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Posted: 6/12/2003 6:52:21 PM EDT
Hi all,

I've heard that one thing you should do after buying a Garand, especially an old one like the one I got from CMP, is strip the wood and re-oil it. I was told that they are usually quite dry after all those years of storage. Can anyone recommend a lubricant for this? I don't have any experience with wooden weapon components, and I don't want to do the wrong thing to this nice rifle. A friend mentioned linseed oil - is that the way to go?

Thanks for your help,

Dave
Link Posted: 6/12/2003 7:06:28 PM EDT
I use a solution of one part boiled linseed oil and two parts mineral spirits. Uncut BLO is very sticky and hard to work with.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 12:45:47 AM EDT
If you want to totally strip that stock of the old oil finish this works great.
1)Strip wood of all metal parts.

2)stand stock up on news paper (sitting on butt).

3)Spray with DOW OVEN CLEANER-in the red can.

4)Let sit for about 10 minutes.

5)You will see oil dripping from the stock-because this oven cleaner really sucks out the old oil (even loosens dry oil).

6)Rinse with cold water using 00 steel wool,this will not scratch the stock.

7)Let dry and repeat 1 more time.

8)If the stock is walnut,half&half mix of boiled linseed & mineral spirits will work well.If it's birch,use mixture reccomended by Sukebe because birch is harder wood and thinner mix will soak in better.]

When you strip the stock some of the dents and dings will rise and you can sand lightly to even the wood to make it look nice.

Over the years I have done hundreds of M1 Garand and M14 stocks like this with excellent results.

Whatever method you choose,let us know how your project turns out.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 3:36:04 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2003 3:37:24 AM EDT by 3ACR_Scout]
Thanks for the replies, guys. I have to admit that I don't know how to tell what kind of stock I have. Here's a couple pictures of the rifle in its current condition as it arrived from CMP:

http://www.mindspring.com/~drolsen/garand1.jpg

http://www.mindspring.com/~drolsen/garand2.jpg

I'm going to reveal that I'm totally clueless here - where is the best place to buy these ingredients? Can I get them at the local drug/grocery store or do I need to go to Loews or Home Depot or someplace like that?

Will this help even out the color at all, or is that purely determined by the wood? I really like the dark color of the stock, but the fore-end grip (not sure what the correct term is) is kind of light and obviously doesn't match the rest of the rifle.

I'm really happy with my CMP purchase - this is a Springfield from May 1943 - so far I haven't been able to find any parts that aren't labeled as Springfield.

Thanks again for your help!

Dave
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 4:38:24 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2003 4:41:53 AM EDT by Sukebe]
The oven cleaner method works very well. It's important to neutralize the lye left in the wood by the cleaner. This is done by rinsing with a white vinegar and water solution after you rinse off the oven cleaner.

Your stock and rear handguard look like walnut. The front handguard looks like birch. Walnut front handguards are easy to find. Rear handguards are not so easy. Overall, the rifle looks pretty good. I'd be tempted to leave it as is. Looks like the CMP has another satisfied customer.
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 5:56:36 AM EDT
The oven cleaner method works well, be sure to follow the advice listed earlier about neutralizing it when you're done.

These stocks are sometimes dripping oils and grease from GI maintenance and storage. I've hung then outdoors on a hot sunny day and watched the oil drip out of them for hours. Takes time and patience.

Once the wood is clean you can finish with linseed oil. I prefer it straight. Slather it on, let sit for 15 minutes and wipe all the excess off. Repeat at 24 hour intervals 3 or 4 times.

-- Chuck
Link Posted: 6/13/2003 11:52:36 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/13/2003 11:53:58 AM EDT by echap]
After 3 or 4 coats of BLO, rub heavily with 0000 steel wool and make the stock as smooth as possible, avoid rubbing any cartouche, as this will make it hard to read. Then mix up the finishing system that I use. It consists of 1/3 BLO, 1/3 Mineral Spirits, and 1/3 beeswax. In a metal container like a small coffee can, melt the beeswax over a non-flame heat source. I use my heat gun. Then slowly pour in the other ingredients and slowly heat and stir the mixture until it's clear. Let sit for a few days to solidify and it turns into a light waxy substance that you rub on the gunstock with your fingers. The heat from friction and your hand melts the wax and makes a finish that looks like a professional soldier hand rubbed the firearm for many years. It gives you a waterproof finish that looks great and is easy to fix if you get any new scratches on it. After the finish dries, rub lightly with 0000 steel wool for a perfect light satin finish. I do this to all my rifles and have always been happy with the results. I can’t remember where I read this at but if you search the net, this will come up.

Good luck!
Eric
Link Posted: 6/14/2003 8:10:37 AM EDT
There was a great post regarding this on the Jouster M1 boards a while ago. You may be able to find some info there. It gave detailed instructions on how to refinish M1 wood. If you just want to take care of a dry old stock without totally refinishing he recommended Minwax Tung Oil Finish. You just put a coat on rub off any excess and repeat after 24 hours if you want. I just did this to mine and it looks pretty good.
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 9:47:27 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2003 9:49:46 AM EDT by Seth_Livzz]
If you just want to recondition the wood without taking anything historical about it away (dings, cartouches, proof marks) just scrub the stock down with mineral spirits, let dry, and oil it down with either tung or boiled linseed oil. Some of the die hard Garand fans say not to sand the stock at all. #0000 steel wool is perfectly fine to use though. All of these items can be found at the local hardware store for cheap. The mineral spirits is safe to use on the metal parts of the rifle as well and dries pretty quickly.

Edited to mention:

Don't worry about the handguards not matching. It's actually quite rare for the handguards to perfectly match the stock. You, of course, can do as you wish though
Link Posted: 6/16/2003 4:45:48 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 6/16/2003 4:51:24 PM EDT by M1-Ed]
3ACR

Give the dishwasher treatment a try. It will clean all the oil and crap out of the rifle, yet leave all the other things.

The only thing on mine that it stripped that I wanted to save was the painted number on the buttstock but I took pictures before I did it so I can always repaint if I want to.

Here's a site with a lot of info on refinishing M1's

SWAMPY'S "Stuff"

Click on the "How to Refinish the Wood on an M1 Garand"....From "Ugly Duckling" to "Swan". For the Dishwasher Treatment.

ED
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