Refinishing my M1 Garand


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Quickdraw McGraw
July 31, 2009, 04:53 PM
Not to copy FlyingBryans post but I also have decided to refinish the wood on my Garand. Using a mixture provided by the Gun Stock Doctor (http://www.thegunstockdoctor.com/FutureProducts.html)I gave it the first of several treatments. I used fine steel wool. It will probably get at least 2 more rubdowns before I apply the military guns stock wax. Because there is linseed oil in the mixture I need to give the stock another rubdown in a few days.

Leftside before treating
http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2031.jpg

Left side after 1 treatment
http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2035.jpg

Left side after 2 treatments
http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2039.jpg

Right side before treating
http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2030.jpg

Right side after 1 treatment
http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2034.jpg

Right side after 2 treatments
http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2041.jpg

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Deckard
July 31, 2009, 04:58 PM
Looks good...then again it looked like it was in pretty good shape before you started.

NC-Mike
July 31, 2009, 05:01 PM
It matched better before you "cleaned" it. :evil:

Shung
July 31, 2009, 05:06 PM
aren't the pictures inverted ?

btw, this is how my Garand looks after refinishing :

http://i74.servimg.com/u/f74/11/94/71/06/garand10.jpg

Deckard
July 31, 2009, 05:12 PM
It matched better before you "cleaned" it. I didn't notice it at first, but the forestock is much darker.

Quickdraw McGraw
July 31, 2009, 05:17 PM
aren't the pictures inverted ?

btw, this is how my Garand looks after refinishing :

Pictures are correct, its a little lighter now. I scrubbed off 66 years of oil, dirt and grime. :D When I put the 1/3 gun stock wax to it that should bring out the natural grain of the walnut.

Nice gun Shung ~ did you do anything with the metal on yours when you refinished your stock.

NC-Mike
July 31, 2009, 05:25 PM
I didn't notice it at first, but the forestock is much darker.

Chestnut Ridge stain...

Brownells sells it. Its a reddish alcohol based stain. It you play with it, you can get a somewhat decent match. I did a Garand with it a while ago. It didn't come out a perfect match but it was much better than before.


Before stain
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g312/Mike____Smith/Collection/Before1.jpg

After stain
http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g312/Mike____Smith/Collection/After.jpg

NC-Mike
July 31, 2009, 05:37 PM
Pictures are correct, its a little lighter now. I scrubbed off 66 years of oil, dirt and grime. When I put the 1/3 gun stock wax to it that should bring out the natural grain of the walnut.

Nice gun Shung ~ did you do anything with the metal on yours when you refinished your stock.

I'm sure that rifle appreciates the love. :)

I used some Brownells Oxpho-Blue on my Garand as well. Some of the finish was completely gone and the metal was in the white. I figured it was better blued than bare.

Sorry if I kind of hi-jacked your thread... :o I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. There is nothing like working on an old gun and bringing the beauty back.

rondog
July 31, 2009, 05:49 PM
My '43 M1 has that "well-used/loved" look, it's not in bad shape at all. So I'm torn about refinishing it, I even have a brand-new set of Boyd's wood for it, but I just don't know yet. I'm in no hurry, I love her just like she is, but I love threads like this so I can gather as much info as possible. I only have one, and don't wanna mess it up.

http://i18.photobucket.com/albums/b150/rinselman/guns/DSCN2045.jpg

Quickdraw McGraw
July 31, 2009, 06:07 PM
Sorry if I kind of hi-jacked your thread... I'm looking forward to seeing the finished product. There is nothing like working on an old gun and bringing the beauty back.

NC-Mike your not gonna offend me. Please join in and post any pics you have. I would like to make this as informative as we can. All input is appreciated.
My '43 M1 has that "well-used/loved" look, it's not in bad shape at all. So I'm torn about refinishing it, I even have a brand-new set of Boyd's wood for it, but I just don't know yet. I'm in no hurry, I love her just like she is, but I love threads like this so I can gather as much info as possible. I only have one, and don't wanna mess it up.

I completely understand rondog. I was just sitting out on the deck one evening admiring my 43 M1 and I noticed that the wood just seemed to be real dark and dirty looking. There is even a cartouche on the left side. I wanted to find a way to clean up the stock with out sanding it. I think the mixture from the gun stock doctor will do that.

You can just barely see the cartouche

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2032-1.jpg

NC-Mike
July 31, 2009, 06:12 PM
Did you try any steaming of the stock to raise small dents?

It does seem to work fairly well.

rondog
July 31, 2009, 06:14 PM
That's another thing...my stock has absolutely NO cartouches or numbers stamped on it at all, NONE! So I don't even know what it is. I'm seriously thinking of just scrubbing it real good, give it a light cleanup sanding, and then rubbing it with BLO or Tung Oil.

Quickdraw McGraw
July 31, 2009, 06:17 PM
Did you try any steaming of the stock to raise small dents?

It does seem to work fairly well.

Might try that. What would be the best way? Probably a wet towel and iron?

That's another thing...my stock has absolutely NO cartouches or numbers stamped on it at all, NONE! So I don't even know what it is. I'm seriously thinking of just scrubbing it real good, give it a light cleanup sanding, and then rubbing it with BLO or Tung Oil.

rondog when was your M1 born? You should look into the recipe I'm trying ~ no sanding involved!

rondog
July 31, 2009, 06:40 PM
1943 Springfield. Sanding doesn't bother me.

Y'know, you can buy stamps to re-stamp that cartouche, if you can tell what it originally was. There's a bunch of different ones. I visited a website recently that has a buttload of repro stamps for sale. Can't remember where it was though, but I'm sure it can be found.

Shung
July 31, 2009, 06:46 PM
Nice gun Shung ~ did you do anything with the metal on yours when you refinished your stock

only the wood-

I completely refinished this wood since it had NO history behind. It's a 30.06 Beretta Garand, from the Danish Nato contract. Built in Italy, with Winchester machine tools.

completely refinished means I degreased it, sanded it, and took all the bumps and scratch out steaming th wood, sanded it again, steamed again etc...

than I applied an adequate oil finish.

Tinpig
July 31, 2009, 07:27 PM
Quickdraw-
Since you asked, (and I hope you won't take this wrong,) I liked it better "before" than "after." Your cleaning system removed patina (oxidization) as well as grime.

But it's a very nice rifle and you should have it the way you want it.
Please show the finished pictures...maybe it will darken up a bit.

Just how I like my old military rifles.

http://i214.photobucket.com/albums/cc91/ccanhamjr/Guns/IMG_0696.jpg

Tinpig

NC-Mike
July 31, 2009, 08:05 PM
I thought about it for a minute before I sanded my Garand stock but I only thought about which grit to use, not whether to sand it or not. :p


This is it after I blued it. I don't think there are a lot of blued Garands around...

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g312/Mike____Smith/Collection/CMPRight.jpg

wojownik
July 31, 2009, 08:33 PM
Quickdraw - really intersted to see what your project looks like when all done.

My '43 M1 has that "well-used/loved" look, it's not in bad shape at all. So I'm torn about refinishing it, I even have a brand-new set of Boyd's wood for it, but I just don't know yet. I'm in no hurry, I love her just like she is, but I love threads like this so I can gather as much info as possible. I only have one, and don't wanna mess it up.

Rondog - I wouldn't touch that at all - looks beautiful as is, and has 66 years of GI history (oil, sweat and blood) soaked into that stock. My personal opinion, usually valued less than .02...

FWIW, here's a shot of my two CMP Garands (`43 and `44), as is.

http://i620.photobucket.com/albums/tt284/viher_photos/IMG_0703sm.jpg

Quickdraw McGraw
July 31, 2009, 08:49 PM
wojownik those are 2 beautiful rifles! Do you know anything about the '143' on the bottom gun?

Mine has a '52' painted on the rear sight cover spring. CMP said that maybe it was a National Guard gun and painted on there.

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/52.jpg

PhilA
July 31, 2009, 09:01 PM
"I scrubbed off 66 years of oil, dirt and grime."

That happens to be one of my favorite things about my Garand. :) Scrubbing that clean would be like erasing all the adjectives from your favorite book.

az_imuth
July 31, 2009, 09:19 PM
Great thread and some nice looking Garands!
When cleaning dirt and grime off of old stocks while retaining the original "patina", I've had great luck with GoJo hand cleaner (without pumice). It does a great job, doesn't adversly affect cartouches and is available at any automotive store.

I cleaned the SA stock in the following photo with GoJo and had great results. The IHC and HRA are untouched except for an occasional coat of BLO. The WRA stock was literally black with dirt. It almost got tossed due to its condition, but after cleaning it and seeing that it had striping I decided to keep it as a project. It took lots of love and several repairs to get it in its present form.
http://i498.photobucket.com/albums/rr348/az_imuth/Old%20Album/all4b800stc.jpg

NC-Mike
July 31, 2009, 09:38 PM
GoJo is a great idea!

1KPerDay
July 31, 2009, 10:38 PM
Looks good...then again it looked like it was in pretty good shape before you started.
heck yeah... looked better than most of mine before you even started. :D

wojownik
August 1, 2009, 12:02 AM
wojownik those are 2 beautiful rifles! Do you know anything about the '143' on the bottom gun?

The 143 on that rifle is just a rack number, likely there from some National Guard unit.

The 52 on your spring cover could maybe be something put there from a National Guard or ROTC unit, or could have been a marking from a unit in a foreign country the Garand was lent to (such as Denmark).

Shung
August 1, 2009, 08:52 AM
Az imuth.. this is AWESOME !

krs
August 1, 2009, 12:05 PM
I like to keep them as they were in service but I bought two of these with no wood and one is a rack grade. So there's two aftermarket stocks - guess which ones! :)

I AM going to do something about the top rifle with it's ugly replacement Birch forward handguard. That's the rack grade.

I've got three more not photo'd and I sold one not long ago. It was the first time I'd ever sold any of them and it was a hard choice. They've each got a character of it's own and now two of these shoot .308 just so I'll get ammo no matter which way the ammo winds are blowing.


I'm not all that anxious to remove the patina of all the years of usage in service. It can't be faked or put back once you start with the steel wool, sandpaper, and "special recommended formulas".

Some of you people should maybe stick to buying nice eurothane covered wood stocked rifles from Walmart.

NC-Mike
August 1, 2009, 12:13 PM
Some of you people should maybe stick to buying nice eurothane covered wood stocked rifles from Walmart.

Blah, blah, blah... :rolleyes:

Only the deranged among us (collectors) value accumulated dirt grease and filth on a weapon. They are a strange breed and it is best to avoid them. :p

Nothing wrong with trying to restore an old weapon to what it looked like when it was new or newer. All weapons were once new. All weapons do not need to look like they were dragged behind a weary soldier for 5 years in the most horrific conditions...

That part of the reason I love my H&R. It looks like it was made yesterday.

http://i59.photobucket.com/albums/g312/Mike____Smith/Collection/HR%20Garand/HRServiceGradeRS.jpg

Quickdraw McGraw
August 1, 2009, 12:43 PM
What he said ^^^^

All replies and info is appreciated but please don't make me appear to be some moron just because I want my beautiful walnut stock to show off that beautiful grain. It was a hard decision to decide whether or not to clean it up in the first place.

Those are some nice Garands krs but to each his own! Besides we are all gun owners and also are all in love with the beauty and quality of the impressive rifle that is the M1 Garand! :D

FlyinBryan
August 1, 2009, 01:07 PM
Some of you people should maybe stick to buying nice eurothane covered wood stocked rifles from Walmart.

lol, surely your not as self righteous as that came off?

ive seen some of your posts and i know your better than that sounded.

krs
August 1, 2009, 01:34 PM
FlyinBryan......shhhhh! :)

FlyinBryan
August 1, 2009, 01:53 PM
lol, i kinda figured.

k has a "dark knight" type sense of humor.

NC-Mike
August 1, 2009, 02:07 PM
lol, i kinda figured.

k has a "dark knight" type sense of humor.

Well thanks for explaining it. I never would have got it on my own! :D

krs
August 1, 2009, 02:39 PM
Here's two more. The top one is one of my shooters - a Series one National Match rifle that some guy broke the receiver leg off on the right side. I had it welded because it had a neat trick done to the rear sight a small springloaded ball bearing that kept the sight from moving. I just saw the same thing on a receiver that CMP is auctioning. Anyway, once the leg was "fixed" I couldn't live with it so I bought another receiver and built the rifle on that one. So it's a shooter and it shoots good with it's 1953 LMR barrel. If I ever sell it the buyer will get both receivers.

the other rifle is a 1943 with it's bar sight and uncut oprod and all. I've never fired it but someone did 'cause you should have seen all the copper I got out of the bore.

Both have NOT been refinished. They get periodic BL oiling to the wood as all of my rifles do.

Can you see the slight roughness of the wood behind the lockbar sight? I THINK it's the Tung oil that they initially bathed the stocks in before finishing with boiled linseed. Those little bumps are hardened - not like linseed that comes out in heat. It's not all over the rifle - just there and on the front handguard with a little on the left side of the butt. It's weird but that rifle is too correct to go steelwooling on he finish at all. Seasoned collectors would know and that rifle is worthy of the most seasoned of those guys.

Rondog - if you decide to phoney up some cheap imitation fake cartouches for some reason, use a light touch so they look like these originals. ..:) I'm trying to think of some more hypercritical adjectives to apply to you if you do that, but instead maybe I'll just suggest that you write to the GCA (Garand Collector's Association) and ask what they think of the idea. Someone there will be happy to apply the most foul adjectives, I'm sure. :D

Quickdraw McGraw
August 2, 2009, 09:47 PM
2nd treatment today. Took pics (see 1st post) but it was later in the evening so the lighting make it look different. Probably will do one more treatment then apply Toms 1/3 gunstock wax.

NC-Mike
August 2, 2009, 10:00 PM
Something good appears to be happening. :)

Tim the student
August 3, 2009, 03:08 AM
Man, so many nice looking rifles here!

Quickdraw McGraw
August 14, 2009, 06:09 PM
Well she's done! Took her out to the range and ran about 40 rounds thru here. Nice group about 8 - 10" at 100 yards. While I had it apart I kept soaking the barrel with Hoppes 9 and got out lots of gilded metal.

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2076.jpg

You'll notice that the right side of the stock is real light colored was thinking of darkening it up a bit but decided to leave it as is.
http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2074.jpg

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2071.jpg

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2065.jpg

http://i231.photobucket.com/albums/ee267/Metzy84/Garand/102_2063.jpg

skidooman603
August 14, 2009, 07:16 PM
Turned out very nice. I would, as KRS states, skip the Fakey cartouches. Beautiful rifle. Sure is good to see so many folks cleaning up and caring for these great old WarHorses!

Quickdraw McGraw
August 15, 2009, 06:12 AM
Turned out very nice. I would, as KRS states, skip the Fakey cartouches. Beautiful rifle. Sure is good to see so many folks cleaning up and caring for these great old WarHorses!

No I don't plan on doing that! This ones staying as is, just wanted to clean up the wood. Grain of the walnut is now more revealing!

NC-Mike
August 15, 2009, 10:34 AM
That rifle came out very nice!

You returned it to its former glory. :)

61chalk
August 15, 2009, 10:54 AM
Can I jump in? Thanks I will! This is my 1942 SA. From CMP last April, replace wood
with new CMP wood an metal, this was a Field Grade, shoots awesome. The wood looked great but not sure if CMP puts BLO, or a light stain...? Anyway I finally put some BLO
on it a few weeks ago...wow..it got alot darker an really showed off the grain, however,
the front barrel gaurd wood was alot lighter, I guess staining the wood is to be done before BLO, but read somewhere you could apply afterwards, takes longer to dry...so with the BLO on, I put a Walnut stain on the front wood, slowly darkening it...before this I did lightly sand everything with 400, an then 600 sandpaper...really smoothed thing out an I like the feel of it,....after the stain dryed on the front wood, I put a light coat over the entire stock, a couple days later I put on another coat of BLO an everything seems
to blend into each other now. The scope mount is from Fulton Armory, it has a open sight as well, just threw on a old scope for right now, buying a matte finish one later.
Posting this an in just a few minutes will post 2 pictures....

61chalk
August 15, 2009, 11:29 AM
2nd picture

skidooman603
August 15, 2009, 11:46 AM
I would take take oderless mineral spirits and brass wool to it before applying stain. You can get it super close to a match. Flipside is more Garands have slightly different colored handgaurds and buttstocks than dont.

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