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Thread: Refinishing a stock

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    I've decided to refinish the stock on my Nagant, as much for something to do as for aesthetic purposes. The wood seems to be in excellent condition, and while the shellac certainly is authentic, I'm not really fond of it. Anywho, can someone give me some good suggestions for what to use on it?

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    Campaign Veteran Bookman's Avatar
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    I once traded for a 7mm Remington Magnum. The guy had (badly) refinished the stock and coated it with polyurethane. I used some Zip Strip to remove the polyurethane, then wiped the stock with Breakfree CLP until it was fairly saturated. I ended up with a natural stock that was also weatherproof.
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    You can get kits cheaply ($15or so retail) at Meijer/Wal-Marx/whatever "sporting goods" departments that come with sand paper and "true oil" which supposedly puts a nice finish on wood. I've not tried it yet myself, but people at the shop here say that's a good way to go.

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    FogRider wrote:
    I've decided to refinish the stock on my Nagant, as much for something to do as for aesthetic purposes. The wood seems to be in excellent condition, and while the shellac certainly is authentic, I'm not really fond of it. Anywho, can someone give me some good suggestions for what to use on it?
    Don't know how the Nagant was originally finished, so I'll tell you what I do with old WWII M1 Carbines.

    Do not sand varnish off! Use Strip-Eze. apply liberally and let set for about 15 minutes. Then scrub with brush and rinse with water. Repeat if necessary. Then wash in TSP and rinse thoroughly and let dry good. I do some sanding on stocks that are dinged up pretty bad, but I don't think you'll need to. Buff with 01 steel wool. Carbines were not varnished, but hand rubbed with raw Linseed Oil several times. Raw linseed oil turned out to be an carcinogenic and isn't used much any more. I use distilled Linseed oil mixed with a bit of mineral spirits to get good penetration. This seals the wood but doesn't make it shiny. Future cleaning is done by buffing with steal wool and re-oiling. If you want a glossy finish on your stock you can apply a few coats of Tung Oil after the linseed oil has dried good, if you like.

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    I refinished the stock of my Nagant by removing the existing varnish with steel wool, then did 3 or 4 applications of tung oil. The finish is much lighter now, but not shiny. The wood kind of glows. I like it.

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    Unless it's a honker of a gouge in the wood, I wouldn't sand it, try steaming it out..

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    FogRider wrote:
    I've decided to refinish the stock on my Nagant, as much for something to do as for aesthetic purposes. The wood seems to be in excellent condition, and while the shellac certainly is authentic, I'm not really fond of it. Anywho, can someone give me some good suggestions for what to use on it?
    I use EZ Off Oven cleaner to strip stocks, accompanied by moderate heat. Holding over an electric stove burner works great. Some kind of absorbent material like powder or whiting works well to absorb the 70 years of absorbed oil and dirt. I've done Commission 88s and Garands this way with excellent results.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    I think I didn't phrase the question very well. I know how to get the old varnish off (thanks for the suggestions anyway), I was wondering what to put on it afterward. It doesn't need to be anything extremely durable (I'd leave the 60+ year old stuff on it if that's what I needed), it just needs to hold up to being cased and set on a sand bag. It also doesn't need to be display quality, after all it's a Nagant. It's not supposed to look good. It sounds like straight up tung oil is a good finish.

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    Regular Member Deanimator's Avatar
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    FogRider wrote:
    I think I didn't phrase the question very well. I know how to get the old varnish off (thanks for the suggestions anyway), I was wondering what to put on it afterward. It doesn't need to be anything extremely durable (I'd leave the 60+ year old stuff on it if that's what I needed), it just needs to hold up to being cased and set on a sand bag. It also doesn't need to be display quality, after all it's a Nagant. It's not supposed to look good. It sounds like straight up tung oil is a good finish.
    Boiled linseed oil worked VERY well on Commission 88 stocks. I think you had to use a coat of thin varnish underneath to keep them from darkening with the oil, but after that, they were simply beautiful.
    --- Gun control: The theory that 110lb. women have the "right" to fistfight with 210lb. rapists.

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    Chartreuse Krylon
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    I used some Strip-Eze on it, and got all the old varnish scrubbed off. I didn't like the condition of the wood, it was ok (no scratches at all), but I figured if I'm going this far I might as well go a little further and hit it with a sander. I ran my orbital over is just a little bit, and had it great condition. It currently has one coat of Tung oil on it, and looks great already. The only flaw it has is the toe of the stock has been spliced. Oh well, I'll just call it "character", and say it's supposed to be there.

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    FogRider wrote:
    I used some Strip-Eze on it, and got all the old varnish scrubbed off. I didn't like the condition of the wood, it was ok (no scratches at all), but I figured if I'm going this far I might as well go a little further and hit it with a sander. I ran my orbital over is just a little bit, and had it great condition. It currently has one coat of Tung oil on it, and looks great already. The only flaw it has is the toe of the stock has been spliced. Oh well, I'll just call it "character", and say it's supposed to be there.
    Yeah, I like to go with the charactor story myself. I've cleaned up and refinished quite a few Carbine stocks that were "pinned" by re-arsonal repairs. Most collectors don't wnat the pinned stocks, but I consider such repairs as evidence that the stock has been through some rough use. Grenade launchers were bad about splitting/crackingthem.

    My boss has the M1 Carbine that actor Buddy Hacket carried during the war and brought back home.

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    Another vote for linseed oil. Soak an old cotten undershirt with linseed oil, wring it out so it is no lomger dripping, and lovingly stroke the wood along the grain until the undershirt dries out or your arm falls off - whichever comes first. Put it up overnight.

    Repeat the next day, using the same undershirt. Do not add any more linseed oil. Put it up overnight.

    Repeat at least one more time, then let it air-dry for at least 3 days. Finish with long strokes of 0000 steelwool going with the grain only, then a tack cloth to pick up any metal.

    In boot camp we did all the work with our non-dominant arm in order to build up the muscles. Or was it because the DIs knew it would hurt more and sooner using only that arm?

    When finished you will have a beautiful piece of wood that is weatherproof.

    BTW - none of the above seems to work well on the M-16s. Can't figure out why.

    stay safe.

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    I would recommend the linseed oil (the boiled linseed oil aka BLO.). Plain old linseed oil will take a week or longer to dry, but the BLO will dry in a day or so.



    Tung oil works well too, although IMHO linseed oil while 'softer' takes a nicer sheen after multiple coatings.



    Do at least five coats--with applicable drying times and a rubdown with OOOO steel wool and/or a soft lint-free cloth between each caot. After multiple coats you will start to get a nice 'depth' to the finish.



    Nothing beats a nice clear oil finish. Admittedly a poly/varnish finish will probably shed water better, but I want my gunstock to look like a fine piece of furniture, not a school desk or a wood rail on a sailboat.

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    I'd leave it as is. Just my $.02 worth.

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    TheMrMitch wrote:
    I'd leave it as is. Just my $.02 worth.
    To late. If I was going to hunt with it I would have left it as-is, that hase to be one of the most durable finishes Ive ever run across. But, I'm not going to do anything but take it to the range, so I just need something that will survive gun cases and sand bags. And most importantly, I got bored and needed a project.

    Before:



    After two coats of Tung oil:





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