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Posted: 1/15/2006 8:11:27 PM EDT
I am new to the C & R world and don't know my A$$ from a hole in the ground when it comes to working with wood stocks. Having said that, could some of you seasoned experts share some tips for refurbishing wood stocks.

The stocks on my 3 C & R rifles are in overall good condition but need to have the cosmoline and dirt/grease removed. I'm not real sure how to attack this. My Savage Enfield was really loaded with cosmoline.
Link Posted: 1/15/2006 9:32:00 PM EDT
Heat is what gets the deep cosmo out of the stock. Kind of hard to find in January in most of the country.

You will NEVER get it all.

There's considerable disagreement on this subject. I would not get old wood in contact with water. Be patient that stock didn't get that way over night.<G>

Dennis Jenkins



Originally Posted By SgtSauer:
I am new to the C & R world and don't know my A$$ from a hole in the ground when it comes to working with wood stocks. Having said that, could some of you seasoned experts share some tips for refurbishing wood stocks.

The stocks on my 3 C & R rifles are in overall good condition but need to have the cosmoline and dirt/grease removed. I'm not real sure how to attack this. My Savage Enfield was really loaded with cosmoline.

Link Posted: 1/15/2006 9:47:52 PM EDT
My favorite method is a scouring with 0000 steel wool and mineral spirits to get the big stuff off, then warm it in the oven on a bed of newspapers wiping the excess that oozes out occasionally. Once it pretty much stops oozing I wipe it all down again, let it cool, then scour it again with mineral spirits. I then spray a light coat of Zinnser Shellac on top to keep whatever cosmo may still be inside, sand it down with 200 grit silicone carbide paper, then finish with the oil of your choice.

The shellac will stay in the pores and seal the stock for the most part while the oil will protect the finish.
Link Posted: 1/16/2006 8:27:26 PM EDT
I have cleaned many of my personal stocks and have had good luck with using low/no odor mineral spirits and a medium stiffness bristled brush. Letting your stock sit in the sun will help bring out cosmo from the wood.

If I have to apply a finish I will often use Minwax tungoil to cover up any areas that are excessively dry or to give the stock an even finish. I only do this as a last resort though since I am a hard core C&R purist.

If you are looking to refinish your stock DO NOT USE OVEN CLEANER, which will attack the wood fibers. I don;t know how the oven cleaner techniques started but it may look good but residual oven clenaer attacks the wood fibers whereas most modern strippers are designed to only soften the paint, stain, varnish, etc. on/in the wood. Any good quality furniture stripper works well.

I suggest you visit www.milsurshooter.net and look in their "stock cleaning and preservation forum" there are a few folks in there that can help you out with either duplication of a finish or just cleaning and preserving your stock.

hope this helps
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 2:22:08 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 2:23:02 PM EDT by Bobthenailer]
First off , make sure the WIFE is out of the house:
1. boil lots of water then put Dawn in it.
2. Heat up the stock in the oven at 200 degrees
3. Use wife soft toothbrush to scrub the stock with Dawn
4. Then pour boiling hot soapy water over the stock.
5. Repeat.
6 Don't get caught doing this. If you do get caught, I did not tell you to do it.


This will remove all cosmo for the stock.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 2:53:03 PM EDT
Hot water is a bad idea. It will destroy any collector value in that it will swell the wood and destroy any good markings. Structurally, it can warp and ruin a stock.

Harsh chemicals are also bad.

Low oder mineral spirits or turpentine. Heat gun are diffuclt to use without scorching the wood. Soak in MS or turp and then set the stock in the sun on a warm/hot day. Wipe off what oozes out. When you are done (well, you'll think you are done) give it a good rub down with Old English Lemon Oil.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 3:20:24 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 3:21:10 PM EDT by skm0308]
SgtSauer, the best advice I can give is to do lots of research and use the method that seems the least harsh. I was in your shoes a few short months ago and have tried numerous methods and found that mineral spirits and lotsa scrubbing works the best. Soaking the stock in water and putting it in the oven can't be good for the wood (and I've seen a lot of people that use it) so be careful with what method you choose.
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 4:41:53 PM EDT
Just don't get the oven up to 500 degrees!<G>

As low as it will go will do fine. Can't get it too hot if you have to hold on to the stock. I'd sure not get water on old wood.

Dennis Jenkins



Originally Posted By skm0308:
SgtSauer, the best advice I can give is to do lots of research and use the method that seems the least harsh. I was in your shoes a few short months ago and have tried numerous methods and found that mineral spirits and lotsa scrubbing works the best. Soaking the stock in water and putting it in the oven can't be good for the wood (and I've seen a lot of people that use it) so be careful with what method you choose.

Link Posted: 1/17/2006 8:53:13 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/17/2006 8:55:59 PM EDT by Bobthenailer]
I have done may stock the way I have talk about and never had an stock that wrap on me yet. Pour heavy boiling water on metal and see what happen. Also check out the latest Shotgun News about mauser. It has alot of good info. As for the marking, put duck tape over the area. Like I said use heavy boil hot water. And if you scrub, use an very soft brush and go with the gain. Also don't put the stock in the water, let the water run over it. I wish I can post the pics of the stock before and after.

Stock that I did so far.

2 Walnut 38 turkish mauser
6- Mosin-Nagant
2 Czech 98/22
3 Yugo M48
1 walnut Swedish mauser
2 beech Swedish mauser
2 RC German 98K

I even used an Dishwasher on an M1 garand stock. Just don't tell my wife about it. She will kill me in an New York Heartbeat.

spec.4
Link Posted: 1/17/2006 9:52:06 PM EDT
Heat is the only way that below the surface cosmoline will come out.

Doesn't have to get too hot. Gobs will come to the surface just setting it out in the sun in the summer. January is NOT a good time for sweating stocks though.<G>

You've been really lucky with the water.

Dennis Jenkins



Originally Posted By Bobthenailer:
I have done may stock the way I have talk about and never had an stock that wrap on me yet. Pour heavy boiling water on metal and see what happen. Also check out the latest Shotgun News about mauser. It has alot of good info. As for the marking, put duck tape over the area. Like I said use heavy boil hot water. And if you scrub, use an very soft brush and go with the gain. Also don't put the stock in the water, let the water run over it. I wish I can post the pics of the stock before and after.

Stock that I did so far.

2 Walnut 38 turkish mauser
6- Mosin-Nagant
2 Czech 98/22
3 Yugo M48
1 walnut Swedish mauser
2 beech Swedish mauser
2 RC German 98K

I even used an Dishwasher on an M1 garand stock. Just don't tell my wife about it. She will kill me in an New York Heartbeat.

spec.4

Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:09:07 AM EDT
I have been lucky so far in that I have received only one rifle witha stock full of cosmoline.

That said, surplusrifles.com has an article about how to build a cosmo removing bake setup.
It invalves a metal garbage can, 4 house light bulbs, and wiring. Plus a rack to hold the gunstock.

Heat from the bulbs cooks out the cosmo and it drips out on to the can bottom.

I think I might try this setup on my stock.
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:26:40 AM EDT
I really don't use that much water when I clean the stock, just enought to get the soap and comso off the stock and put back in the oven. I also put put an small pan up side to keep the stock of the bottom of the oven.

spec.4
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 5:37:47 AM EDT
Link Posted: 1/18/2006 6:38:30 AM EDT
if your stocks won't fit in the oven (mine wouldn't) a hair dryer on low setting works well. And this stuff as dennis said will never stop coming out.
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