Best yo stian in Curly Maple

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JNG
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Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by JNG »

If any of you folks have stained rifle stock in Curly Maple?
I have a nice stock for my 336 Marlin. I wish to know the best looking way to make cool.
BY the By it is a cheap 30-30, but the hay it is mine.
Please help?

Thanks,
Joe
JNG
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by JNG »

Sorry fat fingers.
Help finish a raw stock.
Sorry for the mistake.
joe
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Ray
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by Ray »

We had some three feet wide by nominal stair step/rise dimensions by 2" thick very hard curly maple that came from a 150 year old textile mill. The gentleman who salvaged them removed any metal he detected then ran them through a planer to remove any finish and grime.

We had trouble staining with the normal culprits and even thinned creosote and plug tobacco steeped in turpentine just beaded on the surface in some spots.

But......"old english scratch remover for dark woods" worked satisfactory but needed some drying time before applying finish.....

B.T.W. hondo1892 will hopefully be along soon for the correct, less obama engineered answer.....
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GunnyMack
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by GunnyMack »

I know a guitar / violin/ mandolin/ banjo maker. He uses iodine for color on the necks of his instruments. It gives a warm brownish green color. Maple is a real bear to get color.
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octagon
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by octagon »

You might check the MAESTRONET website, for luthiers (violin makers) they discuss getting nice color on flame maple extensively, enough to keep you reading for years :D
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by FLINT »

This might not be helpful at all, and I've never worked with hard maple, but I do a lot of axe handles, and sometimes the hickory is really white and boring so what I use is equal volumes of pure tung oil, citrus solvent and pine tar. I'm not sure if it is very good for a gun stock, but works well on hickory axe handles. Smells pretty strong for a little while and takes quite a while to cure - baking in the sun is a must (pure tung polymerizes in UV light). If I don't want to darken the color much I use 50/50 pure tung/citrus solvent.

I really like a tung oil finish in general, it really brings out the character of the wood. The citrus solvent thins it down for better penetration. Its also non toxic which is nice, but does take a while to cure.
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by octagon »

Simply setting wood in the sunlight for a few days will give a nice color to it, violin makers have used this technique for several centuries. Others use a UV light box to get similar results.
hondo1892
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by hondo1892 »

Go over to youtube and look up Jim Kibler video's. He shows how he stains his maple gun stocks and makes the curl pop more. He makes muzzleloading rifle kits.
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by Marvin S »

Use alcohol or water base stains as oil based ones will not penetrate. There is always aquafortis also. Track of the wolf sells appropriate stains and finishes. Fibings leather dye works good also.
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Old No7
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by Old No7 »

hondo1892 wrote:
Tue May 26, 2020 5:47 pm
Go over to youtube and look up Jim Kibler video's. He shows how he stains his maple gun stocks and makes the curl pop more. He makes muzzleloading rifle kits.
I agree -- you'll get some great ideas and advice from those who build muzzleloaders.

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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by Rusty »

If you get a copy of one of the Foxfire books, Foxfire # 5 has a chapter in it where that talk about Flintlock rifle making. They talk about aquafortis on a maple stock.
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by GunnyMack »

Another old time stain is of course a nail ( iron filings are faster) in vinegar.
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marlinman93
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by marlinman93 »

First you need to decide what you would like to see on your curly maple stock as far as color, tint, etc., and then you can determine if it's possible to get whatever hue and contrast you want.
Generally speaking maple will never be able to take a darker finish like walnut, so I'd expect you're stuck with a lighter color. And as mentioned above some "stains" will turn it colors you may or may not like also. I personally think maple is best left unstained, and simply apply finish over it. Often attempts to stain maple end up with results that I'm not happy with. So just finishing it works best for me.
As far as finishes go I have not used anything but Minn Wax Wipe On Poly for a very long time. Prior to WOP I used Laurel Mountain Sealer, but it was tough to find, and super expensive. I found WOP to be the same quality, at less than half the price, and everyone carries it. It gives my old guns a hand rubbed oil finish appearance, and any accidents to damage the finish can be easily repaired, just like a oil finish can. It's great stuff, and I've found nothing better.
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hondo1892
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by hondo1892 »

I can get maple all kinds of dark. However each piece is different and I always keep scraps from my stock blanks to do a trial run to keep from messing up hours of hard work. Aqua fortis is great stuff for maple as a stain, it won't fade from sun light and it will get darker over time. I love aqua fortis(its nitric acid with water and iron filings added) for maple but you need to know how to use it. It is much harder to use and time consuming than alcohol or water base stain. If you go with nitric acid buy it from Jim Kibbler he has the best commercial made stain. Also get some scrap to experiment with. When you use it you need to "blush" it with heat, a heat gun is best and don't hurry and try to use the highest temp setting. Most of the time if you wipe the nitric on and hit the piece with heat as soon as the stain soaks in and looks dry you will get a different color than if you allow the nitric to set for aa couple hours. Also it's wise to hit the wood with heat again the next day after you put a coat of sealer or oil on it. This will darken the color up some more. Adding tannic acid to the staining process will give more contrast and make the curl really stand out. One of the qualities of nitric is it's not really a stain the acid and iron have a chemical reaction with the wood and that's where the color comes from. Here are two maple stocks with nitric acid and you can see the different colors that they have.
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56196782_2276040775972765_4960047332587470848_o.jpg
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stretch
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by stretch »

In a previous life, I made and repaired high-end musical instruments.

We used - I am not kidding - Miss Clairol! Boxwood, some rosewoods, and
maple reacted pretty well to this treatment.

One dye, (#45?) approximated a nitric acid stain, which is very traditional.

Nitric acid fumes give a beautiful color, but are HIGHLY corrosive.

One other gave a reddish hue. Can't remember the number, (62?) but it was
named, "Sparkling Sherry." (Nobody's EVAH gonna admit that they colored their rifle
with something called "Sparkling Sherry", but it might work!) :lol:

This was in the late 1980s and early 1990s, so I'm not sure if the formula has changed
or not. Worth a trip to the drugstore, anyway. Or maybe you can get a sample from the
local hairdresser. We used to buy in bulk from a beauty supply place.

-Stretch
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by cnjarvis »

Check out aniline dyes. They come in powder and liquid form and can be mixed with water or alcohol. You can also mix them for the “perfect” color.

A good resource is “Understanding Wood Finishes” by Bob Flexner.
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by KS25-06 »

An old friend of mine who loved maple for gun stocks and made several over the years used very diluted roofing tar for stain. The stuff really made the grain pop. He used Phil Pilkington oil for stock finish.
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by JNG »

Thank all. Rusty great idea.
Since I'm pushing 70 , this may be my last project.
I am using this for the kids.
All ideas I can only say thank you.

Joe
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by AJMD429 »

One of my daughter's husbands fixes baroque string instruments (or 'broke' baroque ones I guess), and I know some of them are extremely hard/dense wood, so I asked him for advice, and here is what he sent:

I do have a little into the process and there are lots of ways you can stain wood to make it look good.

When I was at university, a lot of students in the violin making class were staining their wood with lye for a ground. Regardless of what you use to stain wood, you have to make sure you have clean surfaces. So using a wood planing block to get a nice clean cut from a blade will go much further, as long as the blade is sharp. Then to get it even cleaner the next step would be to use a wood scraper which would then bring out more grain and personality in the wood.

Now if this is not an option, you can use sandpaper and start with a low grade quality around 80-100 grit and work your way up to as fine as you want to (2,000 or what works). There is also micromesh you can purchase on amazon for a couple of bucks that has a grit that goes all the way up to 30,000. Once your clean is free impurities, then you can get to staining.

I would be careful with lye as I am sure you know you can hurt yourself with it and you need gloves to use it. It's not a method that is traditionally used by violin makers but I will also let you know of another idea I have.

I have the view of staining wood like preparing a canvas you are about to paint. If the canvas is sealed properly, the colors will be more apparent and not soak into the canvas. So, given that, using egg whites, gelatin or Casein should do the trick.

Then once the coat dries you can put a varnish on it. Not speaking as an expert on varnish but once it's dry, you can probably go buy some furniture furnish at Lowes or a polisher and that would be all you need.


I've no experience with the hard-to-penetrate materials myself, but thought I'd offer what he said.

Whatever you do - post a followup so we can either be amazed and learn something, or laugh at your failure, and still learn something..... Seriously - hope whatever you wind up doing works - that kind of wood is so beautiful.

I would be tempted to try gasoline as a solvent, carrying some sort of dye, but then I always like to do things with sharp stuff and flammable stuff - getting stitches and burns seems to be one of my destinies....
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by gamekeeper »

I have a Stevens 94 16 gauge with what I think is a blonde birch stock, I have tried different methods all to no avail :oops: next I'm going to try Miss Clairol sparkling sherry as Stretch recommended, that's if I can find it ... :D
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Re: Best yo stian in Curly Maple

Post by DocRock »

As stated above, you can make Maple all sorts of colors. But doing it well is another matter. Like Beech, staining Maple can produce awful blotching. And taking Maple too dark is almost certainly a waste of the Maple.

Gel stains tend to work much better and more evenly with Beech and Maple. The best way to start is by doing the first coat of gel stain over wood that has first been lightly and uniformly wiped with a paint thinner. This limits the depth and richness of the stain. Let that sit for 24 hours. If it's too light, do it again with an even lighter wipe of paint thinner or mineral spirits. Apply gel stain with !ight, even strokes. With Maple, I would favor a lighter stain like a Honey Oak, or a light Hickory.
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