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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 9/9/2005 7:20:29 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/12/2005 10:59:39 AM EDT by dvr9]
Just picked up a new (to me) K31. The Serial #'s date its manufacture in '41 or '42 (need to write down the #'s to verify later today). Barrel, chamber, bolt are all immaculate, but the stock has quite a few dings, scratches and as few gouges. It all looks repairable though. My gunshop guru said that I could wrap the stock in a wet towel and it should pull out most of the dings, dents and gouges. Is this correct? Has anyone done this or is there a better DIY way to refinish the stock.

Thanks in advance for your replies!

Link Posted: 9/9/2005 7:27:16 AM EDT
A better way to remove dents is to put a damp towel over the dent and then put a hot iron over the towel. Obviously, you don't wanna leave the iron on there for very long. The finish on them is shellac and should be pretty easy to clean up once you finish with the dents.

The stock cleaning/repair forum at Parallax's C&R board has a lot of good info, but you may have to register (it's free) to see it.

Hope this helps,
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 7:38:28 AM EDT
Link Posted: 9/9/2005 8:13:59 PM EDT
Check THIS link to a formula for the original Swiss finish.
HERE is a link to repairing stock dents.
These are not the only way to repair stocks, but we have tried a lot of different methods, and these work for us.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 7:55:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/10/2005 7:56:12 AM EDT by MRW]
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 11:19:18 AM EDT
MRW I am sorry if it didn't work.
Over on our forum we have tried many different mixes and methods for refinishing these old stocks. This recipe came from a guy in Switzerland.
He did have a caution,..."this mixture drys very slowly,about two days!". Linseed oil drys very, very slowly, which is one reason I don't use it.
On my stocks, if I want a gloss finish I use Tru Oil. If I want a more subdued finish I have started using Tung Oil Finish. It isn't pure Tung oil so it drys faster. It is a mix of Tng oil and varnish. I think it's varnish, but I would have to check to make sure. It puts a really nice finish on. It's somewhat shiny, but #0000 steel wool can take care of that.
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 2:56:59 PM EDT
Link Posted: 9/10/2005 7:23:00 PM EDT
That formula is the closest we have been able to find. Apparently noone has been able to find the real original formula, or duplicate it exactly. It seems to be a mystery lost in time.
Your rifles look good. I have one walnut stocked K31 and need another in Beech, just to have one of each. Then I need another to drill and tap for a scope, and another just because I like 'em.
I am lucky to have a local source for the GP11 ammo. It's about $22.00 per brick of 60 rounds, and it is more accurate than I am. I did buy one box of softpoints to hunt with. The only available commercial ammo I could find was a box of Norma- $35.00. Ouch! At least I will have some once fired Norma brass.
As far as using BLO I read a good article against it. I don't like it for the drying time and the number of coats that is necessary. Other people swear by it. Different strokes.
I had a Finn M39 that had an Arctic Birch stock that wasn't stained. It was very light colored, very different but nice looking. I may get that one back. It was about as accurate as my K31 or Swede M38.
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 1:24:49 PM EDT
Here you go:

I end up cut/pasting this about once a month, so I keep it handy. Here are my directions:

After several stock refinishes I went back to the fellow who did the K31's you see in the picture. All that I could get out of him was a mumbled reply about "...a light coat of polyurathane."

Here is his simple secret and my experience together.

First, buy a boatload of sandpaper in 250, 400, 600, and 800.

1. Cover any cartouches with masking tape or a sticker to remind you not to buff them out.

2. Degrease the stock as much as you can. (I have found that simple green foaming organic grill cleaner works great on grease and cosmo, but with K31's cosmoline doesn't seem to be a problem. Be sure to rinse well and let it dry before sanding.

3. Steam out the bumps and scratches by using your iron (on high) and a wet washcloth. Put the washcloth over the wood and press firmly with the iron, moving it back and forth. Don't be shy with the water. The steam will help lift out the scratches. It helps, but can't work miracles. Let it dry overnight.

4. Sand the wood with the 250 until smooth. Spend more time with the 400 and 600, then finally "polish" it with the 800. Feel free to wipe the wood with a damp cloth between sandings, this will raise the grain and ready it for the next round of sanding. Don't be tempted to use steel wool like some folks suggest. You will get miniscule slivers of metal in the wood grain that will be there forever. Some have suggested using the 3M scrub pads to avoid this, but I have not tried that. The 800 sandpaper puts on a nice polish. This step can take several days of hanging out alone the garage breathing sawdust and catbox fumes. Relish the quality alone time.

5. Once you are done sanding, wipe the wood clean with a dry terry cloth or cotton rag. Don't worry about the little bit of sawdust still left in the grain of the wood.

6. Use a quality polyurathane like Minwax Fast Drying Satin (hint). DO NOT FOLLOW THE DIRECTIONS, they are probably for furniture finishing or something. Start at one end of the stock and use a clean rag to wipe the finish on a section with a light coat. Rub well to get the sawdust from the grain. When you are done wiping it into a 4 inch section, wipe it off immediately using a dry part of the cloth. Move on until the whole stock or part is done. Do not apply a second coat like the directions say.

I have used this to refinish an old A2 Springfield stock. It turned out just as stunning as the two K31's. This after some somewhat less than stunning stock refinishing projects for some relatives.


Here are the results if the stock isn't too dinged up:

-White Horse
Link Posted: 9/11/2005 6:53:24 PM EDT
The walnut stocked k31 looks fantastic! Congrats. I have a k31 that needs the stock refinished pretty badly. I will try your method.

Link Posted: 9/11/2005 6:56:09 PM EDT
Those rifles do look great!
This is why I love the boards. Formulas are good to know but nothing beats results.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 10:57:58 AM EDT
Whitehorse, stop posting that pic of your k31s!!!

we're all jealous.
Link Posted: 9/12/2005 11:04:25 AM EDT
Thanks to all for your replies. I am gathering the material for the refinishing project.

I took the rifle to the range this weekend. I shot 6 rounds through it at 100 yards. The 1st 3 were needed to see where I was hitting the paper. The last three were about a .5 inch group. Two shots were almost in the same hole. Great rifle!

As I pulled the bolt back to load the next magazine (after the 6th shot) the bolt fell out of the back. The bolt release lever/catch broke off!!

Trust me, I wasn't being rough on the rifle either. Being 63 years old, I was babying it. I ordered a new part this morning from Tennesse Gun Parts.
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:09:55 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/14/2005 6:13:07 PM EDT by White_horse]

Originally Posted By pepperbelly:
Those rifles do look great!
This is why I love the boards. Formulas are good to know but nothing beats results.


I will try to take some pics of the Springfield stock and forearm that I did from scratch myself. 'Case there are any disbelievers out there.

-White Horse
Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:11:39 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MauserMark:
Whitehorse, stop posting that pic of your k31s!!!

we're all jealous.

Link Posted: 9/14/2005 6:37:28 PM EDT
HERE is an very interesting article on BLO vs Tung Oil Finish. It mentions polyurathane finishes also.

Link Posted: 9/18/2005 1:56:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/18/2005 1:57:30 PM EDT by White_horse]
I finally took some pics of the '03 stock that I finished. The pic is not that great, but you get the idea:

-White Horse
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