HOW TO REFINISH A MILITARY GUN STOCK, BY TOM FINDLEY

THESE INSTRUCTIONS PRODUCE EXCELLENT RESULTS. OTHER MEN AT THE RIFLE RANGES AND GUN SHOWS CANNOT TAKE THEIR EYES OFF A STOCK REFINISHED WITH THIS PROCESS.

1. MATERIALS NEEDED:

HAND-HELD ELECTRIC SANDER
2 1/2 GALLON METAL BUCKET
RUBBER GLOVES
220 GRIT SANDPAPER
150 GRIT SANDPAPER
100 GRIT SANDPAPER
#1 STEEL WOOL
#0000 STEEL WOOL
BROWNELL'S ACRAGLAS
SUPERGLUE
KLEEN-KUTTER VARNISH, LACQUER, AND SHELLAC REMOVER, FROM HOME DEPOT.
SUPER GLUE AT HOBBY SHOPS OR WAL-MART
LOW-GLOSS TUNG OIL
FIEBING'S DARK BROWN LEATHER DYE FROM TANDY LEATHERCRAFT. GET THE ALCOHOL BASED DYE, NOT THE WATER BASED:
Fiebing's Dye 4 oz Dk Brown 2100-03

2. PUT TAPE OVER THE METAL PART OF THE GARAND FRONT HANDGUARD. IF YOU MUST REMOVE THE METAL TO CHANGE HANDGUARDS, HERE'S HOW TO REMOVE IT:
M1 GARAND HANDGUARD METAL REPLACEMENT
I USUALLY REMOVE THE REAR HANDGUARD CLIP, SO THE JOB LOOKS COMPLETE.

REMOVE THE SCREWS FROM THE BUTT PLATE. IT SHOULD COME OFF WITH THE SLING SWIVEL.
TRY TO REMOVE THE SCREW AND FERRULE ON THE FRONT OF THE STOCK.
IF IT WON'T COME OFF, TAP THE FERRULE WITH A WOOD BLOCK AND A HAMMER A FEW TIMES.
IF IT WON'T COME OFF, COVER IT WITH MASKING TAPE AND PROCEED.

3. POUR ABOUT 8 OUNCES OF KLEEN-KUTTER INTO A 2 1/2 GALLON METAL BUCKET.

4. STAND THE STOCK IN THE BUCKET.

5. PUT ON THICK RUBBER GLOVES, AND USE A 2 1/2 INCH PAINTBRUSH TO COAT THE STOCK WITH THE LIQUID. COAT THE HAND GUARDS, TOO. LET SIT FOR 30 MINUTES.

6. REPEAT THE PROCESS WITH THE PAINTBRUSH.

7. USE FRESH LIQUID, AND USE #1 STEEL WOOL INSTEAD OF THE PAINTBRUSH TO SCRUB THE WOOD. DO NOT SCRUB HARD TO SMOOTH THE SURFACE, JUST ENOUGH FORCE TO GET THE LIQUID INTO THE REMAINING FINISH.

8. LET THE WOOD DRY OVERNIGHT.

9. REPEAT THIS PROCESS 1 OR MORE TIMES UNTIL THERE IS NO FINISH REMAINING. THIS PROCESS WILL ALSO BE A DURABILITY TEST FOR THE HANDGUARDS. IF ANY CRACKS APPEAR AFTER THE HANDGUARDS ARE DRY, FIX THEM WITH SUPER GLUE. I HAVE A PAGE SHOWING HOW TO DO THIS:
FIXING HANDGUARD CRACKS WITH SUPER GLUE
10. LET THE WOOD DRY OVERNIGHT.

11. IF THE CARTOUCHES LOOK GOOD, COVER THEM WITH MASKING TAPE AND SKIP TO STEP 16.
IF THE STOCK NEEDS NEW CARTOUCHES, SEND IT TO ME AT THIS POINT IN THE REFINISHING. IF THERE ARE ANY OLD ONES, SAND THEM OFF WITH 150 GRIT SANDPAPER.

12. AFTER GETTING THE STOCK BACK, THE CARTOUCHES WILL BE HARD TO SEE. PUT STAIN ON THE NEW CARTOUCHES ONLY.

13. LET THE STAIN DRY OVERNIGHT.

14. SAND THE CARTOUCHES 5 SECONDS WITH 150 GRIT SANDPAPER.

15. REPEAT STEPS 7 AND 8, TAKING CARE TO LEAVE THE DYE IN THE CARTOUCHE LINES. YOU WILL NOW HAVE A BARE STOCK WITH CARTOUCHES YOU CAN SEE BETTER.

16. LOOK FOR ANY DENTS, DINGS OR SCRATCHES.

17. YOU WILL NOW ATTEMPT TO STEAM THESE OUT. START BY JABBING THE DENTS WITH A PIN. COVER THE DENTS WELL WITH PINHOLES. WHEN YOU SOAK THE STOCK, THEY WILL DISAPPEAR, AND HELP GET RID OF THE DENTS. WRAP THE STOCK IN A WET TOWEL AND SET IT THE BATHTUB FOR 4 HOURS. RENOVE THE TOWEL AND PUT THE STOCK ON AN IRONING BOARD. HEAT UP THE IRON SO WHEN IT TOUCHES A DAMP CLOTH, THE WATER WILL STEAM. PRESS THE HOT IRON AGAINST THE DENTS. THIS WILL HEAT UP THE WATER AND CREATE STEAM WHICH WILL EXPAND AND GET RID OF SOME OF THE DENTS. LEAVE THE IRON ON THE STOCK UNTIL THE STEAM STOPS HISSING. PUT THE STOCK BACK IN THE TOWEL FOR 2 HOURS. REPEAT THE PROCESS UNTIL THE DENTS ARE GONE OR YOU ARE TIRED OF DOING THIS. I DO THIS ABOUT 2 TIMES.

18. WRAP THE HANDGUARDS IN WET WASHCLOTHS FOR 4 HOURS SET THEM SO THE CLOTHS DO NOT GET INSIDE THE HANDGUARDS. BY WETTING ONLY THE OUTSIDE, YOU WILL REDUCE THE CHANCES OF THE HANDGUARDS CRACKING WHILE DRYING. THE HAND GUARDS ARE FRAGILE.

19. LET THE STOCK AND HANDGUARDS DRY FOR 1 DAY TO GET ANY WATER OUT.

20. THE STEAMING PROCESS MAY HAVE GOTTEN RID OF SOME OF THE DENTS. FOR THOSE IT DIDN'T, SAND THE STOCK WITH 150 GRIT SANDPAPER. THIS WILL GET RID OF THE SHALLOW ONES PLUS SHALLOW SCRATCHES ON DENTS THAT REMAIN, SAND THEM WITH 100 GRIT SANDPAPER ONLY WHERE THE DENTS ARE. THIS CAN GET RID OF SOME DEEPER DENTS AND SCRATCHES. IF THIS WORKS, GO OVER THE AREA WITH 150 GRIT AFTER YOU'RE DONE WITH THE 100 GRIT.

21. IF THERE ARE ANY DENTS TOO DEEP FOR SANDPAPER, IT IS NOW TIME TO FILL THEM IN WITH A MIXTURE OF SUPERGLUE AND SAWDUST.

PUT SOME SUPERGLUE ON THE DENT, AND THEN PRESS SOME SAWDUST FROM THE STOCK ON TOP. IT DRIES IN ABOUT 15 MINUTES. SAND THE AREA WITH 150 GRIT PAPER. IF THERE IS STILL A DEPRESSION IN THE WOOD, REPEAT THE PROCES. WHEN COMPLETE, THE AREA WILL BE DARKER COMPARED TO THE STOCK. YOU WILL HAVE TO USE STAIN ON THE STOCK TO MAKE IT LESS NOTICEABLE. I HAVE EXPERIMENTED WITH DIFFERENT TYPES OF SAWDUST, BUT COULD NOT GET THE REPAIR TO MATCH. IT WILL BE LESS NOTICEABLE THAN THE DENT, BUT WON'T BE INVISIBLE.

IF THE GOUGE IS DEEP OR LARGE, USE BROWNELL'S ACRAGLAS AND SAWDUST. MIX THIS UP FOLLOWING THE INSTRUCTIONS, AND MIX ADD SOME OF THE SAWDUST FROM SANDING WITH THE ACRAGLAS ABOUT 5 MINUTES AFTER MIXING THE ACRAGLAS INGREDIENTS.

THE DRYING TIME FOR ACRAGLAS IS OVERNIGHT COMPARED TO THE 15 MINUTES OF SUPERGLUE.

I RECOMMEND ACRAGLAS FOR DEEP/LARGE GOUGES, BECAUSE YOU GET A LOT MORE OF IT IN A PACK. IT WILL ALSO FILL THE FLAW WITH 1 APPLICATION. THIS WILL MAKE THE ACRAGLAS LOOK AS CLOSE TO THE WOOD AS POSSIBLE, BUT IT WON'T BE A PERFECT MATCH, EITHER. WHEN FINISHED THE ACRAGLAS WON'T REALLY STAND OUT, BUT IT WON'T BE INVISIBLE, EITHER.

22. WHEN THE ACRAGLAS IS DRY, SAND THE WHOLE STOCK WITH 150 GRIT SANDPAPER.

23. IF THERE WAS TAPE ON THE EXISTING CARTOUCHES, REMOVE IT. SAND THE STOCK WITH 220 GRIT SANDPAPER. THIS WILL REMOVE THE SANDING MARKS LEFT BY THE COARSER GRITS. WHEN SANDING THE STOCK, THERE MAY BE DENTS THAT ARE TOO SHALLOW FOR THE ACRAGLAS TO STICK IN, AND IT WILL SAND OUT. THEN THE DENT MAY BE TOO DEEP TO SAND OUT WITH SANDPAPER. WHEN THIS HAPPENS, LEAVE THE DENT, AND LIVE WITH IT. THIS FLAW WOULD NOT HAVE PREVENTED THE WAFFEN SS TROOPS FROM FALLING OVER WHEN HIT WITH THE BULLETS FIRED FROM THE RIFLE.

24. RUB THE LEATHER DYE ON THE STOCK USING THE RUBBER GLOVES AND A BATH TOWEL (THE ONE THAT CAME WITH THE WASHCLOTH). RUB THE DYE OVER THE INSIDE AND OUTSIDE OF THE STOCK AND HAND GUARDS. DO NOT APPLY A HEAVY COAT.

25. LET IT AND THE HAND GUARDS DRY OVERNIGHT.

26. APPLY ANOTHER COAT OF DYE, AND LET IT DRY OVERNIGHT. THE STOCK SHOULD BE COMPLETELY COVERED WITH DYE.

27. RUB THE STOCK AND HAND GUARDS WITH #0000 STEEL WOOL.

28. COMPARE THE COLORING OF THE STOCK AND HAND GUARDS. IF THEY MATCH GO ON TO THE NEXT STEP. IF THEY DON'T MATCH, ONE IS LIGHTER THAN THE OTHER. HERE IS WHERE THE ARTISTRY COMES IN. IF THE STOCK IS TOO LIGHT, SAND THE DARK HAND GUARDS WITH #0000 STEEL WOOL TO LIGHTEN THE COLOR UNTIL THEY MATCH THE STOCK. IF THE STOCK IS TOO DARK, PUT ANOTHER COAT OF DYE ON THE HAND GUARDS RUB WITH WOOL, AND SEE IF THEY MATCH. IF THEY ARE STILL TOO LIGHT, RUB THE STOCK WITH WOOL WHERE THE HAND GUARDS FIT ON THE STOCK, AND LIGHTEN THE STOCK UNTIL IT MATCHES THE HAND GUARDS. I HAVE FOUND THAT THE COLOR IS NOT CONSISTENT IN WOOD, AND PART OF A STOCK CAN BE LIGHTER OR DARKER FROM ANOTHER PART OF IT. WITH A LITTLE EXPERIMENTATION, YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO MATCH THE STOCK AND HAND GUARDS.

29. AFTER THIS MATCHING/RUBBING IS DONE, RUB LOW-GLOSS TUNG OIL ON THE WOOD. THIS WILL SEAL IN THE DYE.
RUB ON 1 COAT, LET IT DRY FOR 20 MINUTES, THEN RUB OFF THE EXCESS. PUT THE STOCK IN A SUNNY PLACE, OR ON A HOT-AIR VENT IN THE HOUSE, OR ON TOP OF A RADIATOR. LEAVE THE STOCK THERE FOR 2 DAYS.
REPEAT THE PROCESS FOR THE NEXT 3 COATS.

30. HOW MANY COATS TO PUT ON? I NORMALLY PUT ON 3.

31. IF THE WOOD IS TOO SHINY, RUB IT LIGHTLY WITH #0000 STEEL WOOL.

32. APPLY A NEW COAT OF TUNG OIL EVERY 12 MONTHS.
THE PROCESS IS NOW COMPLETE, AND THE STOCK SHOULD LOOK BETTER THAN WHEN IT BEGAN. THESE ARE ALL THE STEPS I TAKE, AND CHARGE $70 TO DO.

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