Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
Member Login
Posted: 9/22/2004 4:46:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 7:38:02 AM EDT by captainpooby]
Got my first Garand a month back or so, its an SA 53 vintage that shoots pretty good and thats all I wanted so I was a happy camper. I had decided to leave it just the way it was.
Had her out to the range today shooting some mildly corrosive milsurp and I made a little mistake when I was cleaning it. You see, I had the windex out and after I finished detail cleaning and re-oiling all the metal parts I srpayed a little windex on the stock to wipe off the crap. I thought it would just clean the wet oil off it but no, I could see it was doing more.
Wow, this stuff is good I thought so I sprayed and wiped, sprayed and wiped and the stock kept looking better and better. It was really dark with years of oil before and now the wood was starting to show through and I could see the cartouches! There was a beauty under all that crud!
Dang, now I have a refinish project ahead of me.
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:15:59 PM EDT
When I refinish this stock what do I use to get that nice red color?
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:23:47 PM EDT
I think thats the same vintage as mine, it was a DCM (prior to CMP) rifle.. around $400 or so IIRC... but it was NIB

I think you use Tung Oil, but I"m not sure... I'll bet that there is a website with that exact info!

btw, Congrats!
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:27:38 PM EDT
Use BLO (boiled linseed oil).
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:56:01 PM EDT
No stain for the red?
Link Posted: 9/22/2004 7:59:30 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/22/2004 8:12:43 PM EDT by 2A373]
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:43:04 AM EDT

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
No stain for the red?

No need for stain. The color will darken as the wood ages. Exposure to sunlight will hasten the darkening process.
Link Posted: 9/23/2004 4:00:45 PM EDT
Is there a way to "bring up" the cartouches before I treat the stock, to make them more visible? Will the oil make them stand out more?
Link Posted: 9/29/2004 8:34:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/29/2004 9:31:19 AM EDT by BillSP1]
Good to hear that you are cleaning and restoring the stock with intent to keep it original. The last M1 I bought I refinished the metal and restocked it in Fancy walnut, so now it is completely un-original. But it looks great and I have my 'looker M1' now. I will do the restore process on 'the next one'. This M1 habit is so addictive!

The CMP link provided by member 2A373 is very good, I wish I had read it prior to finishing my stock!
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 3:27:05 AM EDT

Originally Posted By PAEBR332:

Originally Posted By captainpooby:
No stain for the red?

No need for stain. The color will darken as the wood ages. Exposure to sunlight will hasten the darkening process.

Yes and when the moisture in the air fluctuates, the stock will swell and shrink. It will absorb moisture and the grain will be raised out of the stock. I am a Carpenter and Cabinet Maker of many years. Forget about tung oil, linseed oil, etc. They are substandard to today's finishes and are not correct. Those stocks were finished with everything and anything they had. Use modern Minwax finishes. They are vastly superior to what was available in the 50's. If SA had the option, they would have gone Minwax. If your stock is reddish to begin with, it is birch. Go with a birch colored stain, top with some oil when dry and rub rub rub. I refinish stocks on a local basis for people. IM me if you need to farm out the refinish. The ammonia in the Windex is lifting off that "old world crafstmanship" done in oil. I have done many, many Garand stocks for the old timers 'round here. Trust me.
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 5:29:54 PM EDT
brownells sells the stain in their catalog
Link Posted: 9/30/2004 5:44:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 9/30/2004 5:49:11 PM EDT by ar-wrench]
The red color is actually surface patina much of which is caused by oxidizing oils and greases. You won't get the real deal back for 15 years or more.

The modern finishes are better, but they look dead wrong on a 50 year old battle rifle. If you don't mind taking 4 weeks or more, use BLO, otherwise go with tung oil.

If walnut, no stain is necessary, but you can do the color match thing listed on the CMP page.
Link Posted: 10/1/2004 6:21:56 PM EDT
Forget modern finishes - you have an M1 man - treat it like one. When I got my CMP M1 8 years ago I got instructions form an old pro and they were perfect. It is simple - remove all the wood and strip all the metal pieces from the wood. Go buy some washing soda - not baking soda! Fill the bathtub about 1/4 way and as hot as you can get it without burning yourself. Add the washing soda and start scrubbing with a non-abrasive scrub pad like you use for dishes- take your time. The dents will raise up and all the crud comes off. Pull the wood out and let it dry a few days - it will look grey and terrible. Next start adding lite coats of boiled linseed oil letting it dry overnight. The wonderful walnut color of the wood comes back good as new. After a few coats you let it dry a few days and go over the stock with very fine steel wool and you are done. Re-assemble and enjoy.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 4:08:23 AM EDT
You guys are right. If the true look is desired, modern finishes may not be what you are looking for. I can get them damn, damn close with Minwax products. I don't care what the CMP says, what the government says, you need some sort of protection on unsealed walnut on a battle rifle. Unless the stock is redwood, wolmanized or cedar, which it will never be, it needs protection. Be it a light coat of oil, it needs something. If for nothing else than not sucking crap into the grain ala bore solvents and powder residue.
Link Posted: 10/2/2004 1:05:38 PM EDT
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 7:35:55 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/4/2004 7:36:49 AM EDT by captainpooby]
Here's a crappy pic of the finished rifle. I used the hand cleaner method to clean the rifle and used water and windex to wash that off. It worked very well with the hydroxides in the hand cleaner removing the oil and its much less harsh than oven cleaner.
I lightly sanded the stock and used a minwax touch up pen to darken the cartouches which had the desired effect.
I used a few coats of BC tru-oil to treat the stock, less on the darker wood parts and that seemed to work OK if a little shiny for my tastes. It is less work than a million coats of BLO for sure.
In between coats I used BC cold blue to touch up the metal parts. Most places you cant tell the difference between the park and the blue and only if you look real close at some can you even see it.
While I had it apart I got all the numbers and did some checking. Its an all SA gun of '53 vintage. The only part that may be of the wrong vintage is the trigger group which is the WWll type with the cloverleaf hole. Apparently this was used up to just around the time this rifle was built so it may be correct...I think. Anyone know for sure? Ser# is: 4289499 and trigger group # is: D28290-12-SA barrel was made 5/53.
I'm happy.

Link Posted: 10/4/2004 8:35:57 AM EDT
I just refinished my Garand, how do you post pics here?
Link Posted: 10/4/2004 10:29:54 AM EDT
captainpooby, Your M1 looks great! Use it and enjoy it.

I redid a Greek Rack Grade M1 (HRA 1955) recently that had a butt ugly European beech stock, even stripped and sanded it was ugly as week old roadkill. I had to put a new Boyds walnut stock on it or burry it in the backyard. Since it would no longer be anything like original and has some mixed parts I had it reparkerized as well. She is a beauty now.

There is room in this world for all kinds od M1's from the rare all matching look like new ones down to the beater M1's that still provied a big smile when owners handle and shoot them. My 'next one' will be kept as original as possible. I told my wife of this plan and she groaned, "...another Garand?" She did like the nice wood on this last one though. I should get her a nice M1 Carbine....
Top Top