AirGunTech: Re Engineering Spring Powered Air Rifles for smoothness, consistency, and to better suit UK power levels.

Beech stock refinishing experiment

Had this HW80 stock a while, decided it was time to experiment on it over 2 late nights to see what sort of finish I could get using Gel Stain and Danish Oil. This stock was a beater, quite rough BUT did turn out a gem till I unknowingly cracked it during final sanding…to say i am gutted is an understatement but I will carry the process thru as a showcase to myself and possibly re glue the stock at a later date (its got a 3 1/2inch screw and glue already now but its not a 100% repair)

 

Anyway….to start I found a nice guide here http://sparetimeactivities.net/StockStain.htm  the results looked stunning although the wood used in the guide is Maple. I tried the guide method and while the results were decent I did not totally like what I got (On Beech) so I altered and experimented and will continue to but came up with what you see pictured below. As mentioned this stock is not finished yet, it needs around 8 to 10 coats of clear Danish oil buffed back but it gives you a general idea.

 

First experiment was just the cheek piece…this turned out quite well.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was surprised how easy it was to tint the oil either Walnut or Cherry using the Gel Stain….so I decided to attack the whole stock. Now as mentioned the stock was a beater…very old and quite worn with the chequering almost gone on one side…so I just removed it totally. I was going to stipple the stock (Glad i did not now) but may do if I re glue it again later…so onto the stock totally stripped.

 

 

 

 

Not to bad, as you see I added a Rosewood cap which turned out quite well and at this stage only had to small imperfections that i will detail next.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here you can see some filler that had been hidden by stain and varnish…wonderful finish for hiding things;  also I just could not get rid of this end grain stain (done by HW from new) it had soaked in way to deep so I decided to leave it.

 

So…stock sanded back with 320’s finishing paper, damp ragged off so no dust and decided to hit it with the gel Stain/Oil mix. I did not capture coat by coat as it was late night when I did this, but here is the methed I used although I am going to tweak it on the next stock I do.

1 Start with Walnut stain and oil…30% stain to 70% oil and rub in using a lint free cloth…i rubbed this continually till the stock heated up and the oil was near dry

2 again apply Walnut 30/60 oil for another 2 coats and buff in…let dry

3 once stock is dry gently rub back any dark spots with 000 wire wool…GENTLY and rag the stock off

4 now mix 30/70 Cherry/Oil and apply a coat…the stock goes RED very quickly so keep buffing in to tone it down

5 repeat 3 times

My plan is to now let this dry….gently buff back with the 000 wirewool and then apply clear coats, I usually buff these in hard so they dry quick and apply a coat every 4 to 5 hrs till I get 10 coats on or so. Im not a lover of thick oils that give a gloss finish, Danish gives a nice Satin finish for me and it applies easy….obviously any good stock oil would do so take yer pick 😉

 

Some pics.

 

 

 

 

 

A you see it came out not half bad BUT I am going to tweak the ratios and lengthen the staining process….reason being I want to colour the wood more gently and have more control on the end grain. I was going to apply a sealer BUT i don’t think its worth it if I tweak how I do things…here is what I will do next time.

1 10% stain to 90% oil for 2 coats that are left for 5 hrs between coats

2 30% stain to 70% oil again left for 5 hrs between coats

This is the Walnut stain…

 

3 Now apply the Cherry to redden the finish 10% stain to 90% Oil and just keep coating till the red is where I like it…then clear coat.

 

First attempt is not to bad though….not bad for 2 late nights when I was not to tired.

 

 

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