kinda like the shinney finnish, but I know i'm in the minority on that one. Its looks like I'm about to sell my BLR to finance the purchase of another one. Like i stated its a .308 and wears a VXIII 2.5x8x36 with Heavy Duplex put on by premire. PM me or email i can make you a deal better than you could get new.
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Old 06-26-2005, 07:39 PM
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Location: Narrogin, Western Australia.
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I just finished the stock on a 1921 built Model '92. I used Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil, several coats, then rubbed back with their rubbing compound and polished up with their wax. The new finish is great. Just follow the instructions on the bottles and you can't go wrong. Tru-oil dries quickly and you can recoat after a couple of hours - heck of a lot easier than using linseed.
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Old 06-26-2005, 09:41 PM
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Location: Startup, Washington, USA
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My favorite finish is Varathane. It is tough as nails, so to speak, and is very good looking with all types of wood. The stock finish doesn't need to be removed to apply a coat or two of "satin" spray-on varathane, it only needs to be roughed-up with 150-220 grit sandpaper. I would recommend 2 coats: Lightly sand with 150-180 sandpaper, just enough to evenly break the gloss, and spray on a wet coat of satin varathane, let it dry for a week ( yes, that means 7 days in a warm dry place); Lightly sand with 220-250 grit sandpaper and spray again, and let it set a week (again, a real week).

Note: The checkering is a real pain to sand properly. One or two firm swipes down each of the channels with a fresh fold of the paper will work fine, but it takes a bit of practice to get it right.

I have done this with a few stocks (a CZ 452, a Browning shotgun, and a custom stock for my Encore) and the result is excellent, if you take your time.

My new (to me) Marlin 1895 is next on the list, and I may try a file on the checkering instead of the sandpaper, I haven't decided yet.

My grandfather just roughed up the entire stock with steel wool and sprayed his stocks, the checkering lost a bit of bite, but the stocks were well protected and not glossy. I will have a "great opportunity" to restore a fabulous Weatherby when it passes to me (but I'd rather keep him around for a while longer...)
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Old 06-26-2005, 10:14 PM
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Location: Peck, Idaho
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One of the best strippers for these kinds of finish if Certistrip. It's stock number is 173-100-032 on page 257 in Brownells catalog #57. It will take off epoxy finishes like Browning and Remington uses easily and is a water cleanup. Takes it out of the checkering also. Use with rubber gloves and outside. This is a commercial grade stripper and you don't have to do much or any scraping which is really good for the checkering part. Be sure to remove the butt pad, metal and any plastic parts. This stripper can't tell the difference between epoxy finishes and plastic.
Bob from Idaho
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