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Page AK-47 » Build It Yourself
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Posted: 4/16/2007 3:00:18 PM EDT
Let me just start and say that I am not very experienced in building or finishing anything, but I just purchased a wooden stock set from ironwood designs and I was wondering which material was better to finish the stocks after I sanded them and applied the stain to it.  Should I use a tung oil or polyurethane wipe on with matte finish?  I would greatly appreciate any input.  I have heard a million different ways to finish the stocks but I want to do the one that looks the best considering how much time I have already put into fitting them to the rifle.  thanks
Link Posted: 4/16/2007 3:25:07 PM EDT
Use tung oil it makes beautiful finish you will not regret it.  I poosted some pictures here with my first build that I finished with tung oil....  
Link Posted: 4/16/2007 3:27:53 PM EDT
Welcome aboard!

I am a big fan of oil finishes.  The poly has too much shine to suit me. Kinda like plastic.

I have refinished a couple of garands and some shotguns and .22s.

Guess it boils down to preference really. Remington has been big on the plastic finish look on 700 BDLs for a long time.
Link Posted: 4/16/2007 3:29:10 PM EDT
tung oil
Link Posted: 4/16/2007 5:16:07 PM EDT
I used Minwax wipe on poly (urethane).  3 coats, took it down with 0000 steel wool and used Minwax furniture polish.  Seemed to finish pretty good.
Link Posted: 4/16/2007 5:39:10 PM EDT
I agree...Minwax wipe-on poly (I like clear satin) replaced tung oil for my purposes.  It looks just like tung oil but is more durable.  It's easier for me to use as well.
Link Posted: 4/16/2007 8:45:58 PM EDT
House does Polyurethane hold up to heat on the handguards?
Link Posted: 4/16/2007 9:34:52 PM EDT
Here's a complete step by step guide to finishing/refinishing with great explanations of the pros and cons of different finishes:
CMP Refinishing Guide
I've been using the CMP method for several years now and the results are excellent. I've done K98k's. K-31's, Yugo's, Mosins, etc., and all have turned out fantastic with smooth silky finishes that leave the wood feeling like wood and not plastic.

The resulting finish seals and protects the wood but can be easily touched up if you get a ding or scratch. The poly finishes can be very hard to repair without stripping and starting over. The only changes to their formula I've made are the use of Formby's Tung Oil Finish instead of the Minwax and I usually use the Minwax Sealer/Stain with the color I want in the stock instead of using a separate stain.
Here is the butt of a Russian capture K98k that hopefully shows the smooth satin effect imparted to the wood:
Good Luck!
Link Posted: 4/18/2007 5:58:32 PM EDT

it really matters what you want from your finish
they both have pro's and con's

poly takes alot less time and looks better

oil holds up way better and looks more orig
Link Posted: 4/19/2007 1:24:35 PM EDT
Here's some pics of both. Like everyone mentioned, poly gives a clean clear plastic like shine. Tung oil is more natural and really great in it's own right.

Here's what clear gloss automotive clear coat looks like. (This wood started out looking like a turd. So I thought this experiment worked well.)

Tung oil on teak stock set from Iron Wood.

Clear satin spray on Minwax poly on PSL stock.

Clear gloss spray on Minwax poly.

Link Posted: 4/20/2007 3:50:47 PM EDT
Tung oil is awsome. Easy to use and can be reaplied any time.
Link Posted: 4/20/2007 7:12:19 PM EDT
Tung oil.

660 round mag dumps won't catch it on fire.
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