The original finish was very dark and a bit worn. Smooth and accurate, however.
The finish was rough in places - as advertised!
One viewer thought a barbed wire fence may have had something to do with it!
The first coat of stripper took most of the finish. It took five coats of stripper to pull the finish and stain out, followed by a wipedown with MEK to neutralize the stripper. Stripping pads worked best, with a toothbrush in the checkering.
Without the finish, some of the wood's character is starting to show!
Almost all the damage was in the finish - very little damage to the underlying wood.
Since this is a Beech stock, I used a dye-based stain from Laurel Mountain Forge - Maple.
Before staining, I recut the checkering with a Dembart kit. It took a couple of hours, but the checkering is now much sharper.
I was a little concerned about this grain at the end of the cocking slot. I reinforced the inside with a square of fiberglass to keep this from turning into a crack.
After 3 coats of Jim Maccari's Royal London Oil applied with wet-dry sandpaper, then synthetic 000 steel wool to fill in the pores. Hard to believe this wood was hidden by the original finish.
After the first 3-4 coats of RLO applied with abrasives, I switched to very, very light coats applied with a gauze pad. Two coats a day for 3 days, then 3 days to more fully cure before cutting the finish down with JM's Stock Mud.
Foreground - Beeman R10 with Williams FP-GR-TK
Rear - Beeman R7 with Williams FP-AG-TK