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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
All - I have a few specific questions on 2 projects: 1 is a USGI and 1 is a Dupage purchased unfinished. I have read, and re-read I think each post on the above subject by "M1Army" and "Doug Carlson", and corresponded some with them. However, since these questions below may be of a greater practical application detail for some steps, I thought these questions / responses may be of interest to others, I make this thread.

Both stocks clean, finish-free before I did anything else.

USGI Stock - The USGI "steam ironed" numerous times to raise as many bumps and dings as possible. I lost patience with steaming each dent individually, and whether best practice or not, I just steamed the entire stock several times. I was pleased with the results.

After it dried I sanded to 320, and then I wet sanded it 3-4 times at 320 with Teak Oil, allowing it to stay on the stock for over night (first application), and the 2-4 applications for a couple of hours, before I wiped it off with clean, lint free rag thoroughly. Grain was filled. Then I wet sanded with Teak Oil at 400 (2-3 applications), 600 (2-3 applications), and 800 (3 applications). Based on my readings on the forum, I intend to apply a mixture of Stew Mac alcohol based dyes next, and then wet sanding 2-3 times at 1000, etc., etc. up to 2000 or 2500.

Dupage Stock - Sanded to 400, then TransTint alcohol based dye (ebony) applied, then PTO (15+) hand rubbed in applications. Stock felt great but was an ugly, muddy mess to look at: blackish, but not a "pretty" ebony, etc. I abandoned it for a couple of years even. I came back to it and wet-sanded with Teak Oil starting at 320 (3 -4 times), then progressively finer grit (3-4 times each), and next will be 1000 grit to wet sand . . . up to 2000 - 2500.

To my very pleasant surprise, the teak oil drew out a lot of the black-dyed mess, revealing soft browns from the walnut underneath. It has started to look really nice! (At least so much better than it did before! At a minimum I'm getting some "depth" and contrast between the ebony areas and soft browns).

To my questions:

Question 1: When wet sanding (after grain is filled), how much time needs to elapse before wiping off the excess? Minutes? Hours? Until it "feels" cured? (They feel "cured" within a few hours. I've usually waited 24 hours for the next application, but sometimes only 10-12 hours).

Question 2: When wet sanding at the progressive grits, how much sanding should be done, how much pressure, how vigorous, etc.? Is it just enough to smooth any imperfections in the last "layer" / "application of Teak Oil?

Question 3: When I apply the Stew Mac dye, I presume I want to start light and increase it isn't quite what I want? Or, since the Teak Oil is going to remove some of the dye, should I apply a little heavier? Or?

Thank you for your consideration in reviewing the above and contributing what insight you may have.

JGW
 

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I use Teak Oil simply to keep stocks from drying out. I try to keep the original open grain, so I apply it with a toothbrush. It seems to dry within minutes, so I wipe it off promptly.

This information is probably of little use to you. RNGR4
 

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Comments

Please see answers embedded below in Red.

M1Army


All - I have a few specific questions on 2 projects: 1 is a USGI and 1 is a Dupage purchased unfinished. I have read, and re-read I think each post on the above subject by "M1Army" and "Doug Carlson", corresponded some with them. However, since these questions below may be of interest to others I make this thread.

Both stocks clean, finish-free before I did anything else.

USGI Stock - The USGI "steam ironed" numerous times to raise as many bumps and dings as possible. I lost patience with steaming each dent individually, and whether best practice or not, I just steamed the entire stock several times. I was pleased with the results.

After it dried I sanded to 320, and then I wet sanded it 3-4 times at 320 with Teak Oil, allowing it to stay on the stock for over night (first application), and the 2-4 applications for a couple of hours, before I wiped it off with clean, lint free rag thoroughly. Grain was filled. Then I wet sanded with Teak Oil at 400 (2-3 applications), 600 (2-3 applications), and 800 (3 applications). Based on my readings on the forum, I intend to apply a mixture of Stew Mac alcohol based dyes next, and then wet sanding 2-3 times at 1000, etc., etc. up to 2000 or 2500.

Dupage Stock - Sanded to 400, then TransTint alcohol based dye (ebony) applied, then PTO (15+) hand rubbed in applications. Stock felt great but was an ugly, muddy mess to look at: blackish, but not a "pretty" ebony, etc. I abandoned it for a couple of years even. I came back to it and wet-sanded with Teak Oil starting at 320 (3 -4 times), then progressively finer grit (3-4 times each), and next will be 1000 grit to wet sand . . . up to 2000 - 2500.

To my very pleasant surprise, the teak oil drew out a lot of the black-dyed mess, revealing soft browns from the walnut underneath. It has started to look really nice! (at least so much better than it did before).

To my questions:

M1Army - assuming you are doing a presentation type finish since you are filling the grain of the stock, I have outlined answers to your question below in Red (based on a lot of experience).

Question 1: When wet sanding (after grain is filled), how much time needs to elapse before wiping off the excess? Minutes? Hours? Until it "feels" cured? (They feel "cured" within a few hours. I've usually waited 24 hours for the next application, but sometimes only 10-12 hours). I wipe off the excess teak oil immediately. You just want to wipe it lightly so you have consistent coverage over the stock. I recommend letting it dry for 24 hours before you start your next progression. Also, in this process you should apply a thin coat of Teak oil to the entire stock before you begin wet sanding. Don't just dip your sand paper in the teak oil and start wet sanding on the dry stock.

Question 2: When wet sanding at the progressive grits, how much sanding should be done, how much pressure, how vigorous, etc.? Is it just enough to smooth any imperfections in the last "layer" / "application of Teak Oil? Think of the progressive wet sanding as a very, very light sanding. You need to learn to have a very soft touch. When going from 800 to 1000 the grit is so fine you can learn to feel just a slight drag when you start wet sanding and the paper will slide smooth when you are done [but is a very soft process]. You are really not sanding at this point you are gently moving the paper around. The sanding for imperfections should have been done during your dry sanding at 150, 220 and 320 [I refer to this as the tactical sanding phase] - everything after that is not really hard sanding or removing wood.

Question 3: When I apply the Stew Mac dye, I presume I want to start light and increase it isn't quite what I want? Or, since the Teak Oil is going to remove some of the dye, should I apply a little heavier? Or? I do not stain the stocks at all until I have finished wet sanding at 1000 grit. If you add the stain early you loose too much color as you work up the wet sanding progression. The beauty of alcohol based stain as you can add it late in the process [e.g. at 1000 grit] then you will retain most of the color up to 2000 if you do your wet sanding with a light hand.
If you need more color add it after 1500 etc.


Thank you for your consideration in reviewing the above and contributing what insight you may have.

JGW
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
M1Army - Will multiple "wet sandings" at 1000, then multiple at incrementally finer grit, lay down more and more "layers" of the Teak Oil to provide increasingly "deep" appearing finish?

In other words, will 2, 3, 4, 5 "wet sandings" at 1000; then 2, 3, 4, 5 "wet sandings" at 1200; then . . . . [continue pattern] . . . provide incrementally deeper" finish? Or, is one layer / one wet sanding at each grit the same as multiple wet sandings / multiple teak oil apps at each grit level?

JGW
 

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Can you guys clarify?

If you want to maximize contrast of the wood grain but still get good contrast and color rentention, are you saying to do wet sanding with teak oil first? I assume you wipe of any sanded material before the teak oil sets?

I've got a Tiger Birch coming, and I remember a Red Sonya stock that was quite inspiring.
 

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Teak Oil is an oil, that soaks into the wood. It is not a varnish, that simply coats the wood. I would let as much Teak Oil as possible soak into the wood before wet sanding. The more oil in the wood, the less moisture that it can absorb.

Wet sanding creates a slurry of oil and sawdust, that fills the grain as you wipe it. If you wet sand too large of an area, you will be spreading the slurry across the varying figure in the stock. This can negate any sharp contrast in the figure. You need to wet sand just a small area of like color at a time.
 

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M1Army - Will multiple "wet sandings" at 1000, then multiple at incrementally finer grit, lay down more and more "layers" of the Teak Oil to provide increasingly "deep" appearing finish?

In other words, will 2, 3, 4, 5 "wet sandings" at 1000; then 2, 3, 4, 5 "wet sandings" at 1200; then . . . . [continue pattern] . . . provide incrementally deeper" finish? Or, is one layer / one wet sanding at each grit the same as multiple wet sandings / multiple teak oil apps at each grit level?

JGW
I always start out my answers by saying there are many was to refinish stocks and get excellent results. The methods I use which many were shared with me by Doug Carlton and that I have added and tweaked over the years deliver consistent beautiful results.

The method you describe above is not something I have done as part of my process. I do not believe continuing to add teak oil at 1000 and above for multiple applications as you have described will provide any additional benefit.

After completing my dry tactical sanding on a stock [150, 220 and 320] I use the stocks own sawdust to fill the grain. I let that dry overnight and then begin my teak oil wet sanding progression from 325 - 2000 next.

So I start wet sanding at 320, then 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500 and 2000. So by the time I reach 2000 I have added 9 coats of teak oil including the teak oil coat added when I fill the grain after dry sanding. Adding more / multiple costs at the higher grit will likely just result in losing stain color without any material benefit. After my final coat at 2000 I let the stock dry 2 full days then buff the stock and wax the stock.

Below find just a few examples of completed stocks using the process [but I have done several hundred stocks] using the process. With all of this said as I stated in the beginning no single process is correct. I think both Doug Carlton and I would say that refinishing stocks requires a lot of trial and error then you eventually settle in on the process that works best for you. If adding multiple coats of teak oil at the higher grits provides you with a specific benefit then work that into your process. Again this process is for the presentation grade type finish as shown below. I have a different process when I refinish and want to keep more of a military open grain finish!

Here are a few examples - that include the process using Stew Mac stains. You can go my M1Army Albums to see many more examples.

Hope this helps:




Another:




And my prized Big Red Winchester


 

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The problem with "teak oil" is manufactures put what ever they want in it.

Also working with dyes can be a pita it self.
I have been using transtint dye for a bit. Using it with pure tung oil, tung oil finish, wipe on poly, TruOil and other "wipe on" finishes. Then for what ever reason my last go around with TruOil i had issues.
The dye and oil just did not get along.

Also remember these oils build up each layer on top of each other which can have a effect on your appearance of the finish.
Im in toddler stage for wood finishing . Mostly its a quick sand and pure tung oil . Some i have done differently. Working with dye has been fun.
I have come to like applying dye by spray gun. Heres a rescued stock that was cracked and beat up. i steamed out a lot of dings but did not go to crazy. Cleaned it up repaired the cracks, applied some black dye sanded it back a bit then used minwax pre sealer before spraying on the dark red. No where as nice as some stocks posted here but Im a greenhorn. My phone and camera skills are also lacking.
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBcFSyps7Ok"]3M pads between coats of Tru Oil - YouTube[/ame]

Here is the stock all glossed up.
[ame="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N5Q9dNm0X0w"]Tru Oil Full Gloss - YouTube[/ame]
 

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There are 1,000 ways to finish a stock. the one that works for you is the one that you will enjoy.

I moved away from poly finishes (tru oil, shellac, etc) because a hand rubbed finish gives the holder more tactile and intimate contact with the wood. AND, if the finish gets marred restoration is a snap. Restoring a plastic finish is much more painful.

THAT is why The Starbrite Teak Oil brand is my favorite. Because it works for me and I am lazy. PLUS, alcohol dyes and stains can be controlled with the finish applied. Want more? Add more. Want less? Use the last grit paper you used and work in another coat of Teak Oil. It will come off.

Walnut and Birch are VERY different species and the pores of a walnut are notoriously difficult to fill. It will make you pull out your hair waiting for it to smooth out completely. Birch tends to be denser and smoother making it move to that glass-like finish much quicker.

Trial and error is the only way to figure this out. An ugly stock is going to remain ugly. a bad dye or stain is going to look bad. Trial and error...

The good news is with Teak Oil you can start over from scratch and you will never be able to tell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
With much trepidation (having not taken this step before), I mixed my Stew Mac dyes (approximately 50/50 Tobacco Brown / Vintage Amber) into about 2 ounces of denatured alcohol, then applied to my USGI stock. I should not have been so nervous, as it was quite easy. The alcohol evaporates so quickly it's easy to see what's been well covered and what has not. I previously read from either Doug Carlson or M1Army how vintage amber seems to make the stock "pop" visually, so I then mixed up a little Vintage Amber and applied that. No clue if that was particularly good or bad. I didn't use any of the Red Cherry since the stock already had a reddish appearance. Maybe I'll add some of that.

After the dye fully dried I wet sanded at 1500. I like the appearance, but I don't think the change in color or contrast is tremendous as compared to how it looked before the dye was applied.

Question: Would this indicate the dye solution was too dilute in the denatured alcohol?

Question: Does the "translucence" / "chatoyance" develop with the wax buffing that's done after final wet sanding at 2000?

EDIT: From a pm with M1Army it appears that it's the end of the process, when buffing out the final wax finish that the translucence / chatoyance / "stock comes to life" occurs.

JGW

PS: This is fun! And for any of ya'll starting down this road, read all you can, and then jump in. I learned a lot from reading on this forum, but until you actually begin doing it much of what is read becomes a jumble or doesn't quite make sense. It only began to come together for me (the processes, etc.) once I started in on a stock. Hopefully, the results will come together also!

JGW​
 

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With much trepidation (having not taken this step before), I mixed my Stew Mac dyes (approximately 50/50 Tobacco Brown / Vintage Amber) into about 2 ounces of denatured alcohol, then applied to my USGI stock. I should not have been so nervous, as it was quite easy. The alcohol evaporates so quickly it's easy to see what's been well covered and what has not. I previously read from either Doug Carlson or M1Army how vintage amber seems to make the stock "pop" visually, so I then mixed up a little Vintage Amber and applied that. No clue if that was particularly good or bad. I didn't use any of the Red Cherry since the stock already had a reddish appearance. Maybe I'll add some of that.

After the dye fully dried I wet sanded at 1500. I like the appearance, but I don't think the change in color or contrast is tremendous as compared to how it looked before the dye was applied.

Question: Would this indicate the dye solution was too dilute in the denatured alcohol?

Question: Does the "translucence" / "chatoyance" develop with the wax buffing that's done after final wet sanding at 2000?

EDIT: From a pm with M1Army it appears that it's the end of the process, when buffing out the final wax finish that the translucence / chatoyance / "stock comes to life" occurs.

JGW

PS: This is fun! And for any of ya'll starting down this road, read all you can, and then jump in. I learned a lot from reading on this forum, but until you actually begin doing it much of what is read becomes a jumble or doesn't quite make sense. It only began to come together for me (the processes, etc.) once I started in on a stock. Hopefully, the results will come together also!

JGW​
If you apply stain or dye over a "over " sanded stock say 400+ or trying to add stain over say a coat or 2 of oil the "color" will not bite. Sometimes theres just not much cotrast. Trick a old timer showed me is rough sand trying to open up the grain. Then apply some stain/dye then le t it dry and sand back again and hope the more "open" grain sucks the color in deeper.
Some woods just wont take color well and it does not show much.
 

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As you learned, the chatoyance is there at the very end. I use 1500 and 2000 grain to finish and that's when it really shows up.

As for wax, I've used Howard's Feed n Wax for mine. Renaissance wax is also popular
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well, I decided to essentially "start over" on the USGI stock. I didn't think I was going to end up where I wanted, so I used PP, then mineral spirits to remove the existing Teak Oil and dye, then went back to 220, then Teak Oil; 320, then Teak Oil, etc. I liked the look so much better than with the dye, I'm not going to use dye this time. I am going to progress up through 2000 grit, then buff and wax.

Two things learned:

(1) Doug Carlson and M1Army are absolutely correct that with a teak oil finish (and in my experience a pure tung oil finish as well), if you mess it up, it's easy to start over / fix.

(2) My Granddad was right when he said: "If a barn needs painting, then paint it. If it doesn't, then leave it alone! (he said that in relation to women and make up!). As it applies here, this stock doesn't need any more color or different color to be pleasing to my eyes.

JGW
 

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Well, I decided to essentially "start over" on the USGI stock. I didn't think I was going to end up where I wanted, so I used PP, then mineral spirits to remove the existing Teak Oil and dye, then went back to 220, then Teak Oil; 320, then Teak Oil, etc. I liked the look so much better than with the dye, I'm not going to use dye this time. I am going to progress up through 2000 grit, then buff and wax.

Two things learned:

(1) Doug Carlson and M1Army are absolutely correct that with a teak oil finish (and in my experience a pure tung oil finish as well), if you mess it up, it's easy to start over / fix.

(2) My Granddad was right when he said: "If a barn needs painting, then paint it. If it doesn't, then leave it alone! (he said that in relation to women and make up!). As it applies here, this stock doesn't need any more color or different color to be pleasing to my eyes.

JGW
We all look forward to seeing the finished stock JGW....

JWG - not trying to hijack your thread, but I thought everyone might enjoy this progression of pictures as it basically ties to what you are tying to explain -> [I have shown this on many of my refinish posts] but since we have some interest this might help everyone understand the progression. this is a really nice Birch TRW stock. My disclaimer again - there are hundreds of ways to refinish stocks and this is not the only way and I do not know it all, but this pictorial may help you follow this specific process.

After refinishing so many stocks over the years I can generally look at the stock after stripping it with Soy Gel and getting the first few coats of teak oil on the stock what type of plan I have for that specific stock in terms of staining / color. Generally speaking the staining we are discussing relates to birch stocks. However, even with a plan you might get into the refinish and the stock will dictate the direction you ultimately take. After finishing hundreds of stocks you begin to see certain attributes and you move along and make adjustments on the fly.

As far as walnut stocks I generally do not want to stain walnut unless the stock has a lot of Sap Wood and has light and dark areas. When I get a stock like that I often use a mix of tobacco brown and mahogany [I call it my "Walnut Helper"] and will stain the stock so it has a nice uniform color.

Like I have mentioned so many times before I have had a lot of "Failures" in the earlier years, but those failures taught important lessons that I retained on future refinishes.


Here is the starting point:



Next - using Soy Gel and to strip 60 years of crud off of the stock



Next - after removing the Soy Gel with a warm water bath and spraying down with de-greaser you have a Birch Stock stripped to the bare wood.....



Next - comes the "Tactical Sanding Phase" as I call it [Dry Sanding - generally use 150, 220 & finish with 320]- where I removed some of the "sins of the past" and ensure the stock has the sharp lines that an M14 stock should have. You may get a stock that has some damage or that has been sanded poorly in the past. This process corrects those problems. I would say this is one of the hardest steps to do well and can only be mastered with a lot of practice. You tend to know each stock manufacturer and the classic lines of the M14 stock. When a stock has been rounded off in certain areas due to poor sanding it is just ugly...




Next - after filling the grain with the stocks own sawdust, I begin working up the teak oil wet sanding progression. I generally begin by adding a thin coat of teak oil over the entire stock then work up the progression from 320 to 2000. You apply the teak oil, gently wet sand and then take your 2x2 cotton folded up lint free rag and wipe the stock down. You need to let the stock dry overnight, then repeat to the next grit. This is what the stock looks like after wet sanding with teak oil [Still NO Stain at this point]. To follow the entire process you need about 2 weeks and you need patience. Many are not willing to take the required amount of time to use this method as you are talking about 9 days to work up the wet sanding progression.



Next after reaching and finishing the 1000 grit wet sanding it is time to lay down the stain. I only use Stew Mac Alcohol Based Stain - this is a mixture of tobacco brown and vintage amber. A few pics after adding the stain to the stock then wet sanding at 1200. After adding the stain you need a VERY soft sanding hand to wet sand. You apply a thin coat of teak oil over the entire stock then apply very little pressure when you wet sand or you will loose color. You can see the stock has taken on some color. When the stock dries it will have a bit of a dull look [but don't worry].




Lastly - after working up to 2000 and doing the final wet sanding you allow the stock to dry two days then take it to the buffer and that is when you will see the reward of all your had work. I buff the stock and then hand wax [3-5 coats] with Renaissance Wax then do one more final buffing. This is the final Product / Reward!


 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
M1Army - Your input here is certainly not thread hijacking!!! Your progression, steps, pics, etc. I think help all of us greatly.

JGW
 

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While I don't have the experience Wes has, I would like to give one piece of advice. Where most go wrong when refinishing a 50 plus year old stock is over sanding. It is easy to tell the difference between a professional restoration job vs an amateur, you will find it every time in a stock that has been over sanded. All the edges which should be sharp will look rounded over, it is the tail tail sign, so be careful when sanding and go slow because once the wood is gone its gone forever!

REN GI2
 
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