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Refinishing a surplus M14 stock

This is a discussion on Refinishing a surplus M14 stock within the Stock forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; I have recently acquired a surplus M14 stock from Numrich and wish to refinish it as close to mil spec as possible. Does the old ...


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Old April 21st, 2011, 06:00 PM   #1
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Refinishing a surplus M14 stock

I have recently acquired a surplus M14 stock from Numrich and wish to refinish it as close to mil spec as possible.

Does the old finish need to be completely removed?

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

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Old April 21st, 2011, 07:32 PM   #2
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Here is what I do, mind you there are many methods. I use oxyclean and place the stock in a slop sink. Get it wet apply a liberal amount of oxyclean to the stock and rub it in with a wash cloth or sponge. You will be surprised how fast all the dirt and oil come out of the wood. Do this a couple of times. You can use simple green I have seen this work just as well. Once done be sure to rinse completely and let it dry. You will notice the wood will now look like it did the day the stock was first cut. Use caution not eh next step. When your wife is not around get the iron hot. Place a towel on the ironing board. get a washcloth and soak it, place it over the dings and dents, then place the iron on the washcloth and let it sit for a minute. Eventually depending on how deep the dings are they will simply disappear. Use caution not to place the iron on any proof marks because they will be lifted out along with the dings. Once done don't sand the stock. I then hand rub several coats of pure linseed oil on the stock, continuing to hand rub coats in over the next few weeks. Eventually you will get a nice deep rich color again. Its very simple to do. Here are some pics of a recent type7 1903A3 stock I just did.
If you have any questions at all feel free to ask
Here it is after I cleaned it with the oxyclean and steamed out some dings.


Here is what it looks like after three coats of linseed oil.



They come out real nice, look like they did when they were issued. I am not particularly fond of the dark dirty look, some are, I prefer them to look like they did 60 years ago. I used the same procedures on an M14 stock that I got from numricks a couple of years ago. My wife saw the before and after and insisted I bought a new stock. She was mad thinking I spent more money on gun stuff. Little does she know!

PS I don't use any stain. The oil is just fine and brings out the grain nice.

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Old April 21st, 2011, 11:55 PM   #3
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refinishing

aloha,
just refinished a stock about a month ago ..... definitely not mil spec but parade ready !!! the reason for refinishing was that upon close review of the stock alot of machining marks was visible so i decided too go ahead and do it..all of the materials was bought from the local hardware store
1. stripped it with a wood stripper ..careful not too use any chemicals that will harm wood ...it takes of all the oil and stain and maybe blood from a past war who knows???
2. if you want too take out dents steam it out using a wet towel placed over the dents and a hot iron pressed on it...for me dents give the stock character
3.make sure its dried out completely and give it a sanding job too your liking make sure you follow the grain using a sanding pad ..not paper..for better contouring
4.stain it with a desirable color .. i used colonial maple for a lighter look on my birch stock
5.once you achieved the darkness of the stain you want too apply a coat of finish tung oil or tru oil ,linseed oil,i prefer finish tung oil
6. let the tung oil dry completely before hitting it with another coat ...i waited a day and gave it a once over with 0000 steel wool between coats of tung oil..i did 6 coats over a 5 day period....
hope this helps ...like i said its probably not mil spec but man!!!! the comments i get at the range are priceless.......( check out my pics )

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 03:17 AM   #4
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Yeah, I strip them with that spray gel/foam stripper from walmart - two coats and scrub both with a 3M pad then rinse with the water hose and sit in the sun to dry. That stripper will remove everything from the wood, oil, dirt, stain, paint, etc. and if you get it on your skin you'll think it is removing that as well - so wear a good set of rubber gloves - not latex, it will eat right through them.

then I lightly sand it once and use tung oil. I started out with boiled linseed oil (BLO) but had an issue with a couple of H&R M1 stocks (they looked sand blasted even after several coats). I put tung oil right over top the BLO and they looked great after just a couple/three coats of tung oil. After that its always going to be tung oil.

I haven't had mine that long but many folks say the BLO will darken/yellow after just a few years while the tung oil will not. I guess I'll know in another 2 to 4 years as some of my M1's are BLO finished.

Good luck with it. It'll look nice compared to what it looked like when you got it.

Oh, I don't pretend to know what the M14 stocks were finished with in 1958 but in 1975 through 1979 the US Army issued us some stuff called "linspeed oil" in little glass jars. It was kind of yellowish brown in color and seemed more like a thin gel vs. an oil. I didn't like the way it looked (neither did many of the other guys) so a lot of us used polyurethane to put some shine on those ceremonial stocks. The poly didn't do much for those sorry looking "blonde" (birch) stocks but it made the walnut stocks beautiful to look at.

If you ever run across a picture of 1st Platoon of Honor Guard Co. at a joint service ceremony at the White House or the Tomb those two guys in the front rank with the walnut stocks are me and my buddy (everyone else was using those sick looking pale stocks). Oh, the picture would have to be from about mid 1976 to mid 1977 as the new platoon sgt. moved us off the front rank as punishment for not knuckling under to his "blonde" stock decree.

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 03:39 AM   #5
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@ m1as r best

you know what my dad swears by linseed oil ... hes an army vietnam vet 68-69 ..... reading your comment kinda gave me insight too why he got a little uneasy when he saw me rubbing tung oil on my stock.... the first words out of his mouth was.....what are you using???? we used linseed on our m14s ..better get you some linseed boy !!! but after he saw the results he was impressed ... did he change oils???? no !! ...stubborn old man !!!!!

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 05:12 AM   #6
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If you decide to do a deep cleaning and refinish of the wood here is how I do it. Takes maybe 10 minutes for a completetly bare clean stock. Its a really simple ,easy and alot less harsh than other methods
I first take Purple Power degreaser and put it in a spray bottle.

I then spray down the stock with full strength degreaser, immediataly you will see years of grease. oil and dirt start to roll off

I then take a soft nylon bristle brush and go over the stock.
Rinse well with hot water while rubbing with brush .
I will usually do procedure one more time except the last time wipe dry with cotton towel.
It probably only takes 10 minutes for the whole procedure
If stock is very oil soaked it may take another cleaning .
I then let set to dry out of direct heat source.
If it drys slowly you have a less chance of wood warping.

This is what the wood looks like after drying


I let the stock dry for a day or two before refinishing

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 02:40 PM   #7
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The stock manufacturers finished the new stocks with two coats of PTO using the "dip and drip" method. Field maintenance was done with BLO. PTO leaves a flat finish (it will get to satin with more coats) and BLO starts to shine pretty quickly. You can pretty much tell how long a stock was issued and fielded by how shiny the finish is.

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 03:13 PM   #8
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I beleive the reason stocks get a shine are from BLO and more than anything else years of use and handling

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 04:23 PM   #9
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Thanks to all of you. I think I have chose the method from one of the above. I'll let you know how it turns out when finished and the method used.

You're all awesome fellows.

I appreciate the quick responses.

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Old April 22nd, 2011, 05:11 PM   #10
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Not sure what the difference is but I use pure linseed oil. I think blo has some chemicals in the formula. I have had nice results using the pure. After cleaning I do need to out a couple of coats on, it's soaks it up like there's no tomorrow.

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Old April 23rd, 2011, 01:53 AM   #11
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Thanks Orlando, great info brother.

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Old April 26th, 2011, 11:54 AM   #12
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What type of wood is your stock made of ?

An oil finish on a Walnut stock is easy and will look nice, but it will look pertty plain on a Birch stock, most of the time.
If your stock is Birch and you would like to make it look more like Walnut, here is a finish you can use. I call it the Three Step Stain Finish.
http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/vie...?f=137&t=83923


Last edited by Candyman; April 27th, 2011 at 06:39 PM.
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Old April 26th, 2011, 02:25 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 82nd ABN View Post
Not sure what the difference is but I use pure linseed oil. I think blo has some chemicals in the formula. I have had nice results using the pure. After cleaning I do need to out a couple of coats on, it's soaks it up like there's no tomorrow.
Yes BLO, Boiled Linseed Oil has driers in it which is actually benificial

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Old April 27th, 2011, 05:55 PM   #14
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Candyman,

It's walnut, plan on doing the stripping this weekend. Have had tons of rain here, not conducive to good drying. Weather looks better next week so Sunday is the plan.

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Old April 27th, 2011, 06:12 PM   #15
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USGI Stock, steamed and refinished with Minwax Tung Oil Finish and dark stock wax.

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