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Discussion Starter #1
Howdy fellow H&R owners!
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I recently acquired a Topper Model 58 from Cabela's for about $120. The break and ejector function fine, but the wood was all scratched to hell and so was the for-end. Since this is something I plan on keeping for a very long time, I decided to sand off the old finish and re-stain it.
I didn't think of taking pictures while it was disassembled, but I DID snap one when I put it back together for a 'mid-project' shot. 20150901_132459.jpg
I took some 150 grit sand paper to the stock and for-end for what turned out to be a bit too long, and finished it with some 320 grit.
In an effort to get some of the larger scratches out, I ended up sanding off a little too much around the fitting and the broadside of the stock. You can see a few gaps if you look closely, but the fit is still tight and solid as ever, just not top-notch pretty.

After the sanding process, I threw on a single coat of Min-Wax pre-stain to bring out the wood grain a bit. It definitely helped, but I'm thinking it could have used a second coat of it. After letting that dry for the rest of the evening, I started putting on layers of Min-Wax Sedona Red stain. I put on 3 coats, gave it a small sanding with the 320 grit, and put on another 2 layers. Each layer needed at least 10-12 hours to dry sufficiently, though you could always let it dry more.
All in all, I think it turned out pretty good, has a nice deep red finish to it, and the grain came out fairly well, if not perfectly. I'll probably end up adding a clear coat of some kind to protect it, but right now it's mostly just hitting clays so there's no rush.
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Oh I also drilled in some sling swivels and put on a sling, but that was way less effort so I won't go into it.

Next up is re-bluing the barrel, it's got a fair number of rust spots on it, but nothing terrible. Just trying to head off the problem before it gets worse.

Let me know what you guys think!
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys, I appreciate the positive reinforcement :)

Does anyone have any experience with wood finishing/refinishing? I've got my eye on a couple used 336's in my area and I can already tell they're going to need the same treatment. Aside from being a bit more careful, anyone got any tips? Should I have taken the time to sand down the stock after each coat of stain? I know I'm planning on putting on a second coat of pre-stain. I'm going to put a coat or two of clear-coat on my H&R as a testing before I put it on my theoretical 336.
 

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I build black powder stuff from scratch. To repair a deep ding I use fine sawdust of the same wood mixed with clear epoxy. Make it stiff with dust, real stiff. Put it on the ding, when dry light sand off.. It will take a stain. An old black powder gunsmith taught me how to "hide my errors in the sands of time."
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What an awesome tip! It's so simple! Thank you so much for the information. Do you have any opinion on clear coats? I figure it'll protect the stock a bit without any real downside, but I really like that smooth wood feel and the glossy finish isn't that appealing to me. I know I'll probably end up doing it, but do you have any thoughts on coating/not coating?
 
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