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Stock Cleaning Question/Help!

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ffuries
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Stock Cleaning Question/Help!

#1 Post by ffuries » Thu Sep 07, 2017 10:53 pm

I have a Type 53 with a white haze on the stock. Which is believed to have been caused by the chemicals used by the importer to somewhat de-grease the rifles for whatever purpose.

Is there a way to fix this, tone it down, blend it without refinishing the stock? Or do I need to learn to live with it, since I'm opposed to refinishing it.

I understand the rifles were well used and abused, and I don't expect it to look new, but the haze is a distraction and I feel refinishing it would make the stock look out of place on a rifle with a well worn finish.

So any ideals, suggestions, hints, tips, etc would be appreciated.
Mike
TSgt, USAF Retired
Jan 86 - Sept 08
Aircrew Life Support
"Your Life Is Our Business"
(122X0, 1T1X1, 1P0X1)
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Candyman
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Re: Stock Cleaning Question/Help!

#2 Post by Candyman » Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:37 pm

There is a big misunderstanding when it comes to military stocks with oil finishes.
I know that there are those that will flame that the original finish has been removed when a stock is cleaned. But there are some that know very little about oil finishes or what was done to keep wood stocks clean in the military.
An oil finish is not a one time application. It is a finish that needs to be reapplied. Wax is used as a top coat to protect the oil finish, but it wears off with use. You are not supposes to apply oil on a dirty surface unless it is being used as a cleaner.

My neighbor, Jim, is an old Marine. He went through boot camp in the 60s. He told that his Company was issued brand new M14s. He said that some had nice oil finishes on them and others looked like raw wood.
After being issued their new rifles they were marched back to the barracks. They then stripped the rifles down and took the stocks to the wash racks.
This is a wash rack for those that don't know.
IMG_0725.JPG
They then used laundry soap and scrub brushes to scrub the stocks.
After the stocks were dry they started applying oil. They applied oil to the stocks every day. He said that his rifle must have gained four lbs buy the time he graduated.
Jim carried the M14 in Vietnam. I asked him about how they kept them cleaned. He said that rifles had to be kept cleaned and oiled or they would start to rust. When asked about the stocks, he said that if they didn't have a paste wax, they would rub the stocks down with a candle. He said after a patrol the would strip down the rifles, wash the stocks with whatever they had, dry re oil and wax.
Now if your rifle was ever issued and you think that your stock has an original finish, I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I would like to sell you.
Cleaning and re-oiling is not refinishing, it's maintenance. The chance of our surplus rifles ever see combat or hard use again is slim to none. So if your stock is filthy and needs cleaning, clean it.
Now when it comes to patina, it's not the curd on the stock. Patina is the color of the surface of the stock that comes with age and what the surface comes in contact with. As long as you don't remove the surface of the stock, you will not remove the patina.

To show you what I'm talking about, here is a dirty stock.
IMG_0644.JPG
IMG_0645.JPG
Here it is being cleaned.
IMG_0655.JPG
IMG_0656.JPG
Here it is cleaned.
IMG_0753.JPG
IMG_0691.JPG
The stock was made smooth by boning.
IMG_0759.JPG
Here it is oiled and waxed.
IMG_0764.JPG
And bask on the gun.
IMG_0776.JPG
Post some picks of your stock and I'll advise the best steps to get you to where you need to be.

ffuries
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Re: Stock Cleaning Question/Help!

#3 Post by ffuries » Sun Sep 10, 2017 4:05 pm

Candyman wrote:
Sun Sep 10, 2017 1:37 pm
There is a big misunderstanding when it comes to military stocks with oil finishes.
I know that there are those that will flame that the original finish has been removed when a stock is cleaned. But there are some that know very little about oil finishes or what was done to keep wood stocks clean in the military.
An oil finish is not a one time application. It is a finish that needs to be reapplied. Wax is used as a top coat to protect the oil finish, but it wears off with use. You are not supposes to apply oil on a dirty surface unless it is being used as a cleaner.

My neighbor, Jim, is an old Marine. He went through boot camp in the 60s. He told that his Company was issued brand new M14s. He said that some had nice oil finishes on them and others looked like raw wood.
After being issued their new rifles they were marched back to the barracks. They then stripped the rifles down and took the stocks to the wash racks.
This is a wash rack for those that don't know.
IMG_0725.JPG

They then used laundry soap and scrub brushes to scrub the stocks.
After the stocks were dry they started applying oil. They applied oil to the stocks every day. He said that his rifle must have gained four lbs buy the time he graduated.
Jim carried the M14 in Vietnam. I asked him about how they kept them cleaned. He said that rifles had to be kept cleaned and oiled or they would start to rust. When asked about the stocks, he said that if they didn't have a paste wax, they would rub the stocks down with a candle. He said after a patrol the would strip down the rifles, wash the stocks with whatever they had, dry re oil and wax.
Now if your rifle was ever issued and you think that your stock has an original finish, I have some ocean front property in Arizona that I would like to sell you.
Cleaning and re-oiling is not refinishing, it's maintenance. The chance of our surplus rifles ever see combat or hard use again is slim to none. So if your stock is filthy and needs cleaning, clean it.
Now when it comes to patina, it's not the curd on the stock. Patina is the color of the surface of the stock that comes with age and what the surface comes in contact with. As long as you don't remove the surface of the stock, you will not remove the patina.

To show you what I'm talking about, here is a dirty stock.
IMG_0644.JPG
IMG_0645.JPG

Here it is being cleaned.
IMG_0655.JPG
IMG_0656.JPG

Here it is cleaned.
IMG_0753.JPG
IMG_0691.JPG

The stock was made smooth by boning.
IMG_0759.JPG

Here it is oiled and waxed.
IMG_0764.JPG

And bask on the gun.
IMG_0776.JPG

Post some picks of your stock and I'll advise the best steps to get you to where you need to be.
Cool I'll post pictures after Irma has her way with us in Florida. Currently I have my guns oiled and secured just incase we had to evacuate. After Irma I'm making sure that Jose doesn't pose a threat before I pull the guns back out.
Mike
TSgt, USAF Retired
Jan 86 - Sept 08
Aircrew Life Support
"Your Life Is Our Business"
(122X0, 1T1X1, 1P0X1)
NRA Life Member

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Rapidrob
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Re: Stock Cleaning Question/Help!

#4 Post by Rapidrob » Sun Sep 10, 2017 7:58 pm

A tip I've been using to clean the grim and crud from stocks for decades is Goop Hand Cleaner,the paste not the grit type.
Put a large glob of it on 0000-steel wool and rub the stock lightly. The goop will remove the grim off in about 60 seconds or faster. Rinse with warm water when done and allow to dry. Oil with what ever you like to use.
Tin Can Sailor
'Nam Vet
NRA Endowment Member
President New Mexico Military Surplus Rifle Pistol Shooters

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