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French polish M14

This is a discussion on French polish M14 within the Stock forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; Hey guys, just wanted to share my latest mini-project. I recently purchased an unfinished american walnut stock from Fulton armory with the complete metal kit ...


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Old December 28th, 2016, 08:28 AM   #1
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French polish M14

Hey guys, just wanted to share my latest mini-project. I recently purchased an unfinished american walnut stock from Fulton armory with the complete metal kit as well. My father and i are going to try our hand at french polishing it for a dressy type setup for my M1A. So far we have sanded the stock first to 320, and then to 1500 grit in preparation. I hope it turns out well, and i hope you enjoy following along.
We created our own 2# Shellac cut which is currently dissolving for 24 hours. We used 1/2# of light flakes and 1/4 gal of denatured alcohol.

Next was hand sanding the stock with 320 grit and 1500 grit to remove the "hairs" being careful not to knock down any of the beautiful lines of the stock.

We then created a jig to hold the stock in a position that will allow us to flip it over without touching it during the polishing process.


Here are some of the stock markings if anyone is interested. No DOD stamp or fired proof. Interesting that it's a boyds stock that was sold by FA.


More to come as we continue to work on it!

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Old December 28th, 2016, 08:52 AM   #2
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Great pics. I love to see how others go about their projects. It's a lot like watching This Old House, and I am deluded enough to think I may actually implement some of the jigs and techniques someday.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 09:42 AM   #3
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Interesting project, did you final fit the stock to a dedicated rifle action ?

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Old December 28th, 2016, 11:05 AM   #4
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I'll be looking out for your updates - thanks!

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Old December 28th, 2016, 11:27 AM   #5
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The grain in that wood should really pop out with a nice finish.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 12:16 PM   #6
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Some of the old French polish recipes call for eythol alcohol not denatured alcohol. You might want to double check before making up your varnish. Also what type of filler are you going to use on your stock?

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Old December 28th, 2016, 12:23 PM   #7
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I thought denatured was ethyl, they just add stuff to make you puke, so you won't drink it.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 01:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShootingSight View Post
I thought denatured was ethyl, they just add stuff to make you puke, so you won't drink it.
Generally, base is ethanol with a bit of methanol or pyridine added to denature it.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 03:20 PM   #9
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Cool, can't wait to see the finished stock!

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Old December 28th, 2016, 03:48 PM   #10
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I might be wrong but French polishing is usually done to revive a shellacked finish. I've done this on old wood with dirty and cracked finishes it smoothes and cleans the old finish giving it a new look without "refinishing" it. I think on new wood doing a wet sanding to fill the pores with shellac and dust is a good way to do it since you controll how heavy the shellac mix is.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 03:58 PM   #11
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From what I've read/seen denatured alcohol works well. Our cut came out great! To answer the pre-fit question, yes, I fitted it to my M1A and it was perfectly snug around the reviewer with great clearance for the gas system/furrule.
We filled the pores with FFFF pumice and a shellac/alcohol mixture. I took pictures of the polishing pads I made as well as the first coat results. It's already beautiful. I will upload pictures later tonight when I can get to my computer.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 06:05 PM   #12
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I will check but I think I have a stock made the same time possibly the same tree! That is cool.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 06:45 PM   #13
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I will check but I think I have a stock made the same time possibly the same tree! That is cool.
that is pretty cool! i have to say, i love the grain on this one. they did good.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 06:55 PM   #14
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Here is the parts kit from fulton with the stock liner screw tool.

Wadding made from strips of old t-shirt

First coat polish. Already a beautiful shine. Wet sanding tomorrow and second coat. Planning on 4-5 coats of shellac before completion.

Some of the left over 4F pumice on the work bench.

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Old December 28th, 2016, 07:04 PM   #15
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Already looks awesome!

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