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Refinishing stock on 91/30

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by Snakebite, Apr 6, 2002.

  1. I am refinishing the stock and ran in to problem. I have sanded it down and did the final sanding with 1500 grit paper and boy is it smooth! I have thoroughly degreased it and applied some dark walnut stain. The problem is that the wood on both sides of the butt and a small area in front of the magazine wont take the stain as well as the rest of the stock because these areas have very closed grain and are much lighter than the rest of the wood with a more open grain. I have two coats of stain on it now and these areas have darkened some with the second coat but not enough. Should I just keep putting more stain on these areas? It doesnt look too bad but I would like to have it all the same color. Does anyone know what kind of wood was used on these? It sure resembles pine and I was surprised at how light it is. Ive spent hours on this project so any ideas are greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  2. Dennis

    Dennis G&G Evangelist

    Birch I believe.
    Are you useing Stain or oil?

  3. I am using an oil based stain by Minwax.
  4. Calvin

    Calvin G&G Enthusiast

    Did you degrease the wood before you sanded it? Sounds like there's still a little grease in the fibers. Mine did the same thing, so I sprayed Easy-Off Oven Cleaner on mine, wrapped it in paper towels, soaked them with Easy-Off, then put them into a trash bag to sit overnight. Then, I took them out, rinsed them in hot, soapy water. Let mine sit for 2 days to dry, then reapplied the stain. Worked great for me. HTH
  5. Doglips

    Doglips G&G Newbie

    When I have been redoing stocks useing the miniwax stain..I first use striper to get most of the junk off...brush on wait 10-15 min then use and old towel to wipe off... Followed up by the easy off methoud let dry outside for a few days then use their conditioner/pre stain treatment then a few treatments of stain.
  6. hmmmm, well....
    I finished one of those unissued M39s from Finland about a year ago and didnt experiences the wood resisting the stain (also Minwax) but it did take the stain very unevenly. What I thought would be a 2 day job ended-up being a process that took about 6 weeks. I simply kept repeating the staining process but let the stock dry for 4 or 5 days between each application. After I had the color where I wanted it, I let the whole thing sit another week to really dry well and then began a nightly ritual of gently massaging lemon oil into the wood. After about a month of rubbing the finish almost every night after dinner...I had a stock that was amazing. Deep, rich color and an equally deep, thick, non-tacky shine.
  7. I just put the 4th coat of stain on it and the color is about where I want it. The light areas are a little darker than they were. At this point I dont want to use the Easy Off method and have to start all over. I degreased it all with acetone before I started and once again before I started staining. The colors are starting to get a little more even and some of the grain is starting to look real nice. I think I'll try Cranky's method. If the lighter spots dont darken enough after the 4th coat I think I'll try to just stain those areas again. Its like the wood is so dense in these areas that it wont absorb the stain as easily as the rest. Oh, and Cranky, you are sure right about this being a few day job. I KNOW I'll be working on this for a month! Thanks everybody for your ideas. I'll let you know how it goes. Paul
  8. Big Dog

    Big Dog Retired IT Dinosaur Wrangler Forum Contributor

    I've refinished a few of these rifles, and the most trouble-some was a 91/30 that had been packed in grease so long, the wood was saturated. It took some real effort to clean it. It finally came out fairly decent.
    My Finn M39 has an arctic birch stock that I've been told has a high resin content. It wouldn't take stain at all, and has a nice "tiger-stripe" coloration. A good satin finish made it look good.
    Even a recent .22 rifle gave the results you saw, an uneven mottling. I just left it like that and gloss-coated it. I kind of like it that way, and it's unique.

  9. I have only refinished two stocks before and they were a piece of cake compared to this. This one has been a real challenge but its starting to look good. It has a very interesting look to it and I am starting to really like it. The areas that didnt take the stain real good have slowly darkened a little and have turned a golden brown color and fade into the darker walnut color so they dont stick out like they did. In fact with the different colors in it, it looks more like an antique than it did before I started. Just a LOT smoother. I'm going to let it set for a few days to see if the colors keep changing on me then start with the oil finish. I'm no expert on woodworking but I've done a little and I've never seen wood take stain like this one has.
  10. ricrenz

    ricrenz G&G Newbie

    how to refinish an old Ruskie stock

    Here's how to strip old Ruskie shellac: Go to your local hardware depot and get a gallon of denatured alcohol and some rubber gloves. Find something long enough, like a wallpaper tray, to hold your stock. Pour the alcohol liberally (just like the liberals spend our tax money) over the stock and start rubbing it with #00 to #0000 (your choice) steel wool pads until the old finish lifts off. You'll need to do this several times. Then wash the stock with clean alcohol soaked cloths (old tee shirt) or a lot of paper towels. Rub the stock down now with mineral spirits to lift any oil or grease and then go over it again with acetone to lift the residue from the spirits. Do not! Do not! Do not! use sandpaper on the bare stock wood or you will destroy all the historical cartouches. If you must clean some stubborn areas, use the #0000 steel wool lightly.
    To refinish, get some Bullseye or Zinser 3lb cut ORANGE shellac and cut it with 2 parts alcohol to 1 part shellac. This will give you a 1lb cut. For the first coat, take some of the 1 lb and dilute it about 60/40 alcohol to shellac and then with a clean, NATURAL bristle 2" brush, apply a wash coat of shellac and use the steel wool to smooth when completely dry. Then start applying the 1lb cut in smooth layers and build up coats smoothing with the wool between coats. Always move the brush in ONE direction only when using shellac. Your stock will now gleam!!
    The original wood used was birch which does not take a stain easily. Also there is no need to stain it since that dark finish you see is 60 plus years of sweat, grease, blood, oil & grime. If you are a stickler for that authentic Soviet arsenal look, try using some lampblack (lantern soot) mixed with alcohol and rub it on the bare stock to darken it. Then, follow the above instructions but put on a dirty wife beater tank top and slop on the shellac with a dirty brush while smoking a cheap French cigarette and cursing the socialist government then wait another 60 years and you'll have an authentic looking Soviet stock!
    Do not finish the inside! Leave it as is. If you finish the inside, any moisture between the finish and the barrel will stick to the shellac when the barrel gets hot from shooting and will glue the barrel to the stock and you won't be able to disassemble it without damaging the wood.
  11. Coldwood

    Coldwood G&G Newbie

    Minwax is oil based and really doesn't penetrate the wood that well, especially where the grain is hard and tight. What penetrates better for more even color are aniline dyes based in alcohol. Think shoe leather dye, which is alcohol based, and available at any shoe repair shop. When I built my first muzzleloader, I wanted a dark finish so I dyed it with brown shoe leather dye. You can buy all kinds of colors of aniline dye powders, which have to be mixed with alcohol, one source is Constantines, they have all kinds of stuff for fine woodworking:

    Stains and Dyes - Alcohol

    I suspect the Russians used shellac because it's cheap and easy to brush on and dries fast, compared to varnish. Shellac isn't the best finish for anything that's going to be used outside, it's easily scratched and damaged by water.

    If shellac is flaking off a gunstock and you want to save it, put some wood alcohol on a soft brush or soft cotton cloth and dab it onto the affected area. You can do the same thing with orange shellac, which is alcohol based. This will "melt" or "reamalgamate" the original shellac and bond it to the wood again. It will look shiny, the way it looked when the Russians first painted it. At this point you can go nuts and repolish the whole stock. But if it's already been waxed, things will get messy.
  12. Coldwood

    Coldwood G&G Newbie

    Oops, I guess these posts don't take URLs, just google Constantines or alcohol stains or aniline dyes.