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CCl stock care and finish from The Double Gun Journal

Reviving A Rigby With CCL
by Ross Seyfried


I have owned this gun for decades and each time I opened the case my heart fell. Not only had some fool cut the butt and added a Pachmayr pad, but they stuck in a crudely ground wood extension and then they covered the 2-inch atrocity with an ill fitted piece of saddle leather. I was hesitant to try to make it better because most wood butt extensions look like a piece of wood stuck on the end of the stock. Finally after many years my confidence developed to a level that I thought I could at least try to achieve perfection.

When you fit a butt extension, unlike the proper fitting of a recoil pad, you have to sand into the original wood. This removes the old finish and texture about half way up the butt. To make a really good extension, once the new wood had been fitted, the new FINISH and colour must match the rest of the original stock. Therefore it was absolutely necessary that the “new” finish be the same as the old/original finish and that finish probably would have been linseed oil with alkanet root.

The only way I know to get there from here is CCL Traditional Oil Finishing Kit. This is the real thing: red root oil, drier, and a special burnishing polish. This is not a quick finish, but to me it is an easy finish to apply. You first soak the wood with several coats of the non-drying red oil (until the colour begins to look correct, or until the wood will take no more; by the way, red root oil is not really red when it oxidizes, but it develops that deep, rich golden/amber/slightly reddish hue.) Then the drier goes on to
harden the soaked-in oil. Next we begin to put on wee bits of oil and drier mixed. This very thin coat is allowed to stand for an hour or so to thicken and then almost all of it is wiped off with a cloth. Finally the slight remaining traces of thickened oil are hand-rubbed into the wood. Each coat (when dry) is followed by a good rub-down with the polish, and then another similar coat is applied. These coats are almost microscopic in thickness and are essentially “in the wood”. It will eventually fill even deep
pores (this takes perhaps 10 to 20 coats and a month or more). One of the deep dark secrets to a perfect finish is PATIENCE. In good conditions allow 48 hours between coats and several days between coats is not a bad idea. And then one day you realize you have it. The finish is perfect, all pores filled and the texture is wonderful. It is not quite shiny, but not boringly dull either . . . and it will AGE! Just like a Rigby from 1880!!!

The CCL Traditional Oil Finishing Kit comes with very fine and complete instructions. All you have to do is follow them and be patient. Like most good things of old, this is not instant, but it can be extremely fine. It is not only good for “repairs” like this one, but in my opinion the best finish you can use on any classic stock, new or old, that has not been varnished or French polished.

Check out the CCL products available from The Double Gun Journal

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The Double Gun Journal
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