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Bsa Meteor Restoration

Discussion in 'Vintage collectable airguns' started by Gavbo, Jul 10, 2020.

  1. Gavbo

    Gavbo Member

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    Hello Everyone.

    I'm new to the forum. I joined as I was looking for information on restoring BSA Meteors and I have already gained a lot of knowledge from previous threads. I have a Super Meteor MK5 which I have owned since being in my early teens, so about 30 years! I always knew it was a nice rifle and have looked after it. It has been in and out of storage sporadically over the years but I recently decided to give it the full MOT and TLC it deserves. I'm an engineer professionally and general fettler by nature so taking apart and overhauling the mechanisms has not been a problem. I found the spring to be broken into 4 pieces! I've replaced the o-rings, seals etc with the kit from TW Chambers, sticking to the original spring.
    I've fully stripped the stock and steamed the bruises out. There are a few minor dinks which need filling. Here comes the part which I'm having difficulty with and want to get right. I want to bring the stock back close to its original colour, which was a warm, chocolatey brown, with a hint of orange to it. I've been looking at spirit based wood dyes by both Rustins and Liberon and have ended up buying a few tins of varying colours. Having tested these on a strip of pine, I still haven't found a good match. (I took photos of the stock before stripping and have a good colour memory). I've tried Liberon light oak, rustins light teak, rustins red mahogany and a Colron Indian rosewood I have lying around. I have my eye on a couple of other colours from their ranges but at 5 to 10 quid a tin, the cost is mounting up. I could have just bought a replacement stock by the time I'm finished, but I guess that's not the point.
    Can anyone recommend a colour or mix of colours they have had success with? I'm aware of the tea and a dash of coffee method, but for now, I'd rather stick with something which might be less hit and miss.

    I hope someone can suggest something.
    Cheers.
     
    lertho009# and Phil Spectre like this.
  2. mrclark303

    mrclark303 Engaging Member

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    Have you tried Liberon dark oak?
    It gives a very dark colour on beech, though different cuts of wood give different results of course, it's a matter of experimentation!

    Good luck with your restoration and don't forget to share some pics.

    I've got two Mk1 Airsporters and a HW80 waiting to be rebuilt...
     
  3. steptoe2019

    steptoe2019 Posting Addict

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    @Gavbo I always use birchwood casey walnut stain and I think they even now do a reddish version , you might like to try them the birchwood you can thin with water and just keep trying it until you get the right mix but use a large syringe to make sure you get the same amount of water and stain each to to the mix .

    stay safe and shoot well
     
  4. Baksteen

    Baksteen Active Member

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    Hi Gavbo,
    Like you, I am quite new to the forum, and joined for the same reasons.
    My own project is a HW80, purchased in 1983. I have also stripped the stock, and have refinished it by using a spirit based stain, followed by hand rubbing oil into it. This gives a completely different finish to the original, and really enhances the grain.
    The original factory finish is what I call the 'Obbly Onker' look, and is something that I, personally, am not a fan of, as it pretty well obliterates the grain.
    I do, however, appreciate that you may want to keep the stock looking more authentic. I believe that the original factory finish is quite simply achieved by applying a couple of coats of polyurathane varnish of the appropriate colour. It is far less expensive, or labour intensive than the oil root.
    Hoping that this has been of some help, and has given you some food for thought.

    Good luck with the project.
     
  5. mrclark303

    mrclark303 Engaging Member

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    Exactly, back in the 1970's and 80's, it was 'good enough', people had lower quality demands and it was easier to use any quality beech and use a spray colour and tinted polyurethane to give a uniform finish.

    It's wonderful to see this old wood burst into life, once it's been stripped, coloured and oiled.....
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  6. Gavbo

    Gavbo Member

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    Thanks for your replies so far. Here are a few photos of the stock.
    20200702_212422.jpg

    20200702_212306.jpg
    Before stripping.

    20200704_142514.jpg
    After stripping showing some bruising.
    20200704_142519.jpg
    Same, some dinks and bruises.

    20200711_093758.jpg

    20200711_093802.jpg
    After some steaming with towel and iron. Sanding should take the rest out hopefully.

    20200711_093747.jpg
    Before final sanding process.

    So that's where I'm up to now with the stock. I do like some of the wood dye colours and know that they would improve the quality of the look. Do people think that changing the stock colour from the original devalues the rifle in any way? I know they are not worth a fortune, but as things get older, having something in original condition, albeit restored is usually better than modified in some way. Unless that modification is seen as an improvement of course. I don't want to just stick a coloured lacquer on it though.

    Keep the thoughts coming, it's much appreciated.
     

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  7. mrclark303

    mrclark303 Engaging Member

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    My penath worth...

    Go with a good wood stain and Linseed oil finish.

    Polyurethane varnish on rifle wood makes me have a fit of the vapours requiring smelling salts to bring me round!
     
    willo1962 and paj like this.
  8. paj

    paj Busy Member

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    For what it is worth I would go along with Mr. Clark. But at the end of the day do what you feel happiest with.
     
    mrclark303 likes this.
  9. Gavbo

    Gavbo Member

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    You would recommend a stain rather than a dye? Even though a stain usually sits on top of the wood surface, whereas a dye will penetrate?
     
  10. Baksteen

    Baksteen Active Member

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  11. Baksteen

    Baksteen Active Member

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    I'm with mrclark on this one about polyurethane.
    I would go with a spirit based dye, and an oiled finish. There are many proprietary Gunstock oil finishes available online, or you could even try making your own.
    If you were to ask the forum which is the best way of doing it, you would probably get as many opinions as there are members.

    All the best with it.
     
  12. mrclark303

    mrclark303 Engaging Member

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    A million ways to go about this, this is the method I've used on many Milsurps and a few air rifles and it works for me.

    Prep the wood to a fine natural finish, free from as much oil and grime as possible, taking great care not to run over edges etc, rub with the grain and not against it. Finish with P800 wet and dry
    Finish with a red scotchbrite or equivalent to a 'smooth to the touch' finish.

    When you are happy that it's ready to go, (I use Liberon spirit stains, lots of different makes to try) apply the stain evenly, letting each coat dry before you apply the next.

    When you have the desired colour
    (remembering it will go darker with the oil) allow it to dry for the specified product time. Then mix raw linseed 50% 50% with terps, the terps acting as a thinning catalyst, (we are looking for the oil to sink deeply into the figuring here on the first few coats, to give depth to the finish) after a few coats (let each one sink in), switch to neat oil and keep applications going for 24 hours or until the wood stopped taking it.

    Clean off the excess and rub with a microfiber cloth to a luster, semi Matt finish..

    That's my system anyway.
     
    paj likes this.
  13. Gavbo

    Gavbo Member

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    Great advice. What colours have you had success with? And just to clarify- you use liberon spirit stain and not the dye? When doing a search of the product, I can only find liberon spirit dye.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
  14. GMballistic

    GMballistic Donator

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    @Gavbo I've done a few stocks and other wood things over the years using various techniques/oils/dyes etc.

    My stock refinishing thread here with a BSA Cadet stock I refinished using "Birchwood Casey: Tru Oil": https://www.airgunforum.co.uk/community/index.php?threads/how-to-refinish-a-wood-stock.230483/

    Then here's my Weihrauch HW35K that I refinished using Red Kite oil and boiled Linseed Oil: https://www.airgunforum.co.uk/commu...auch-hw35k-project-gun-for-2018.240097/page-2

    It's always personal opinion on how you think the finished stock should look or does look. Just thought I'd show you those for some more examples of what you can do with wood finishes. :thumb:
     
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  15. mrclark303

    mrclark303 Engaging Member

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    Sorry my mistake, it's due, same thing really. .

    I use mid and dark oak to match beech colours on Enfield's, here's a Maltby No4 Mk1 I fitted a new set of NOS woodwork on, woods in the white when it comes from store.

    This is the above technique with with mid oak stain.

    The other is my BSA Challenger rebuild, this used Liberon dark oak
     

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  16. mrclark303

    mrclark303 Engaging Member

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    There are many ways to rework rifle wood, great save on the Cadet stock, it came out extremely well!

    Irefinished a friend's Airsporter S stock with tru oil, like all Birchwood Casey products, it's excellent, the high Glos finish isn't personally for me, but it's what ever you want....
     
    GMballistic likes this.
  17. Gavbo

    Gavbo Member

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    @mrclark303. Really nice stocks, especially the Enfield. I like how you've left it with a Matt finish and not highly glossy. Beautiful. I'll be giving my meteor stock a bit of a shine to it, but don't want to overdo it and see my ugly mug in it! Thanks for the advice- It's helping me narrow down the colours now.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020
    mrclark303 likes this.
  18. Stockscrew

    Stockscrew Posting Addict

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  19. Gavbo

    Gavbo Member

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    @Stockscrew. Thanks for that. I have tins of Rustins Walnut and Red mahogany so I'll do a trial mix as you suggest. Tried both on their own and no good. Walnut too dark and Red mahogany too red. Good tip on the butt end- I'll have to clean it up a bit more though!
     
  20. lertho009#

    lertho009# Airgun enthusiast

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    Love a bit of restoration work

    I prefer a traditional, 'soft' oil finish that sets in the wood, rather than on it.

    These finishes are far more long-lasting.

    They age with the gun, weather nicely and can be replenished from time to time without the need for stripping.:thumb:
     

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