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Thread: staining a stock

  1. #1
    Gunco Rookie NetGuru's Avatar
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    Default staining a stock

    ok, so I've always liked WALNUT, even in wood shop in high school, everything I made was walnut.
    I picked up a Ruger 10/22 (birch) and have been thinking about stripping the finish, and staining the birch a rich walnut.
    Then a nice hard epoxy clear coat.
    I wish I were talented enough to checker the stock, but I am not.

    someone talk me out of this.

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    firearms enthusiast kurts_armory's Avatar
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    you could just get a walnut stock too, and use the birch one for a "beater" for if you go hunting varmints with it...
    gun control means hitting your target

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    Gunco Regular resting's Avatar
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    I've tried staining a Ruger birch stock. No joy. It wouldn't absorb the stain. Might be a secret that someone on here could share on how to get it done.

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    Gunco Rookie kpwms's Avatar
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    I have had real good results using brown liquid shoe polish. Rub it in good and the put some boiled lineseed oil on and rub it until you get the look you want.

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    Gunco Rookie jacattak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by resting View Post
    I've tried staining a Ruger birch stock. No joy. It wouldn't absorb the stain. Might be a secret that someone on here could share on how to get it done.
    The problem you may have had deals with the clear they use. It's my understanding, like most other companies now-a-days, they use a lacquer based clear coat. The lacquer REALLY seeps into the wood, especially woods like birch, and unless you sand ALL the way through the clear, any stain you try to apply won't be able to penetrate. This is particularly problematic with any open pores/cracks/imperfections in the wood, as the lacquer will just sink in deeper. The best bet may be to just MAKE a new stock, re-kindle those old woodworker skills, and while you're at it, try your hand at checkering !! Sorry, can't talk you out of that, anything that promotes woodworking I must encourage !! It's where I started, building electric guitars and basses, now I'm doing stocks, grips, forends, thombholes etc. for myself and my Dad.
    just my .02
    later, jacattak

  6. #6
    Gunco Rookie rra1251's Avatar
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    I have read of good success with alcohol dyes or the homemade RIT dye mixed with alcohol to get the birch to take the stain. CMP has an article regarding staining Garand and Carbine birch stocks with alcohol stain.

  7. #7
    Gunco Member alpine44's Avatar
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    As mentioned above, the trick is to get everything off and out of the wood that could prevent the stain from getting in.

    Alcohol, Acetone, and oven cleaner have worked for me in order of ascending strenght. Once the "goop" is off, moisten the wood with a damp rag or steam to raise the fibers. Let it dry. Lightly(!) sand it with fine (600 or more) paper. Be careful around edges and checkering. Repeat until the wood is smooth as a baby's butt even after it gets wet. Let it dry for a couple of days. Stain with water or alcohol based stain. Do not use oil based stains. You can lighten or darken areas by applying more stain or wiping with moist, clean rag. Check again for smootheness after stain has died. If necessary repeat steps above.

    Have a beer. The hard part is done. The rest just takes a couple of weeks.

    Mix 2 parts of turpentine with 1 part of boiled linseed oil in a metal or glass container that can be closed. Apply this mix to the dry wood with brush or rag. Let it soak in for a couple of minutes, reapply again and let soak. Then wipe the wood "dry" with a clean rag. Wipe it out of the checkering with a toothbrush. This is very imortant. Do not let the mix gum up on top of the wood. It needs to sink in and cure there. And DO NOT throw the rags in the trash can. Sometimes they will catch fire. Close the container with the mix when not in use.

    Let the stock sit in a warm place for a day. Repeat the soaking, wiping, and curing for as long as necessary. Depending on the wood this may take weeks. You are done when you can buff the wood with a cloth to a satin gloss finish that has a lot of "depth" in it.

    By now you know why most manufacturers apply some crappy paint to the wood in less than a minute. However, you also know that your stock will look great for decades - rain or shine. And if the looks and feel of the wood does not already knock you out, try the smell. There is no substitute for the old fashioned way.
    Last edited by alpine44; 02-21-2009 at 12:31 AM.

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    Gunco Regular Braddog's Avatar
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    I would spray a few thin coats of alcohol based aniline dye on it and then come back with a wiping stain. The light coats of dye help eliminate the natural blotchy spots that birch can have when finished. Then when you are happy with the color and evenness seal it with your choice of top coat.
    If you want more gun control, use both hands.

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