How to make 2-tone birch handguards
by
Tom Findley

A man sent his M1 Garand woodset for restoration. The stock was birch, and the handguards were walnut. I started the process by switching the guards with birch ones.


So I had the right wood, but the guards were 1-tone instead of 2-tone like the stock.
I put 1 coat of Fiebingís dye on the set.
This made them match more closely, but the customer wanted to retain the 2-tone look because it was neat. I agreed.


I took the set back down to bare wood, and remembered I had seen a picture of darkened wood in a Nazi meeting room in Bavaria.
This looks like something from Bizarro World in the Superman comics:


I searched around Youtube for a video on how to do wood scorching with a torch, and found this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6t2zv1MNPV4
I got the torch, lit it, and moved it back and forth on the handguards to darken part of them and leave other parts lighter. It work well, but didnít quite match the stock. I then repeated the process on the stock, going over most of the light parts to make them a little darker. Then I rubbed the 3 pieces with #0000 steel wool, and put 1 coat of tung oil on them. Here is the result:

So this is something I will do again if it is needed. I think it would work on walnut if trying to add a tiger stripe finish. Remember that applying stain would cover the 2-tone effect.

Link to Stock Restoration page
Link to Homepage