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Posted: 2/27/2002 6:58:03 PM EDT

A bonehead friend of mine dropped my perfectly good 25 year old preban Chinese SKS on the ground the other day and scratched the hell out of the stock. I'm *laughs* planning on sanding it down and refinishing it. Would you like to give me some pointers. I'd like for the stock not to be sticky and unattractive.

Please, I need someone to teach this young grasshoppa the fine art of wood work.

-Thanks!
Link Posted: 2/27/2002 7:27:02 PM EDT
Here it is in a nutshell--

Use a good stripper to remove the thick, orange finish. Just follow directions on the can.

Wash the stock throroughly with mineral spirits and steel wool.

Allow about 24 hrs. to dry.

Wash the stock in tap water to remove most of the stain. Let dry another 24 hrs.

Lightly sand as needed. Use fairly fine sandpaper(100 and up)

Stain whatever color you wish, allow plenty of drying time.

Rub down with boiled linseed oil giving a good once over with steel wool between coats. Allow another 24 hrs. to dry between coats. Usually I go with seven or eight coats to get a smooth hard finish.

I'm sure there are several other ways to go about this but this way works. Hope it helps.
Link Posted: 2/27/2002 8:49:26 PM EDT
Good directions from 455SD.

However, if you’ve got any dents in the wood, try this:

After stripping and prior to sanding, put a wet washcloth over any dents and then press a hot clothes iron (or possibly a hot soldering iron) firmly against the washcloth where the dent is for a couple of seconds.

This will force steam into the wood and cause the compressed wood cells in the dent to expand. Do this a couple of times, if needed.

Generally you can greatly reduce or even totally eliminate a dent.

However, this doesn’t work as well with a gouge since some of the wood has actually been removed.
Link Posted: 2/27/2002 9:03:37 PM EDT
When I built my blackpowder rifle, I used a Birchwood Casey stock finishing kit. Came with three bottles, some steel wool, sandpaper and sponges. Made a nice hard finish, but you would still have to get to the bare wood first. I am gonna try it out on an old Mauser that I just finished tearing apart. I did however notice today that the bottles contain something that can cause cancer and reproductive problems. What the hell. I smoke like a chimmney and dont need anymore kids anyway.
Link Posted: 2/27/2002 9:08:51 PM EDT
4555SD, Thank you for the details, I'm feelin' confident now! If I screw it up though, I blaming you. heh.

199 - Thanks, that's an excellent idea.
Link Posted: 2/27/2002 9:17:39 PM EDT
Garheadjr,
Love the advice, I about gave myself a damn heart attack laughing so hard.

Link Posted: 2/28/2002 4:03:53 AM EDT
RE stripping the old finish... Here's a method that works very well and you can do it in the sink or bath tub.

Spray the wood with Heavy Duty Easy Off oven cleaner. Let set for 10-15 minutes. Scrub under hot water with a Scotch-Brite pad. Let dry. Very finely sand or polish with steel wool to "de-whisker" the wood.

For a nice "military" finish, apply a coat of stain if desired. Then a few coats of Tung Oil finish. Finally, hand rub with a beeswax based wax. There are a number of commercial products, or you can cook some up on the stove from 1/3 linseed oil, 1/3 tun oil, and 1/3 beeswax.

Results are pretty nice. I just refinished two M1 Garands using this method.
Link Posted: 2/28/2002 7:50:02 AM EDT
My old chi-com SKS had the usual feces-brown finish, and was dripping the cosmolie perservative when I got it. I removed all of the metal parts from the wood, then sanded off the old finish and then wiped down the wood with a thick cotton towel soaked with alcohol. I continued to wipe down the wood with alcohol several times a day for over a week. This brought out a lot of this cosmoline junk. I then let the wood dry for several weeks, turning regularly. I then sanded it smooth and applied a very light Minwax stain, "Fruitwood". Light sanded again, then applied about 5 very light coats of clear satin finish. The wood looks beautifull, has a light yellow color and the grain looks great.
Link Posted: 2/28/2002 1:34:21 PM EDT
One other thing I can suggest:

The Chinese guns have a very soft wood so go easy with the sanding and stripping or you'll remove too much wood before you know it.

Ref. the Birchwood Casey stock refinishing kit: I didn't get the whole kit, but I picked up a bottle of the wax and a bottle of the stain and used them on an old Mauser stock that I'd already stripped and it came out looking really nice with only a little effort.
Link Posted: 2/28/2002 2:00:00 PM EDT
SKSguy, I refinished a not so sentimental SKS with black fleckstone paint! I sanded out the old finish a little, and any of the above stripping ideas are great. After I sprayed it with fleckstone I put several coats of semi- gloss Helmsman over it for durability. So far 2 years and going strong! This is for that fake synthetic stock look...

Good luck!
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