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Thread: Strategy for Enhancing Wood Grain on Rifle Stock

  1. #1

    Strategy for Enhancing Wood Grain on Rifle Stock

    I can barely paint a wall, so I am nervous about ruining nice wood.

    Recently, I bought a Marlin Model 60 rifle, which is a very cheap .22. It was very inaccurate, so I sent it back to the factory. They gave up on it and sent another one. The wood on the new one surprised me. It has all sorts of figuring in it. I did not expect that for $170.

    I am thinking it would be nice to bring out the grain. Maybe wipe it down with some kind of pigment or stain and put a new finish on it. I am concerned that I may destroy it, however.

    Is there an easy, relatively safe way to improve the finish on this gun, or should I quit while I'm ahead?

    I'm uploading a photo. I don't know how well the figuring stands out.

    05 15 18 marlin model 60 with studs small.jpg
    Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of bench.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    SE PA - Central Bucks County
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    The photo is somewhat small, but if that's a maple stock, you definitely could use the technique to dye and sand back multiple times to enhance the figure before putting whatever top coat you decide to use. The dye and sand back works really well on close grain wood like maple...you do darker for the grain enhancement and the last coat of dye is usually something lighter that you leave on for contrast with the darker figure you enhanced.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  3. #3
    I don't know what this stuff is, but it's not maple. It's light, and it tears easily. I have seen people mention birch on the Internet.
    Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of bench.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,204
    You would need to remove all the hardware from the stock, remove all of the finish, and start over from sanded bare wood with what ever finish you're going to use. Without knowing what kind of wood you are dealing with, I would think there would be a strong possibility of blotching if you use any sort of penetrating stain or dye, unless you seal the wood and sand it back. I've refinished a couple of inexpensive gun stocks in the past and haven't ever been very happy with the final results. I'd just leave it as-is.

  5. #5
    Thanks. What about going over the existing dull finish with something shiny?
    Cry havoc! And let slip the dogs of bench.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Cache Valley, Utah
    Posts
    1,204
    I'd try a coat or two of paste wax first. It may be all you need, and if it doesn't work, a rag and some mineral spirits will take it back off.

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