Help cleaning up my CMP M1 carbine


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Dr_2_B
February 6, 2011, 12:43 PM
I'm not a novice to guns, but I have generally had a utilitarian mindset about them - they are tools to me. I keep them clean enough to do their job.

But for my CMP M1 carbine, I'd like to clean it up a little. It's in good shape, just doesn't look as pretty as I'd like. Unfortunately, I don't really know how. My search on here didn't really turn up what I was looking for... maybe I didn't use the best search terms.

Anyone else clean up an old military gun like this? What process did you use? I've heard some people even use a dishwasher on the furniture.

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kraigwy
February 6, 2011, 12:51 PM
Your CMP Carbine should have came with a M1 Carbine Manuel, it will cover the cleaning. If you didn't get one, e-mail CMP customer service and they will send you one.

Also check out this site on the M1 Carbine. These people will tell you every thing you need to know about the M1 Carbine.

http://forums.thecmp.org/forumdisplay.php?f=6

Also this may help.

http://www.thecmp.org/pdfs/m1carbinedisassembly.pdf

Tim the student
February 6, 2011, 01:52 PM
You sound like you mean to ask about cleaning it up aesthetically - right?

Can you make your goal a bit more specific? Do you want to just get some of the grime off, or to make the stock look like it was just issued?

I've done a couple Garands, and am in the process of a Carbine now. Here are a couple before and after pics of a couple stocks I did for the AL, so they could hopefully be used again, and not relegated to closet duty. They sure don't look great, but they look a hell of a lot better. Hopefully they are in use in some way now.

IIRC, I used a stripper to get the varnish off, followed by a dishwasher. (I would not do that for collectible stocks.) Then, some heat and mineral spirits, followed by a couple coats of Fairtrimmers and Tom's 1/3 wax. In the past, I have done the heat thing and mineral spirits, and I have used an iron to help raise the wood on some dings. Then, some Fairtrimmers and wax. (The latter method is what I did for my Father-in-law's M1, which is the bottom pic, and a field grade, BTW.) These are not complete instructions, and are somewhat abbreviated. If you want more, let us know. Just be aware that there are a few ways to do it, and you will get a lot of opinions - and even more opinions if you go to the CMP forums! :neener:

http://i698.photobucket.com/albums/vv344/timthestudent/IMG_1876.jpg?t=1297013790

http://i698.photobucket.com/albums/vv344/timthestudent/IMG_1877.jpg?t=1297014039

http://i698.photobucket.com/albums/vv344/timthestudent/19b0db07.jpg?t=1297013847

http://i698.photobucket.com/albums/vv344/timthestudent/2d1f2829-1.jpg?t=1297014580

Dr_2_B
February 6, 2011, 04:46 PM
aesthetically - right?

Yes sir, you're correct. And you did some beautiful work. I have exactly zero woodworking experience... and for good reason. My interest level in woodworking is about zero. But what you're discussing sounds possible. I'll check out the forums... thanks.

Tim the student
February 6, 2011, 11:10 PM
Thank you, but I wouldn't call them beautiful myself. Just better. Beautiful would require more skill than I possess.

It really isn't that hard to get them to look like that. It just takes some time and some patience.

There are some guys who have some really beautiful rifles here. COL Plink, USSR, Orlando and FlyinBryan come to mind, but there are many others as well. Check out this thread (http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=569848) for some good pics. Mostly Garands, but there are some other milsurps in there as well.

Orlando
February 7, 2011, 09:02 AM
I have been refinishing stocks for years and have tried every method there is.
I have found what I believe is the easiest, best method

If I want to do a deep cleaning and refinish of the wood here is how I do it. Takes maybe 10 -15 minutes for a completetly bare clean stock
I first take Purple Power degreaser and put it in a spray bottle.
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f197/Garandlover/misc/MVC-013S.jpg
I then spray down the stock with degreaser, immediataly you will see years of grease. oil and dirt start to roll off
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f197/Garandlover/misc/MVC-008S.jpg
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 10-15 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
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f197/Garandlover/misc/MVC-012S.jpg

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

1KPerDay
February 7, 2011, 12:31 PM
WOW.

longdayjake
February 7, 2011, 01:07 PM
That actually seems like a good way to go. I think I may have to try that one. Thanks. I usually just use the dishwasher but to be perfectly honest, I always felt that there had to be a better way.

Orlando
February 7, 2011, 01:20 PM
In my opinion its a much better way
You dont subject the wood to so much heat and moisture which can warp or crack a stock, not to mention you dont make your wife mad this way.
I actually just got done striping a stock this morning. It was more stubborn than all the others I had done before. It took multiple coats and cleanings but looks good now and is drying
I used a green Scotchbrite pad on it which I never used before and think this may be they way to go on stubborn dirty stocks

USSR
February 7, 2011, 01:22 PM
...you dont make your wife mad this way.

But, who cleans the bath tub?:uhoh:

Don

Orlando
February 7, 2011, 01:30 PM
My wife trained me better than that.:) Its a old utility wash tub
PM left for you on the CMP forum

carbine85
February 7, 2011, 01:55 PM
You can lift some of the dents and dings out of the wood if you really want to clean it up.
After you strip it down and sand (don't remove markings or stamps) wrap the stock in a soaking wet towel and let the water soak in, puncture the dents with a tiny needle all the way around and in the middle. Apply a very hot iron to the dents with a wet towell in between. You want to make steam and lift out the dents and let the dents swell. Do some more sanding and repeat as needed. Make sure you apply the proper stain and oil after you finish. It will really sock up the stain.

Sam1911
February 7, 2011, 02:06 PM
I have had very good success with steaming out dents as well, but I do want to suggest that any sanding you do be extremely minimal. It is very easy to try to fix up a stock "extra good" with a thorough sanding job. DON'T do that. Keep the sanding very light, and minimal, and DON'T sand edges, joints, or anywhere where the metal meets the wood.

I'd much rather see a stock with plenty of honest wear than a stock that's been over-sanded, had contours removed, had it's edges rounded, and the wood-to-metal fit screwed up.

deimos256
February 7, 2011, 02:38 PM
After stripping and sanding what are some recommendations for refinishing? A coworker told me linseed oil is best. Do you just apply a coat or is a more thorough process needed? I really don't know much about this stuff, I tried refinishing my Mosin with polyurethane and while it came out alright, it's nothing like some of the rifles I have held.

Sam1911
February 7, 2011, 02:45 PM
Polyurethane is not a very good choice for much. Coating the wood fibers with plastic. As a woodworker ... that's "icky." ;)

Linseed oil is a classic. The raw stuff takes forever to cure. The boiled version will dry faster.

There are a variety of other high-quality oil finishes which give great results. Tung oil is one. Personally, I've always gotten terrific results with WATCO "Danish oil finish." It's a blend of oils and varnish that soaks in very well and produces a terrific finish just by wiping it on, letting it soak, and wiping off the excess. (Follow the directions on the can.)

Just don't buy anything that has a stain or pigment. Stains can come out looking blotchy, and your walnut stock will be dark enough without it. Look for a "natural" color finish.

I let my last WATCO coat dry for a day or two and then wax the wood with dark paste wax for a final protective coat.

deimos256
February 7, 2011, 03:06 PM
Thanks for the help. It's actually for a German k98 that's fairly chewed up. I don't mind the dings because they tell a story, but half the finish is worn off, sort of the the pictures above. I'm looking to strip it, lightly sand anything too rough and then go for a satin finish.

USSR
February 7, 2011, 03:47 PM
Just don't buy anything that has a stain or pigment. Stains can come out looking blotchy, and your walnut stock will be dark enough without it.

Au contraire.

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=507631&highlight=stain

Don

Sam1911
February 7, 2011, 03:52 PM
O.k. That looks fine. I'd have to see one finished with oil and one finished with that stain side-by-side, but I'd say that the stock shown in those pictures is lighter and redder than my Garand (lightly refinished) and Carbine (original) stocks, but not too far off from my '03A3's original stock.

I'd still prefer the lightest possible touch, and don't personally think adding color fits with that principle, but that's not to everyone's taste.

carbine85
February 7, 2011, 07:05 PM
[QUOTE]After stripping and sanding what are some recommendations for refinishing? A coworker told me linseed oil is best. Do you just apply a coat or is a more thorough process needed? I really don't know much about this stuff, I tried refinishing my Mosin with polyurethane and while it came out alright, it's nothing like some of the rifles I have held[QUOTE]

Linseed oil is used a lot in original military finishes. Tung oil is great but can be hard to find and expensive. A lot of tung oil isn't the real thing. You can mix some stain into the Linseed oil for the first 1-2 coats.
How much stain you use, if any all depends on the grain of the walnut. The military didn't always use the best grade of walnut.
After the oil finish is dry you can work it over with some 0000 steel wool and then polish it with a soft cloth. What you get is a smooth and duller finish. High gloss finishes on a Carbine or M1 Garand are a real turn-off.

Orlando
February 7, 2011, 07:19 PM
You want 100% linseed oil not linseed oil finish (that is a shiney finish) 100% Linseed oil is easily found at Home Centers, Paint stores, Lumber Companies,etc

1KPerDay
February 7, 2011, 07:40 PM
FYI BLO is not for the impatient. I've been working on one of my garands for about a month and it still needs more.

Orlando
February 7, 2011, 07:50 PM
This may help get 600 grit wet/dry sandpaper( it is very, very fine and wont remove any noticeable wood). Dip the sandpaper in the BLO and rub it all over the stock. In a coat or two it should stop absorbing as much

1KPerDay
February 8, 2011, 02:07 AM
Done it... still has some patches that are dull/absorbing. I'm thinking of just rubbing on some Tom's 1/3 and calling it good.

Orlando
February 8, 2011, 08:27 AM
Let it dry and try it again and see what happens
This is usually from a stock being very dry and having open grain.

Al Thompson
February 8, 2011, 09:50 AM
Another good thread:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=240961

deimos256
February 8, 2011, 11:17 AM
Are there any special rules I have to follow for laminated stocks?

1KPerDay
February 8, 2011, 02:48 PM
Nope... far as I know treat them like any other wood.

xfyrfiter
February 8, 2011, 03:01 PM
Cetol (Brand name) is probably the best wood finish I have ever used. It is primarily used on exposed woodwork on boats, and is tough enough to walk on. Strip old finish, lightly sand, apply 2 or more coats as needed. Comes in semi gloss or bright, semi would be my choice.

BrocLuno
February 10, 2011, 03:05 PM
Cetol is very, very tough. The only downside is that it adds a bit of yellow/orange to the hue that you see. For dark woods, it will not be a problem. For some Birches and Beeches it might. Highly recommended for stocks that will go afield :)

deimos256
February 10, 2011, 03:18 PM
Of all the oil finishes, do they all take about the same amount of time to dry? I don't mind spending a month refinishing a stock but if one product delivers the same results in less time I'll jump on it.

451 Detonics
February 10, 2011, 03:37 PM
I really like Lin-Speed brand and have been using it for many years...

http://lin-speed.com/

1KPerDay
March 2, 2011, 02:29 AM
I have been refinishing stocks for years and have tried every method there is.
I have found what I believe is the easiest, best method

If I want to do a deep cleaning and refinish of the wood here is how I do it. Takes maybe 10 -15 minutes for a completetly bare clean stock
I first take Purple Power degreaser and put it in a spray bottle.
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f197/Garandlover/misc/MVC-013S.jpg
I then spray down the stock with degreaser, immediataly you will see years of grease. oil and dirt start to roll off
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f197/Garandlover/misc/MVC-008S.jpg
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 10-15 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
http://i47.photobucket.com/albums/f197/Garandlover/misc/MVC-012S.jpg

I let the stock dry for a day or two before refinishing
I have to say thanks for this... I just tried purple power, hot water, and a green scotchbrite pad on the darkest-black, grungiest M1 handguard I had, and the crud simply MELTED off in about 2 minutes. I was actually laughing out loud, I couldn't believe it. Some really nice tigerstripey walnut beneath.

Thanks again! :cool:

Orlando
March 2, 2011, 07:15 AM
It is unbelievably easy , isnt it?

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