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stevez 04-23-2005 07:02 PM

Boyd's Stock - Re-Finish

Just bought a Boyd's for my Greek Racker. What is the best way to re-finish this stock - I really want to strip it - then stain it with really dark stain. Any advise on the best way to strip etc... would be greatly apprecieated. I belive as shipped - they are linseed oil finished. Anyway, thanks in advance - have gotten some great info from this site.

Best Regards,

Cowboy 04-23-2005 07:36 PM

i don't have much stripping experience (with wood or otherwise :wink: ) so I'll leave that to someone else. But a good dark stain is Chestnut Ridge's. Its a dark red-brown. It'll give the gun that classic armory-red look. The best way to apply it is to apply a coat or two of BLO. Dry wood really sucks up the CR stain (guess how I know), and the BLO allows you to control the absorbtion much more. Its an alchohal stain, so it penetrates oil with no problem. Buy some denatured alchohal. If you put too much stain on, it'll pull it up. Some people cut the CR stain with DA and just do more coats. The stain dries almost instantly, but its best to let it sit for 5-10 minutes between coats.
Wear plastic gloves, unless you want your hands to be red-brown for a week.

stevez 04-23-2005 07:58 PM

Cowboy - thanks for the info. To make sure I get this - I can stain over what I have - would rather do that - stripping that stock is going to be no small feat - was just worried about the BLO ( I am assuming that is - they sell them as finished in Linseed oil ) would not let the stain sink into the wood. Thanks for your reply !


JAS 04-23-2005 08:06 PM

New Boyd's stocks have a very dry finish that is not very deep. Fortunately there is a lot of wood to work with. I just start dry sanding with garnet paper. 100 grit garnet (it's orange colored sand paper available at most hardware stores) will cut through Boyd's finish rather quickly. You can install the handguards on your stripped barreled action to hold them in allignment for sanding. If you are not going to repark the action, protect the forward area of the receiver with a few wraps of masking tape, so that if you come off the end of the wood and rub the receiver with the sand paper you won't scratch the finish. Use a hard rubber sanding block to keep things straight and even. Follow up with finer grades of sand paper till you get smoothness of finish you want. Some say stop at 150 grit to approximate the original armory finish. I like to go with atleast 220 for a little smoother finish. If you have a small air compressor, it helps to blow out the sand paper and the stock and makes things go much faster.
I tried the Chestnut Ridge and it was way too red for my taste. I have got some pretty good results with Minwax red mahogany stain followed by Minwax wipe on satin poly. The Minwax stains seem gentler and easier to control when trying to match up the three pieces of a Garand stock. Start with your darkest piece and lightly stain it to your taste. Then by applying stain in a combination of extra coats and longer soak times you can match the other pieces to the first one.
The neat thing about most Boyd's stocks is that if you don't like the way it turns out, there is enough wood to sand it all away and try again. I did one three times before I got what I wanted.

Cowboy 04-23-2005 09:01 PM

It'll soak right thru the BLO, but the BLO makes absorbtion easier to control. Then, apply another coat or two of BLO. But JAS' suggestions are worth listening to. Its more work, but depending on your tastes, the outcome might be more to your liking.

delloro 04-24-2005 09:02 AM

how dark? I have one I did that came out too dark......

mackbob 04-24-2005 09:33 AM

refinishing Boyd's stocks
The Boyd's oil finish (really just alcohol based stain and BLO) is easy enough to strip and you don't waste hours sanding if you like the contours. Use mineral spirits to remove the finish and just rub it over the finish on a piece of toweling. Use a stronger stripper if this doesn't clean the wood. Steel wood or sand with 220 or 320. I know, the experts around here say never go finer than 150 with sandpaper, but that's only if you want a semi-finished look to the wood. I prefer a stock to look more finished, not like it just came through the saw mill. Apply Fiebings leather stain, which is simply the undiluted version of the stain Chestnut Ridge sells for much, much more. Like five times more. Get a Fiebin's Russet to approximate the color we've all come to love on M1 stocks. That red Chestnut stuff can make even good walnut look like a birch plank. The Fiebings Russet will cover the areas in walnut which may be lighter and give an even tone.

To Delloro with the too dark stock - wait 12-24 hours and see what the wood looks like in good light. Many woods will appear dark in a workshop or basement light at night and much lighter when it dries and is carried outside into sunlight. If it's still too dark to suit, use rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol on a rag to remove it back to a suitable color. Try mineral spirits on oil based stain. Remember that alcohol (Chestnut Ridge or Fiebings) stains will fade over time, oil stain won't fade as quickly (decades, really). Oil stain may have to be stripped , as they're really tough. Alcohol-based stains are much easier to remove without stripping.

For military finish, let the stain dry a day or two, and apply BLO one coat per week and let dry between. Slow maybe, but the right way. So put away all that sandpaper unless you're reshaping a stock.

delloro 04-24-2005 11:24 AM

Re: refinishing Boyd's stocks

Originally Posted by mackbob
To Delloro with the too dark stock - wait 12-24 hours and see what the wood looks like in good light. Many woods will appear dark in a workshop or basement light at night and much lighter when it dries and is carried outside into sunlight. If it's still too dark to suit, use rubbing alcohol or denatured alcohol on a rag to remove it back to a suitable color.

too late for that. I made the mistake of applying fiebing's dark brown straight to unfinished wood, you could almost *hear* the end grain sucking the stain in. I removed as much as I could with alcohol, and stained the rest to match.

My friend calls it my "pottery barn gun" because it has that dark wood finish ubiquitous to their furniture.

patximarin 06-01-2016 03:38 AM

What is the meaning of BLO?
Hi, my friends....

What is the meaning of BLO?. I“m spanish and I don“t understand that acronym.

Recently I bought a M1 garand boyds“s gunstock stock kit.
The triggerguard don“t close and I have to sand a lot of surface, but I will lose the color of the stock. Boyd“s do not want to send me his home product and I am looking for a solution or which stain I must to use.
Sorry. My english is a little bit bad.

Thanks a lot

CaptainGyro 06-01-2016 04:03 AM

Bienvenido, Amigo.

BLO is Boiled Linseed Oil, a popular finish here in the states (and probably elsewhere) for gun stocks.

I have finished two Boyds stocks with a stain, followed by a hand-rubbed wax finish which gives a warm, subdued kind of glow to the wood. I'm very happy with it. There are quite a few places online where you can find instructions.

patximarin 06-01-2016 07:52 AM

What is the brand of the stain?
Thanks my friend,

the linseed oil is used in Spain too, no problem, I have it.
The problem is the brand of the stain that I have to use to get the boyd“s gunstocks color.
I tried many brands....birchwood casey....etc etc, but I don“t get that dark brown finish.
I wrote in the post that Chestnut Ridge's stain is perfect for it, but I wrote an e-mail and I don“t think they export the item internationally.

Help me please, I love my M1 garand. I am a fan of the ww2. I have been 3 times in Normandy coast, I have the complete uniform of the USA infantry 1rst division........I“m a mad of the ww2.

thanks again

Kevin Gibson 06-01-2016 08:16 AM

If it has an epoxy finish, then the easiest way to remove the old finish is with a scraper. You'll get the job done in 1/5 the time, and you'll remove much less wood. Scrape it all off, then sand to your preference.

patximarin 06-01-2016 12:04 PM

But I need a similar stain that Boyd“s use. That“s the problem.
Tomorrow I will post a link to a picture of my garand and you will see ok.
Good night

bearcat6 06-01-2016 12:50 PM

Brownells sells a military stock stain, Google it.

stand watie 06-01-2016 03:55 PM


I have no idea if MINWAX sealer stains are available in Spain or not BUT the COLONIAL CHERRY looks quite well on the European Birch Garand stocks & the DARK MAHOGANY looks quite nice when used on walnut.

Fwiw, my "pet" Danish Garand looked really "Plain Jane" in the old/opaque arsenal finish but now "POPS" since it was sanded off & stained/sealed with COLONIAL CHERRY.
(The sealer-stain brought out a lot of tiger-stripes.)


dfariswheel 06-01-2016 04:24 PM

As above, Brownell's sell excellent stock stains, and I think they can ship them internationally.

World's Largest Supplier of Gun Parts, Gunsmith Tools & Shooting Accessories - Brownells

If not, look into use a leather dye that's either water or alcohol based, or a solvent base.
Test it on some scrap wood FIRST.
These types of stains soak in INSTANTLY, and often stain very very dark.

When they speak of "BLO" the linseed oil is not actually boiled, it has chemical driers added to make it dry.
So, you can buy Raw Linseed Oil or "Boiled" Linseed Oil. Raw doesn't dry, boiled does.
Most people mix up their own with a solvent to get good absorption.

patximarin 06-02-2016 08:34 AM

bearcat6......Brownells export to Spain but sells many stains, which is the military stain you say? It“s a good idea.

stand watie.....My stock is made in walnut. I know the brand "Minwax", but I spoke with them and don“t export to Spain, what a shit! It was a very good choise.

dfariswheel......I tell you the same I have told to bearcat6.

I post one link, a picture of my 1942 m1 Garand. You will see the color I want to get.
I hope you can help me with the choise of the Brownells stain.

I wrote yesterday an e-mail to Boyd“s. I will not buy another item in his shop never. They don't want to send me a little bit of his house product.

I“m very grateful with your answers. Good people and good forums.

patximarin 06-02-2016 08:44 AM

Here“s the asnswer of Boyd“s about his stain:

Please allow me to apologize for not being able to help you with this matter but it is considered a Hazardous Material and against Postal Regulations to ship/mail this item out. Perhaps a gunsmith would be able to assist you.


Customer Service
Boyds Hardwood Gunstocks
25376 403rd Ave
Mitchell SD, 57301
Boyds Gunstocks - Custom Gunstocks | Custom Hardwood Gunstocks

Then, how I got is Spain Birchwood casey brand products?

dfariswheel 06-02-2016 04:09 PM

I wrote yesterday an e-mail to Boyd“s. I will not buy another item in his shop never. They don't want to send me a little bit of his house product.

He didn't just refuse to send you some of his product because he was being mean.
US Federal regulations FORBID shipping what are considered hazardous chemicals out of the USA.
If he shipped you some it would be stopped by the authorities and he'd be in BIG trouble.

The problem is, no American company can internationally ship what is classified as a Hazardous chemical. Most stock stains are solvent based and cannot be shipped.

There is one type of stock stain that can be shipped and that's Birchwood-Casey Water-based walnut wood stain.
It can be shipped because it's water based, not solvent or alcohol based.
This works very well, but TEST FIRST on scrap wood. It stains VERY dark instantly and may be way too dark.
Thin it with water or alcohol if it's too dark.

I don't know if Midway ships internationally but you can email and ask.

Birchwood Casey Walnut Wood Stain


Galazan Water-Soluble Wood Stock Stain Liquid 3oz Liquid
Use either Dark Brown or Red-Brown.

Failing this, I'd try a water or solvent based leather dye.
Usually standard Brown will do it correctly, or you can mix your own colors using thinned Brown and Red.

You can order water-based leather dyes from Tandy Leather.
I've used Tandy leather dye for years to stain wood and it can be mixed for other colors.
Also email them to see if they ship internationally.
I'd probably use the Dark Brown, with possibly a little Red.

bearcat6 06-02-2016 06:14 PM

Fairtrimmers makes a military stain, but they might not be able to ship overseas. Here's a link.

Fairtrimmer's Military oX landing

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