New Project

Discussion in 'Browning Auto A-5' started by rcatastrophe, Jan 26, 2021.

  1. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    One of the most useful things I’ve done is create a log so I can accurately keep up with the number of coats of oil I apply and when I sand. Both the fore end and butt stock got wet sanded and had a coat of oil rubbed on tonight. They’re coming along nicely and the unfilled grain on the butt is filling up.

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  2. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    Very time consuming for sure, that’s the main reason it’s not really for me. For sure a labor of love. Can’t wait to see it. Would be nice to see some pictures as the grain fills in.
  3. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    Hey rcatastrophe you reckon from your log when you finish could put up a guide the overall time to allow to do a complete stock and forend project from start to finish.
    about same starting condition and time to strip, sand and prep, how many coats, time on checkering etc. I keep logs on things as well and that would be useful data for budgeting a stock job down the track when buying a beater or assessing a parts special.
    Win7 your thoughts as well you have done heaps of wood sets.
  4. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    Auzzie I’m not sure I want to know how much time I have in each one.

    Stripping is easy as I have an endless supply of acetone at my fingertips. I through the pieces I’m going to strip in a bucket of acetone for 1-5 days. I’ll pull it out daily and hit it with a red Scotchbright pad and hit the checkering with a brass bristled brush two or three times. Total strip time is around an hour.

    If the stock is really oil soaked that’s where I spend a lot of time. I’ve had some stocks take up to a month to be oil free. Overnight Acetone soak followed by an hour in a warming oven. The set I’m doing now I did this everyday for at least a month. Time involved varies by stock, some don’t need it.

    Crack repair can take some time too. I always glue before I sand. I always make sure my clamping is good before I apply the glue. On average a cracked forearm takes me 2-3 hours to repair followed by a 24 hour cure.

    If there are dents I’ll steam them out too before I sand. I’d say that takes a half hour to hour.

    Next I tape of the checkering and sand. To do that right I’m guessing an average of 1-2 hours. If there are any voids or scratches I’ll mix 5 minute epoxy with the sawdust and fill what I couldn’t sand out. Then scrape excess of and sand that area. Remove tape and blow the dust off and retake. 3 hours total

    Next is to apply the French Red. Application time and clean up is around a half hour. Can take up to an hour or two to dry and followed up by a quick wipe down. Let sit 24 hours minimum.

    Remove masking tape and reapply. Then apply the finish. It normally takes me 20 minutes for a stock and forearm per coat. Minimum I’ll put on is 12 coats. Sometimes up to 30 coats. I do this daily only wet sanding if I can’t get the grain to fill. Total time minimum of 4 hours

    I haven’t done the pumice and rottenstone yet so that will be another hour or two I’m guessing.

    Then I remove the tap and clean the checkering border. 1-2 hours for that.

    If I recut the checkering I’d add another 4-8 hours.

    Then I take some French red stain and sparingly apply that to the checkering with a tooth brush. Followed by a couple coats of thinned oil. Total time 1 hour.

    And after that I assembly the gun and lay it on my bench. Crack a beer or two and sit back and admire JMB’s greatest invention.

    A lot of time spent but we need to preserve these beautiful guns
    rcatastrophe likes this.
  5. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    Auzzie I will do exactly that. Starting today I’ll begin inserting more notes in my log and that’ll help make the final report better for those interested.

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  6. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    Very good post!!
    You hit a couple areas I’d not solutioned or thought of yet.

    I’d wondered about the color of the checkering as I gaze upon my two-toned earlier project. I’ll be placing an order from Arts for some stain for the checkering now. I’m already waiting for the checkering tools you steered me towards in your thread.

    I’d also never considered removing my masking and applying new. That will help cut down on exacto knife time cutting through the hardened oil that fills that groove up around the edges of the tape.

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  7. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    Forgot to mention if I get real impatient with the degreasing I use Purple Power degreaser.

    And another thing is I’m always tinkering with the way I do these to make it a little more efficient
  8. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    Here is where I am now. Went back and checked the logs. I was at 9 coats of oil on the butt and 8 on the fore. Sanded them lightly with 600 grit lubricated with linseed oil. Wiped them down real good and applied a coat of Pro Custom.

    Enjoy these pictures with the snow background. We only get to have snow like this every once in a blue moon here in Houston.


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  9. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    Looks awesome. Yea never had work close due to snow and ice. I grew up in Ohio, so not a big deal for me. These folks down here would die if they had to deal with Justin’s temp in ND.
  10. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    Looks great. What’s up with the dark piece at the end? Is that an extension?

    It was -23 when I got up this morning. It’s currently-8 but with windchill it’s -23. My who lives in Houston said some people are without power because of power shortages. Hopefully It’s times like this that people will realize that coal fired power plants are a necessity
    Rudolph31 likes this.
  11. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    That’s a little chilly for sure. Yea about 600,000 people without electricity. Don’t think anyone in charge has a brain to even realize it.
  12. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    I think the same people driving with masks on while alone in their cars are making the decisions on our power. Thankfully my power is still on but a LOT of people don’t have any. Three of my buddies were just trying to figure out how I can meet them with some food. Everybody wants to get out and try driving. 16 feels awful cold, I can’t imagine -23. On the flip side my dogs are having so much fun I wish this happened yearly.

    That’s a shadow. I was trying to get the best sun for the picture and missed seeing it. It’s not in the 3rd picture.

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  13. Ranger6

    Ranger6 Administrator Staff Member Administrator Global Moderator Forum Moderator

    The roads are not that bad. If you use your head. Power out here
  14. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    Thanks Win7 and r catastrophe for sharing the comprehensive run down overview on times ,tricks and the process. Look forward to reading more.Plenty of notes in my log for later as now going to have a go at some wood pieces myself. This post has been super beneficial and informative to everybody all the way.
    You have done all us non gifted wood people a big service! And a bit of confidence.
    Can’t find pro custom oil anywhere here for sale. Would BC tru oil which can get hands on easier do the job?
    Yikes that’s too cold! Opposite here jungle hot 95 at 85% + humidity uncomfortable sweating.
  15. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    I’ve used TruOil with great results too
  16. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    Thanks will go tru oil. Going to try toluene for oil removal and stripping step as can get free. Should be every bit as good as acetone just have to be careful.
  17. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    I wonder if there are any shipping restrictions for this type thing. I know lots of things I buy online say there’s some law about them going overseas but I can’t imagine that would apply to wood finishing oil. If push came to shove I wouldn’t have any problem trying to ship you a bottle. Only bad thing the shipping and tax would probably cost more than the damn oil. When I was still courting my Thai bride I would send her stuff. She made me stop because after the $35-40 it cost me to send it the Thai govt would make her pay tax on the value of the contents. I was afraid to lie on the customs declaration and some boxes would cost her $40-$50 to get them.

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  18. Auzzie

    Auzzie .270 WIN

    That’s a very kind offer rcatostrophe. Win7 jumped up to do the same thing to try help me out once before , but when I looked into it it got classified a dangerous good and it all became totally outrageous like what you described above with taxes and miles of red tape.
    Your very lucky to have the range of choices and products at your fingers. I would kill for some of Arts French red but same deal. I will have to come up with an alternative stain here. After much tracking I found a source that brings in quantity of BC tru oil for re doing musical instruments who will sell me couple of bottles.
  19. rcatastrophe

    rcatastrophe .270 WIN

    Good enough. Glad you’ve got workable alternatives.

    It’s slow right now. The weather put my oil rubbing routine on hold. I’ve found when there’s no heat in the house the Pro Custom doesn’t dry and harden the same.
    Has given me time to think about other projects. Of course one of my friends, seeing my Auto 5 wood is wanting me to do his Winchester 101. Begs some questions...

    Did Browning stain the Auto 5 wood or did they use an oil that made them the color they are and we use Art’s Red to simulate that?

    What would they look like if I skipped the staining step? I went straight to Tru Oil on my Rem 1100 and it came out nice.

    Some stocks, like on my Citori Gran Lightning are very dark. Is that a dark walnut stain or is it the wood they used?

    If I do my buddies 101 do I have to figure out what they were doing at Winchester back then and find a stain so that it comes out looking like he is going to hope/expect?

    I can’t identify the type of wood just by looking at it. Is that a skill I need to develop so I can play with the wood on other guns without the step by step instructions on refinishing an Auto 5 I lean on so heavily now?

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  20. win7stw

    win7stw .30-06

    This is just my opinion but I don’t think that FN stained the stocks. I think it was a toned finish that they used. If you stain two different tones of wood they are still going to be different colors after stain. I’ve had many A5 stocks that were a perfect match before I stripped them. Once they are stripped they are a different color. French Ref is a close as we are going to get to factory unless you want to mix stains.

    MidwayUSA sells a Winchester stain that is pretty good. I used it on a Winchester 9422 and that looks pretty good.

    As far as the Gran Lightning. I am assuming they use a combination of dark wood and finish.

    Most wood on guns is going to be walnut. Cheaps guns are birch.

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