Reply by OSU55

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Posted on Walnut Stock Finishing Problem with Danish Oil

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1953 posts in 2186 days

#1 posted 01-26-2015 10:22 PM

Best guess is that they may be witness lines. A close up pic of the area may help. Watco does not build much film thickness at all. The tight grain will not absorb much of the finish. I’m guessing the more open grain areas are creating a bit of film, but there is less film over the tight grain, and when you wet sand you go through the thinner film (if any) of the tight grain.

The standard for gun stocks has been an alkyd varnish like True Oil, which does build film thickness much more than Watco. Alkyd varnishes “burn in” (melt together) some if done within a time window, so no witness lines occur, and are better than poly varnishes in that respect. I suspect you will continue to have this issue with Watco. I recommend you try either True oil, or Sherwin Williams has an alkyd varnish, I think it’s called fast dry, which is essentially the same as True oil, but probably a lot cheaper. Lightly sanding the cured Watco with 600 or so, I believe you could start with the other alkyd varnish. I recommend 2-3 thin coats, then start sanding back, wet or dry. Y ou need a bit of a base so you don’t sand through to the wood.

I use automotive products (meguiar’s) to do the final rubbing out when I want a super polished finish. I always found wet/dry paper and the polishing products superior to any of the pumice/rottenstone/etc stuff – that was the way to do it before wet/dry paper and polishing compounds. There’s nothing magic about the stuff.

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