Finishing my rifle stock

Anybody have some ideas for me? I have a nice old bolt action 30-30 that shoots great and works fine, but the stock was really nasty. I sanded down the stock and I was going to have my cabinet shop respray it, but shops production moved to our other facility in Washington. So now I have an unfinished rifle stock that needs resprayed. Any ideas on what I can do, or someone that can do it for a trade? Thanks in advance!

i agree with the tung oil. i did a stock after staining, using tung oil cut with mineral spirits so it would get in there deep. first cut 3-1, then 2-1, followed by 1-1, finally straight tung oil rubbed in by hand till it wouldnt take any more.came out with a nice glossy hard finish.
I used to own a gun shop/gunsmithing and one of our specialities was refinishing gun stocks. I'm no expert by any means but have refinished a few. Here are some things I learned to get some "wow's" from the customers....

Once you have the stock smoothed down from course to fine grit then use some 0000 wool for the final sanding. Then use an old damp wash cloth wipe the stock down to remove any sanding particles and to "raise the wood whiskers". The stock should be very lightely damp but NOT wet. Let it dry for several hours/overnight and you'll notice some whiskers standing once dry - lightly sand the entire stock again with 600 grit or higher or just use the 0000 wool - nothing courser. Do this a couple times. Eventually the whiskers will be gone or mitigated.

Then let the stock completely dry for several days. Linspeed or Truoil works good for refinishing stocks as it provides a good seal and drys relatively fast. Also you can end up with either a shiny stock or a deep sheen depending upon your mood. With Truoil for example (get at Midway or any well stocked gun shop) you lightly apply a coat with your fingertips (light coat is all) and then rub it in deep with the heel of your hand until your hand get warm. The warmer your palm (friction) the deeper it seals. Just keep rubbing until the finish is completely embedded into the stock. The first few times it will not even look like you're adding any finish. But what you're doing is adding mulitple "light" levels of finish as compared to "spray painting" it onto the stock. This is how the high end guns stocks are finished - time and patience not like you're doing a $129 paint job on a Chevy pickup.

Get an old coat hanger and hang the stock from one of the thicker inlet holes/openings so the wood touches nothing. Suspend it from a cabinet or enclosure where there is mininal air movement. I used to have a humid and temp controled sealed stock drying cabinet to control the environment & probably don't need that but make sure the temp/humid remains constant and keep it away from any dust (dust is everywhere even in the winter). It is best to put in inside something where people entering into/out of won't stir up dust particles, hair or lint. Maybe a utility closet in an area where the smell won't ruin clothes or other valuables should be in there...the stink isn't bad but some people are sensitive about these things.

Let it dry for at least 24-36 hours and then lightly buff it down with the 0000 wool. Do this at least 6 to 8 times - maybe up to 12 times to build up a good protective surface (a stock shield I call it). Each time you buff with 0000 you cut down the shine and rough up the surface for the next coat to adhere better.

Go slow...this product needs time to fully dry and seal. Every few days you can apply a new coat. Don't be in a hurry This could take up to month for a first rate job. On your last coat...leave it alone for at least a week and then don't buff it other with a dry soft cloth. If you want the shine reduced then use the 0000 wool lightly and then a damp cloth to wipe away any residual dust particles. Then get some stock wax and start waxing it and "wah lah" you'll be amazied!


Dan has described a fine finish procedure which I use for top end wood working. That is a good reminder to me not to take short cuts on my own projects. I think I'll save his description in my personal trade journal.

What do you think about my plans to refinish the wood stock on future purchases of Nagant's? Would that detract from its curio value? Honestly, I think old firearms should still be well cared for. So, I am inclined to resurrect the beauty.
I always use minwax (or similar) waterbased stain. choose a color you like. stain it to how you want then seal it with a clear coat. no reason you should settle for tung oil. get a color you want. it will work fine if you follow standard finishing procedure

60-1000 grit with wipes in between
stain with high # grit in between all but last coat
clear coat
= beauty
I always use minwax (or similar) waterbased stain. choose a color you like. stain it to how you want then seal it with a clear coat. no reason you should settle for tung oil. get a color you want. it will work fine if you follow standard finishing procedure

60-1000 grit with wipes in between
stain with high # grit in between all but last coat
clear coat
= beauty
I probably should have prefaced with the fact that I'm mostly working on milsurps where sanding would reduce the value... :D
I am a big fan of min-wax also. There are a few colors that are just beautiful on gun stocks. I am alos getting into the dura-coat brand of wood stains. Since I already do the metal finishing, I figured I should do wood also. When I get some peices done up ( around the first of the year ) I will be sure to post some pics.

Most of my weapons do not include wood..LOL I am a metal and plastic kinda guy. The Mosins will be my first test peices and then I will be doing a custom stick for my 30.06 Savage. My big game rifle.



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