stock refinishing

Thread starter #1
SO I have an old Marlin 30-30 that I want to refinish the wood on. Its in good shape no cracks or gouges but I think someone put poly urethane on it, It very shiny.
Will just sanding it take off the poly? or should I use a chemical stripper?

Also what's the best way to get rid of surface rust and slight pitting?
I used steel wool before (on another gun) but it took off all the blueing, looks cool but would like to leave the blue or reblue it.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
SO I have an old Marlin 30-30 that I want to refinish the wood on. Its in good shape no cracks or gouges but I think someone put poly urethane on it, It very shiny.
Will just sanding it take off the poly? or should I use a chemical stripper?

Also what's the best way to get rid of surface rust and slight pitting?
I used steel wool before (on another gun) but it took off all the blueing, looks cool but would like to leave the blue or reblue it.
Sanding will take off the poly, but will take much deeper sanding to remove the stain. If you want to leave the stain as is, I would sand off the poly, then re-poly it. If you want to stain all over again, you might want to use a wood stripper on it, then stain again then poly or use Tru-Oil stock finish.

Fine steel wool is about the best way to remove surface rust, but you do risk removing blueing. If you oil it well while buffing with steel wool, seems it reduces the blueing removal. You can touchup the blueing with some cold blue such as Birchwoods Caseys. Just follow the instructions on the bottle.

I don't think it is possible to remove rust without scrubbing or using some sort of chemical that will also remove blueing (blueing is called "rust" blueing after all).

Rosewood
 
Thread starter #3
I did a bolt action .22 years ago, Used tongue oil and looked a little shiny but turned out nice. Didn't stain it and I like the look.
May try that again.
The stain is a little dark for my taste so will probably sand a little and see what it looks like.
Used the cold bluing too and it looks good, just not a real deep blue like a new gun.
Just really don't want to sand too much and make it feel skinny.
 

rosewood

Senior Member
The cold blue really depends on the factory finish. I have some that as you said don't look as deep blue and others that you couldn't tell the difference. May depend on how expensive finish the factory puts on it.

If you dampen the sanded wood, it will give you an idea of how dark it will be once you put a clear finish on it.

Even though a touchup may not be as nice as factory, the average joe won't even notice it isn't factory and at a few feet away, they look brand new.

Rosewood
 

Jester896

Senior Member
A copper penny (prior to 1982) and some good oil will get the surface rust off...rub lightly...when you see the rust in the oil...wipe it off and reapply.

Are you sure it is poly? Even Tru-Oil is shiny when appied. There are a couple of products that will just take the shine down. Birchwood Casey Stock Sheen and conditioner or another polishing compound to give it a satin look. I wouldn't... but some people buff it with steel wool.
 
Thread starter #7
Not sure its poly, Its an older gun my dad bought at a pawn shop years ago. I would say its a 70s model. I have seen some other guns from that time frame that look dark and shiny.
I just want a more natural finish or at least not glossy.
 
Thread starter #8
I have never taken a marlin apart, I did watch a video one time. Didn't look too complicated.
Basically for a good cleaning or oiling.
Anything to be concerned over.
I don't plan on taking the trigger apart or anything crazy, Just blow out dirt and oil moving parts.
 

Jester896

Senior Member
I don't think it is hard...main thing is to have gun type screw drivers to fit the slots properly so you don't monkey up your screws. I might use a small amount of grease on the lift rocker detent. Maybe where the lever and bolt interface is too...I try to stay away from oil unless it is on the bluing
 

fireman32

"Useless Billy" Fire Chief.
I’ve restored an old 30-30 stock. Used tung oil, many coats and buffed with 0000 steel wool between coats. It turned out great. I used a chemical stripper, sanding can change the stock dimensions if you’re not careful. Also, an iron and a damp rag will soften any dents that may be in the stock.
I’ve only cold blued one old shotgun, it turned out decent, but definitely not a show piece.
Best advice, don’t rush the refinish.
Edit: the old Marlins aren’t hard to disassemble and reassemble.
 
Citrusstrip stripping gel is a wonderful product. I start with that and scrape it off with a sharp plastic putty knife it also tends to draw out some if those weird oily stains. It has a pleasant orange scent as well. I like to use boiled linseed oil and thin it out wit some paint thinner which helps the linseed oil get down in the pores and makes the grain really pop.
 
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Frontier pads remove surface rust and will not remove bluing if you put a little gun on it use automobile rubbing compound on the wood to knock the shine off it. Bobby
 
I am not sure if this might have any bearing on the process that you are trying BUT some Marlins have models that have "birch stocks" and other models have the walnut stocks. I have multiple ones of each as such (the birch wood was originally sold as a "cheaper model") such as I have on two Model 30 A, 30-30 rifles.

I also have several other Marlins that include some .22 cal., 30-30 cal, and also 444 caliber that have walnut stocks. I have never tried to do any refinishing on any of my guns as such so I don't know if the birch wood stocks or the walnut stocks would actually look different in color/appearance when you try and refinish them. Hopefully someone with more experience can offer the correct details of the two types of woods being refinished as such.

Since this is an area that I have NO experience with finishing, actual bluing etc, BUT hopefully, it can educate me as well.
 
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fireman32

"Useless Billy" Fire Chief.
I am not sure if this might have any bearing on the process that you are trying BUT some Marlins have models that have "birch stocks" and other models have the walnut stocks. I have multiple ones of each as such (the birch wood was originally sold as a "cheaper model") such as I have on two Model 30 A, 30-30 rifles.

I also have several other Marlins that include some .22 cal., 30-30 cal, and also 444 caliber that have walnut stocks. I have never tried to do any refinishing on any of my guns as such so I don't know if the birch wood stocks or the walnut stocks would actually look different in color/appearance when you try and refinish them. Hopefully someone with more experience can offer the correct details of the two types of woods being refinished as such.

Since this is an area that I have NO experience with finishing, actual bluing etc, BUT hopefully, it can educate me as well.
Birch and walnut will accept stain differently and look different from each other if the same stain is used on both. Different woods can and do require different steps to achieve an optimal finish.
 
After a stock refinish and a couple of re blues (both done by professionals} I've evolved to the position that guns are tools and the less than perfect condition tells the history of the gun and should be maintained and appreciated. This particularly applies to family heirlooms and military firearms. I've seen some "restorations" where the rifle looked new even though it was 100+ years old and the owner paid big bucks to have it done. None of this applies to botched bubba work.
 
After a stock refinish and a couple of re blues (both done by professionals} I've evolved to the position that guns are tools and the less than perfect condition tells the history of the gun and should be maintained and appreciated. This particularly applies to family heirlooms and military firearms. I've seen some "restorations" where the rifle looked new even though it was 100+ years old and the owner paid big bucks to have it done. None of this applies to botched bubba work.
 
I agree with long range. Guns are tools and if an heirloom becomes a safe queen it's not like grandpa's or dad's legend maker anymore. A descuff and rebuff will mean far more than a full blown restoration will to the folks that truly cherish the firearm for what it was or is.
 

killerv

Senior Member
I've redone a bunch of stocks. I use citristrip to strip any remaining finish. I then run through a dishwasher with no soap, hot water of course, this will pull out small dings and scratches. Dry well of course, for a few days. I then use tung oil, up to 10 coats and finish with a couple coats of a thin wipeon satin poly. Always comes out great.

You cant do anything about pitting once its there. But for surface rust, 0000 steel wool and kroil does wonders and wont harm bluing. Pro-shot also makes a metal care cloth that does a great job after you've gotten most of the rust off. Pennies pre 1980 also remove rust and will not harm bluing.

I have a feeling when you mentioned you removed bluing, you used an aggressive steel wool or rust was so bad it was actually that in which took of the bluing.

If you want to take it up a notch...google Anvil Rust Bluing...those guys do some awesome work, I've done a few, minimal investment and comes out great with a little patience.
 
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