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Re-finishing M1 Carbine stock - ideas?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Ratzinger_p38, Feb 8, 2008.

  1. Ratzinger_p38

    Ratzinger_p38 Well-Known Member

    I have an original WW2 Inland 'HI' low wood M1 Carbine stock. It is in good shape but the wood was dark and very dirty. First I have given it a bath in some water-down Murphy Oil, which helped eliminate most of the Korean text and grime. After drying, the wood looks very dry and I'd like to give it some protective coating as well as fresh coat of something...Linseed oil or whatever is correct for this kind of stock. I have not seen as much for refinishing M1 Carbine stocks as I have for Garands, so I might need some advise. I am on a basic next-to-nothing budget so I'd like to make it as quick and painless as possible. I just want this retain the USGI look.

    Ideas ? Surely some of you have done this before - there are alot of beat up carbine stocks out there.
  2. Sunray

    Sunray Well-Known Member

    BLO(Boiled Linseed Oil) is your friend. It's cheap and easy to get in any hardware or paint store. Apply with a clean lint free cloth using several light coats over a few days. Dispose of the cloths properly when you're done. They'll be flammable.
  3. Ratzinger_p38

    Ratzinger_p38 Well-Known Member

    Is that the stuff that will help bring out the faint markings? You can barely see the 'HI' in the slingwell of my stock, not to mention the 'RRA' and cartouche were weakly stamped. Keep in mind I am not sanding the stock so it would have to show up well over the lightened finish.
  4. charlesb_la

    charlesb_la Well-Known Member

  5. Furncliff

    Furncliff Well-Known Member

    I have used Birchwood Casey's TRU-OIL on two stocks. I was very pleased with the results. You can just pour a bit on the stock and rub it in with your hands. It dries fast. After it's fully dry rub the stock with some 0000 steel wool and re-apply. The more coats the smoother it will be. I have been very pleased with the durability, and if it needs a touch up, just rub the steel wool over it and give it another coat. I'm a woodworker so when I got started with the rifle stock project I tested several methods. This product worked the best for me. It's not expensive and I think one 3-oz bottle might do two stocks.
  6. DnPRK

    DnPRK Well-Known Member

    I use acetone and a bristle brush to remove grunge from military surplus stocks. (Do it in a well ventiliated, ignitionless place).

    Dents are steamed out.

    Sandpaper never touches the stock to keep from destroying cartouches and stamps. If there is a chip or gouge...well, I'll live with it (it adds character).

    Dye the stock to the desired color.

    Apply a thin coat of boiled linseed oil rubbing it in with my fingers on 3 consecutive evenings, for a total of 3 coats.
  7. alamo

    alamo Well-Known Member

    Acetone is good but is very nasty stuff. Use gloves and in a well-ventilated area as mentioned.

    You might consider lacquer thinner, it's not quite as bad as acetone I understand. That's what I use. It is a solvent also.

    Both of these solvents help to remove the gunk, oil, dirt and grime in the stock. The stock will lighten up good bit when these things are out of it. Then you're ready for the BLO or Tung Oil finish.
  8. tpaw

    tpaw Well-Known Member

    Aceatone is good, but it evaporates very quickly and gives you less working time. I'd suggest a type of lacquer thinner.
  9. Chipperman

    Chipperman Well-Known Member

    I clean gently with Murphy's and then put on 2-3 coats of Tung Oil.

    I don't want to remove all the age and character of my guns.
  10. ol' scratch

    ol' scratch Well-Known Member

    I used this method for an M1 Garand stock in walnut. I used a heat gun and some time in the sun to sweat the crud out. I then used some warm water and some dishsoap on the really tough spots. Next, I used denatured alcohol. It took some time, but it looks nice. I finished with something a Garand junkie told me to use-one part linseed oil, one part turpentine, one part beeswax. (hint-use a toilet wax ring. They are cheap and beeswax). The wax was warmed on the stove with some hot water. I then took the warm wax out in the garage and mixed in the equal parts of oil and turpentine. It has the consistency of butter you leave on the counter. It applies very well. Wipe off the excess. The stock has a reddish hue.
    I hope that helps.
  11. longdayjake

    longdayjake Well-Known Member

  12. a-sheepdog

    a-sheepdog Well-Known Member

    Rub in Boiled Linseed Oil.
  13. krs

    krs Well-Known Member

    that's your finish. It sets up beautifully but it takes many days and is sometimes more work than the Home Depot "Dries Quickly - Refinish in one day" types can cope with, the darlings. :)

    Do not ruin an original carbine stock.

    It's already had it's tung oil and doesn't need more from you.

    Do not put Tru-Oil on that stock (!!)

    Freshen it with boiled linseed oil. Put some on heavy and let it sit 24 hrs. Wipe off any that didn't absorb into the wood by then. Let it stand a few days and then start adding one very light coat of oil each day. Rub the coat until the palm of your hand feels like it's blistering from the heat. Keep doing that but use less oil. After three or four light coats let the stock stand for a week. Then rub it all over until you feel heat where you've rubbed. By then you'll see why you're doing all this.

    Wish I could show you the Garand wood I'm doing right now. Awesome!
  14. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Well-Known Member

    I tend to go with whatever it originally had. In this case that would be Tung Oil. Make sure it uses the older recipe too. The only thing you get with BLO is it will eventually turn the wood a reddish colour, characteristic of the Lee Enfield. Tung Oil is probably better for keeping water out but BLO is much easier to find and to apply. I prefer the later when I have a choice.
  15. krs

    krs Well-Known Member

    I think the Garand finish process was used on carbines. It was an initial dunk in tung oil, let dry, then follow with BLO. BLO forever more.
  16. Dr_2_B

    Dr_2_B Well-Known Member

    pictures, pictures, pictures
  17. Tim the student

    Tim the student Well-Known Member

    Check out the CMP forums. They have a million threads about refinishing stocks over there.

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