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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I received a big red birch with my CMP kit. The stock is solid but the finish is pretty beat up and the front dimpled ferrule is very loose.

First off, I was thinking of stripping it and then refinishing with Fairtrimmers Military OX. I would like to get it a little darker and a little more red, similar to the original finish before it was trashed. I have gone the pure tung oil route on another birch I own and wasn't completely sold on it.

I was wondering if Fairtrimmers alone would work or if I should stain it first with maybe Chestnut ridge stock stain. Anyone have any experience working with Fairtrimmers on Birch. It works awesome on Walnut I know, but looking for suggestions before I try it on my birch.

Also any suggestions on tightening up the front ferrule?
 

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Stock ferrule - Has it and the stock been relieved for the gas cyl? Need to do that regardless. Glue/epoxy of your choice after that. If your gas system is unitized you might wanna hold off on gluing the ferrule until you're happy with top-bottom vertical alignment at the barrel band. Easy enough to mark.

I like hard, dense birch. I get a sweet red with tincture of iodine, which is real cheap. Kinda smells, work out in the fresh air, apply with a rag, howsoever many coats you want. When dry come back with clear poly or Tru Oil or whatever you like on top.

Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The stock has not yet been relieved for the gas cylinder. I figured it should be secured first before I relieve the area. On another stock I own I seem some of the ferrule was also removed with some of the the walnut.

When you say a sweet red with a tincture of ioding are you referring to some sort of stain? Thanks for your post.
 

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Greetings,

I used the Fairtrimmers stain set for a walnut stock last year. Unfortunately, the red tint did not really come through at all. Going by the instructions, absolutely no red (I started inside the stock to try to get the mixture correct using small test areas) was visible. I ended up with a mixture that should have resulted in a fire engine color, but no go; barely any red tint at all. I emailed the vendor and the only suggestion he offered was that I didn't follow the directions properly (which I did).

SO,,,,,,,,,,,I'd like to give it another try come spring time. The iodine idea sounds very interesting. My question is how is the iodine mixed; regarding ratio, base, etc.. Any tips would be appreciated.

Regards, Jim
 

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I used Iodine on my Big Red Birch along with tung oil and it looks pretty good. I was also going for a little more red but couldn't quite get there. Still thinking about what to do next. However, the iodine seems to give it a little more shine or depth, but just a slight bit of red.
 

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It don't get much better than that, very natural look. With birch you're always at the mercy of the grain's peculiarities.
 

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With any type of hardwood, I always apply a coat of Minwax Pre-Stain Wood Conditioner. Apply per the instructions on the can, and allow to dry no more than one hour before staining. This makes the stock take the stain evenly, where without it, any sapwood or soft spots would take more stain than the heartwood.

For birch, I use a combination of Chestnut Ridge and Pilkington's Spirit Stains - their red stain works very well for this.

Another tip to remember is that Pilkington's stains can be added directly to your oil finish, in case you didn't get quite the tint that you wanted. That's how the old time guns like Winchesters were done.
 

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That's a great tip, I think I'm going to add some of this Pilkington to my tung oil regiment and see what happens with the red.
 

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I edited my previous post and added hot links for Chestnut Ridge Military Stock Stain and Pilkington's Spirit Stains. I thought that most everyone was familiar with them, but it seems that I was mistaken. I can readily recommend both products.

Using a combination of these two products, I was able to duplicate the red color that Soviet-era Mosin stocks were finished in, in something much more durable and easily repairable than the original shellac. I applied CRMSS first, then wiped the stock with Pilkington's, and finally added a few drops (of Pilkington's) to the tung oil that I finished it with.
 
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