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Posted: 6/16/2002 1:09:43 PM EDT
Hi all,

i am about to start another project.  I am going to refinish a wood stock.  Does anyone have and suggestions or links to sites on this?  i talked to one guy at the gunshow, he stated that i should use easy-off oven cleaner on the stock to remove any oils, grease and crude. then wash it off real good and let it dry for atleast 1 - 2 days.  I am thinking about using tungoil, but i have never used it before.  any suggestions?  i am looking for a nice finish, but i do not want to use or have a glossy urethane look to it.

Link Posted: 6/16/2002 1:13:11 PM EDT
I used tung oil to refinish my marlin lever action,it turned out nice. I sanded the old finish off,what was left of it
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 1:27:27 PM EDT
Here's the procedure I used to refinish a few of my M1 stocks. Hope it helps.
And another site to look at:

P.S. Tung oil is the way to go if you want a good finish that isn't glossy...
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 2:26:04 PM EDT
FWIW, a guy over at jouster recommended against using oven cleaner to clean stocks.  Something to do with turning some stocks funky colors.

For my M1, I used TSP to clean the stock, then followed that with several applications of tung oil.  As ChrisLe said, it's not glossy.  It has a nice "glow", and you can always take any gloss down with steel wool if it's too much for your taste.

Good luck.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 2:30:57 PM EDT
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 2:48:10 PM EDT
FWIW, a guy over at jouster recommended against using oven cleaner to clean stocks.  Something to do with turning some stocks funky colors.
Good luck.
View Quote

I have stripped several surplus stocks with easy off. The trick is to neutralize the lye left in the wood. To do that, make a solution of cold tap water and white vinegar. Mix it until the vinegar smell is obvious. Scrub the wood thoroughly with the solution and let dry. Your wood will be fine.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 2:51:55 PM EDT
I like using the dishwasher for cosmoline covered stocks. Works really well.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 4:52:05 PM EDT
wow thanks for all of the great info.  i hopes this helps when i get my cetme stocks in.  do i still need to apply a stain to the wood?  some of them state that i will.  i guess it depends on the color.  humm i might try the bees wax combo that is mentioned in the articles, sounds like it will turn out nice.  i will post pics when its all done.

Link Posted: 6/16/2002 6:42:40 PM EDT
You may want to stain it. If you use the easy off method to strip it, it will raise some of the stain that is in the wood. You may want to apply the easy off twice. Be sure to rinse the easy off from the wood before washing the wood with vinegar and water.
Link Posted: 6/16/2002 7:05:57 PM EDT
I've done a number of Garand stock sets as follows:

(1) Strip old finish with heavy duty Easy Off.  If you rinse thoroughly there is no problem with off-color wood.

(2) Once the wood is dry, I give it a light sanding to remove the whiskers.

(3) If you like, apply a thin coat of stain and let it dry over night.  A mix of 1/2 red oak and 1/2 red mahogany gives a nice reddish tint.

(4) Apply a couple of coats of tung oil.  Apply liberally, wait 10 minutes or so, then buff with a clean cloth.

(5) As a final step I hand rub the wood with a beeswax based polish.

The resulting finish is not shiny and looks great.
Link Posted: 6/18/2002 11:40:10 AM EDT
I have to address this subject a lot over on Jouster.

My basic advise:  If you want to learn how to break things and kill things, talk to a Marine Corp DI.  If you want to learn how to finish or refinish wood effectively, talk to a woodworker or better yet someone who specializes in refinishing and repairing furniture.

Always seperate all the steps of stripping, cleaning and refinishing wood.  Cutting corners by combining steps often results in sloppy results.

Clean the dirt, strip the finish, neutralize and clean the stripper off, repair any defects, cracks, dents etc. prep the surface by sanding, scraping etc. With oils the quality of your surface prep determines the ultimate quality of your finish.  I recommend sanding to 150 grit minimum for a utility grade finish, 220 minimum for oil finishes, 400 grit for a parade grade finish.  Varnish finishes need not be sanded past 150-220 grit, the film they build creates its own surface. After surface prep, stain or dye as you feel necessary.  Then scuff sand the surface with 400 grit paper or #0000 steel wool for better finish adhesion, clean with mineral spirits or naptha then finish.  Wax may be used as a top dressing or polish as desired.

Always use products designed for stripping wood when stripping wood.  Other products may damage the wood excessively.  Lye damages the lignin that holds the wood fibers together.

Always strip wood in a well ventilated location.  Use properly rated respirators as advised by product labelling.  Use high quality gloves for stripping to prevent injury from harsh chemicals.

Avoid using water-based products on wood unless there is not other option.  Wood readily absorbs water but gives it up reluctantly.

Steam and high temperature water is the enemy of wood dissolving the lignin that bonds wood fibers together.  Dishwashers are terrible for wood stocks.

Link Posted: 6/18/2002 11:41:51 AM EDT

Drying oils such as Pure Tung Oil (as distinguished from so-called tung oil finishes) and Boiled Linseed Oil are crummy finishes.  They are aesthetically pleasing, cheap and relatively easy to apply, but offer only minimal protection for wood.  The only thing worse is wax.  Beeswax/BLO blands like Culver's Magic Paste are NOT suitable as a primary wood finish though they may have some utility as a top polish over a drying oil finish such as PTO or BLO.

So called Tung Oil Finishes may or may not have ANY Tung Oil in them.  Formby's Tung Oil Finish, for instance is mostly solvent and varnish resins.  There may be some oil in it, but if so, it is mostly for scent. Nevertheless, these finishes are generally a vast improvement over BLO and PTO in terms of protective value and moisture exclusion.

Polyurethane, urethane, and varnishes all work in about the same way.  Urethanes and Polyurethanes are synthetic varnishes derived from Ureic resins. Spar varnishes often are blended with tung oil to yield better performance in outdoor environments where urethanes can break down under intense UV light.   Varnishes are probably the most effective and practical finishes for hard use or competition grade stocks.

Glossy finishes can be toned down with the judicious application of #0000 steel wool, but don't cut through the finish to bare wood.

As far as applying pure tung oil is concerned, give yourself plenty of curing time between coats, a minimum of 24 hours under warm dry conditions and as much as 3 or even 4 days under cooler and or more humid conditions. BLO cures a touch faster thanks to the addition of chemical driers, but BLO is a marginally less effective finish. You can speed the cure time of PTO by adding a small amount of Japan Driers (available from art supply and paint stores), but you may have to increase the number of coats.

DO NOT attempt to build PTO or BLO on the surface of the wood.  This is a recipe for disaster.  Neither of these oils cures well enough for surface building and will feel sticky and soft pretty much forever if you do make this error.  If you accidentally build oil on the surface, rub it down to the wood with steel wool or 400 grit sandpaper. Buff sanding between coats will limit building the oil into a film, it is also a pretty good indicator of how well your finish has cured.  Fully cured oil will sand off as a white powdery substance while poorly cured oil will tack up and clog the paper or sand off in tacky strings and balls. The same is true of polyurethane and varnish BTW.

Polymerized oils like Tru Oil, Linspeed and the Tried and True brands of polymerized oils are linseed or tung oils that are either chemically or thermally modified to improve their characteristics. They tend to cure faster, harder and more resistant to chemicals and moisture.  They can be quite glossy or fairly satin depending upon the formulation.  Tru Oil tends to be quite glossy.  Tried and True offers a variety of products ranging from a Danish Oil type finish to a full on Varnish grade finish.  

For a hard use rifle stock I would recommend finishing with outdoor formula polyurethane  for maximum practical protection.
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