Ruger Mini Stock Re-Finish


January 29, 2014, 05:26 PM
Hello, I have been browsing THR for years but just signed up.

I got the idea tat I wanted to refinish my wood stock for my mini 30. I planned on using some Fairtrimmers and Tung Oil as well as Howards feed and wax to seal it.

I have refinished a couple of other guns, AK and Mosin, they came out well. But I am very much a novice.

I wanted to refinish as the existing finish looked horrendous. So first step I stripped the stock using a natural soy stripper. The finish came off pretty easily, but I noticed this blotchyness still there that I had figured was from the original finish, it was still apparent. I stripped it a second time, then come to realize I think this is the grain pattern of the wood used for the stock.

Thinking to myself, no piece of wood could possibly be this ugly. I read of a stock cleaning mix which I tried. 4oz Denatured Alcohol, 4oz Turpentine, 1 oz Ammonia. ( I left out the BLO as I want to use the fairtirmmers). I have scrubbed and scrubbed this stock with the cleaning solution and a nylon brush 6 times and don't see much progress.

Attached are pics of the stock. I have not sanded as of yet. I have a feeling this is gonna be just as ugly as when it started when I finally add the oil finish.

Just looking for any advice if I should continue to try and clean with the solution, or sand it down a bit to see if this gets any better, or just conclude this is an ugly piece of wood that will never turn out looking how I want it?

Thanks in advance for your responses.

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January 29, 2014, 11:46 PM
Before you totally give up, wet it with a spray bottle, plain water, then let it dry overnight. Get some 0000 steel wool, run some alcohol through it to remove the oil thats in it, when dry, rubdown with the 0000 wool. After the stock dries, there will be tiny slivers of wood, "whiskers" that will show, rub those off with the wool, do the wet process again, to get all the tiny whiskers off. Steel wool the stock again, maybe 2 more times just to make sure its sanded smooth. Then try whatever finish/stain you're going to put on it. When you let it cure between coats, making sure you let it completely dry, rub it down with a hunk of burlap, will really make it shine with a satiny finish. Then maybe put you sealer on top of that.

January 29, 2014, 11:53 PM
You're joking, right?

That stock is going to have some absolutely beautiful fiddleback grain in it when you get the finish done.

Don't even try to cover it up.

People pay big bucks for wood like that!


January 30, 2014, 11:14 AM
Thanks for the heads up RCModel and tip 788Ham. I will post pics when I am finished with this project. Prob be several weeks. I hope you're right RC

loose noose
January 30, 2014, 02:50 PM
I agree whole heartedly with RC, that stock should come out looking absolutely beautiful, as the fiddle back grain is hard to find on any gun stock.

January 30, 2014, 07:25 PM
A lot of gun owners would die for wood grain like that.

February 13, 2014, 02:54 PM
Getting close to being done...

Sun Tzu warrior
February 13, 2014, 11:23 PM
Nice piece of wood! Keep it going, I think you will be well pleased!

February 14, 2014, 12:50 AM
Now thats starting to look like a nice hunk of wood, I mean stock. Which system did you use? Just curious, thats a beautiful stock.

February 14, 2014, 09:02 AM
Aren't you now glad you stayed with it? I have a buyer for that wood stock if you still don't like it when it is completed.

February 14, 2014, 01:57 PM
788 Ham, I didn't use a system per say, I have read a lot of different things about refinishing and used a combination of methods I picked up along the way.

After stripping, I sanded with 220, 340,400,800,1000,1500,2000,2500. Raised the grain several times along the way. I did use your suggestion and cleaned post sanding with alcohol and used 0000 synthetic steel wool pads to try and cut the whiskers off without pressing back into the grain. I like the synthetic steel wool as I don't have to worry about any slivers of steel wool getting caught in the grain near edges.

I followed the instructions and put on 3 coats of Fairtrimmers Military OX. Then I put on two very light coats of 100% tung oil. Letting it dry now for several days. Then I will try the burlap you suggested. Also, decided to try Toms 1/3 mix as opposed to Howard's feed and wax to seal it.

Should have it all done and reassembled by end of next week.

February 21, 2014, 10:14 PM
I've fought that issue more than once, you've done a bang up job! congrats.

February 24, 2014, 11:46 AM
Finally done. Happy with it, but not 100% satisfied. Came out with some blotchy spots. I am done working on it for now though. Was going for a M14 look

February 24, 2014, 12:28 PM
Looks great!

Nice work!


February 27, 2014, 10:04 PM
Whats splotchy about the finish? The way the applied finish went on, just how it looks? Maybe the burlap needs some more work. Does look very nice though, did a good job !

February 27, 2014, 10:14 PM
Just finished my own Mini-14 refinish....and some modifications :) Would you believe it is the same gun? Started out as a GB model....finished as a M1A clone. Don't Fret or lose hope they all seem to be never ending projects. Your stock turned out Amazing, great finish!
Stock- Stainless and Plastic
Mid-Way Transformed

4v50 Gary
February 27, 2014, 10:15 PM
Nice refinishing job.

February 28, 2014, 01:19 PM
788HAM There are some spots where the finish didn't absorb fully into the wood so it looks lighter in some areas. But I can live with it.

February 28, 2014, 01:24 PM
Datsun that's a beauty! Love the wood hand guard and dark finish. Is that a Garand hand guard modified to fit a mini? See a barrel band on it.

Also, how long is the barrel without the brake and how does she shoot?

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