"Cleaning" a GI stock - M14 Forum

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"Cleaning" a GI stock

This is a discussion on "Cleaning" a GI stock within the Stock forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; I recently picked up two GI stocks from a buddy of mine with the intent of bringing them back close to their former glory. One ...


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Old May 1st, 2016, 06:36 AM   #1
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Question "Cleaning" a GI stock

I recently picked up two GI stocks from a buddy of mine with the intent of bringing them back close to their former glory. One is a tiger strip birch that needs considerable TLC on it's finish. I just stripped it yesterday with the plan of doing some light steel wool and then hitting it with several coats of Tru Oil.

The walnut stock is actually in very good shape and doesn't need quite the attention as the birch. I just want to clean off the age a little and don't feel the need to do any steel wool or refinishing. I just want to clean it and then put some more linseed into it, maybe. What do you guys advise. Would a little acetone be okay? Any advice is appreciated.

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Old May 1st, 2016, 06:47 AM   #2
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I'm not a believer in using caustics like oven cleaners and the like on wood.

Acetone is an excellent degreaser that will not degrade the wood fiber. Problem is acetone evaporates too fast.

You might try a 50/50 blend of acetone and paint thinner. Just brush or wipe it on and let it run off.

Present day "paint thinner" is what used to be "mineral spirits".

Current mineral spirits has additives in it which are not needed for this sort of thing.

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Old May 1st, 2016, 07:43 AM   #3
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Good to know.

Further question. What's the best way to bring out the figure in the tiger stripe birch? Thanks.

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Old May 1st, 2016, 08:10 AM   #4
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Use methyl alcohol, it is "wood grain" and won't cause any damage to the wood.

It will dissolve and remove almost all dirt and grease, it will not swell the wood, stain the wood, or harm the wood. It will come out clean.

I soak the stock in a pan with the alcohol. I have a long skinny pan.

Wear gloves and good air supply.

Have a water supply for fire suppression. No sources of ignition, alcohol burns invisible.

Have been doing this for years, it works quickly and leaves the stock in a great condition without damage.

Pour the used alcohol back into its container for future use.

Jim

Thanks from nf1e, hytekrednek and Couv
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Old May 1st, 2016, 08:47 AM   #5
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Use methyl alcohol, it is "wood grain" and won't cause any damage to the wood.

I soak the stock in a pan with the alcohol. I have a long skinny pan.
Methyl alcohol is a great degreaser. Is the evaporation rate slow enough so that if it is brushed or wiped on it will work?

The solvents that flash off fast leave the crud behind.

p.s. Good sig line. Reminds me of what Sam Clemens said: "What you know won't hurt you. It's what you know that just ain't so."

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Old May 1st, 2016, 10:47 AM   #6
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Methyl alcohol is a great degreaser. Is the evaporation rate slow enough so that if it is brushed or wiped on it will work?

The solvents that flash off fast leave the crud behind.

p.s. Good sig line. Reminds me of what Sam Clemens said: "What you know won't hurt you. It's what you know that just ain't so."
Dont wipe it on, soak it in a pan or tub.

I made a stainless steel pan for parkerizing and double duty it for stock degreasing and cleaning.

Use 0000 steel wool SS and lightly scrub the stock with the stainless steel wool and a tooth brush.

You won't believe what you can get out of the stock with a good soak in alcohol.

Evaporation is your friend at the end of process.

Jim

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Old May 1st, 2016, 12:42 PM   #7
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I gotta try this on my old Mauser stock.

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Old May 1st, 2016, 01:52 PM   #8
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Maybe the OP can verify, but we've been talking methyl alcohol but I'm pretty sure it will be labeled "denatured alcohol" at the hardware store.

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Old May 1st, 2016, 03:15 PM   #9
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Maybe the OP can verify, but we've been talking methyl alcohol but I'm pretty sure it will be labeled "denatured alcohol" at the hardware store.
I was wondering about that. All I have is isopropal alcohol.

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Old May 1st, 2016, 03:19 PM   #10
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I was wondering about that. All I have is isopropal alcohol.
Denatured and isopropyl are very different.

Definitely want to use rubber gloves with denatured alc. It will pull all the oil out of your skin like acetone does.

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Old May 1st, 2016, 06:42 PM   #11
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Here's a great read: Refinishing wooden stocks.

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Old May 1st, 2016, 08:04 PM   #12
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Typically denatured alcohol is ethanol (grain alcohol for drinking) that has methanol added to prevent it from being drunk.

Methanol can be purchased as 100% at painbt stores, fuel supply houses, homedepot ect....

Use 100% methanol it works, be aware of ignition sources and use rubber gloves with good ventilation.

It can injure you from skin absorption, breathing and fire.

Jim

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Old May 2nd, 2016, 02:24 PM   #13
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I just cleaned up a used USGI stock with Simple Green.. worked really well imo. I didnt want to take off all the old patina completely.




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Old August 15th, 2016, 09:23 PM   #14
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I think I've followed this through correctly but not entirely sure. I've just purchased a "new" to me used walnut stock. From pics it looks good but I may want to clean it up some but not strip it down, yet. And have an M1 beater that could be cleaned, but again, not ready to start on a restoration via stripping, etc.

So I should be able to clean surface sorts of gunk, dirt, etc., with simple Green or wood alcohol, or mineral spirits without stripping the finish, too?

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Old August 16th, 2016, 03:42 AM   #15
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E-Merge is a great degreaser

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