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Refinishing Stocks

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BER911 View Drop Down
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    Posted: Oct 13 2018 at 2:40pm
I am going to be refinishing the stocks of the M1's used by my Marine Corps Honor Guard.  I need some help with step one...stripping off the old finish.

As background, the stocks appear to be birch or poplar; definitely not walnut.  They were stained and finished about 8 years ago.  They look like they were stained with a dark walnut stain and then finished with a clear polyurethane.  It is definitely NOT a tung or linseed oil finish.

My question is what would you guys recommend I use to strip off the old finish?  I want to go down to the bare wood and start from scratch.  I have used Klean Strip's "Klean Kutter Refinisher" on furniture with good results, but I have never stripped a rifle stock.

Thanks
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Charles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2018 at 5:16pm
I would recommend a water soluble paint remover. Apply one coat, let it dry and apply another and perhaps another until you can easily remove the finish in one go with 00 steel wool. Wash with cold water so as to not remove any age marks unless you want a new looking stock. While still damp, use a hair dryer to raise the whiskers, lightly sand them off. Mix a cup of paint thinner and a TB spoon of Linseed oil and wipe the stock and let dry. This is to make sure you get an even stain job. Min wax makes this but you don't need that much. Minwaz has a good selection of colors. When you get the color you want, brush on a generous coat of BLO, let dry and repeat another.
Have fun,
Charles
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BER911 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 13 2018 at 10:21pm
Charles,

I will go to Lowe's tomorrow and look for a water soluable paint remover.

Many thanks.
  
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2018 at 12:48pm
Charles,

You're suggestion worked like a champ.

Went to Lowe's this morning and got a jug of CitriStrip Stripping Gel; a water based paint stripper. Fortunately, there was only one coat of Polyurethane finish on the stock and it came off with one application of the stripper and a little elbow grease.

The wood underneath was birch.  "Naked" birch is an ugly wood relative to American Walnut.

After cleaning the old finish from the stock, I washed down the wood with Murphy's Oil Soap and a damp rag.  I'll let the wood dry for a couple hours (maybe overnight) before a light sanding with 400 grit and then apply the gunstock stain.

I think our rifles will look pretty sharp.  Only have 11 more to refinish after this one! Shocked
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2018 at 1:14pm
I would love to see some before and after photos.
Charles
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BER911 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2018 at 2:37pm
I did not take a "before" pic; I will on the next one before I refinish it.

Here are some pictures of the stripped birch stock from the rifle I worked on this morning.  I had just finished lightly sanding the wood surfaces with 400 grit.  The birch is lighter than walnut and does not feel as durable to dents.

We get our rifles from the Army.  They are all fully operational and we install our own BFA's.  It appears that all the rifles we have gotten from the Army have birch stocks; I will know for sure once I have refinished them all.

I'll post a couple pics of the finished product once I have finished this rifle.




Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2018 at 3:53pm
If planning on oiling I would stop at about 200 grit. Finer than that it does not seem to soak in as well.
If top coating disregard.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2018 at 4:12pm
Dan,

I'm going to use some 320 grit next and then stain.  I'll finish with raw tung oil; a couple of coats.

Thanks.
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2018 at 6:59pm
Don't forget to dewhisker it before staining.
Charles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 14 2018 at 7:15pm
Originally posted by Charles Charles wrote:

Don't forget to dewhisker it before staining.
 
Done!
 
Thanks.
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 20 2018 at 9:35am
Finished the M1 Garand stock.  My main learning is I HATE birch.  In my opinion, it is a terrible wood to use on a stock.  Anyway, despite birch's shortcomings, it looks ok and will serve it's purpose as our Honor Guard rifle team weapon.

After cleaning the wood, I applied two coats of dark walnut gunstock stain (mixed in a little chestnut for some red), and then applied two coats of pure tung oil.  I rubbed down the stock with 0000 steel wool between coats of tung oil.

Here is the finished product.







Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 20 2018 at 9:57am
Nice job Bruce, well done.
Charles
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 20 2018 at 1:27pm
Thanks Charles!

I'm glad our beloved carbines don't have birch stocks.
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 20 2018 at 3:22pm
Birch sucks up oil based stain unevenly.
You could try a pre-stain treatment which will help.
Poplar is another wood that is problematic.

The following is about woodworking. Not nessisarily stocks.
I have found Zar stains perfect without having to pre-treat for furnature and cabinets I made out of poplar and maple.

Stay away from stain and finish in one can. Think called polyfinish.

I do not know if I have the correct term here but, a common technique that was used in the day was "podge" staining.
It was common to hide the awful birds eye and tiger stripe found in maple furnature.
(Now we pay big bucks for those grains)

I would bet they did similar with problematic stocks.

I think (help me out Charles) that a thinned finish was applied to seal wood. Stain applied. Then finished.

You lose all the beauty of the wood grain but wind up with an even consistent finish.

The Zar mentioned above at least give you an even finish as well as being able to see wood grain.




Edited by New2brass - Oct 21 2018 at 9:06am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 20 2018 at 4:03pm
Dan,

I appreciate the tips.

I am looking at the Zar wood stains.  Looks like they have both an oil-based and water-based stains.  I personally do not like oil-based stains.  The water-based claims it needs no pre-treatment.  Do you recommend water or oil-based stain for a wood stock?

Like you, I not like the "all-in-one" products (i.e. polyfinish).

I think Home Depot carries the Zar products; I'll swing by my local HD and check.

Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 20 2018 at 5:06pm
I just checked, My shelf is full of the oil based. Says in the directions "controlled" penetration.

I would use water based over this at times.
If you read through my posts you will find I have a strong aversion to water near stocks.
Even on furniture, I found I needed to knock down raised grain.
When making cabinets I would use Windex to lubricate the ultra fine sandpaper on the final coat. Some use water.
I do the things the way I do from lots of trial and error and what works for me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 21 2018 at 12:19am
As I mentioned in an earlier post, I recommended a prep coat of a cup of thinner to a TB of linseed oil. Birch definitely needs it.
Charles
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4.2 Heavy Mortar Co Retired
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BER911 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 21 2018 at 7:53am
Charles,

Just to confirm, the prep coat is a mixture of one tablespoon linseed oil into one cup paint thinner.

I'll give it a try on the next birch stock.

Thanks.
Semper Fi, Bruce
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote New2brass Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 21 2018 at 10:58am
@ Charles, Missed your prep coat at top. Good stuff.
Are you familiar with what I was talking about with "podge"? I may have the word wrong. In I think the 40s or 50s (maybe earlier) maple furniture they would put a muddy finish to hide the grain. I stripped many of them only to expose now considered exotic birds eye and tiger stripe.

@ Bruce, I have used the all in one over items that I previously stained to get a desired effect on furniture. I then followed up with a clear finish to get depth. Think of it as a filter coat to accent the grain when light hits it.
The all in one is geared to be a time saver. The results are marginal at best from anyone I talked to that used it. Two coats of an all in one is counterproductive.  So for someone looking to save time they will not be happy or do not care.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Charles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Oct 21 2018 at 4:07pm
We called it a "glaze coat". When the wood had no character, and wanted it to look like something more interesting. It is not a procedure that is not easily explained in print. 

Charles
Co B 1st Batl.115 Inf. Reg.
29th. Divi.
4.2 Heavy Mortar Co Retired
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