Saturday, June 19, 2010

Haenel 303-Super Finished Stock

Hey, Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there. Hope your kids hooked you up with some interesting airgun related....Yeah. I know--like that would happen. Use it as an excuse to go get something for yourself then.

Well, I'm finally finishing up the stock on the Haenel 303-Super. The stain took over three days to dry as the humidity was so high. I gave it five days just to be safe. Settled on using Tru-Oil to protect the stained finish since I had some on hand and because it drys quickly--which allowed me to build up 2 or 3 coats per day. Seems weird to put a finish on the finish, but that's how it works.

First coat.

About 2 coats in.

Another "Darth Vader" glove pic for SL. Nitrile glove jealousy is an ugly chapeau my friend.

This is somewhere around 7 or 8 coats. I lost count. It all just blends together as a few days of rubbing oil into the stock and waiting for each successive coat to dry. Yeah, wow. The life I live.

Flip side. It's finally starting to look like something.

Probably somewhere around 9 or 10 coats, I dampened a piece of synthetic steel wool with Behlen Wool Lube and scuffed the surface.

Just very lightly knocked the Tru-Oil sheen back to a matte.

I wet a rag with the wool lube and some rottenstone. Polished the stock until it had a high gloss and was quite smooth.

Then, just to cover all the bases, it got a coat of paste wax.

Buffed, then set the stock aside after taking a few measurements for that screw cup.

Found a scrap of 0.500" drill rod on the bench.

Faced both ends.

Through drilled with a 15/64" bit.

Followed with a 25/64" to begin the counter bore for the M6 bolt head.

Need to flatten the bottom of the hole.

Used a #9 center cutting end mill.

The end mill was just slightly smaller than the head of the fastener, so I switched to a small boring bar and finished the cut.

The edge looks rusty--it's not. It's a reflection in a freshly polished edge.

Counter bored to 0.235" deep. Not shown: Shaved it down to length--0.422" OAL--to match the depth of the hole I'd made with the forstner bit.

Final test fit (and still in the white) with a stainless M6 cap screw. Incredibly, with over sixty 6mm bolts here, I didn't have a single carbon steel bolt in the correct length or head type.

Blued with the Birchwood Casey PermaBlue Paste. I'm getting better--darker--results with the paste than with the liquid blue. Seems to hold up better, too, but that's subjective.

Just a quick look back at the original factory finish. From this... this. This is a tough stock to photograph. The finish is so glossy, it just reflects all the light. It's also a bit darker than the pictures capture.

Around this point, I treated the stippled areas to a third coat of ebony stain. My wife doesn't like the high gloss contrasting with the matte stippled areas. I thought about adding two coats of Tru-Oil over the stippling, but that seems counter productive to grip. At least she agrees that it looks better now than the factory finish.

Managed to not lose the lines of the cheek piece.

If anything, the gloss makes the lines more defined.
Forend is very smooth.

Action installed.

Here's that screw cup with a blued M6 cap screw--bought it at the hardware store for 85 cents.

Another view.

Doubt the white line spacer will stay. Seems to cheapen the look to my eye. I should ask my wife.


I'll overhaul the gun in the near future. Due to it's age, I know it needs some love (and probably a new spring).

Many projects in the que: Bought some rosewood to make grips for the Crosman 150, still need to rebuild the QB-77, SA6 needs a tear down, same with the BSF S20 pistol... So check back in a couple days if you're into that kind of thing.


AlanL said...


I ought to send you my Red Jarro table to refinish... Red Jarro is a rare deep red hardwood that the imported Chinese laborers used to make railroad ties out of in the 19th Century, when they laid the lines between South Africa and Rhodesia. I have a table made of this marvellous wood with some ugly scratches... :-)


derrick38 said...

Appreciate your confidence, but I'm barely qualified to refinish old wooden popsicle sticks and tongue depressors. I think BG_Farmer is your guy for that project. But why not try it yourself?

C-S said...

Derrick38-gun is sharp like a knife well done man !No need to be modest

derrick38 said...

It's not modesty at all, it's self-criticism. Where you see a nice looking stock, I see all the shortcomings and mistakes I made. There's always room for improvement here. So, it's a learning curve, though I am happy with how it turned out. Ultimately, I got the color I was after and (I think) the stock still looks "correct" for the time period and action in it.

BG_Farmer said...

You are correct, I would be qualified to refinish an old tongue depressor or popsicle stick:).

Your rifle came out nice -- the style is far different from what I'm into recently, but the stippling makes the design look uber-functional. I may copy-cat your work on my 36-2, which still has the lumpy butt architecture I left it with in lieu of knowing what I wanted to do:).

I'm halfway toward agreeing with your wife (its nice to have a choice -- if it was my wife, I would have to agree:)) regarding the gloss in contrast to the matte stippling, but that is up to the individual. I always like gloss when it goes on (it can really add depth to the grain), but it is impossible to maintain in a working rifle. What I really like in many cases is the low-luster/dull matte of oil-based stains by themselves; for some projects, its a shame to put anything over them, although they aren't durable enough for something like a gun.

Anyway, great work -- Volvo may want it back:).

PS. I can never find PermaBlue Paste when I want it, but I can believe your results. With the liquid, you can soak a paper towel with it and stick it to the metal.

derrick38 said...

Yes, I've found that it's best to defer to my wife when it comes to matters of style and design. Her art degree and work in graphic art/design bear that out. I'd probably live in a pigsty if not for her. A pigsty filled with airguns...
This gun wasn't Volvo's--only the Walther LG55.
I can't seem to get the bluing to come out evenly when using the liquid blues. You're saying that you dampen a piece of paper towel and lay it on the object to be blued? And the coloration isn't all blotchy-splotchy-nasty?

Slinging Lead said...


Kudos for another riveting blog. Unfortunately for you I will have to remotely choke you to death for mocking me once I get my Darth Vader gloves. Nothing personal, but insolence cannot be tolerated.

Popsicle sticks? You slay me. Between you and Nick y'all have redefined the word modesty. Then again a good wife will always keep you modest.

"Look at how beautiful the stock is, only 27 more steps to go."

BG_Farmer said...

Now you're talking like a married man:).

Yes, I wet a (preferably blue shop) paper towel with BC PermaBlue and stick it on there; if needed, use more than one to cover, e.g., a barrel. I think blotchy is a result of oil -- it is almost impossible to get a previously blued and/or oiled surface perfectly clean, but the more you can get the metal in contact with the cold-blue agent, the more uniform the color; at least that's why I think the paste is better than the liquid, and the paper towel works the same way.

Try it for yourself on something disposable (like a Chinese B3:)), though -- sometimes that kind of thing is "luck", which is really a more complex set of conditions.

derrick38 said...

I checked at HF and they don't make gloves in XXS for your dainty little hands...

Seriously though, I'll send you a box of black gloves if you can't find any locally. I can't, in good conscience, let you wear those purple jobs.

I'm just thrilled that you guys read the blog and are kind enough to not point out all the ways we screw stuff up on a semi-regular basis.

Anonymous said...


You've done some really incredible stuff with that stock. Most of us don't just whip out a one off screw cup like that! And you made it look as simple as pulling some matches out of your pocket! Looks great. Did it (stock) come with that gun, or was this a custom stock?


derrick38 said...

I made the stock from toothpicks and unicorns. (it's the factory stock)
This screw cup was easy since the hole was sized at 1/2" it was a simple matter to use piece of 1/2" drill rod for the OD of the cup. Usually, the hole ends up being some weird size like 0.469678" and 0.19863" deep so there's no room for the head of a fastener inside the cup. Got lucky for once.

Jessie said...


I've been following your blogs for some time, admiring your work and skill. As a part time grip maker and wood butcher I thought I'd pass on a product that I've been using for some time now instead of Tung oil and that's the water based products from Vermont Natural Coatings. It's a water based polyurethane, tough as an old cob and does not darken the grain. Being water based it also dries in a flash letting me do a coat every hour or so. Pretty neat stuff.
Okay, I'll go back into lurking mode now. All the best and keep up the wonderful work.


SB said...

Out there in the cybersphere is their some one who can make or get me a butt or stock for my lovely Diana 35 Air Rifle please.