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captain_kirk
10-18-2006, 07:53 PM
I have a first issue Parker-Hale Enfield 1853 Enfield. It is in mint condition and has a gloss finish. I wish to take the varnish off and either use tung oil or boiled linseed oil. Any suggestions as to best take the varnish off with out damaging the french walnut stock?
Capt Kirk

Frenchie
10-18-2006, 08:00 PM
Do a search for furniture refinishing products and how-to articles. I'd get a "wash-off" stripper that you brush on and hose off. Also look for articles on refinishing gun stocks. There's a lot of info out there on the 'Net.

vicka
10-18-2006, 09:13 PM
I had an old Navy Arms '63 Springfield, high gloss mystery finish, used Easy-Off oven cleaner (spray type) to remove the finish then used Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil to refinish it. Looks nice! Use the rubber gloves when using Easy-Off, and protect rugs and the like.
Steve Suillivan

HighPrvt
10-19-2006, 04:32 AM
Strip-ez, which is availible at WallyWorld, works good. Tip, the more coats of Tru-Oil you use, the glossier it will get. 2-3 thin coats works best.

Jim Mayo
10-19-2006, 07:27 AM
Before you strip your stock finish off of the PH, you should be aware that it is very difficult to obtain the finish of an original enfield stock. The PH finish, although varnish, looks close to an original finish providing the varnish is not wearing off. The following page

http://www.angelfire.com/ma4/j_mayo/scabbard.html

has a picture of an original enfield near the bottom. The finish is smooth and resembles the color of the PH. This finish is also typical of that found on original enfields.

Additionally, once you have the varnish stripped off, you will have to stain the stock. I have not found any stain which duplicates the color of original enfield stocks. If anyone has found one, I would like to know since I have a defarbed enfield I would like to return to the correct color.

If you still want to strip the varnish off, I have used acetone in the past with good results.

Just food for thought.

ACo.
10-19-2006, 01:21 PM
Capt. Kirk, I'm with Jim, leave the varnish as is. You say it is "a first issue Parker-Hale Enfield 1853 Enfield" so I assume that it is one of the English proofed guns, correct? If so, then believe it or not, early Parker-Hales have reached collector status among shooters and are very high end when it comes to shooting accuracy and resale price. Now, I don't remember exactly what the finish used on the early P-H repops was but as I recall, it was close to the original varnish (yes, varnish) used on the real P-53 at the time of original manufacture. If you strip the finish and stain from this example, you will cost yourself an easy resale later, especially when you could have kept it in "mint" condition. Its up to you, but I would leave it as is, the finish is as close or closer to original than you will get any other way so why make it look like just another reenactor's gun?

Russ Whitaker
10-28-2006, 10:53 AM
Sorry, but I totally disagree about the stocks being finished with varnish. Owning 1 original 3rd model Enfield and having documented 7 originals in my research studies, I have never seen one finished with varnish, nor have I seen any in the museums that I have visited that are varnished, as far as a Parker Hale being collectible, I feel that is of personal opinion. If the weapon were mine and I were authenticising it, the finish would be the first to go, then refinish with boiled linseed oil as the originals were finished in.

Jim Mayo
10-28-2006, 04:00 PM
Russ: I agree that the originials do not appear to be varnished. However, there are several problems with stripping off a good finish from the PH which resembles an original finish and replacing it with a linseed oil finish. Perhaps you can elaborate on the corrrective action for some of these problems.

What stain would you use to replicate the original stock color once the varnish is stripped? The PH color is a little lighter and redder than an original but I have not found any stain which is any closer to an original's color.

How would you obtain the linseed oil finish seen on original enfields? It has been my understanding that the english stocks were initially dipped in linseed oil and went through several other steps to obtain a smooth almost glass like surface. I have not seen any refinishing jobs which approach this smoothness.

ACo.
10-28-2006, 04:22 PM
Sorry, but I totally disagree about the stocks being finished with varnish. Owning 1 original 3rd model Enfield and having documented 7 originals in my research studies, I have never seen one finished with varnish, nor have I seen any in the museums that I have visited that are varnished, as far as a Parker Hale being collectible, I feel that is of personal opinion. If the weapon were mine and I were authenticising it, the finish would be the first to go, then refinish with boiled linseed oil as the originals were finished in.






Wow, that's some expert "opinion" there. You own one and have looked at 7 in your extensive "research"? How many of the 7 (er, excuse me, 8 ) had/have original finish remaining? Probably none but that, is of course, my opinion. You may certainly finish your "authenticised" repop with linseed oil if you like but who's to say that it is authentic in appearance, especially since the hardware store variety used today is only remotely similar in composition and appearance to the linseed oil used before 1920? An oil based varnish was the original finish on many, if not all, European made and used military muskets and rifles from the early 18th Century up until the 1950s but then, hey, what do I know. (all due respect to Jim Mayo whose statements I respect.) And what stain should be used to bring the stock to the correct color? We have to replace the Parker-Hale color with something. (Incidentally, the P-H color is pretty much spot on for an original but, never mind.) And I have been looking at and owning CW weapons for 36 years - I think I have looked CAREFULLY at a few more than 8...

Now, as far as my "opinion" on the the collectability of the EARLY, English proofed P-H reproduction, a simple search of forums dedicated to shooting (not reenacting) with black powder muzzleloading firearms or a visit to the N-SSA National shoots will back me up, the P-H Enfields in all three configurations are the holly grail to all who shoot the rifle musket, two band rifle and the carbine. Enough said, they are simply the best of the production reproductions. Our discussion here really is nothing but a collection of opinions, some good, some bad, offered to help the thread's originator captain_kirk make his decision. It is, after all, his property and he can do with it what he will. Captain, you have a good one and, no matter what you do with it, it will serve you well. I'm done.