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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi there - here's an update to my previous thread http://shootersforum.com/showthread.htm?t=61013

my buddy is doing well, still getting chemo treatments and feeling "not too bad". I stopped last week and had a beer with him.

I've cleaned the rifle like recommended here with fantastic results. While a little of the bluing is kind of gone...alot of it cleaned up pretty well. There are a couple scratches on the barrel, but it really looks good. I should have taken some befor and after pictures. The bore ended up being just fine...like a mirror. I put the stock back on it and plan on shooting it this weekend.

I'm still not sure what to do with the stock. I really do not want to mess it up. Some of the finish is gone off of one side of the butt stock andthat same side is banged up a little. I know I can't get rid of the dents and dings and thats ok...but the other side looks decent for an old gun. And the front piece looks pretty good, too (I cleaned both w/ steel wool and a little mineral spirits). Can I post pictures here? Maybe I'll show you all what I mean.

A couple more questions: 1). Will I need to fit a new butt plate to my stock?..if so how? 2). Same thing with the little black and white bullseye, do I need to fit it to my stock? I haven't gotten these parts yet, but am wondering how these could be a "universal fit". 3). I think (hope) that the finish on the stock is an oil finish...if it is, do I need to completely remove it? Or can I apply another oil finish over the old one? maybe steel wool beforehand?

Thanks so much for the advice I've already gotten and for any I'm yet to get.
Dean
 

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You can get rid of the dents pretty easy. Take a damp cloth and lay it on the dent, and use a hot iron on top of it. Do a little at a time until the dent is raised. You will be steaming the wood fibers and making them expand.
Then go to Home Depot and buy some Howard's finish restorer in a walnut brown color, and some Howard's feed'n'wax. Use the finish restorer with some steel wool or similar to even out the finish. It may take a few applications. Read the directions on the can and you can't go wrong. All it takes is patience. Personally I use a scrub pad or a cloth instead of steel wool cause it can be hard to get all the metal fibers out. Then finish with several coats of feed'n'wax. Let the first coat set for a few hours or overnight before rubbing off the excess. I think you'll be surprised how it comes out.
Good luck, and it would be nice to see some before and after pics if you can manage it!
Terry
 

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BTW, the butt plate should just screw right on without any fitting required if you get one for a 39A of the right vintage. Check Midway and Numrich, they should help you narrow it down. The bullseye does need to be cut and fit for length. I would do that before your finish. Fit it dry first, mark it for length, remove and cut, glue it in. Then mask immediately around it after the glue dries. Whittle it down with a razor knife, then sand carefully and you're done!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
au2183 - Thanks for the tips. After reading a little about Howard's products, I'm ordering some from my local hardware store. I really don't want to sand on that stock and take a chance on rounding the sharp edges off. And the "how to" on the bullseye is just what I needed.

Have you tried the iron/damp cloth trick on dents?...I've heard of doing this, but never have talked to anybody that's actually done it. I guess I wouldn't be out much to give it a try....and actually, if there remains a few marks on the stock, it will just remind me of my old buddy hauling that gun around on his bike when he was a kid....:)

I'm looking in to getting my buttplate and bullseye ordered..hopefully this week yet.

I'll try to get a couple of pictures posted soon, too....just use photobucket or something?

Moderators - I looked around and saw that there is a gunsmithing section here....if this thread needs moved there, feel free.

Thanks again, I love this old rifle and haven't even shot it yet.
 

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I have tried the iron and damp cloth trick, and it works real well. If the wood fibers are dented but not broken off, the dent will usually completely disappear if you take your time with it, and you're right, a couple small marks here and there just add character to an old gun. I prefer a gun with a story to tell to a NIB model any day.
Sanding will be required where you steam, but you're just looking to knock the raised grain down a little, so be careful especially near the metal so the wood stays proud of, or at least equal to, the surrounding metal.
Photobucket works very well, and that's what I use. Just copy the lowest link below the pic, and post it here or in any other forum, and voila! It's that easy.
I'm glad you posted your question here as I do not usually check the the gunsmithing section for some reason!
Enjoy your 39 and do try to get some pictures up. Before and after would be even better! We can all learn from them.
And once again, welcome to the shooters forum!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
au2183 - So after sanding the wood, I can still use the Howards products? And do you know how protective of a finish it leaves? One more question... You suggested the the walnut tinted restorer, does it color the wood? I was thinking of getting the neutral as I like the color of the stock right now...but nobody at the hardware store has any experience with the howard line.

I appreciate your helpfulness.

Oh, I'm off to a gun show tomorrow to look for a buttplate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Here are a few pictures of the stock...not the best lighting, I just took some quick shots on my work table.

















I guess I didn't get a good shot of the whole gun.

Here's a side note: I took the screws out of the buttplate (not sure why)...but one of them was bent! pretty bad too...must have gotten smacked pretty good at some point, I suppose.
 

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dal61--read my posts under "Gun show 39A" re. butt plate replacement. Brownells has the bullseye emblems too, at least they did a year or two ago. I bought one for my 336 in 219 Zipper.
 

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Those "dents" look a lot like bites or saw tooth marks. I would still try to raise them with an iron and a wet cloth, but since the fibers are broken off you will probably see limited results. It should provide some improvement however.
I only use the Howard's finish restorer for spot restore, not for an entire stock. I select one that is a little darker than what I'm working on, and find I have to use a few coats to get the color I want. It may not be perfect, but it will be very close. For an entire stock I would use Tru-Oil, or a similar stock refinish product. Try the Howard's first, and you may not want to bother with anything else.
My caution about sanding edges was intended only to warn against sanding to much near an edge or next to metal. New guns usually have the wood slightly proud of the metal, and it looks best if you maintain that. The opposite really makes a gun look bad, and screams "refinish" to me and many others.
Hope that helps!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Those "dents" look a lot like bites or saw tooth marks. I would still try to raise them with an iron and a wet cloth, but since the fibers are broken off you will probably see limited results. It should provide some improvement however.
I only use the Howard's finish restorer for spot restore, not for an entire stock. I select one that is a little darker than what I'm working on, and find I have to use a few coats to get the color I want. It may not be perfect, but it will be very close. For an entire stock I would use Tru-Oil, or a similar stock refinish product. Try the Howard's first, and you may not want to bother with anything else.
My caution about sanding edges was intended only to warn against sanding to much near an edge or next to metal. New guns usually have the wood slightly proud of the metal, and it looks best if you maintain that. The opposite really makes a gun look bad, and screams "refinish" to me and many others.Hope that helps!

That's exactly what I want to avoid....I've seen guns that have obviously been refinished...and don't like that look at all...

And you are right about the "dents"....more like gouges. Do you think I need to remove all the old finish before applying new?..
Thanks
 

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Why do anything with the stock? Guns need to be cleaned and preserved but very seldon should be refinished. To repair and clean an obviosly abused and neglected firearm is advisable, but to refinish? Very very seldom should that be done. If you sand out the dents and dings you will severely alter the stock and metal fit, reduce the guns value, and most importantly remove the guns history. Who knows those gouges could have been inflicted by a rouge unicorn. I would suggest a new factory buttplate, bullseye, and swivel, then a light walnut stain in the gouges and leave it alone. Many times a simple application of a good gun oil on the stock scratches will make them less noticable. These stock inperfections are minor and actually gives it some caracter. If you remove by sanding the original finish from the stock nobody makes a product that will return it to the factory finish. Rejoice in the fact that this rifle, unlike others, has been there and done that and has the battle scars to prove it.
 

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That's exactly what I want to avoid....I've seen guns that have obviously been refinished...and don't like that look at all...

And you are right about the "dents"....more like gouges. Do you think I need to remove all the old finish before applying new?..
Thanks
No, I don't like to sand a stock at all unless it's totally unavoidable. That's why I cautioned about being careful around the edges and the metal. I would try to steam a few of those dents out, taking my time, to see if I could raise some of the worst ones. The only sanding would be very lightly to knock the raised grain back down a little. If done right it won't remove all the finish, and a little Howard's refinish restorer will blend it right in. As 3030remchester said, if the dents end up a little darker that will only add character to an old gun. I would not use gun oil though on the wood. I try to keep gun oil away form the wood.
Take the stock off and try steaming one dent out. If it doesn't look right to you, stop right there. I would then go right to the two Howard's products and do the best I could with it. Add a new buttplate, and you're in business.
Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think it is ironic that 30-30remchester posted his thoughts....as yesterday, it dawned on me..."why even touch that stock?...". I'm not sure why I was thinking that way from the start....I found a buttplate at the gun show...and just ordered a bullseye. I think I will go over it with some of the Howards products and call it good...all those dings and gouges are well earned badges of accomplishment...when I get the bullseye on and it all finished up, I'll post a couple more pics.

Didn't get to shoot it yesterday, but am heading out this afternoon..

Thanks for all the patience w/ me au2183....and thanks for the words of wisdom 30-30remchester.
 
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