How to refinish a 39a stock
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  1. #1
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    May 2011
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    How to refinish a 39a stock

    Hi everbody, I have a 62 39a and the right side of the forend is a yellow color, but the left side is normal brown. I would like to refinish it so it matches the rest of the gun. I have never refinished a stock before, so I would apreciate any tips or advice or techniques or certain products I should use. Thanks for the help

  2. #2
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    Mar 2010
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    Hello OhioHunter,
    What I have done in the past is to strip the old finish with some lacquer thinner, steam and raise the dents if any, then sand with 220 grit paper. After sanding, wet stock with damp cloth to raise the grain, lightly sand again, then finish with multiple coats of hand-rubbed Tung Oil varnish. They always turn out better than factory.
    Search the forum, there are many threads with pics of stocks that have been refinished

    Last edited by Gregorius; 02-01-2012 at 02:44 PM.
    My Marlin's
    1946 39A
    1968 39A
    1970 39 Century Ltd
    1978 39A
    1981 39M Mountie
    1997 39 TDS
    2007 39AS
    2009 1894 CL JM 44 Mag
    1991 30AW 30-30
    1984 25
    1989 25N

  3. #3
    Site Contributor & Team 444 Co-Captain Super Moderator
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    Scroll on down to the Reference Library, look for woodworking, you're bound to find a starting point there. There's tons of info available, one only needs to look. Mr fixit
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  5. #4
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    I just refinished the stock on my 1965 Mountie. It had the same coloring. Real dark walnut look on one side and really yellow on the other. I stripped the old finish, sanded it with 330 grit, and re-stained it before applying a semi gloss finish. After the whole process, I decided that I should have used a much darker stain because the yellow side still appears a lot lighter than the dark side.

    The gun was the first that I ever owned and I'm having the receiver case colored, the barrel and mag tube re-blued and some laser engraving done on the stock. Can't wait to get it back from the shop!

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    North Carolina
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    As others have mentioned, there's a great how to in the reference section. I refinished an 1894 CS long before I discovered this site using alomst the same process described in the bolied linseed oil method. I sold this rifle two years ago when money ran short. Sure wish I could get her back.IMG_1225.JPGIMG_1224.JPGIMG_1222.JPG

  7. #6
    Marlin Marksman
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    Mar 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by OhioHunter View Post
    Hi everbody, I have a 62 39a and the right side of the forend is a yellow color, but the left side is normal brown. I would like to refinish it so it matches the rest of the gun. I have never refinished a stock before, so I would apreciate any tips or advice or techniques or certain products I should use. Thanks for the help
    I have a '53 that had yellowish wood, looked like dirty pine when I bought it. Had some other problems, too. Numrich/Gun Parts had a stock sale on right about then, so I replaced it. That problem solved, it's the quickest way.

    What you have may be sapwood on one side, this usually has different porosity than the heartwood and may stain differently. If you're new to woodworking or refinishing, you may not get acceptable results first time. What I would do, in the absence of a matching forearm, is to strip the old varnish first. Do NOT sand it off. How I do that depends on what it is and on a Marlin, that could be a number of finishes. I have used cabinet scrapers on really old stuff, just chipping it off, solvent-based strippers on newer types of finishes and have been known to use a wash coat of shellac over the newest stuff and just build a tung oil finish on that. You'e going to need to differentially stain the wood or finish to match. I've done this with patching up a buttstock and come out with results so that it's hard to see the patch, it's not impossible to do. In your case, do some reading, see what's available in spirit stains. You'll probably end up mixing a number of colors to match sides on the forearm and the butt. Spirit stains don't penetrate a whole lot, don't raise the grain and can be wiped off with denatured alcohol. So trial and error. Once you're happy with the color, go on to whatever finish you want.

    Fine Woodworking magazine has run articles on how to mix and match stains in the past. I'd highly recommend finding one or more back issues with those articles.

    You may have to raise dents, I use a wet rag and a soldering gun. It also raises the grain, so needs to be done after the finish is removed but before staining. Only sand the minimum needed to remove raised grain and use a sanding block or you'll get divots. I like cabinet scrapers for this, but it takes a steady hand and you have to know how to stone and sharpen one.

    Tyros can get good results with something like Tru-Oil finish, it's basically a wipe-on, wipe-off process, repeat until pores are full and everything is flush. It's intended for stock use, unlike general furniture finishes from the hardware. Use bronze wool or a ultra-fine Scotchbrite pad when buffing down coats and you won't have rust spots from embedded steel wool fibers. I finish with a wax coat and buff that up, Birchwood Casey has stock wax or I've used Watco's Satin Wax. Be careful with your rags with oil finishes, they can spontaneously combust if discarded in a closed container. If your local hardware is deficient, will have what you need. Brownell's is a good place, also.

    I used polyurethane when I first started out, I don't recommend it on stocks. Unless sanded VERY well, succeeding coats don't bond to previous ones. I've had chipping and peeling, plus it collects a lot of dust while drying unless you've got a special dust-free cabinet for drying. Touchup is a bugger. If you're set up, you can spray lacquer, which can be tinted, and would get closest to what factory finishes are. Takes rigging up a booth, though(can be cardboard), plus the spray gun and an air compressor. Dries fast, and can be rubbed out to resemble an oil finish. Probably the quickest way to finish a stock. If you have large bottles for finish supply, the spray gun can be an air brush, have used that myself, a Paashe VLS. No runs. Little overspray, too.

    Stan S.

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