Iíve been asked to post this thread here in the Gunsmithing/Woodworking section to explain what I did to refinish the standard birch stock that came with my Marlin Model 60, purchased NIB just last December. I was unhappy with the Marshield finish because it seemed like it scratched easily, and what really irritated me was that the scratches really showed up. Original finish is shown in the photo below. Notice the dark streak of sapwood in the middle of the buttstock. To me it looked a little odd and out of place.

I tried stripping the finish off with stripper with really unsatisfactory results, and then I tried oven cleaner, which wasnít much better. All it seemed to do was weather the exposed wood. Finally, I sanded the finish off with 80 grit sandpaper. I stained the wood with Birchwood Casey Walnut stain, then applied several coats of Tru-Oil. That result is shown below. Although I liked the color, I wasnít happy with the texture. That was my fault because I wasnít patient enough in preparing the wood for the staining and finishing. I should have sanded it a lot more. I didnít realize how much each little scratch would show up when the Tru-Oil dried.

I bought a Black & Decker disc sander at Wal-Mart for $30 or so, then sanded off the refinish job completely down to bare wood and started over. This time I made sure I got everything nice and smooth, and got out all the chips, nicks and scratches. Then I applied a coat of Min Wax Ebony stain, which is oil based. After letting it dry for a couple of days, I sanded the ebony stain off in the midsections of the stock down to white wood, then restained the whole thing with B/C Walnut stain again. This gave the stock a two toned effect and helped hide the blotchiness that the birch wood seems to show when stained with a lighter color. It also seemed to minimize the dark streak of sapwood that was evident in the middle of the buttstock on the right side. I applied several coats of Tru-Oil, then finished off with B/C Stock Sheen and Conditioner and a coat of B/C Gun Stock Wax. The final result is shown below. Iím quite a bit happier with this stock than the original.

Unfortunately I didnít take any pictures of the work in progress, only these three before and after pictures. Any comments or questions are welcome.