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Old January 19, 2012, 05:50 PM   #1
Logan9885
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Refinishing a wood stock

I have a stock for my old 98 mauser sanded down and ready to be fixed up to show room shine. I was just wondering on how is the best way to get a good quality finish and what is the best stain/sealer to use. Walnut stock and I would like to have lighter finish. Thanks for the help
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Old January 19, 2012, 06:14 PM   #2
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Do a search on this site. There are numerous threads that give excellent advice on the subject.
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Old January 19, 2012, 06:28 PM   #3
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If you want a glossy finish get a can of MinWax spray poly, it comes in gloss or satin finishes. use it after staining the wood.
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Old January 19, 2012, 07:38 PM   #4
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I don't know what grit you sanded the stock to, but I'd suggest 220 grit at least, and maybe 320 if you are going to use something like the Minwax Polyurethane. Their Fast Drying Polyurethane in Satin looks real good on Walnut. If you are going for an oil finish, I'd go as high in grit as 400. And after that you should raise the grain with water at least once and up to 2 or 3 times depending on what quality finish you want. That said, about the fastest finish that looks good and is durable (that I have in my inventory of finishing stuff) is that Minwax Fast Drying Poly. I'd put a screw hook in the butt end of the stock and hang the stock and spray the poly on it in thin layers. You don't want it to run. If it does run or sag, a rag wet with Mineral Spirits will wipe the run, but you run the risk of 'uglifying' it. So just go slow with thin coats and try your best to avoid the run. Practice on something else first.

As for the color, the Minwax won't darken it. The oil finish will darken it.
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Old January 20, 2012, 01:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
I have a stock for my old 98 mauser sanded down and ready to be fixed up to show room shine. I was just wondering on how is the best way to get a good quality finish and what is the best stain/sealer to use. Walnut stock and I would like to have lighter finish. Thanks for the help
The better your prep work, the better the end results.
Steam out all dents, sand out all scratches until flawless.
Then apply your choice of color stain (or leave natural) and apply Tru-Oil.

Use 0000 super fine steel wool between coats of Tru-Oil until you get the results (shine) you want.

Again, the end result will only be as good as your prep work.
Take your time and have fun!
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Old January 22, 2012, 10:14 AM   #6
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Dino was spot on.

De-hair it before refinishing. While not necessary, it helps.
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Old March 11, 2012, 04:52 PM   #7
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Thread ressurrection here.

I have a Yugo Kar98. The stock is in pretty good condition, and has a really nice grain pattern. However, it is a bit swelled. I'm looking at sanding it just enough to smooth the grain, and then oiling it.

I do not want a shiny finish. I have been told to use boiled linseed oil.

Will the linseed oil give me a dull, natural finish? Will it damage the blued metal parts?
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Old March 11, 2012, 09:46 PM   #8
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Boiled LInseed Oil won't damage metal. It will dry on metal and be a pain to remove, so wipe the oil off any metal surfaces before it dries. Before adding the oil, sand the stock to whatever grit you want (220 at least) and wet it to raise the grain and then dry and dewhisker it a couple of times. Once it's sanded and dewhiskered, wipe it down with Mineral Spirits and have a good look at the wood surface. Mineral Spirits will show up any big flaws. If you like the look of the wood surface, let the Mineral Spirits dry and then add the BLO. Just put plenty of the BLO on the stock and let it soak in and add more as you see areas on the stock soak up the oil. When it won't take any more oil, you're about done unless you want to add some more the next day.

And remember...DO NOT wad up any linseed oil soaked rags or paper towels and throw them in the trash. Either lay the rags flat to dry or put them in a container full of water. Spontaneous combustion of BLO soaked rags almost burned my garage up once. I had an attack of stupid and was lucky to not get punished for it.
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Old March 12, 2012, 05:43 PM   #9
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Thanks for the info.
The only metal left on the stock is the cap near the muzzle end, and the disk in the buttstock. I figured I would mask them off when applying the BLO

I'm aware of spontatious combustion. My father had a small fire in the garage when he was younger and preached to us as kids about the risks. All my shop rags get hung up to dry before they get stashed

Could you explain what you mean by "dewhisker." Is it the process of smoothing the grain after it is wetted?

This is my first foray into stock work.
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Old March 12, 2012, 08:34 PM   #10
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Dewhiskering is the last step in one cycle of the grain raising process, but you'll want to raise the grain and dewhisker at least 3 times. The logic here is that you will eventually get the rifle stock wet in the course of hunting. When that happens and the wood dries, the grain will raise up like your chin whiskers in the morning. You don't want that, so before you put the BLO on it, and after you have done the final regular sanding (to 220 or 320 grit) you wet it, dry it, and use a fine sandpaper (320 or 400 grit) to lightly sand off those little whiskers of wood. I do the fast method, where I wet the stock and then use a blow drier to dry it. The more times you go through the process, the less likely that when you do get the stock wet, the grain will raise up. After all that, apply the BLO. It'll penetrate better if you warm it (be careful doing that. No open flame) and/or mix in a bit of Mineral Spirits for just the first application. I'd suggest you flood the wood with straight BLO for several days until it just won't absorb any more. Wipe it off after each application because you don't want it to dry on the surface. Then, if you are willing to put in a bit more work, put a few drops of BLO on your hands once a day and rub the oil into the stock. After all that, wet weather shouldn't raise the grain. But if that eventually happens, you can use some wet/dry sandpaper in 600 grit and with an ample puddle of BLO you can very lightly wet sand it as smooth as a baby's backside. Or you can use Johnson's paste wax instead of wet sanding and rub it in with OOOO steel wool. Personally, for the sake of water repellency, I use the BLO and very fine sandpaper for touch up purposes. And every now and then put a few drops of BLO on your hands and rub it into the stock. Keeps it looking great. You can skip the hand rubbing with oil if you just want water repellency.

All this is said with my assumption that you are reworking a military stock. If you're actually doing a fine walnut stock, there's even more you can do to make it look great with a BLO finish. Google up "hand rubbed Oil finishes", and I'm sure you'll get all the detail you want. If not, PM me.

I hope that answered your questions.
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Old March 13, 2012, 09:35 AM   #11
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Great thread. I was searching for information on this topic and found all I needed here. Thanks for this.
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Old March 13, 2012, 05:22 PM   #12
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I used very fine steel wool and overn cleaner on the stock, afte repeating that twice the stock was ready and I used linseed oil rubbed into the stock in several coats, its very nice and accurate to wartime standards depending on your mauser mnfctr
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Old March 13, 2012, 06:21 PM   #13
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Thanks again, 603Country. That detailed write up is great.

Yes, I am refinishing the military stock. The buttstock is just selled enoug to raise the grain a little. I am considering giving the rifle to an old friend for his 40th B-day, so I just wanna get it smoothed out before then. If it turns out really nice, I may just put it back into MY safe
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Old March 13, 2012, 06:31 PM   #14
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Respectfully, oven cleaner on wood tends to damage the natural 'glue' that holds the wood together. I would not recommend that method although many people swear by it. It's what I'd call a 'harsh' cleaning process. I also hate to be negative on steel wool, but it tends to leave little bits of steel wool in the wood. On walnut, I've sanded with 100 grit, which is approximately the finish that would have been on a US military stock when it was new in the '40s. Personally I didn't like it and I didn't want to wait until handling smoothed the wood. I went up to 600 grit, and then I used very fine scotchbrite. I'm sure there's a dozen ways to get the finish desired. I used many many coats of boiled linseed oil and many many sessions of vigorous hand rubbing with a soft cloth. I'm always surprised that in threads like this, people don't show the results of what their refinishing came out like; the photos might be helpful. This is my M1 rifle stock, just an oil finish, and it's dry in the photo.
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Old March 13, 2012, 07:41 PM   #15
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here is a very good tutorial by Dfariswheel. http://TheFiringLine.com/forums/show...ferrerid=24896.
Do a search under his screen name if the link doesn't work.
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Old March 28, 2012, 07:30 PM   #16
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I'd like to thank all members who gave advice and offered instructions. my Kar98 stock turned out very nice. I thought of posting pics, but the "before and after" pics don't do justice to the improvement.

I like it so much that I just stripped down the M1896 Swede for the same treatment.

Thanks again guys
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Last edited by Jo6pak; March 29, 2012 at 05:45 PM. Reason: fat fingered typing
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Old March 29, 2012, 10:54 AM   #17
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It makes me happy to hear that the refinish turned out nice, and I'm glad that we could offer suggestions on how to do it.

I have a couple of well used 22 lever actions that I've had for many years, but had been way too busy to take time to refinish the stocks - but last year I finally just couldn't put it off any longer. I used the method outlined above on the Winchester 94/22 and found that the walnut was terrific. The walnut on the Marlin was no where near as nice, but it still turned out much better than before. Whenever I look at them or use them I'm happy that I finally took the time to do it right.

As for your rifle, you could put just one picture up so that we could see how it looks. And did you give it to that old friend or did it go back in your safe?
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Old March 29, 2012, 05:44 PM   #18
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OK, just a few pics.
I was trying to keep the vintage military look, rather than a high gloss shine. I didn't remove any of the dings, and wanted to retain the cartouches(sp?) that are on the stock.



I found my buddy a few circle10 mags for his SLR106, so the Mauser went back into my safe.

The Swede gets it's first coat of BLO as soon as I finish supper
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Old March 29, 2012, 08:47 PM   #19
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Got to wonder where that old rifle has been, who carried it, and if they survived. If the gun could only talk.

It looks nice. Show us the Swede when you're finished.
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Old April 2, 2012, 04:15 AM   #20
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Thats a great look. Did you use the hand rubbed linseed oil method?
and what grit sanding did you end up using?
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Old April 2, 2012, 05:08 PM   #21
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I used 150 grit for the initial work. I wetted and dewhiskered twice, switching to 220 grit.
I did 3 coats of linseed oil over a three day period. For the first two, I used a rag soaked with BLO, the last day I used the hand method. I did no buffing or shining of the final coat.

This was my first attempt at refinishing. I'm very happy with the results, and grateful for the advice given on this thread.
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Old April 3, 2012, 05:49 AM   #22
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I think that look really suits some rifles like german mausers, VZ24's etc but not so much on others like mosin nagants and swede mausers.

Great job BTW.
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Old April 3, 2012, 01:28 PM   #23
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More Oil !

More oil , three coats doesn't come close to sealing the wood from the weather . I can tell this because of the flatness of the finish . When the grain is sealed it will start to shine . You can knock the shine off in several ways , with steel wool being the most popular . Looks great so far !
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Old April 3, 2012, 01:49 PM   #24
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this thread started with a 98k with a walnut stock i have a 98k with the laminate stock i want to refinish. i stained it with dark walnut stain but it doesnt get dark enough for my taste. does anybody know of any tips or tricks to refinishing a laminate stock as opposed of a natural wood one?
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Old April 3, 2012, 08:46 PM   #25
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Otto, I've never tried to refinish a laminate stock, but if I was going to try it I'd probably use Trans-Tint concentrated dye in Dark Walnut. You can order it from Rockler or Woodcraft, and you can mix it with water or alcohol to whatever strength you want. I've used it with water and with alcohol and I prefer the use with water (distilled water). After all the sanding and grain raising/dewhiskering is done, apply the stain to get the darkness you want, and once the wood is dry, then you can apply the finish. If you are going to use a varnish, you don't need the wood sanded any finer than 220 grit. If you're going to use the Boiled Linseed Oil, I'd sand and grain-raise to 400 grit before I applied the stain. I do wonder how well a laminate stock will accept stain evenly. I'm thinking that the various layers of wood will probably each accept stain differently. Maybe someone else on the forum has experience with that.

Mix the stain with the distilled water and try it out on small hidden spot on the stock so that you can find the darkness you want.

And the OP's stock, which looks fine, could be smoother and shinier if he wet-sanded (with Linseed Oil) to finer grits like 320 and then 400 and then maybe 600 if that's what he wants. That'll put a paste of fine dust and oil into the wood pores and smooth out the appearance of the wood. Hand rubbing daily after that will add more shine. An old book I have (from the 1930's) suggests that hand rubbing should be done daily for no less than 90 days for best appearance. And back in the day they'd use real sharkskin and Rottenstone and oil to fill the pores prior to getting to the hand rubbing part. Personally, I've never gone to those extremes, though I have considered it (not the sharkskin). If I had just the right walnut stock, I'd probably have a go. I wouldn't work that hard on mediocre walnut.
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