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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A wood handguard that I had ordered from ebay arrived in the mail today. Unfortunately, the finish is noticeably different than that of my Ruger stock.

I'd like to remove the old finish and re-do it so that it better matches that of my stock. I'm sure that it's not just the particular piece of wood, as, in addition to being darker, the finish on the handguard is much glossier.

Anyone willing to offer a few tips on removing the old finish?, and an oil that is similar - or exactly the same - as that which Ruger uses on its stocks?

The handguard also has a few scratches and dings that I'd like to fix if at all possible. I'll try soaking them with water after I've removed the finish. If that doesn't work I suppose I could try steaming them out.

Any recomendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks to all you folks, especially Canjungeo - this guy has really got his shi.. together.

:usa:
 

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...please don't soak your whole handguard. That's not what you meant is it? Drops placed in the dent and allowed to soak in before heat is applied (steaming) will help. Go for the steaming first. It is a good technique and works as advertised. Keep in mind that if the wood fibers are severed in the dent you will have a visible scar even after steaming. If you are still after perfection sanding is your option. Choose your battles. I rather enjoy 'character marks'.
The old finish can be removed with a good stripper, some have even used oven cleaner. My favorite method has always been careful flat scraping with a razor blade followed by steel wool. Matching the original finish can be a trick and I wish I had the magic shade of Minwax stain to recomend you but I don't. The stock is "American Hardwood", most likely birch. Clean off an area on the underside to test stains for color match. It's a trial and error proposition.

Realizing that not everyone shares my sickness, if it were mine I would strip the set, and stain to match. My favorite stock finish involves half a dozen or so hand rubbed applications of Tru Oil, the first having been mixed in a baby food jar with two drops of Minwax Special Walnut(#221) and three drops of Minwax Cherry. (modify mixture to your preference) The subsequent coats should be straight Tru Oil. The result will be a warm walnut with reddish undertones, and a hard as nails glossy finish that is water proof and resistant to fingermarking. Use BC's Stock Sheen and Conditioner on a soft cloth after the last coat is good and dry for a lower luster. A nice satin is attainable.
 

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Reloader,

i got a wood stock that's got a couple dings in it so this trick about soaking and steaming is something i'd like to try.

...but do i understand correctly when you say you do this before you strip the finish?
 

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I suspect that the mini finish is synthetic/polyurethane, so you'll need a good stripper to handle it.
Steaming involves a wet cloth and an iron - don't use you're wife's new one. Put the wet cloth over the ding and apply the iron to the cloth.
If the stain doesn't match pick the lighter piece and apply some stain that looks like the darker color and see what happens.
 

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Greg, this is my favorite link for Stock refinish info. It has 2 ways to remove the old finish, Then sealing, filling, and surface finish.

Using a damp cloth over a dent, and an iron, will raise the grain, but when I did it, was after removing the finish on bare wood. Reloader gave you some good advice on refinishing the handguard, I also like tru-oil (available at walmart sporting goods). I would seal the inside if the handguard also so the wood will be sealed against moisture. Check out: http://riflestocks.tripod.com/refinish.html

If you have trouble matching the wood, you may have to refinish both stock, and handguard for a better match.
 

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I've had real good luck using the "steaming method" as described by others in this post in removing dings,dents and small scratches. And I've done it on guns that I did'nt intend on refinishing,and it did not hurt the original finish. Just remember that YOU CAN ALWAYS ADD MORE HEAT!!! In other words,start with a lower heat setting,and turn the iron up to get the desired effect if needed,take it slow,and do it a little at a time,don't try to remove the blemish all at once, iron for about 10-15seconds to start.If after a few times,either turn up the heat or hold iron on the spot for a longer duration,if you see no results.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
just got back from walmart with lots of sandpaper and some truoil. i'm going to dive in tonight and see how it goes. thanks for the replies. i'll keep ya'll posted. :usa: :usa: :usa:
 
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