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Posted: 1/4/2003 6:51:02 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2003 4:52:19 PM EDT by MRW]
I just refinished my SAR-2, wood and metal, and it came out looking much better than I ever dreamed! Pics to come soon!

I stripped the wood, bleached it, used minwax red mahogany stain, and tung oil. Beautiful!

After stripping I put Clorox in a spray bottle and sprayed the wodd down three or four times, waiting a few minutes between each application, but not allowing the wood to completely dry. Then dry when it's completely bleached out. I used steel wool to knock down the "fuzzies", and then applied the stain- four or five coats. I tried to get it as dark as possible. After the stain had dried for the final time, I took 0000 steel woll and sanded down everything real smooth. I then used a rag to rub in the tung oil. I used some from wal-mart in a green rectangular can with some guy's cartoon photo on it- Frombly's or something. I let it dry for 12 hours and then lightly buffed with 0000 steel wool and apply again. I basically applied it in the morning and at bed for about three days. I put in the stock screw into the butt and hung it from a string so the wood could dry without touching anything. you want to be careful and only put oil on the NON-contact surfaces of the wood. Don't put it where it will touch metal. I builds up a layer and you'll have to sand it down to reinstall it. I put one coat on the underside of the handguards just to seal it all the way around. On the final coat I did not sand it down, but left it as it dried. Tung oil will lighten the finish, so get it darker than you really want it before applying the oil.
BTW- Tung oil is a PERMANENT finish. You can't strip it off later if you want a change. However you can reapply it to scratches and dents and it will restore nicely.
Stripper - $6
Stain- $3
Tung oil- $7

For the metal I used Engine paint, specifically Dupli-Color ceraminc engine enamel 500 degrees, low gloss black DE1634. It comes in a silver can- which makes it really hard to read the instructions. I used this paint with great success to refinish the bottom of my Saiga when I converted it - see my post in the build it yourself forum. I thoroughly cleand the rifle, sprayed it with brake cleaner (half a can), put it in the oven at 200 degrees for two hours to get as much grease as I could out of it, then sprayed it down again and wiped it with acetone. I then stuck a bent clothes hanger through the stock screw hole, hung it from the clothesline in the back yard, and sprayed on the paint per directions. I also painted the dust cover, selector lever, and gas tube to match. Three days hanging in my basement to cure, overnight (7hrs) in the oven at 250 degrees to bake it on, two more days in the basement just to make sure, and it looks as good as a Saiga or almost as good as a Vepr finsih!

It looks as nice as the Bulgarian kits I have seen, and the paint seems to be very durable.
Paint $4

a couple bucks for steel wool and so forth and there you are. It looks like a completely different rifle! i saw some new SAR's at the show today and I forgot how butt ugly they are out of the box.

Give it a try! What have you got to loose? The wood is great, and if the paint doesn't work out, spend $35 for a can of Alum-ahide or whatever from Brownells and do it again. I never knew this puppy was so beautiful underneath!
Link Posted: 1/5/2003 6:22:43 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/6/2003 12:16:10 AM EDT
Congratulations that your work was a success. I had almost the same exact idea in mind but wasn't sure how it would come out. So, please post the pics or your rifle as soon as it is convenient for you. I would love to see it.

Regards EJ2344

Link Posted: 1/7/2003 4:14:27 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2003 8:07:03 PM EDT by MRW]
a Big THANK YOU goes out to Red Star Arms for hosting my pictures!!!!!!!




















Link Posted: 1/7/2003 4:24:43 PM EDT
Nice job on the handguards. Would you mind elaborating on the exact procedure you used on them....
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 4:28:11 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2003 4:31:13 PM EDT by BallisticTip]
Nice job, at least Wally world is good for something.
Link Posted: 1/7/2003 4:53:10 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/7/2003 8:15:23 PM EDT by MRW]
done ChrisLe

hope it helps!

They aren't quite as red as they appear in the picture, and that's too bad. I tried to get them as red as possible.
Link Posted: 1/10/2003 4:59:27 PM EDT
MRW, That looks absolutely awsome. Just think how much money you saved! Hey maybee enough money down toward another AK!

Link Posted: 1/10/2003 5:04:29 PM EDT

Originally Posted By MRW:
done ChrisLe

hope it helps!



Indeed it does. Thanks again and great job!!!
Link Posted: 1/10/2003 11:53:13 PM EDT
Hey MRW, that SAR-2 refinishing job looks awesome. The wood looks great too.

Is that a Romanian FSB with a Romanian muzzle brake on it?

Thanks,

themao
Link Posted: 1/11/2003 1:07:39 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2003 1:59:33 PM EDT by Shadowblade]
Oh man.... now I have to do it to the SAR-1.

Looks great. How does that paint hold up to scratches?

What exactly did you use to strip the wood?

I assume you completely stripped the reciever before painting? If not, how far down did you take it?
Link Posted: 1/11/2003 1:50:15 AM EDT
Two thumbs up MRW. Sweet piece.
Link Posted: 1/11/2003 6:08:28 AM EDT
NICE!
Link Posted: 1/12/2003 8:03:04 AM EDT
The brake is a set screw model that aa-ok used to sell. I don't think they have any more.


To strip the wood just buy a bottle of varnish stripper and goop it on, wait a few minutes, and carefully scrape with a plastic or wood scraper. When most of it's gone, goop on some more, wait, and use steel wool.


The paint holds up pretty well. Time will tell though. It passes the "fingernail test", which is good enough for me.

I stripped the rifle down to the barreled action before painting. Field strip it, remove the stock components, remove fire control group, remove pistol grip and hardware, remove gas tube.
Link Posted: 1/12/2003 9:23:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/12/2003 10:25:24 AM EDT
SAR-2

If you look close to the pic of the receiver with the penny covering the SN you will see SAR 2 stamped underneath and between the two rivets.

But you're right- I saw a new SAR 2 at the show last weekend that had a straight charging handle. I like the upswept one. It's easier to reach over and grab with the left hand.
Link Posted: 1/12/2003 12:30:35 PM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2003 9:17:09 AM EDT
Wow, that really looks good.
And just think, you didn't have to wait two years and spend a bunch of money either.

That is a very impressive SAR 2 and it shows just how much potential there is in those super value packed Romanian rifles.

Why would anyone even want a preban?

Mike
Link Posted: 1/18/2003 10:55:43 AM EDT
Wow. Bravo! I would have to force myself to follow your directions. I have no patience. Good job there rifleman!
Link Posted: 1/23/2003 5:38:28 PM EDT
MRW,
I was at my local WalMart and happened to cruise by the automotive section. I noticed they also had the same type of paint in a bronze can that was rated to 1200 degrees. It looked like the only difference in application was that you needed to bake the 1200 at 300 deg for 2 hrs for max hardness. Does anyone know if that kind of heat for that length of time will damage the rifle, and would the paint then be too hard and easily chip? Thanks.
Link Posted: 1/24/2003 5:16:10 AM EDT
Font- If I had seen that can I would have bought it instead. I've seen it since. If I do another I'll use it. It won't hurt the rifle to bake it at 300, heck, I've heard of people going up to 400-500. You'll want to take off the furniture and small parts, and bake it first to expand out all the grease and oil, then clean it off with brake cleaner or acetone. If you put it on real thick it might chip if you bonk it, but a thinner coat will just scratch.
Link Posted: 4/22/2003 8:26:15 AM EDT
btt
Link Posted: 4/28/2003 6:38:06 AM EDT
wow... After I get the cosmoline off mine I will need to give this a try... My stock doesn't look bad but yours sure looks 200% better!
Link Posted: 4/28/2003 1:30:01 PM EDT
I followed your instructions but I substituted with a dark walnut mini-wax stain. Just my personal preference. I've got the metal in the oven (sounds like an Ozzy song) baking for a few hours now. I only have one question; after you applied your final coat of Tung oil, did you use steel wool again or did you leave it alone? I can't wait to put everything back together but I'm not rushing it. Thanks
Link Posted: 4/28/2003 4:58:20 PM EDT
I was going to knock down the shine after the last coat with steel wool, but it looked sooo purty that I left it!
Link Posted: 4/28/2003 5:15:01 PM EDT
Kewl. I just took my hardware out of the oven. Is it white wine or red with Romanian receivers? Thanks again.
Link Posted: 5/7/2003 8:22:28 AM EDT
I did the same thing to my SAR. Wait until it contacts brake cleaner, or bore cleaner and your beautiful finish will peel away. Happened to mine after I spent hours preparing the surface, baking in the oven, ect...looked awesome until I cleaned the bore with bore scrubber then I cried. Be careful with what you clean with.

Andy
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 6:51:01 AM EDT
MRW -- I am new to this board and appreciate gys like you who take the time to post the great information on your re-do. Your SAR 2 looks great. I have an SAR 1 and an SAR 3 and I am definitely going to try this with one of them.

I've never tried to do anything like this with the finish on any of my rifles and have a question or two. First, if you paint/bake the receiver but not the pins, does the finish on the ends of the pins look odd when the rifle is reassembled? Is it possible to also paint the ends of the pins (mask off all but the ends when painting) and bake them with the other parts? Will the pins stand up to the heat? Also, when you painted the receiver, did you paint the inside of the receiver?

On an unrelated topic, My SAR 3 doubled on me once the last time I was out shooting. Is that a common SAR issue with the poor CAI fire control parts? Is there an easy fix, other than replacing the FC parts?

Thanks again.

Bob
Link Posted: 5/8/2003 9:59:54 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Bob1inDallas:
First, if you paint/bake the receiver but not the pins, does the finish on the ends of the pins look odd when the rifle is reassembled? Is it possible to also paint the ends of the pins (mask off all but the ends when painting) and bake them with the other parts? Will the pins stand up to the heat? Also, when you painted the receiver, did you paint the inside of the receiver?

On an unrelated topic, My SAR 3 doubled on me once the last time I was out shooting. Is that a common SAR issue with the poor CAI fire control parts? Is there an easy fix, other than replacing the FC parts?

Thanks again.

Bob



I did not paint the pins. The pins usually are of a different color anyway so it doesn't look goofy if you don't paint them. I suppose you could paint the ends of the pins to match and bake them without trouble, but I dind't bother.

I did not paint the inside of the receiver. Since I did not take the original finish off the rifle but just painted over it, the inside still has the factory finish and looks fine.

My SAR2 doubled and trippled a few times when I first had it out. I traced this back to the wierdo way CAI installs the shepherd's hook. The hook was not installed correctly and was allowing the trigger pin to walk out. The disconnector was then not lined up to hold the hammer back after each shot.

The Shepherd's hook should have the loop installed on the main cross rivet in front of the hammper pin, not on the hammer pin itself as CAI does it. It should then come OVER the hammer pin (fitting into the groove on the left side of the pin) and go UNDER the trigger pin, with the little upturn on the end pointing up, cradling the groove in the triger pin.

Now all you have to do to remove the pins is simply push the shepherd's hook out of the way (up for the hammer pin, and down for the trigger pin).

Hope this helps!
Link Posted: 5/10/2003 5:40:25 AM EDT
Very nice. Thats probably the best looking refinish on the handgaurds.buttstock that I have ever seen. I love the finish on the metal,too. I did something very similar to mine. Pics can be found on the URL in my signature.

Link Posted: 5/10/2003 6:14:06 AM EDT

Originally Posted By RotDorn:
Oh, its definately a good deal, I have just never seen a SAR with the upswept handle. Those are ususally only found on the older CURs, and Rom military rifles.



My Early SAR-2 also has the swept handel, I wish more had them.
Link Posted: 5/21/2003 6:56:16 PM EDT
I just refinished my stocks as per your instructions and the look great! Thanks for the know how.

Here's some pictures:

This is it before the refinish. Thick, nasty varnish.


This is it after refinishing. Nice oil finish!
Link Posted: 5/22/2003 7:39:50 AM EDT
C'mon guys - it's an AK, not a Cadillac ! I think I'm gonna drag mine over some rocks and other assorted nasty terrain. Maybe inflict some shrapnel damage to the stock.

I think an AK needs to *look* gnarly, third-world-ish to look right.

,-)
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 2:11:23 PM EDT
Ha ha ha. Post #556 and I'm posting in the AK Forum. Blasphemy!!!

Anyways, I'm getting my SAR-1 pretty soon. And after seeing these pix, I'm definately going to do a refinishing job. I'll make it all a solid, dark reddish color if I have to, but I really like another pattern.

Check out the tacked "Post photos of your Romanian AKs" threat at the top of this forum, go to page 2 and look at Targetshooter2's tiger-striped AK. Now that's damn cool.

Can I get that effect with a home-refinishing job? Or for a first time, should I just go for all one color?

-Nick Viejo.
Link Posted: 5/31/2003 11:29:03 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 5/31/2003 11:31:32 PM EDT by Shadowblade]
I did mine back when MRW first posted this but never got a pic in. I couldn't get it as dark as I wanted to, but it came out OK anyway. I also had a nice glossy finish on it, but I had to sand it down because it just didn't "fit" on an AK. The original colors were pretty badly mismatched and the metal looked pretty bad too.


Link Posted: 6/7/2003 12:20:27 AM EDT
Shadowblade - What color stain did you use? The same as MRW?
I was thinking about using a walnut color which I think someone else suggested before.
Link Posted: 6/8/2003 10:46:12 PM EDT
So MRW, how well has the finish lasted since you refinished your rifle? I'm almost done with my SAR-2 project and the last thing I'm going to do is refinish the metal. I just need to decide what I should use to refinish the metal with.


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Link Posted: 6/8/2003 11:46:58 PM EDT

Originally Posted By tivoli410:
Shadowblade - What color stain did you use? The same as MRW?
I was thinking about using a walnut color which I think someone else suggested before.



I used a red mahogany - or something like that. I think my mistake was sanding the stock too smooth before I stained it. I should have left it rougher and thus more porous. It really did not pick up the red color, or get as dark as I wanted, but it still looks nice.
Link Posted: 6/9/2003 11:09:56 AM EDT
As someone stated earlier, the paint wants to come of if you use a harsh solvent. I have a few spots that are starting to wear, but you can't really tell since the original finish shows underneath. I clean my rifles with breakfree, which doesn't harm it. I'd like to try the 1200 degree paint sometime and see if it resists wear better.
Link Posted: 6/10/2003 3:40:02 PM EDT
I've decided to refinish the metal parts of my SAR-2 using MRW's method. I replaced the buttstock and handguards with black plastic, so no refinishing needed there. I went with the 1200 degree Dupli-Color paint instead of the 500 degree MRW used. I'm refinishing the receiver cover first to see how it looks. If it turns out ok, I'll go ahead with the rest of the rifle. Wish me luck!


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Link Posted: 6/10/2003 3:48:14 PM EDT
Oh, one more thing. I "pimped out" the charging handle using this method. I figure, if it doesn't look right I can always re-blue it. I couldn't find any Nevr-Dull locally, so I just polished it up with my Dremel tool and some polishing grit.


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