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Flamed birch and aquafortis refinish

This is a discussion on Flamed birch and aquafortis refinish within the Stock forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; Hello All, It's been awhile since I've posted here. So long, that I couldn't remember my password or the system has changed-forcing me to re-register, ...


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Old February 25th, 2017, 07:14 AM   #1
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Flamed birch and aquafortis refinish

Hello All,

It's been awhile since I've posted here. So long, that I couldn't remember my password or the system has changed-forcing me to re-register, and I'm pretty sure my email address has changed.

I thought I'd share my recent refinish project. I did a lot of searching for aquafortis and refinishing figured birch. Very little useful information on aquafortis and birch other than curly maple and figured birch are similar and it should work. That was an opinion and not based on experience as related to how the aquafortis should work on birch. Lots of information on aquafortis and curly maple.

After cleaning the stock, I noticed that the birch was much darker and golden orange than the lighter blondish maple I've seen. I was worried it may darken the birch too much.

I cleaned the stock with several applications of mineral spirits and 0000 steel wool. Then several applications of acetone and steel wool. Next was the application of aquafortis followed by heat from an industrial heat gun. I did this twice and stopped when the stock had the look I wanted, per the instructions.

Several coats of BLO and then finished with BLO/turpentine/beeswax. I can't tell if the aquafortis had a major impact on the end results or if it was the BLO and 1/3 mix. I guess it did change enough for me to stop after 2 applications of aquafortis. Since I was dealing with acid, I don't have any middle stage pics. Before pics taken by the seller of the stock as "before". "Finished" pics taken by me. Minimal filtering applied. Photos depict end results perfectly as seen in person.

What do you all think? Did the aquafortis change the end result at all? Pics to follow:
Attached Images
File Type: jpg IMG_1055.JPG (755.1 KB, 50 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1056.JPG (669.1 KB, 35 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1072.JPG (1.01 MB, 50 views)

Thanks from MrM1A and Rich D
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Old February 25th, 2017, 09:07 AM   #2
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Don't know but they sure look nice
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Old February 25th, 2017, 11:39 AM   #3
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They both look real nice.

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Old February 25th, 2017, 11:43 AM   #4
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Not sure either, but thanks for sharing pics. Love wood stocks!

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Old February 25th, 2017, 11:47 AM   #5
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I had to look up aquafortis, so a new word for an old friend. I used a lot of nitric in labs where I worked. Did you neutralize the acid when you had it where you liked it? Nice job, BTW.

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Old February 25th, 2017, 12:29 PM   #6
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Good looking stocks. Congrats!

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Old February 25th, 2017, 01:30 PM   #7
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Thank you all for the kind words. The birch stock is the only one that is mine. The before pictures came from the sellers ad. The after and assembled is after I finished it.

I did not neutralize the acid. I read quite a bit from knife and muzzle loader makers and many DO neutralize it. For once in my life I read and followed the instructions. They did not indicate neutralizing the acid was necessary. I've monitored the metal and wood for about a week...no evidence the acid is affecting anything still. My solution came from Track of the Wolf. I'm wondering if the people neutralizing after treatment have made stronger "home brews".

My guess is that the aquafortis had a subtle impact if any, but not sure. As you can see, it was nice wood before anything was done. A blond wood would probably show a more dramatic change.

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Old February 25th, 2017, 02:06 PM   #8
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Just beautiful!

My compliments!

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