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Snake-eye, SASS#45097

Water damaged rifle stock

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I recently found a 92 that has extensive water damage at the end of the stock. All the finish is gone at the damaged end and the wood is water stained. I could use some suggestions on the best way to remove the stains. Refinishing will be done after that. Thanks in advance.

 

Added some photos of the gun and stock.

 

I know it’s not a SASS firearm, not much of a pistol, nor a rifle. But I couldn’t resist, even with the damaged stock. The rest of it is fine. It was just to cool to pass up especially at the price I paid for it. It seemed no one wanted it due to the damaged stock. I’ll post pictures of it refinished.

 

Took a little bit of work but it refinished rather well.

 

 

21AAA257-A601-4D5D-80E4-A3F22B8DD5C5.jpeg

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81F37EF5-943E-4F02-950F-4CCF202D1F83.jpeg

Edited by Snake-eye, SASS#45097

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Go ahead and refinish the entire stock as you would without worry about the stain...if you are going to go to a light color, you can try some selective wood bleaching in the stained area. Going to a light color-there may be no coming back from seeing some staining. Try to stay away from sanding...sanding kills.

 

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If the water damage includes rust staining (black), take a look at using oxalic acid.

 

As to not sanding... The original water damage (and oxalic acid) will raise grain so some sanding will likely be needed.

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Use a fine sanding grit if you sand.  100 -300 should be good but I use 300-400 to start with and end with 800-1000.  Over kill but I like a very smooth finish.  Personally I use brass wool to work any stocks as steel wool can get embedded in the wood and discolor the wood in the area over time and use.  The other way is replace the old wood with AAA walnut :D. I use real Tung Oil and do a hand rubbed finish but for what the wood is, the time to do the refinish, most of the stock refinishing products on the market work fine.

 

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If you're going to use it for CAS, a simple leather butt cover might do the trick in hiding the stain. Assuming the stain is on the butt.;)

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Without knowing or seeing the stain it is difficult to give good advice. Water stain/damage, depending on the extent, can be a minor or major factor. In a pistol caliber rifle, strength of the wood is usually not a concern, however the depth of the damage can turn the wood pithy or not at all. If the stock has swelled the wood stabilizer needs to be used after resurfacing to original dimensions. 

Staining depends on the minerals in the water. On the East coast iron is common. The west coast is alkali. If the water filtered in because it was in a home then gypsum is probably the stain. In any case most/all the original finish should be removed and the wood sealed with a 50/50 cut of Clear Marine Spar Varnish before applying whatever finish trips your trigger. Casey's Tru Oil is my goto as it tends to blend the different wood tones together. 

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As @Ace_of_Hearts said pictures are worth a thousand words, plus you might get one of the more experienced woodworkers on the Wire to chime in if they can at see it.

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Considering the amount of work necessary to re-finish you may find it easier to source a semi-finished replacement and start over.

Edited by Colorado Coffinmaker

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5 hours ago, Colorado Coffinmaker said:

 

Considering the amount of work necessary to re-finish you may find it easier to source a semi-finished replacement and start over.

If it is just a stain, he'll be fine. If the wood is swollen and pithy then maybe you are correct. And get the best grade wood you can afford!

If you have to redo it....... Make it pretty!

 

 

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Longshot Logan's Instructions for refinishing 

 

INSTRUCTIONS FOR REFINISHING A UBERTI STOCK. I also do refinish for people who would rather not tackle the job themselves.

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

 

This should work unless you need a new stock

Edited by Pee Wee #15785
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A "water stain" is pretty generic, hard to tell you what to do. But if it has turned the wood black, then it is probably mold, happened to my sons rifle that got left in a wet gun case. I found that bleach did nothing, but a good mold remover shower cleaner got rid of it, albeit with a bit of bleaching/lightening of the wood. Some sanding and re-staining and it looks ok, certainly good enough for SASS shooting. It was after all an Uberti, not a high grade Winchester.

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2 hours ago, Springfield Slim SASS #24733 said:

A "water stain" is pretty generic, hard to tell you what to do. But if it has turned the wood black, then it is probably mold, happened to my sons rifle that got left in a wet gun case. I found that bleach did nothing, but a good mold remover shower cleaner got rid of it, albeit with a bit of bleaching/lightening of the wood. Some sanding and re-staining and it looks ok, certainly good enough for SASS shooting. It was after all an Uberti, not a high grade Winchester.

Just for information.

Mold, if not excessive, on a rifle stock can be overlooked as far, as strength is concerned, UNLESS the stock is for a large bore rifle or in the wrist of the stock.

This is not the case if it is a shotgun stock. Shotgun stocks are for more fragile as the wood is extremely thin at the connection of the action and stock. Through bolt holes (draw bolt) travel all the way through the stock to the butt plate. Water can wick up these holes and cause excessive damage inside the stock causing the wood to fail on recoil and endangering the shooter. Mold inside the stock should be treated with a paste of boric acid and hydrogen peroxide 10%+ to neutralize the mold spores prior to refinishing providing that that the water damage is not excessive. 

Edited by Ace_of_Hearts

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You could also look for a replacement original stock from ebay, gunbroker or other online sources.  Not as cheap as refinishing, but easier and you will have a factory finish.  It can take some time to find wood that matches the condition of your gun

 

After seeing the pictures, you should just buy a new stock. There is no real value to the stock and it looks like it’s beyond practical repair.  

Edited by Doc Coles SASS 1188

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I’ll have some pictures up Monday when I get back home. Thank to all for your input.

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Here is a piece of wood you can start with....... Just $1400.00 for the blank

Beautiful wood is not cheap.

Black%20Walnut%20Feather%20Crotch%20copy

 

 

Edited by Ace_of_Hearts
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It is unusual for sure.  That said looking at the pictures I’d just restock it.  Obviously it’s a homemade job, and in the pictures it looks like there’s some cracking on the top and towards the back.  To restore it will take a lot of work and you may never get the color to match even from the front to the back of the butt stock and that doesn’t even consider matching the fore stock color.  Best of luck. 

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That staining looks deep, and there appear to be cracks in the wood. That suggests it was soaked for a long time and swelled; the cracking would then have occurred when it finally dried out.

 

It is possible to epoxy in some new bits of wood to "repair" it. Properly applied, glue is stronger than the wood it is holding. But the repairs will always be visible.

 

I suspect the blue staining will not come out either as it looks fungal. Some people pay a lot of money for natural blue fungal stained wood, but that would be for lumber which got infested when dead but still standing. Not from soaking in water. I am wondering if the wood is punky soft though.

 

At this point, it depends on your goals. I don't think I could save that stock and have it look "new" or nicely patinated. I could make it functional with patches and some of the staining would likely remain. With those considerations, saving it would likely cost little more than refinishing except for the extra hours to put into it.

 

Or trade time for money, a replacement stock would look better. Your gun, your choice.

 

Thought a few more minutes before hitting post... I would probably make it a project to fill spare time and not sweat the appearance, it is what it is and has the damage is part of the history. If I was in your position of not being in much money, I'm thinking of it as a range toy. With a story.

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I'd just buy a new stock from Rossi, cut it and be done with it. But then I don't have any of that "spare time" people talk about.

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2 minutes ago, Snake-eye, SASS#45097 said:

Refinished stock pictures.

 

Looks like it came out pretty nice, especially considering where it started.

 

However, it does look like the wood shrunk quite a bit in length when it dried though, I thought rifle stocks were supposed to be longer. :rolleyes::lol: 

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