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I just finished re-blueing my grandfather's old Mossberg 190 which had become nearly devoid of bluing with the exception of the choke and the sections covered by the stock.

Now that it's re-blued, I'm going to start work on the stock which has some sort of varnish on it which is peeling badly. Furthermore, while the manufacturer MAY have been going for a 'blond' appearance with this particular stock, the degraded varnish is currently giving it a somewhat 'orange-ish' color.

Once I remove that varnish, I was hoping to replace it with a stain that simulates unfinished walnut which I could give an 'extra-shine' to with linseed oil when I desire such a shine.

Could any of you recommend a finish that would simulate un-varnished walnut and allow me to apply linseed oil on top of it???

Thank you in advance.
 

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I would recommend that you strip (NOT sand) the finish off - I use Homer Formby's Furniture Restorer, following the directions on the can.



Formby's, and the 0000 (fine) steel wool pads are readily available at any good hardware store, or HomeCheapo, Lowe's, etc.

Let the stripped stock dry at least overnight before staining.

I get a nice, Winchester-type reddish-brown stain with MinWax stains (also available where the Formby's is found).



I buy one small can each of Black Walnut & Red Mahogany MinWax stain, then mix the stains in a clean glass bottle, 75% Black Walnut + 25% Red Mahogany.

After you get the color you want, and let the stock dry overnight again, it'll be ready for some coats of TruOil, following the TruOil directions, again allowing overnight drying between 0000 steel wool rubdowns & additional coats.


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Rangr44,

First of all, thank you so much for the information. I'm going to see who carries Formby's and see if I can pick up some today.

Secondly, I found a much more humorous piece of advise for your 'words of wisdom' (see below)...

 

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Please show us how this turns out as I too have a 190 that I will be rebluing and refinishing. As a side note for the future you may find that doing all the stock work to completion "before" the rebluing of the metal may save you some marring of the metal finish's. The reason, your stock refinishing can and will change your stock dimensions, though maybe slight, but enough to affect fit, whereas your metal finishing will not. Mine is a 16 gauge and I still need to locate a magazine.
 

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I think you'll fiind that Formby products aren't as widely distributed as they used to be - that was my experience when I tried to buy some Formby products. You can order from their website.
I have heard good reports about Citri Strip (sp?), but I haven't used it.
 

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Many of the older guns were finished with lacquer which does tend to yellow with age. Try lacquer thinner. If the finish is lacquer, the thinner will take it right off without changing the original stain. I did my 1932 Winchester 52 like that.
 

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I have used Citri Strip and find it a good remover. It will take two applications. If it is lacquer as Dollar Bill says, using lacquer thinner can help too, as lacquer and shellac are both removed (initially) better with a thinner or denatured alcohol than with Citri Strip. However, finish with a stripper.

Can you tell if the wood is actually walnut? Or is it a birch or other hardwood? This will make a grand difference in what finish to apply.

I use the Watco Danish Oil products. It is widely available and comes in Walnut and darker mixtures. Danish Oil is similar to Formbys, TruOil, and others, as all are a poly-oil variant - the oil to penetrate and the polyurethane to dry, cure, and help protect. As each coat dries, you should remove all of the surface finish with a nylon abrasive pad or 00 or finer steel wool. Coarser is better for the first couple of three coats. As Rangr44 says, do NOT sand the finish off, except to get minor traces off after the stripper or remover. Minor blemishes can be fixed a couple of different ways, but sanding is ok for finishing out blemishes and preparing the wood for the final finish.

Successive coats of these types of finishes build from inside the woods pores outward. More sheen is acquired after each coat, because the dried poly-oil is closer to the surface with each coat. This way, you can control the amount of sheen and luster as you work. Finishing with 0000 steel wool will bring the final luster down a notch before waxing, which will take it back up a notch. :)D)

There are many ways to finish wood for rifles. Above is just the way I do it.
 

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If you live in an area where black walnut trees grow, then there's nothing like the real thing! What you want is the outer shell, or hull, grind it up with whatever means necessary, and mix it with water. It makes a good, dark stain. As for finish, I'd try the linseed treatment, that you described.
 

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Ranger 44 right on.

"I buy one small can each of Black Walnut & Red Mahogany MinWax stain, then mix the stains in a clean glass bottle, 75% Black Walnut + 25% Red Mahogany."

blend until you get the color you think you like.

Then use a Que-tip to put a dot on the butt (under where the buttplate would be). see how it dries, it will change color. reblend. do this test as many times as you need to get the specific color that you want.
 

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If you live in an area where black walnut trees grow, then there's nothing like the real thing! What you want is the outer shell, or hull, grind it up with whatever means necessary, and mix it with water. It makes a good, dark stain. As for finish, I'd try the linseed treatment, that you described.
You can also soak the walnut shells in alcohol or linseed oil to produce a stain. The advantages of these are that they won't raise the grain when applied.
 

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HMMMM, if original varnish is so brittle, just scrape it off and then very lightly sand.

As to a new finish, I'd be tempted to mix up some oil based stain of color I want. Then mix it with Minwax or Olympic's Antique oil or Watco Danish oil. All are just a form of boiled linseed oil with fortifiers and dryers in it. An oil based stain will mix with them. Then just brush it on and let soak and before it tacks up, wipe off excess with a clean cloth. You should wipe with the grain. Apply more if wanted
 

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I never never use Minwax. It has a sealer in that prevents successive coats from penetrating. They just "float" above the first. General Finishes makes great stains and don't contain the sealer. Formbys is carried by Lowes. General Finishes at Woodcraft or Rockler. I think you will be happier with finished product by using General. Your boiled Lindseed oil will be a good choice but General also has several top coats that really work well. If you have a Woodcraft store nearby, go talk to them. You will be glad you did
 

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First off, you'll never get Beech wood to look like Walnut. They're different woods with different color and won't change.
To stain a tight, close hardwood like Beech, Bass, Elm and others takes the same process as guitar makers use--alcohol-based stains in the wood and then finish over it. Stain applied in the finish will always looks like paint.
 
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