View Full Version : Screwed it up the first time. Need help this time.

June 23, 2002, 19:18
I have tried to finish my walnut Fajen TH Silhouette stock for my 10/22 and it's just not working. After all the sanding, I wet it with water to "preview" and it looked great. Then, after it was dry and I smoothed it with 800 once more, blew off the dust with air, wiped it down again with a damp cloth and let it dry for 24 hours. I started with MinWax Tung Oil (One every 24 hours)and after the second coat, the more coats I applied, the worse I thought it looked. (Yes, I did the buffing between coats.) The problem seems to be that there are so many pores in this wood (and they are not small either, some are long, sort of like a short worm...). The pores absorbed the finish more (or something like that) and it darkened the overall appearance way more than I like. There were areas where the grain of the wood seemed to disappear even. I have decided to sand it off and try again. I need to know the best way to fill in the pores so I can see the nice grain of the wood and the gorgeous tiger stripes in it.
I have read somewhere that you "wet sand" with Tru Oil? Or was it with Tung Oil? Or BLO or what?
All I know is that I want it to look better and so I'll be sanding the finish off. I started already and it was not as deep as I thought it was. It won't be as hard to redo as I thought. At least the "sanding old finish off" part.

Thanks for any help.

Here are a couple of pictures. You can see why I am redoing it. (The dust is from me resanding it and all the little sparkleys are from the flash reflection in the pores of the wood that aren't the same level as the wood surface. ) http://www.ctcweb.net/~mramazin/P1.JPG http://www.ctcweb.net/~mramazin/P2.JPG

June 23, 2002, 19:45
I have sprayed stocks that are very porous and basically hosed them down a couple of times sanding flat each time until surface was flat and the pours were filled in. Then sprayed a coat for the final finish. I would think that brushing could achieve the same results just allot of elbow grease. This is if you want a very smooth shiny surface, if you want a semi-gloss surface just put on several coats. Before it dries wipe it down with a soft lint free rag until all of the excess is gone. Do this until you get the finish desired could take up to 8 or 10 coats wiping each coat before drying.

June 23, 2002, 19:55
I too have found walnut pores to be a bugaboo.

My best results come from mixing a quality wood grain filler with a stain that matches the intended final color. Apply liberally(rub in w/ soft cloth), wipe off excess after 20 minutes.
Let dry, rub with very fine steel wool, rub with fine cloth, repeat as necessary (could take a while!), then do it twice more.

Then you are ready for final finish- linseed, tung or that wonderful mix of linseed, turpentine and beesswax.

June 23, 2002, 19:59
That is some REALLY nice looking walnut you have there!
If you want it shiny, Tru-Oil works quit well.

WJ-Polish Guy
June 23, 2002, 20:06
Originally posted by moparman
I have read somewhere that you "wet sand" with Tru Oil? Or was it with Tung Oil? Or BLO or what?


Trick is to fill the pores. It is done while sanding wet with Tung Oil. Basicly you sand it till "mudd" is created on surface of the wood. It is done two or three times, care must be taken not to expose new pores while sanding second time (not to go thru first layer of the finish...) and etc...
Your pics are bad quality, but it look to me like you did not wiped exces Thung between coats also...
Maybe somebody have link to Tung finish technology, or try to get a riflesmithing book...

June 23, 2002, 20:25
A high luster smooth finish takes a lot of coats.

June 23, 2002, 21:24
WJ, I didn't do anything after putting on the last coat. That's why it looks like it does. However, I did sand lightly with 600 on 1-3 and buff with 0000 after the 2 coats before last.

I appreciate all your suggestions and will do better this time.


June 23, 2002, 21:36
When I come across some wood with large pores, I sand it down to bare wood and slop on the tung oil, heavy, heavy, heavy. Let it dry completely, usually several days. Then sand it back down to wood and usually all the pores are filled.
Then start rubbing in your tung oil, buffing with 0000 steel wool between coats, until you get the finish you want.

MM in NM
June 23, 2002, 23:01
It might be the photo but it appears you need to use a sanding block too. You don't need to go all the way to 800 grit untill the very last, and then only if you really want a shiney shine.

June 24, 2002, 09:05
I've made some really hideous Mauser stocks look like a million bucks just by filling the pores with the Caseys wood filler, then using Tru-Oil. After the final "before-finish" sanding, however, I very, very seldom use sandpaper. I get much better results using steel wool on progressively finer grades until the final finish is achieved. Regardless of grit, it seems like sandpaper removes too much material.
Then as a finishing touch, I use the finest steel wool I can find on the final finish. The idea is not to remove anything, but to break the shine and leave what Herters used to call an "eggshell" finish. It looks great and wears like iron.

Mr pogo
June 24, 2002, 14:11
With tung oil, hit it with steel wool between coats like previously mentioned. But put the stock in a warm place when coated, even let it sit out in the sun. Helps the wood absorb as much tung oil as it can.

June 24, 2002, 20:35
I've found the tung oil finishes need to be put on in real thin coats
or they look really bad. I've also mixed it with BLO and gotton pretty good results.

June 24, 2002, 20:37
I have had good results with the Tru-oil. Put on 5-6 coats and sand with worn 220 grit paper in between coats. If you do not like the shininess of the Tru-oil (as I don't) put on low gloss tung oil on afterwards. Then wax it and it will be beautiful.

June 24, 2002, 21:16
From looking at the pictures, I've been in the same situation using Behr tung oil. My guess is you put the Tung on and set it aside to dry. The instructions on the can say to let it dry for 15 minutes (I think) then wipe off any excess.

I fixed mine by taking off most of the Tung with 0000 steel wool. You do not need to go down to bare wood. The 0000 steel wool seems to burnish the wood but not cut into the wood. Try a small area and you will see what I'm talking about. You will be surprised by how smooth the wood will be under all the Tung. Now start over and put the Tung on, then wipe off the excess after the specified time. It will dry a lot quicker when you do this. Once dry, buff lightly with 0000 steel wool and recoat. After about 6-8 coats things will be looking great.

Awhile back, I posted some pictures of an Ironwood stock that started out looking like your pictures but ended up very nice. I'll see if I can find the pics and repost. That's what I did, my .02 cents.

Here is the link. http://www.falfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=16606&highlight=Ironwood

FAL guy
June 26, 2002, 12:13
Follow this link for a great site on stock refinishing.

Filling the pores (http://riflestocks.tripod.com/fgrain.html)

I've used this technique several times. If you follow these instructions you will end up with a beautifully smooth finish with no pores showing.

Check out the rest of the site as well for great tips on sanding and sealing.