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post #21 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 09:38 PM
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Location: Boncarbo, Colorado
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exactly what you want to do. Wet it, raise the grain and let it dry. Hit it with 220grit and take down the whiskers. Wet sanding while its wet also easily removed scratches.

You don't just wet it down and then stain/finish it. The wet sanding it mainly to get fine scratches out.

Shouldn't use anything finer than 220 grit sand paper. The real fine sand paper like 600 to 200 grit can actually close off the pours and not allow the stain to soak in.

What you do is don't sand with the grain, but lightly against the grain. This is called Whiskering it. It leaves a much smoother finish at the end and doesnt heat up the wood - seal it off like 600+ grit paper does. The smooth plastic feeling may feel good but its doing more harm than good, especially when it comes to the finish soaking in.
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post #22 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:04 PM Thread Starter
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About the only thing I did on the 1st Hawken was after using aquafortis I neutralized the acid with a weak soda water bath and torched off the raised grain. I do use steel wool in decreasing numbers. I've never had problems with taking stain? I think the good gun stains are what matters most. Everything I've read on gun finishing says block sand with the grain once you've cut the fibers. Probably like chevy or ford everyone does things a bit different. I'll post a close up of the 1st Hawken rifle and show the hand rubbed tru-oil finish. I think I applied 12 coats till it was like glass. This was a m-4 nice maple stock. Nice thing is you can add a coat anytime. When I built my 17 cap gun cabinet I used curly maple, sits in the garage now collecting dust. I used a honey maple finish and boy did the wild grain show up. I'm not sure what the new Hawken rifle is going to get as far as finishes. I haven't worked with walnut much and it is hard as a rock! Sure would make someone a great deal on that big gun cabinet. Problem is it's heavy and really needs a high ceiling room.
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post #23 of 23 (permalink) Old 07-23-2011, 10:19 PM
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only 12 coats? thats considered minimum! Gotta get 20 to 30 coats on 'er!

This old cva blazer i did last year with birchwood casey rusty walnut. Beautiful stain! Tru oil finish as well. I ended up using stock sheen / conditioner to dull it down to a classic finish. Looking back, i preferred the high gloss LOL.
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