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CMP Hackberry Garand stock

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by GunnyUSMC, May 16, 2018.

  1. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    With the poor condition of stocks on the latest batch of Garands, CMP has started using Hackberry stock. These stocks have a very poor finish and don’t look very good.
    Now I have been doing stock work for over 30 years and have worked with many types of wood, but Hackberry is not one of them. I would like to come up with a nice finish that would look good on these new Hackberry stocks, but the problem is, I don’t have any Hackberry stocks to work on.
    This is what I’m willing to offer. I will take in two stocks to refinish at no charge. That’s right, I will do the stocks for free. All you will need to do is pay shipping both ways, I’ll cover the cost of the finish.
    I will do one with Chestnut Ridge and the other with another type of dye.
    How does this sound?
     
  2. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Wish I had one to send you.
     
  3. dh1633pm

    dh1633pm Member

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    So Hackberry isn't a brand of stocks, but according to startpage.com is a wood type in the Elm family. If I had one I would certainly share. Please let us know how this works out for you. And I thought I knew all the wood types in the east.
     
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  4. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Is it as bad as the Australian coachwood (used on SMLE's)?
     
  5. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Coachwood it very nice looking and can be stained very easy if needed.
    Hackberry that I have seen runs from white to flesh tan in color. It's a hardwood and doesn't take stain well. Using an oil base stain on it is like trying to get a duck wet.
     
  6. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

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    Hackberry will also turn a corpse-like blue if it isn't dried promptly after cutting. Very goth.
     
  7. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Hackberry trees are scrub type trees in the East. They grow fast under bad conditions but have fairly tough wood. Had a sugarberry (a hackberry common in the South) come up volunteer probably from birds in the back yard shade flower bed)--had to remove it due to location.

    Never really thought of them as a furniture type tree nor messed with the wood as it is not readily available from my local specialty lumber distributors.

    One route might be to seal the pores and apply solid or semi-solid stain. Might take quite a while to dry and would not be that resistant to weather nor handling. A blue-gray stock might be intriguing on a sporter but look out of place for a Garand.

    Good luck with your project Gunny. Look forward to pictures.
     
  8. CapnMac

    CapnMac Member

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    Hackberries are listed as an "invasive" species here in Texas.
    They were popular in the 60s-70s for being fast growing and tall.

    They are stubborn trees. Cut one off flush with the ground, and shoots will grow up around the stump like a crown.

    The wood, as noted above, is weird (unless you like corpse-blue). The living trees have much harder (hardier) sapwood than heartwood. So, they are pretty good in storms until you get a storm that is just too much, and they twist and splinter and split in an awful mess. And, will start srouting new limbs & shoots from every point of damage. Which means the grain of the heartwood (once that actually grows out) is twisted and gnarly, more like burl or a knot.

    The wood is cheap, slightly plentiful (not stocked in any great amount due to low demand).

    But, it's wood. Treat it right and you'll get a good finish. Treat it wrong, and you get junk. C'est la vie.
     
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  9. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    A note of caution, (if memory serves me) hackberry trees got their name from having purplish clusters of berries that look tasty but are deadly due to a high concentration of cyanide compounds. The animals that would eat the berries would develop a hacking cough and aspirate. (Again, from memory, high school AP Biology which I tested for and got college credit hours). I am not sure if the wood itself contains cyanide compounds, but I certainly would be wearing a respirator if sanding and latex gloves for all handling.

    Has anybody ever considered fiberglass resin as a finish? It’s one of those things that just makes wood look wet, and it is supposedly a decent penetrant. Wet sand it to 2000 then wipe with a silicone impregnated cloth and I think you should have a nice finish, and it would contain any toxins which may or may not be present in the wood.

    Quick googling doenst back up my memory, maybe I’m wrong. First time for everything I guess.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2018
  10. Stumper

    Stumper Member

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    Hackberry fruit isn't dangerous to wildlife or people. Hackberry was named for it's use as butcher's blocks. It is extremely resistant to splitting and can take a lot of HACKING. Kind of blah in appearance but very tough. Treatment with vinegar that has been home to steel filings or a handful of nails for a little while will stain it an attractive blue/gray. Normal color is off-white.
     
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  11. MJD

    MJD Member

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    Gunny, I wrapped a diameter tape around many a hackberry (sugar berry) in central/southcentral Louisiana cruising timber. Never in my life would I have guessed it to be used for gun stock wood.

    For anyone not in the forestry profession, no, cruising timber doesn’t mean driving around the woods!

    Due to the bark protrusions, the Cajuns I cruised with called it the “tee-ton” tree for reasons I will only speculate in impolite company.

    The wood grain is fairly plain and I don’t imagine it’ll dress up even with stain. However, I look forward to some pictures of your results!
     
  12. hrsaylor

    hrsaylor Member

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    What about finding some hackberry trees and take a few piees and stain them to see what you like .. if it looks like crap then no loss.. call your local tree trimmers to score a few pieces
     
  13. 22250Rem

    22250Rem Member

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    ...................Me too..... But if that hackberry wood won't take a decent finish I've got some non-hackberry, ( I think ?) Garand wood here. I'm still cleaning out the shop / reloading area and still have to thin things out around here. Here's a pix of what's here. The upper handguard's cracked (you know how to fix those, don't you?) and the rest of it looks decent. Just looking to find a good home for it IMG_1726 (2).JPG .
     
  14. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    I am always taking in broken and unwanted stocks. If I’m unable to use them, I store them away until someone contacts me, looking for a stock. I would be happy to give it a home. I have an M1 project on the back burner right now.
    The problem with that is the wood needs to be cured before it can be stained. It’s not that it can’t be finished nice, just need to find out what works best.
     
  15. JeffG

    JeffG Member

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    Try Fiebing's alcohol based leather dye. I have had excellent results on the most stubborn wood. Does a number on countertops if you're not careful...:eek:
     
  16. CoalTrain49

    CoalTrain49 Member

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    I'll send you a cracked M1 Carbine stock. It's been sanded down without mercy. I'm sure someone like you could repair it and send it to a good home. PM me.
     
  17. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    Been using leather dye for more then 25 years, Fiebing’s being one of the best. But when I need that special color I mix my own with Rit dye and denatured alcohol.

    Not much can be done with over sanding, but sometimes there’s a need for a beater stock or it could be used to salvage wood for other repairs.
     
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  18. mag1911

    mag1911 Member

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    My Mother had a small hexagonal foot stool made out of hackberry she decided to refinish. She stripped the finish off one of the panels and found out the "grain" had been hand painted. She tried staining, etc that one side several times but it always just looked like a piece of MDF with stain on it. She ended up turning that side against the wall and leaving the rest of it alone.

    We had a hackberry in the back yard. The berries are slightly sweet, taste somewhat like raisins, but have a hard shell similar to pop corn that gets between your teeth and the seed is nearly the size of the berry so there's really not much to eat on one.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2018
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  19. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    I belive some folks have an artistic ability for making wood look beautiful and some folks don’t

    Gunny would be the former and I would be the latter.
     
  20. GunnyUSMC

    GunnyUSMC Member

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    It’s really not that hard, you just have to learn what type of paint to dip your brush in.
    Free stock work.
     
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  21. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    If you saw some of my wood finishing projects you’d have some question about what I’m dipping my brush in because they all look like doo doo
     
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  22. entropy

    entropy Member

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    At least they're not using Bois D' Arc.;)
     
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  23. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I lived in TX for a couple years, hackberry are invasive down there, as Capn Mac said. They don't grow up here, thank God! Twist elm is tough, but I'll vote for Bois D' Arc (Bow Tree, in French) for biggest PITA wood. I dulled three chains on one 12" thick, two of those brand new. (waiting for someone to come in with.....'why didn't you start the saw up?...)
     
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  24. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    With the help of GunnyUSMC here is my Hackberry lower and upper front hand guard from a scratch and dent CMP store GI M1 Garand. I sent these pictures to Gunny, but everyone ought to see them. I am no wood worker, but things are shaping up pretty well. The other HG is being processed now using his dye formula.
    MVC-014F.JPG MVC-013F.JPG
    The upper is birch and I was lucky to get them as closely matched as this. They came from CMP looking as different as black and green. Thanks Gunny!!!!
     
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  25. total recoil

    total recoil Member

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    Unfortunately, my resources drive me to Minwax Finish Wax instead of Tom's 3/1 rifle wax. Soon I will be able to re-assemble the rifle and show you the results. This method (The Gunny method) of stock restoration has been good to me. When it is finally done I will find out if it shoots as well as it looks. I have lots of GI ammo to test with.
    Keep watching this thread for updates..
     
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