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Old April 15, 2008, 04:31 PM   #1
mellow_c
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Finishing the Wood on my AK-47?

I'm sure this question has been asked before, and I've done some research on the internet, but there seams to be to many options and not enough opinions about what is the best way to treat a wood stock.
I just picked up a New Century Arms Yugo AK-47 That I had shipped to my FFL dealer. It's got a dry wood stock. No finish, and doesnt seam to have any oils on it either. The guys there said to just buy some Linseed oil and put it on. They didnt say how, or how much, or how often. Or mention anything about boiled or natural.

I'd really love to hear some opinions on what is the best oil, finish, or treatment to keep the wood nice on my New AK. I plan on keeping this gun for the life of me, so despite it being JUST an AK, I'd like to really take care of it. Just want to make sure I start out right. Please let me know what ya'll think or have found to be the best way!
Thanx alot!

Last edited by mellow_c; April 15, 2008 at 04:32 PM. Reason: punctuation
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Old April 15, 2008, 08:31 PM   #2
Dfariswheel
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There are MANY finishes you can apply, from various oils to polyurethane.
It's all a matter of your personal preference, and what you want it to look like.
MOST of these rifles do have at least some oil of some sort in them.

If you want to stain the stock will also affect what finish you use.
As example, you can stain the wood with the "Russian Red" stain, or you can clean it off and go with a light Blond.

A good durable and re-do able finish is polyurethane. This looks nice, protects, and can be removed and the wood re-done later.
It's fast to do, and pretty well fool-proof.

For oils, most people like tung oil, although you can use a commercial hard-drying oil like Danish Oil, or Minwax antique Oil Finish.
Oil finishes are SLOW to do, but usually only have to be done once a life time, and can be overhauled if the wood is damaged or worn.

As an example of polyurathane over a Russian Red finish, here's my Bulgarian AK-74:


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Old April 15, 2008, 09:12 PM   #3
Joe the Redneck
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I used that little brown bottle of "true oil". It is a fast frying oil. I think it did a great job.

Also, with an oil finish, you can awyas touch it up.

Tape off the metal area, the oil is hard to get off once dry.

Joe
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Old April 16, 2008, 03:26 AM   #4
mellow_c
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I used that little brown bottle of "true oil". It is a fast frying oil. I think it did a great job.

Also, with an oil finish, you can awyas touch it up.

Tape off the metal area, the oil is hard to get off once dry.

Joe

So what color will that make the stock. I kinda like my blondish color and I'm not sure I want to darken it to much. Also, how do you apply the oil? With a rag? and do you need to do multiple coats? Thanx for the idea about tapeing off the metal, I was kinda wondering about that. lol
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Old April 16, 2008, 03:29 AM   #5
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Dfariswheel,
I wanted to ask you. How do you go about the polyurethane finish? If I could get a nice shine like that without any stain under neath would be great. But how exactly do you do it? And what do I need to buy? Some sort of product obviously, but I have no idea what. Thanx for the posts guys. I'd really like to do a good job on my AK
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Old April 16, 2008, 02:35 PM   #6
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Some oils contain stains that alter color, most don't.
If you want to see what the color of your stock is with clear oils, rub a spot on the stock with a damp hand.

To get a fine finish on your stock, rub it with 400 - 800 grit sandpaper between each coat.
The reason is, each time the wood accepts something, the grain rises. (leaves a gritty feeling)
The first coat of polyurethane with do the same. All following coats of urethane will not raise the grain but sand anyway to help with adhesion.

I apply coats of oil until the stock will no longer accept it readily.
When I wipe it on, and the oil 'beads', that is my last coat.
You can stop there, or add shalack or urethane to your pleasing.

Everyone thinks I'm nuttz but, I am making my own stock from Black Walnut.
Gorgeous dark wood, naturally. No stains required.
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Old April 16, 2008, 03:17 PM   #7
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I removed all of my termite bait and replaced it with machined aluminum and synthetic material
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Old April 16, 2008, 11:09 PM   #8
Dfariswheel
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How do you go about the polyurethane finish?

Polyurethane comes in both solvent based, and water based.
Personally, I think the solvent based is best, and I personally use Minwax, since it can be found at Wal-mart and most any hardware store.

It also comes in Gloss, Satin finish, and Flat.
I use the Satin finish which has a nice low luster shine, but not the hard mirror shine of the Gloss type.

I thin the poly with mineral spirits, "about" 3%.
This increases penetration and makes the poly brush easier and without brush marks.

After sanding the wood, simply brush on a medium coat with a GOOD quality brush. Cheap brushes make a crappy looking finish.

Allow the first coat to dry for the recommended time, then either sand lightly with fine paper or use a coarse synthetic polishing pad to lightly roughen and smooth the surface.

Brush on another coat, dry and lightly sand or buff again.
Then apply a final coat, which you don't sand or buff.
"Usually" three coats is all that's needed.

Allow to cure for at least 24 hours before assembling, and I allow 4 or 5 days to reach full hardness before heavy use.
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Old April 18, 2008, 12:03 PM   #9
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I refinished a Mosin Nagant M44 stock because it was nearly unserviceable. Heavy surface damage, deep gouges, and it had apparently been on 3 different rifles.

I chemically stripped the tung oil finish out, sanded with 180 grit sandpaper to remove/lessen the damaged areas and prepare the surface, and applied 2 coats of Dark Ebony oil-based stain. After it had set for several days, I went over it with several coats of clear satin finish all-weather spar urathane, initially sanding with 300 grit between coats, then switching to 800 grit before the final coat.


Last edited by sabo954; April 18, 2008 at 12:35 PM. Reason: Add pic
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Old April 18, 2008, 07:10 PM   #10
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Did mine (WASR-10 GP) with a light coat of Minwax stain (I'd have to look up the exact color if someones intrested) after a light sandng just to smooth things out .Then a real light,single coat of BLO, and an application of "Feed-N-Wax" beeswax/orange oil wood peserver. Looks real nice, was cheap and easy, and should keep the wood moist, yet keep any outside mositure rollig off easily.Ony upkeep is re-applyng some of the wax every year or so depending on how much its been used, in what environment, or jut how it looks.
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Old April 18, 2008, 08:49 PM   #11
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I epoxied and painted my Wasr-2 because of the ugly wood they slapped on it, the stock was nasty laminate that looked like it had been drag through every pot hole in every third world country that a war has ever be fought in and a new light wood front stock.... I knew I would never get that to match so I painted it.

If I had wood that matched I would have sanded it down for a few hours then stained it dark red and finished it with a half dozen coats of wipe on poly sanding in between coats. If it matched. The paint I used was krylon camo flat green and forest green multi color texture spray paint, the paint has a feel kind of like friction tape.

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Old April 19, 2008, 03:14 AM   #12
mellow_c
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Thanx for the pics everyone. I really like all of your guns. The finishes on all of them look great. And that makes it very hard for me to decide what to do. I would like to ask though, what will it look like if I just go with the Linseed oil. And aply many many coats over time, and then the whole once a year thing there after? My stock is in good shape overall, not rough or anything. Would I still need to do any sanding if I just used oil?
I'm kinda leaning toward the Polly finish, but I dont know yet. The oil seams like it would be easier.

One more thing I'd like to ask is how to remove all the wood from my Yugo AK. I'm guessing I can unscrew the but plate, and under there will be a long screw to remove the rear stock like most guns. but what about the fronts? I know how to take off the gas tube, but how do I remove the wood from the tube? Or do I even want to. And what about the lower front wood? Thanx again for all the posts everyone. I dont know what I'd do if it wernt for this forum!
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Old April 19, 2008, 03:18 AM   #13
mellow_c
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Oh and by the way. Csspecs, all that ammo looks just as beautiful as your rifle! Check out my answer to this guys question about why civilians should be allowed to own semi automatic firearms. (I'm post #21) Not that any of you dont already know all this, I figured it was a good thing to email to all my "non-gun buddies" http://www.thefiringline.com/forums/...d.php?t=290807
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Old April 19, 2008, 07:33 PM   #14
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mellow_c,

On the hand guard on my M44, I just heavily masking-taped over the metal for the process. Came out fine. Wish I had some answers for you on the linseed oil. If you like the color of the stain itself, I'd say go for it.

Here's a Ruger Mini stock I refinished with Dark Walnut:

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Old April 19, 2008, 07:47 PM   #15
Dfariswheel
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Here's info on how to remove all the wood from your AK, along with more good info:

http://www.gunsnet.net/linx310/

Note the link to "Furniture removal" on the left.

When removing the upper handguard, BE CAREFUL, these can split if you're not careful.
There is also some good info on how to refinish WASR wood.

As for linseed oil, you'll need to use BOILED linseed oil.
"Boiled" simply means dryers have been added to the oil to make it dry. Otherwise it takes weeks or longer for a single coat to dry.
In any case, linseed oil is a long, SLOW process, and it can take a LONG LONG time to get a surface finish.

Basically, you apply a coat of linseed oil and let it dry, however long that takes. You lightly steel wool the wood, and apply another coat.
Continue for a LONG time. When the wood gets filled with oil, apply a few drops and rub briskly. Allow to dry and repeat over a LONG time.

Poly on the other hand can be completed in less then a day.
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Old April 19, 2008, 10:07 PM   #16
sabo954
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Wow, I never would have thought the linseed oil would be that intensive of a process. If I were mellow_c, I would say "screw it" on the linseed oil unless I was absolutely obsessed with having the color on my rifle. Go with a stain or a polyurethane, or both (like me).
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Old April 19, 2008, 10:29 PM   #17
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I used a two-stage stain process.A base coat of dark walnut stain.Then a light 400gr sanding to bring up the grain.Then 2 coats of cherry with an 800gr sanding in between.3 coats of clear polyurethane to seal it.

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Old April 19, 2008, 10:47 PM   #18
sabo954
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That must have been some really thin dark walnut - was it just to accent the darkened areas of the grain?
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Old April 20, 2008, 03:53 PM   #19
.351winchester
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For a pimpin' AK, embed this into the upper forearm:
http://cgi.ebay.com/Sterling-Silver-...2em118Q2el1247
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Old April 20, 2008, 04:44 PM   #20
chucksmooth
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i just completed a quick refinish on my wasr 3

before



after

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Old April 21, 2008, 12:37 AM   #21
mellow_c
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ugh! Those polyurethane finishes are beautiful! But I still think I wana do linseed oil. I like that it soaks deep into the wood over time. I just wish I could find some pics of a rifle finished in linseed so I could see what it might look like. I dont know. It's gona be real hard to make up my mind.
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Old April 21, 2008, 08:57 PM   #22
Dfariswheel
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If you want to "split the difference" and do a faster BETTER oil finish, here's a link to a post I made on how to do the "world's greatest oil finish".

This makes the wood look like an old British double gun stock finish.
It's all IN the wood, and the wood has the soft "egg shell" luster that GOOD oil finishes are famous for.

The job is done with Min-Wax Antique Oil Finish.
This stuff smells like oil, but it dries HARD, and I MEAN HARD.
It's possibly the most durable finish of them all, and you only have to do it once, but it can be overhauled if needed:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthrea...ght=oil+finish

(Good pictures on later pages)

This is a great finish, but a bit of "over kill" on the "pissword" AK stock.
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Old April 21, 2008, 09:01 PM   #23
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Suggestions.....after sanding and resanding your stock, take it to your bathtub and submerge it in water for a minute. It'll cause your stock to get fuzzy, raise all the little hairs in the grain. Let it dry a little, then resand all the fuzzies off with 000 steel wool.

Personally, I like the U.S. wood stocks and colors so I finish my stocks with MinWax Red Oak 215, then apply a paste I make of equal parts turpentine, boiled linseed oil, and beeswax, warmed over a no-flame heat source until the wax melts, stir the mixture, and let cool to a paste. When cool apply paste to the stock, rubbing it in with your hands, heat from your hands will begin to melt it and it'll be absorbed into the stock. Gives it a nice "Garand" finish and color, provides excellent weather protection as water just beads off, and paste can be reapplied at any time.
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Old April 21, 2008, 10:21 PM   #24
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My first experiment with rit dye. More atomic red than commie red.

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Old April 21, 2008, 10:47 PM   #25
theberettaman
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sabo,yeh,the quality of the wood was of the let's say 'last ditch effort' type.I had to remove some 'soldier added' words so to get an even finish on the wood filler,I had to go with a color that could mimic the grain,plus the darker undercoat makes the lighter cherry stain a little redder.
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