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Sidelock
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Sidelock

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I have a field grade LC Smith that most of the finish is on the stock but probably 30-50% is crinkled. Any way to smooth this out without changing the original look of the gun pre-crinkle?

Last edited by Travis S; 07/28/21 07:13 AM.
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I have often wondered the same thing, Travis, and questioned whether there was a mild solvent and technique that might soften the crazing and allow it all to be "redistributed" evenly. Have come to the conclusion that there isn't. I think it's just too much to ask. IMO, my best bet is to remove the crazed, or crinkled, finish with an acetone wipe down and refinish with as near to the original finish as possible.

I know that's not the answer you were wanting, but I'm afraid it's all I've been able to come up with, being in the same "boat" as you. Maybe someday a stockmaker will share a technique to do this, that we have never seen posted here.


"With one foot in the grave ..........and one foot on the pedal, I was born a Rebel" T.P.
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Sidelock
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Thanks Stan

The gun is a 12 ga (1920s regular frame) that is as tight as a drum and unmolested great bores with tight F/F chokes and nothing but honest browning(no pits on the outside). The crazing is somewhat endearing as it is just what these guns tend to do after close to 100 years so I am torn about even messing with it. I am going to get after the Turkeys this spring with it and it is likely to get scratched up a little any ways.

BTW Glad you are still with us. I fought a bought of the Chins Flu in March and was near death a couple of nights. Thanks to God and all the prayers, I made it through and am recovering well.

Every day, every friend and every opportunity is a little sweeter these days. The days are shortening here in N Fl and soon it will be time to get back in the woods and fields and I will do so with a renewed vigor.

Take care

Travis

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Travis, You might try lightly wiping on a coat of Laurel Mtn stain and then gently wiping it off. It softens many finishes. You can try a small spot before doing anything that can be undone.


Bill Ferguson
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When I hear of or see a stock with a wrinkled finish, I immediately think it may be an old shellac finish. Many manufacturers used shellac on gun stocks, and many guns have been refinished with shellac. As shellac ages, it typically becomes dark, and it will also become wrinkled, in a way that is sometimes described as an alligator hide.

I have a 16 ga. Field Grade featherweight L. C. Smith that has a shellac finish, and I see no sign that it has been refinished. So it appears that Hunter Arms probably utilized shellac on at least some guns. Other original Smith's I have appear to be varnish.

A way to tell for sure is to apply some rubbing or denatured alcohol to a spot. Shellac dissolves easily in alcohol, but alcohol won't have much effect upon varnish, lacquers, polyurethane, etc. When you buy shellac in flake form, alcohol is the solvent used to make It liquid. It may soften the surface of an oil finish though. If the finish is shellac, the alcohol can easily strip the entire stock for refinishing, or with care, the dissolved shellac can be reamalgamated and evened out to dramatically improve the appearance. The surface should be well cleaned before attempting this, because dirt and grime on the stock will end up in the liquified shellac.

I have a G grade Lefever and a Baker Batavia that I bought very cheap because of their very ugly alligatored stock finishes. I instantly knew they had been refinished with shellac. As it turned out, the shellac had been applied right over the existing original finishes, and even slopped onto the metal and buttplate on the Baker. It was very easy to completely remove the shellac without harming the original finishes underneath. The shellac on the metal did a commendable job of protecting the case colors on the frame too What will always mystify me is why someone would decide to apply shellac over a perfectly good original finish???


A true sign of mental illness is any gun owner who would vote for an Anti-Gunner like Joe Biden.

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you could try alcohol on a pad and rub it in like a french polish if the finish is shellac. That could work, if not you wont hurt a oil finish.

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I have used Formsby's "Furnisher Refinisher" for similar work. It does seem to "redistribute" the finishes I have use it on.

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Gunny and Keith are correct. I have had excellent success with a cotton ball wrapped in a piece of old T shirt. I use 192 proof alcohol, rub the stock down with a few drops of olive oil. I do not add any shellac but you sure could. The alcohol dissolves the old shellac, the oil keeps it from sticking. You are just following the same process as doing a French Polish finish. I have done several stocks that had a Shellac finish with great results.

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Originally Posted by Ghostrider
rub the stock down with a few drops of olive oil.

Funniest thing I saw a rifle listed in the sale section that had an olive oily look to it....

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Ok I just stripped the finish and am going back with a spray on satin finish Pro-Oil finish. I have already sprayed the forearm and it turned out looking about like it did before stripping. This is a field grade gun

I also glass bedded (for the first time ) the stock inletting and am going to do it again on a project that I first have to fix a broken stock and then glass bed. I want to record my process on the next one in pics and narrative.

This time it turned out good but I learned a lot and will put it to good use on the next one.


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