Maintenance for a K-31 stock


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BillinNH
April 7, 2006, 06:34 PM
I just received a K31 from AIM , one of the regular ones, not the gunsmith special. The stock is complete and solid but has a number of areas that have dark stains or are slightly gouged and some areas are noticeably abraded, but no actual repairs are needed. I am not a woodworker in any sense of the word and I would like to maintain the stock as best I can without actually refinishing. Trying to keep it as original as I can. I thought I would go over it as best I can with some kind of cleaner or astringent to remove the stains and then apply some kind of wood dressing that will keep the wood from drying out, protect it from future minor dings and hopefully with use the stock will smooth out and not require much further attention.

Is this a realistic approach or do I actually have to sand and refinish? What products/procedures do you recommend to fix up my stock? What cleaners and wood dressings? I was thinking of cleaning with isopropyl alcohol and then rubbing with Armorall.

Please advise.

BTW, I can't believe how smooth the trigger is on this gun. :D

Bill

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GLOCKT
April 8, 2006, 02:20 AM
I sanded mine down with 3M 100 grit sand paper.
I hand sanded it all the way through.
It was a real ugly redish finish stained wood,and it looked like every beaver in the Swiss colony got to chew on my rifle.Or the Swiss little league used it as a t-ball bat and everybody hit with it.
Well after I sanded it I throughly stained it with Min wax Provincal stain and applied several coats of stain.I let it dry in the sun for a couple of days.Then took the wifes blow drier to it on a low setting.Then I applied some Boiled Tung Oil to it and am very happy with the way it turned out.
My only regret is I sanded the front upper hand guard abit too much and it doesnt seat evenly on both sides.
Besides that it's a great shooter,and it gets alot of questions at the range about "what is that"?

BillinNH
April 8, 2006, 10:12 AM
<It was a real ugly redish finish stained wood,and it looked like every beaver in the Swiss colony got to chew on my rifle.Or the Swiss little league used it as a t-ball bat and everybody hit with it.>

LOL!! Well put, GLOCKT. Mine's not quite that bad but in that direction. Can't complain, the gun was made 62 years ago.

Um, have you removed your cleanning rod? MIne is in pretty tight and I don't want to damage anything removing it. Does it just unscew?

Anything to look out for when removing/reinstalling the stock? It looks like it's pretty straightforward.

As to the finish, I cleaned it with alcohol which removed all the surface dirt. oil, etc. and I rubbed it well with Armorall so it is smooth to the touch and has some protection. I have to decide whether to do the complete finish first or get the gun sighted in and running well first.

Bill

Oldnamvet
April 8, 2006, 11:16 AM
I also got one from AIM recently. I plan on steaming some of the dents up and making the bad ones a little less noticeable. I do a lot of woodworking so may refinish the stock. It all depends on what I see after I finish steaming the dents and cleaning.

Cleaning rod??? Where is that? I thought they only came in a separate pouch with other cleaning supplies.

http://www.swissrifles.com/sr/

You might find that the item you think is a cleaning rod is something else entirely. At the above web site, scroll down toward the bottom and you'll find a link to a manual on the K-31. It is very helpful when you start taking it apart and wonder where somethings came from.

cracked butt
April 8, 2006, 11:49 AM
Yeah, you're going to be pulling on that cleaning rod for a long time before it comes out, its actually made for stacking rifles and is about 3" long.;)

Once you get the stock as smoothened out as you like, try a 50/50 mixture of orange bullseye shellac and boiled linseed oil. The stuff doesn't mix too well, but the idea is that the oil will lubricate the application of the shellac and allow for a very thin coat of shellac. Its supposedly pretty similar to the original finish that the swiss used on the rifles.

Finish it off with a coat of wax. I use stuff called "howards feed and wax' which is a thick mix of beeswax and orange oil. putting this stuff over a plain BLO finish will look pretty stunning.

alamo
April 8, 2006, 11:52 AM
You should check out the C&R rifle stock cleaning and preservation forum. It's just what you're looking for. They preach the proper and least invasive techniques for stock cleaning and preservation. You may have to register to view it. You can scroll through the postings or do a specific K-31 search.

http://p102.ezboard.com/fparallaxscurioandrelicfirearmsforumsfrm34

BillinNH
April 8, 2006, 12:55 PM
<Yeah, you're going to be pulling on that cleaning rod for a long time before it comes out, its actually made for stacking rifles and is about 3" long.>

Thanks, guys, for keeping me from doing something utterly stupid. I ThOGHT it was awfully well built for a cleaning rod. LOL!

Bill

TheEgg
April 8, 2006, 01:09 PM
When I got my K-31, it was actually a nice walnut stock in pretty good shape.

I like to do as little as possible, because I buy these things for the history -- I like original finishes!:D

So, I just worked it over with some mild citrus based wood cleaner to take off the dirt(can't remember the name right now -- just picked it up at Wal-Mart in the household cleaning department). It did not take off any of the original finish. That stuff also has oil in it, so it nourished the wood too.

After that, I just used some paste wax.

However, I have certainly had some stocks that were so bad, they had no historical value, so I did a regular refinish on those. Where you draw the line depends on what your tolerance level for old finishes is!

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