I had some time off today so that my builder could do some warranty work to our house. In the process of them doing their work, I decided to finally begin my first mil-surp refinishing project. The rifle is a Sauer & Sohn 1944 Mauser.
After reading for many, many weeks on different message boards, I decided to give Formby's Furniture Refinisher a try. Overall, it seemed to work pretty good. I debated the oven cleaning method but just didn't feel comfortable trying that. After the stripping was done, I rubbed the stock down with 0000 steel wool to take some of the edges down and remove some loose wood fibers. After that, I rinsed it in extremely hot water. The hot water rinse really made a difference in the final appearance of the stock. Prior to the rinse, the extent of the finish stripping was not apparent due to residue left behind. I dried the stock off, oiled the metal parts and put the stock on the stand to dry. Here is a picture of the stripped stock:
Alot of people out there seem to like the dishwasher method and achieve similar results. However, I really enjoyed the "bonding" time stripping the stock. In the process I found a couple of different waffenampts that I probably never would have known were there if I hadn't taken the time and worked with the stock so closely. I found some additional stamped single digit numbers in a couple of places as well.
While I was stripping it, I noticed a "fish scale" appearance in some places. Below is a close up of the stock to show you an example. Overall, the wood seems to be in decent shape for a WWII rifle.
I'm letting it dry all weekend since I will be out of town. Next week, I will start applying coats of BLO. I'm anxious to see how it turns out.