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Tequila Shooter

Question for the Woodworkers

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After seeing Hendo's post and a few others I've been toying with the idea of refinishing my SG furniture.  Here's the rub, how do you strip where the checkering is?  Since it's a working gun I can live with it the way it is, but with all the downtime lately I've thought about it.

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With chemical strip-I use a tooth brush to work it into the checkering...anything real obstinate after that Ive used tooth pick, sharply folded sandpaper line....
I'm just a shade tree hack though.

 

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What LD said. I also sharpen the checkering using checkering tools.

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+2 on the toothbrush. I haven't done a checkered stock, but my first project was an SG that had a "honeycomb" forend. Toothbrush did the trick.

I also recommend the University of YouTube. :D

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2 hours ago, Lunger Dan said:

With chemical strip-I use a tooth brush to work it into the checkering...anything real obstinate after that Ive used tooth pick, sharply folded sandpaper line....
I'm just a shade tree hack though.

 

 

This X2

OLG 

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Use the tooth brush and try one of those metal tools the dental hygenist uses instead of a tooth pick.  

Afterwards, use a checkering tool to re-point the checkering.

 

Duffield

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@Hendo thanks for the link.  You're making it hard for me not to refinish my SG.

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I'm here for you, Amigo.

I'm also really good at helping people spend their money.

:lol:

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One more question for the experts.  I do have checkering and some of you have recommended a checkering tool to touch up after stripping.  I've never done any checkering at all.  I looked at Brownells and was overwhelmed with choices, what would you recommend for a complete novice with no skills?

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Here is some pics. of a 1939 Winchester 22 pump and my Uberti 73, the 73 was looking bad after 15 years of cowboy. Three years ago I had my second back surgery I need something to do so I refinished the wood on these two guns . I striped them and steamed the dents out of the wood sanded stained and finished with 9 coats of hand rubbed Birchwood Casey Tru-oil they came out great and the finish is holding up really good against CAS! V.D. first four pics are the 73

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1 hour ago, Tequila Shooter said:

One more question for the experts.  I do have checkering and some of you have recommended a checkering tool to touch up after stripping.  I've never done any checkering at all.  I looked at Brownells and was overwhelmed with choices, what would you recommend for a complete novice with no skills?

If the checkering feels sharp to you don't need to do anything just don't over do the coating in the checkered area. V.D.

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2 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

checkering tool to touch up after stripping,,,,,,what would you recommend for a complete novice with no skills?

 

The conventional low cost tooling is a (manual) DemBart cutter head and handle.  For touchup, a single line cutter is most maneuverable, but VERY easy to make mistakes with.  A two line head with one "guide" and one "cutter" tooth is faster and easier to keep straight.  And a long "straightening" cutter (single tooth, but real long) will help you get a wandering groove headed back in the right direction.   But with that you HAVE to know the pitch of the existing checkering.   The should be a "Chekr-chex"  plastic checkering gauge at Brownells for figuring out your checkering pitch.   Using a guided cutter with the wrong pitch cuts new lines all over the existing work, ruining the checkering. 

 

It is VERY easy to get off your line when cutting.  You need PRACTICE, PRACTICE, good lighting, lots of patience, a good stock vise that allows you to pivot the stock, and probably magnifying flip-down "glasses".    And an old stock to work over first.   Checkering a flat surface is not hard, but following around the curves of a pistol grip will drive you batty the first couple of times you try it.

 

But, what I use to just "CLEAN UP" checkering, repointing the diamonds and clearing crud out of the grooves, is a pair of needle files.   A 45 degree and a 60 degree bent needle file made for cleaning up checking are about all I use anymore, since I gave up trying to do bare-stock checkering work.   The 60 degree file will see most of the work.   That bend of the file blade lets you get down in the existing grooves real easily, and cuts fast.    Then the flat tip lets you sneak up on the edges of the pattern and retouch the border.   That still needs the right extra tools - PRACTICE, PRACTICE, good lighting, lots of patience, a good stock vise that allows you to pivot the stock, and probably magnifying flip-down "glasses".

 

Good luck, GJ

 

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@Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 thanks for the honesty.  I thought it would be harder than just stripping and re-coating the wood.  Since I don't have any of the stuff you listed, including an extra stock, vice, or patience I might have to re-think this.

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5 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

@Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 thanks for the honesty.  I thought it would be harder than just stripping and re-coating the wood.  Since I don't have any of the stuff you listed, including an extra stock, vice, or patience I might have to re-think this.

That's just an excuse, man.

 

 

An excuse to buy tools. :lol:

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6 hours ago, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

 

The conventional low cost tooling is a (manual) DemBart cutter head and handle.  For touchup, a single line cutter is most maneuverable, but VERY easy to make mistakes with.  A two line head with one "guide" and one "cutter" tooth is faster and easier to keep straight.  And a long "straightening" cutter (single tooth, but real long) will help you get a wandering groove headed back in the right direction.   But with that you HAVE to know the pitch of the existing checkering.   The should be a "Chekr-chex"  plastic checkering gauge at Brownells for figuring out your checkering pitch.   Using a guided cutter with the wrong pitch cuts new lines all over the existing work, ruining the checkering. 

 

It is VERY easy to get off your line when cutting.  You need PRACTICE, PRACTICE, good lighting, lots of patience, a good stock vise that allows you to pivot the stock, and probably magnifying flip-down "glasses".    And an old stock to work over first.   Checkering a flat surface is not hard, but following around the curves of a pistol grip will drive you batty the first couple of times you try it.

 

But, what I use to just "CLEAN UP" checkering, repointing the diamonds and clearing crud out of the grooves, is a pair of needle files.   A 45 degree and a 60 degree bent needle file made for cleaning up checking are about all I use anymore, since I gave up trying to do bare-stock checkering work.   The 60 degree file will see most of the work.   That bend of the file blade lets you get down in the existing grooves real easily, and cuts fast.    Then the flat tip lets you sneak up on the edges of the pattern and retouch the border.   That still needs the right extra tools - PRACTICE, PRACTICE, good lighting, lots of patience, a good stock vise that allows you to pivot the stock, and probably magnifying flip-down "glasses".

 

Good luck, GJ

 

Garrison Joe nailed it.  I use the DemBart tools, and I like to install the cutter so that it cuts on the pull stroke instead of the push stroke.

The bent files are a good friend for finish work and re-pointing. Practice, and take your time when doing any checkering work.

 

Duffield

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nice looking work , somewhat inspires me - when i get the rest of my list done - to do a couple of mine , they need and deserve it , lots of faithful service 

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7 hours ago, Hendo said:

That's just an excuse, man.

 

 

An excuse to buy tools. :lol:

 

Tools are to a man as what shoes are to a woman :ph34r:

 

My thoughts on tools have changed over the years.  I still have and use a set of Craftsman tools that I bought in 1977, they came with a lifetime warranty, nowadays if it's got a 10 year warranty that's close enough to lifetime.

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If you cut one half of the toothbrush bristles off the remainder will be much stiffer and do a better job of cleaning the checkering after applying the zip strip

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If anyone is interested I've come to a decision.  I'm going to hold off on the SG for now, I don't want to start on something that big with my lack of experience just yet, I guess I'm not as brave as @Hendo ;).  I've got a a couple of Uberti pistols with plain grips, I think that would be a better starting spot.  I'll post some pics on a new post to show before during and after, wish me luck.

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Now don't go confusing my boredom for bravery. :D

But, thank you kindly.

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2 hours ago, Tequila Shooter said:

If anyone is interested I've come to a decision.  I'm going to hold off on the SG for now, I don't want to start on something that big with my lack of experience just yet, I guess I'm not as brave as @Hendo ;).  I've got a a couple of Uberti pistols with plain grips, I think that would be a better starting spot.  I'll post some pics on a new post to show before during and after, wish me luck.


My opinion is this:

I think you’d best start on an old beat-up, 98¢ junk stock, practicing on that instead of screwing up your revolver grips.  You’ll kick yourself every time you look at or feel those grips.  Practice on an old stock first to get the feel for it.  Find a video on YouTube to get started and to refer back to.

 

Cat Brules

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6 hours ago, Cat Brules said:


My opinion is this:

I think you’d best start on an old beat-up, 98¢ junk stock, practicing on that instead of screwing up your revolver grips.  You’ll kick yourself every time you look at or feel those grips.  Practice on an old stock first to get the feel for it.  Find a video on YouTube to get started and to refer back to.

 

Cat Brules

 

Cat, that sounds reasonable but do you have a junk stock or know where I can find one?

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Howdy:  I have stripped the finish off of many guns that had been in fair shape, but the wood was very dark from the oil seeping downward from the

metal work. The best thing I have found was using  Easyoff oven cleaner to remove all old varnish, stain and it also removes the oil from the

wood.  Thereby making the wood like new, and will except stain just like a new piece of wood with uniform finish.

Remove the wood, then, remove the buttplate. Do this in a well ventilated area!  Spray the oven cleaner on the wood leave sit for about 20mins. then

wash off with cold water. You may have to do this several times.  Believe me it works!   I got this idea out of an old NRA mag.

Good luck !

James Rosewood

 

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On 4/4/2020 at 2:33 AM, Tequila Shooter said:

After seeing Hendo's post and a few others I've been toying with the idea of refinishing my SG furniture.  Here's the rub, how do you strip where the checkering is?  Since it's a working gun I can live with it the way it is, but with all the downtime lately I've thought about it.

Chemical stripper and a toothbrush.  DO NOT sand that checkering!

 

I have a Cimarron 1873 Deluxe (the one Winchester called the "Roosevelt Improvement" based on suggestions made by TR).  It has the pistol grip stock with checkering and a checkered forearm.  Cimarron uses great American walnut, but they put a finish over the top of it that makes the wood look like plastic.  Seriously, several people asked me if it was plastic.  So I used a chemical stripper and a toothbrush to get rid of the finish, and used Danish oil to refinish it.  I think I must have put at least 8-10 coats on there, and it looks fabulous.  

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Ok came up with another question, I re-read Longshot Logan's directions and he recommended Formby's Tung Oil.  Minwax now makes Formbys and from what I've read the formula is different.  There are a number of pure Tung Oils available from places like Rockler and Amazon.  Would it be better to use a pure Tung Oil instead of the Minwax version?

 

 

On 4/5/2020 at 9:20 AM, Hendo said:

 

 

 

 

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11 minutes ago, Tequila Shooter said:

Ok came up with another question, I re-read Longshot Logan's directions and he recommended Formby's Tung Oil.  Minwax now makes Formbys and from what I've read the formula is different.  There are a number of pure Tung Oils available from places like Rockler and Amazon.  Would it be better to use a pure Tung Oil instead of the Minwax version?

 

 

 

I can't answer to that. Although I've seen outstanding results online with tung oil, all I've ever used has been Tru-oil. (Which is a linseed oil hybrid, if I'm not mistaken.)

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14 hours ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:

Cimarron uses great American walnut, but they put a finish over the top of it that makes the wood look like plastic. 

 

Uberti put that top coat on.  It's sprayed polyurethane - like almost all manufacturers use now because it looks shiny and it's fast to produce (no manual rub out or multiple coats).  (And it's probably Italian or Turkish walnut.  American walnut with good figure does not get exported often.)

 

It's tough until it gets a ding, then the ding is hard to repair.   I still like the modified boiled linseed oil - Tru Oil or LinSpeed.   Much closer to the oils that the cowboy era manufacturers used.

 

Good luck, GJ   

 

 

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On 4/7/2020 at 1:49 AM, Tequila Shooter said:

 

Cat, that sounds reasonable but do you have a junk stock or know where I can find one?

Take a look at Larry Potterfield from Midway USA  he dose a nice job on refinishing an old Remington shot gun,  he has all the answers to your questions in a video,  good luck with it. He makes it look easy.

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52 minutes ago, Major General Shagnasty said:

Take a look at Larry Potterfield from Midway USA  he dose a nice job on refinishing an old Remington shot gun,  he has all the answers to your questions in a video,  good luck with it. He makes it look easy.

His video on refinishing a stock just came up in a recommendation on my YouTube this afternoon. 

It was pointed out that he grew a beard in the time it took him to complete it.

Bwahahahaha! 

 

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I used Tru-oil on a new stock in a rifle kit I built.  I used numerous coats and sanded between coats.  Took a long time but the finished product was smooth as glass and the grain seemed to jump out at you!

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On 4/8/2020 at 10:10 PM, Garrison Joe, SASS #60708 said:

I still like the modified boiled linseed oil - Tru Oil or LinSpeed.   Much closer to the oils that the cowboy era manufacturers used.

 

I used LinSpeed to do a National Match M1 I picked up at Camp Perry in the 60's. It really looked great ! Put on about 10 coats, rubbing out in between.

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When I was learning to checker, I ran out to the tool shed and brought in a bunch of broom handles and such.  Great practice canvas.  Plenty of room to screw-up and start over.  Cheap too.

 

My preferred "finish" of choice, after the stain, is Spar Varnish.  Tough Stuff that.

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Here is instruction from a guy that knew what he was doing.  Old members may remember this.

 

 

Longshot Logan

INSTRUCTIONS FOR REFINISHING A UBERTI STOCK. 

I have been refinishing gunstocks for 30 years on and off. Over the past several years I have done quite a few Uberti rifles and handgun grips to get the red sprayed finish off. Here is the method I use all the time for great results. List of items needed.

1.) Quart of Orange Citristrip gel. Available at most larger Hardware stores.

2.) 00 Steel wool and 0000 steel wool.

3.) Minwax Oil Base stain in your choice of color.

4.) 1 paint stick.

5.) Formby's Tung Oil, either high or low gloss.

6.) Old cotton Tee shirt.

7.) Steam Iron.

8.) 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper.

9.) Rubber disposable gloves.

10) Disposable foam brush.

11) Cheap white 1 inch bristle brush

12) Old Newspapers.

13) Old toothbrush (if checkered)

 

On a 73 - To remove the fore-stock, you first have to remove the two screws that hold the fore end cap on, and then remove the block that the screws mount to from it's dovetail. Then tap out the pin in the mag tube mounting block on the end of the barrel (this locks the mag tube in place). Slide the mag tube forward and out, then the block out of the dovetail. The fore end will then slide off. You may be able to remove the fore end without removing the block at the end of the barrel by just sliding the mag tube forward enough to drop off the fore end.

The rifle should be disassembled and the wood placed aside on a good work bench free of debris and clutter. Lay out a piece of newspaper and lay the forearm and butt stock down. Apply the Citristrip with the bristle brush liberally ( as thick as you can ) to both pieces covering the sides as much as you can. Now forget about it for about 40 minutes minimum. This stuff stays active for 24 hours so you could even put it on and leave it for a long time.

 

This wood now will be mostly free of the finish where you applied the citristrip ( It smells nice so you wife won't kill you ) Use the paint stick wearing the rubber gloves and scrape the finish off. it won't all come off the first time and will need to be repeated. The 00 Steel wool is excellent for taking the finish off after scraping. Change the newspaper and lay the wood down again and do another area. You will go through a few pieces of newspaper before your done. As you go follow the same routine with the paint stick and steel wool. Once the wood is bare and clean you can apply one more coat of the citristrip, let it sit a few minutes and then wipe it off following with a good rub down with the 0000 (Extra fine steel wool). You will be amazed at the results.

 

If the stocks are checkered the old toothbrush works well taking the finish out of the checkering. Now to look over the stock for damage. If there are actual gouges where the wood grain is cut you will have to decide if sanding them out is an option. If there are dents (most likely) then move onto the next step. With the flat iron set hot enough to produce steam (no hotter) take a 6 inch piece of the old tee shirt and soak it in water and squeeze it out. Fold it over a couple of time and place it over the dent. Put the steam iron over it and you will see what happens. The water in the cotton is forced into the wood grain and raises the dent out of the wood. Repeat until it's all out. This take very little time. Once you are happy with your work take it to the kitchen and quickly run the stock under water and pat it quickly to get the excess water off it. Now hold it about two feet over the stove burner constantly moving it until dry. You will feel whiskers all over. These are the end grains of the wood. Use the 400 grit paper very lightly to knock them off followed by a good rub down with 0000 steel wool. The stock should now be ready for final finishing. Use the Stain with the foam brush applying it heavy and letting it sit. After a few minutes wipe the excess off and see if that is the color you want. Reapply for a darker finish. When it looks nice let it dry 24 hours, I know this part will kill you but it is important. When dry use the 0000 steel wool lightly and wipe down with a clean cloth. To apply the Tung oil follow the labels directions. the first few coats take the longest to dry but after that you can put 2 or 3 coats on in one day. I use a piece of the old cotton tee shirt folded into a 2 inch square and make long runs following the grain to apply the finish. Don't apply this finish in anything but thin coats. I usually put 10-12 coats. After every couple of coats (when dry) go over it with 0000 steel wool. I have a wood dowel to hold the forearm and a wood dowel to hold the stock and have them in a 2x4 so the pieces stand up to dry. In a weekend you can get the Uberti to look like a million dollars. Be careful if you use sandpaper to stay away from the stock' sharp edges )the parts that attach or come up to metal) if you over sand these areas the job will look lousy. This procedure take patience but well worth the end results.

If you can get the exact items I described you will be set. To get the high gloss finish just end with a coat of tung oil. To get the low gloss after several layers and when dry just go slowly and steel wool with 0000 followed by furniture polish. This finish can be touched up easily. Longshot Logan

 .


 

Five simple rules for happiness:

1. Free your heart from hatred.

2. Free your mind from worries.

3. Live simply.

4. Give more.

5. Expect less.

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@Pee Wee #15785 the Croc Holiday post that I used in a previous reply was that exact one, I guess great minds think alike B).  

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