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Cosmoline a Cast Iron Blank? At a Crossroads.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by LJ-MosinFreak-Buck, Sep 7, 2011.

  1. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    So I'm currently in the process of re-finishing my Turkish M38 Mauser. Why? The stock looked ugly as hell, dirty, dingy, and I'm not worried about collector value, I just want it to look good. They aren't worth much last I knew of anyway because they aren't actually German Mausers.

    What I've done so far?

    I've polished the bolt using "Barmans Best Friend" stainless steel polish, I've cleaned the action out and used brake cleaner to spray away the cosmo on the metal, and I've stripped and sanded the stock.

    What am I working on now?

    Getting the cosmoline out of the stock with a blow-dryer and a rag.

    What am I having difficulties with?

    Well it seems to me that this whole rifle was made with Cosmoline. :cuss: Well, at least the stock was... I've been applying heat for damn near 36 hours and I'm still pulling cosmo out of the stock. It's looking exponentially better as I move along, but can there really be this much cosmo in the gun? :banghead:

    How long does it usually take you guys to pull cosmo out of the stock using this process?

    How can I tell, other than applying heat and getting nothing, that the cosmo is out of the stock?

    And furthermore, I want to do a red oak #219 (IIRC) stain, but I think the wood could be lightened up some, I believe it's a walnut stock but I could be mistaken.

    How could I go about brightening up the stock?

    Bleach and water?

    If so, how much bleach to water?

    Any tips would be appreciated, I've never had this trouble from my Mosin or my K31.

    Thanks in advance,
  2. plunge

    plunge Well-Known Member

    i would like to know about this as well. the stock on my mauser is practically black. i'm thinking about just replacing it.
  3. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    I'll post pictures a little later, but when I first brought the rifle home, mine was too. I actually used a scotchbrite green scratch pad and old english to clean it up some, and I seen some of the brown come out, but couldn't get anymore without heat.

    Tried heat, and took some more out. I only got so far before I stripped the stain though, and now it's coming out like no other. I'll post pics of the differences here after while.
  4. Deus Machina

    Deus Machina Well-Known Member

    How bad are cosmo's fumes? Hang it from the oven rack at 175 or so for a while, then flip it?
  5. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    Can still smell the fumes, but I can't fit the stock in the oven, too long.
  6. Fat_46

    Fat_46 Well-Known Member

    Here's whats worked for me:
    Use a water soluble degreaser(I like Purple Power). Be aware that most degreasers are chemically base. I spray the whole stock down, and watch the crud drip off. Rinse with water, dry, then wrap the stock in several layers of good paper towel - the more absorbent the better. Stick the mummy-wrapped stock into a large BLACK garbage bag, and put it in the sunniest part of your yard on a clear morning. Go to work, go shooting, etc. Take the stock out, dispose of the now cosmoline soaked paper towels, and repeat as needed.
  7. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    What you've got is an oil soaked stock, not cosmoline. Once you get it all out, you might want to check out the Service Rifle Stain that I sell on this site, followed by an application of BLO or Tung oil.

  8. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    This is my prescribed steps I'm following, according to the success of my Mosin and K31:

    Strip stock using thinner

    Remove cosmoline as necessary

    Sand stock using 120 grit paper, then 180 grit

    6 coats of Red Oak #219, letting set for 13 minutes each coat before wiping off, waiting 6 hours before applying next coat

    Sand using 2000 paper

    Apply 10 coats of Tung Oil, following prescribed procedures on back of can (Minwax)

    However, I have been thinking about bleaching the stock before adding color. I'm not sure how to do this though, and would like to know the recommended mixture ratio of bleach to water, and if this would even be advised. It'd make the color of the stain stand out a lot better than the color of the wood now.
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2011
  9. sansone

    sansone Well-Known Member

    I like your technique but you left out the step involving soap and water.
    post#6: Use a water soluble degreaser(I like Purple Power).
  10. loadedround

    loadedround Well-Known Member

    You have my sympathy. Last week I went through the same exercise with a M1 Garand just puchased from the CMP people. My rifle had about 3 pounds of cosmoline on both the metal parts and stock. After disassembling the rifle I wiped as much cosmoline off as possible after allowing the metal pieces to sit out in the hot sun for several hours. Outside, I took a plastic tub of gasoline, a tooth brush and a small 1'' paint brush (never use gasoline indoors or an enclosed area). The parts were soaked in the gasoline for about 20-30 minutes, removed and then scrubbed throughly with the brushes. All metal parts came out completely clean. Let them dry and lube all of the metal parts, remember they are all bare metal now and could possibly rust. Please dispose of the used gas safely. For the stock, I did the same thing by sitting it out in the sun and then wiping off as much cosmoline as possible with a dry rag I won't use gasoline on a wooden stock since it will be absorbed. Brownells sells a product call "Whiting" that is mixed with solvent and painted on the stock. When dry, wipe it off with a dry rag and all the old oil and grease comes off with the Whiting. Great stuff. I refinished off my Garand's stock with Tung oil and presto; an almost new stock. :)
  11. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    I have never used soap and water, nor degreaser. Just a hair dryer on highest setting.

    Hair dryer on highest setting works good, just time consuming.

    I am thinking its cosmo because if it looks like a duck and sounds like a duck... it feels like cosmo, looks and smells like cosmo, therefore it must be cosmoline.

    LOL I totally hear ya there. It's coming out pretty good for what it is. I've cleaned the metal parts with brake cleaner and just a blow dryer and a rag for removal from stock. I don't like leaving parts outside so I'm doing it the hard way.
  12. sansone

    sansone Well-Known Member

    soap will take the grease out and lighten the wood prior to your applying stain.
    Is there something about water that bothers you? ..just curious
  13. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    never liked getting water on nekkid wood:eek:
  14. sansone

    sansone Well-Known Member

    thought so.
    Water and heat will raise the wood grain, making a light sanding necessary
  15. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

  16. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    so far the hair dryer method is working good stock is becoming lighter by the minute
  17. USSR

    USSR Well-Known Member

    Cosmoline is something that is applied to service rifles that are going into long term storage. It is not something that is routinely applied to rifles, and does not typically penetrate the wood to the degree that you are experiencing. What you have is a type of oil/grease that has been applied as routine maintenance over many, many years, and has almost penetrated the wood.

    Again, not cosmoline. I have been to the CMP North Store and bought several M1 Garands in the last couple of years. The Greek returns are slathered in a type of grease. Cosmoline is something entirely different.

  18. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    Hm... Never heard of that, kind sir.

    Either way, it comes out like cosmoline, so I'm not complaining too much.
  19. LJ-MosinFreak-Buck

    LJ-MosinFreak-Buck Well-Known Member

    Now, can someone explain to me the benefits of using bleach, should I decide to do the extra work in sanding involved? And the techniques would be nice to know as well.
  20. Quoheleth

    Quoheleth Well-Known Member

    I wouldn't bleach the wood. If you don't get it all out of the wood, it could turn your finish blotchy.

    You're better off with hot water and degreaser and then sanding.


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