Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: Restoring an old gunstock - pic heavy

  1. #1
    Senior Member Broondog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
    Posts
    1,051

    Restoring an old gunstock - pic heavy

    Some folks may think that restoring an old gun stock is is quite a chore and may pass on an otherwise fine rifle at a show because of this reason. Iin fact, you may actually be looking at a diamond in the rough. With a bit of time and patience you may find a project like this very rewarding.

    I bought this 1891 Argentine Mauser a few years back as a project rifle. While it did look very nice I had visions of it being returned to its original glory. Sometime in its past a previous owner decided to cut down the fore stock and lose the upper hand guard. The cut job was done well but still, it wasn't "right". But the project was doable since all of the metal parts and the barreled action were in near perfect shape.



    It took me nearly a year and a half of searching shows and Gunbroker but I finally found a correct stock for the rifle (the hand guard was easy). What arrived in the mail was a 120 year old chunk of wood that seriously looked that old. It was grungy, dirty and abused. Tthe metal parts were rusty as hell. I seriously thought "I paid how much for this?" but I remained undaunted. Between the two sets of metal stock parts I found what was useable and ordered the rest from Numrich. http://gunpartscorp.com/catalog/Prod...spx?show=brand



    Upon further inspection I noticed that the underside of the fore end had a series of, shall I say, abuse marks that looked like someone had forced the lower barrel band off with a sledge hammer. This was now getting interesting to put it mildly.



    I took the stock out to the garage and hung it from a wire to clean it up. I use Purple Power, available at Wal Mart or most auto parts stores. This stuff works great on lifting grease and cosmoline out of wood. Put a bucket under the stock to catch the drippings and just spray the stock down heavily and let it soak for 10 minutes or so. The grease and nasty stuff will begin to loosen and run off. You may want to use a toothbrush to scrub out any cuts and crevices in the wood. Repeat this process as many times as needed and then spray the stock heavily with Windex to neutralize the degreaser. When that is done wash the wood down with your garden hose and hang to dry for a couple of days.

    Now I really hate to use sandpaper, much less a file, on an old stock but what real choice did I have? After some very careful filing and a good dose of sanding I got it to look presentable. It wasn't going to be perfect but I didn't want to remove so much material that the new barrel band wasn't going to fit. Hopefully in the end it won't be too noticeable.



    The stock was really beginning to come along. It wasn't quite a diamond....yet, but it wasn't a lump of coal either. The sand paper was put far, far away in lieu of 000 and 0000 steel wool. after a few rubdowns this is what I had.





    Things were definitely looking up. Now it was time to get to the oil finish. I like to start with a 50/50 mix Boiled Linseed Oil and Mineral Spirits. This mix will soak into the wood very well and provide a good base for your finish coats. Apply the 50/50 mix generously allowing it to penetrate well but not run or build up too much. Let this dry over night and then rub the wood down with 0000 steel wool again. Use a tack cloth to pick up any fibers left from the steel wool and recoat with the 50/50 mix. Don't use as much this time but pay attention to how much of the mix the wood is soaking up. You don't want the wood to get a "gummy" feel. Let dry again over night. Depending on how dry the wood is you may need to do this 2-4 times total using progressively thinner coats.

    For the finish coats I like to use Pure Tung Oil. I stress the Pure part. Brands like Formby's have additives and driers in them that can affect the final finish. Other folks like to finish with un-thinned Boiled Linseed Oil. Either one is fine and is just a matter of personal preference. Apply the finish oil in very thin coats using a lint free cloth in small sections at a time, rubbing with some vigor to create some heat. The heat helps the oil bond nicely with the fibers of the wood and will create a deep, glowing finish. Purists will use their bare hands to apply the oil. To each their own I say. Let each coat of oil dry at least a few hours, lightly rubbing with the 0000 steel wool in between.

    This is what I got after 3 coats of the Pure Tung Oil. I must say that this old, nasty stock has sure come back to life!





    Even the area where I had to do the sanding work didn't come out half bad. Sure, it's noticeable but only under the camera flash. In real life you have to actually look for the flaws. And the hand guard matched up nicely as well.

    Last edited by Broondog; 08-06-2010 at 11:14 AM.
    I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
    Jimi Hendrix


    NRA Benefactor Member & 03 FFL

  2. #2
    Senior Member Broondog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
    Posts
    1,051
    After a bit of cold-blue work the rifle is assembled and ready for its debut.



    And here it is under natural light. Would you believe that this rifle is 119 years old? Well, actually the receiver dates 1893 but what's a couple of years?





    So see, that ugly looking rifle you were going to pass up could turn out to be a thing of beauty and a pleasure to own. And no, I'm not a professional woodworker. I'm just an average guy with a bit of extra time and a vision.
    Last edited by Broondog; 08-06-2010 at 01:15 AM.
    I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
    Jimi Hendrix


    NRA Benefactor Member & 03 FFL

  3. #3
    Team GunsNet Silver 03/2014

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Northwestern Arizona
    Posts
    835
    WOW!! Congratulations on an excellent job, and thanks for the tutorial!!

    My first try was on a Turkish Mauser a couple of years ago. Can't remember what I used on it, but it was a real learning experience and came out pretty good. I wanted to leave the battle scars, but still clean it up and give it a good shine. Your pix have motivated me to tackle a Mosin Nagant. Between what I learned and what you just taught me, it should come out nice. Thanks again.

  4. #4
    Team Gunsnet SILVER 05/2012 deth502's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    2,940
    nice

  5. #5
    Senior Member Full Otto's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Indiana
    Posts
    2,342
    Great job and a nice walk through. I love to see stuff brought back like that
    For peace of mind, resign as general manager of the universe

  6. #6
    Junior Member DoubleD's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    Rochester, IL.
    Posts
    2

    Thumbs up

    Nice job!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Broondog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
    Posts
    1,051
    thank you gentlemen.
    I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
    Jimi Hendrix


    NRA Benefactor Member & 03 FFL

  8. #8
    Really good job. Never too old too learn. riceone

  9. #9
    Conributor 09/13 slamfire51's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    8,283
    Fantastic job!!!

    Will this also work for, say, an Enfield stock soaked with Cosmoline?
    I've used Purple Power to degrease my lawn mower engine, so I know it works great.
    Would I need to sweat as much Cosmoline out as possible, then use the degreaser?
    I really would like to get my stock back to as close to "issue" as possible without doing harm to the value of the rifle.
    There's no problem an AK can't solve...........


    GUNSNET Member Since 2003
    CCW Permit
    03 FFL

  10. #10
    Forum Admin & **Team Gunsnet Silver 12/2012** Richard Simmons's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    5,200

    Thumbs up

    What a wonderful and informative post. Thank you and congratulations on restoring a piece of firearms history.



    I've used similar techinques on some of mine and got similar results though not quite as nice as I recall. About the only area where we differ is I rinse my stock with boiling water after using he Purple Power and I use the handrubbed BLO for a finish.

    As for getting rid of the deep cosmolene I carefully use a paint stripping gun to heat the stock and blot with a papertowel. On smaller stocks you can use the oven set on low if the wife's not around.

    Again thanks for the great thread!
    Gunsnet member since 1999
    USN 1978-86
    BCCI Life Member #2068

  11. #11
    Senior Member Penguin's Avatar

    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Penguin Land
    Posts
    2,224

    Thumbs up

    That is some nice work. Thanks for posting that.
    Doobie Doobie Doo..

  12. #12
    Senior Member Broondog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
    Posts
    1,051
    there are soooooo many ways to get cosmo out of a gunstock that it's not funny. heat guns, degreasers, dishwashers, Easy Off, cook it on your dashboard in the summer.....hell the list goes on.

    but here's a way i've been thinking about going with sometime in the future. it's just like an Easy-Bake oven from our childhood and the wife can't bitch about it at all!

    http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting...hod2/index.asp
    I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
    Jimi Hendrix


    NRA Benefactor Member & 03 FFL

  13. #13
    Forum Admin & **Team Gunsnet Silver 12/2012** Richard Simmons's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    5,200
    Quote Originally Posted by Broondog View Post
    there are soooooo many ways to get cosmo out of a gunstock that it's not funny. heat guns, degreasers, dishwashers, Easy Off, cook it on your dashboard in the summer.....hell the list goes on.

    but here's a way i've been thinking about going with sometime in the future. it's just like an Easy-Bake oven from our childhood and the wife can't bitch about it at all!

    http://www.surplusrifle.com/shooting...hod2/index.asp
    That looks pretty slick. You could also make some kind of a stand for it so it's at waist height for easier use. Maybe even paint the interior with flat black stove/grill paint and wrap the exterior in batt insulation.
    Gunsnet member since 1999
    USN 1978-86
    BCCI Life Member #2068

  14. #14
    Conributor 09/13 slamfire51's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    8,283
    Broondog,
    Did you notice oil seeping out of the pores after you applied BLO?
    I applied a coat earlier this afternoon and minute amounts are seeping out of some of the pores.
    Is this normal?
    There's no problem an AK can't solve...........


    GUNSNET Member Since 2003
    CCW Permit
    03 FFL

  15. #15
    Senior Member Broondog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
    Posts
    1,051
    Quote Originally Posted by slamfire51 View Post
    Broondog,
    Did you notice oil seeping out of the pores after you applied BLO?
    I applied a coat earlier this afternoon and minute amounts are seeping out of some of the pores.
    Is this normal?
    it's possible that you didn't rub it in quite hard enough or put it on a bit too heavy. there is kindof an art to doing this work. take your time. my first stock wasn't what i would call perfect but it wasn't bad either. it gets easier with better results with practice.

    it shouldn't be a problem though. simply wipe the excess off when it appears and maybe lighten your next coat.
    I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
    Jimi Hendrix


    NRA Benefactor Member & 03 FFL

  16. #16
    Conributor 09/13 slamfire51's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    8,283
    Possibly put on too heavy.
    Mine is not going to look near as nice as yours as mine has a lot of dings and a few gouges.
    But it does look better since I've gotten the dirt out of the wood grains.
    There's no problem an AK can't solve...........


    GUNSNET Member Since 2003
    CCW Permit
    03 FFL

  17. #17
    Forum Administrator Schuetzenman's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    East of Atlanta GA
    Posts
    10,471

    Thumbs up

    Well done! I applaude your effort to restore a classic military rifle. It looks fantastic!

  18. #18
    Senior Member Broondog's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The Black Hole of Cygnus X-1
    Posts
    1,051
    Quote Originally Posted by slamfire51 View Post
    Possibly put on too heavy.
    Mine is not going to look near as nice as yours as mine has a lot of dings and a few gouges.
    But it does look better since I've gotten the dirt out of the wood grains.
    ya never know man. i didn't pull any dents or remove any "character" except for the obvious misuse/abuse. only time will tell as to how yours comes out.

    my "first" was a K98 that didn't come out quite the way i planned. one day i will re-redo it.
    I'm the one that's gonna die when it's time for me to die, so let me live my life the way I want to.
    Jimi Hendrix


    NRA Benefactor Member & 03 FFL

  19. #19
    Conributor 09/13 slamfire51's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    The South
    Posts
    8,283
    Quote Originally Posted by Broondog View Post
    ya never know man. i didn't pull any dents or remove any "character" except for the obvious misuse/abuse. only time will tell as to how yours comes out.

    my "first" was a K98 that didn't come out quite the way i planned. one day i will re-redo it.
    Mine is done.
    Started out looking like a black stick. It now it's back brown and still has the "characters" it arrived with.
    I put a scope mount on it last night. It replaces the rear sight and takes a longer ejector screw.
    There were NO alterations to the Enfield.
    I'll take some pics as soon as I get a couple cups of coffee down.
    There's no problem an AK can't solve...........


    GUNSNET Member Since 2003
    CCW Permit
    03 FFL

  20. #20
    outstanding job,

    someone gave me a black powder pistol replica recently, about 50 years old, it was left in an attic for about 30 years.. i plan on cleaning it up someday and make
    it look like it should.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
VigLink badge