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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, this is my first wood stock and I hope I have read far enough in the forum that my information is through enough, I just need a final confirmation or comments from someone with more experience that I got all my marbles. I really appreciate any advice.

Strip- Acetone
Steam
Tape markings
Light sand with 100 grit, light scotchbrite the interior surfaces
Light sand with 120, then 200
Lightly rub wet paper towels of acetone on the stock to create whiskers
Lightly sand stock with 320
Lightly sand with 600?
Stain?
One coat Teak Oil and dry overnight
Second coat Teak Oil and dry overnight
Third coat of Teak oil use with sanding block (600?) and wet sand using the oil
Anymore coats if needed.
Wax?

I am wanting to get the wood down to bare, would I do this before steaming or after(assuming after)? I think I want to end up around 600 grit, would I use that before the Teak Oil and during the wet sand or just during the wet sanding?

I have tried the search function and have gotten deep in the forum, so I think I have it pretty much covered, though I realize now I should have gotten a stock with stripes but that will be the next one.

Over the summers in high school a few years ago I worked in a custom wood furniture shop, so working with wood does not intimidate me too much, but we never worked much with walnut (it’s a trw stock) and when we did I remember it being brownish in color. A golden sort of red stain would look nice I think, though I need to do the prep work first and see what I am working with. What stain do you guys think would achieve this for the most part? From what I have read on here stick with alcohol based stains and I remember the color tobacco being talked about quite a bit with a few others.

http://m14forum.com/stock/145463-teak-oil-experiment-2.html the stock Doug has on this page is the color and finish I want as far as the color and smoothness. If he did not use stain for this color then I wont worry about staining.

I just want to have everything in order before the stock comes (should be here later in the week) so that I can enjoy the process.
 

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I will only add that you stay away from any sand paper below 300. I have seen many ruined stocks because the owner destroyed the stock over sanding it. Buy a cheap practice stock and save the nice one when you are confidant you can do it right.

Ren
 

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Warowl - Sourcing and finishing your own stock can be one of the most fulfilling aspects of owning an M14/M1A. Welcome to the sickness.

When I wrote that thread I was experimenting with teak oil because of the "hand rubbed" properties it imparted to guitar tops I had become accustomed to refinishing. These were curly maple, quilted maple, deeply flamed tops and veneers. The maple is much more receptive to this technique and much less difficult to coax into accepting the stain. This Teak Oil technique was and still is a blasphemous departure from the "USGI" accepted techniques of Boiled linseed oil and Tung Oil.

Since writing that thread I have refined the process many times but let me hit some high points in regard to your post:

1. I only use Soy-Gel to remove the old finish and surface grime. Cover it, wait an hour, scrub with a harsh tire cleaning nylon brush and clean residue with Emerge de-greaser. When the stock dries it will look "Bleached". This is normal.

2. I select stocks based on figure. Most are horribly chewed up from years of abuse. However, I very, very rarely start with any grit below 150. 150 should be sufficient to blunt any deep dents/cuts/intentional carvings without removing too much material.

3. All steaming of dents is done once the piece is dry after cleaning. Mark the areas with a pencil and steam out what you can before you start grinding on it with paper.

4. The Starbrite Teak Oil is very forgiving in regard to staining if you use an alcohol based stain. You can easily remove too much or add more at any time. I am moving farther and farther away from staining at all as I enjoy the subtle hues and characteristics of the color God put in the wood much more than the man-made look I can achieve with stain. The trend in Birch stock finishing tends toward the dark red you mention but I love the varieties in a naturally hued birch stock.

5. Here's a nifty trick. If you do stain, remove the coat with a cotton rag wet with the teak oil. This will give you amazing insight into how the wood is going to look with that much stain on it. For an hour or so (until the oil penetrates) it will stand on top of the highs and lows and give you a keen sense of the depth of the finish as well as the hue. This will serve to guide you as to finishing grit as well. In this manner you will know when to stop. Again, this technique can be done at any point in the finish.

6. A finish wax is absolutely the finishing touch. Multiple coats add to the depth and luster and requires an even polishing with patience and consistent pressure.

Hope it helps, please post pictures so we can all enjoy.

You can do it!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So I need to move all of my grits up and think about more coats of teak. At the wood shop 150 was our finishing grit so I thought it would be alright, but glad I asked first. I will forget about staining if Doug isnt doing it, and its one less thing to mess up.

I have read and saved the process for steaming that you have put up in a post Doug, last question for it is if I steam one spot, should I do that whole stock to keep it all even as far as expanding the wood? Or I am guessing the drying out would even it back up. In the wood shop we stayed far away from water with our raw woods until they were sealed.

Lastly, what wax do you guys use?
 

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So I need to move all of my grits up and think about more coats of teak. At the wood shop 150 was our finishing grit so I thought it would be alright, but glad I asked first. I will forget about staining if Doug isnt doing it, and its one less thing to mess up.

I have read and saved the process for steaming that you have put up in a post Doug, last question for it is if I steam one spot, should I do that whole stock to keep it all even as far as expanding the wood? Or I am guessing the drying out would even it back up. In the wood shop we stayed far away from water with our raw woods until they were sealed.

Lastly, what wax do you guys use?
You should know how you like your grits, I like mine with a little butter and a pinch of salt.

RenDI5
 

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Ok I'll be serious. You only steam the area you need to repair, not the whole rifle.

The wax I like best is Minwax Paste Finishing Wax, in either neutral or Special Dark. It is very durable and when given several coats gives the stock a beautiful and highly protective film.

XM25Ren
 

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I will only add that you stay away from any sand paper below 300. I have seen many ruined stocks because the owner destroyed the stock over sanding it. Buy a cheap practice stock and save the nice one when you are confidant you can do it right.

Ren
Lately, I haven't use any sand paper above 150. Just got to know what you're doing. Also, I've found that if one wants to use a PTO/BLO finish, too much sanding at higher grits makes it difficult for proper oil saturation.
 

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Lately, I haven't use any sand paper above 150. Just got to know what you're doing. Also, I've found that if one wants to use a PTO/BLO finish, too much sanding at higher grits makes it difficult for proper oil saturation.

The grain in the wood tends to close when higher grit the sand paper is used and will not easily accept PTO/BLO. Thats one reason when you sand at the higher grit you build up a slurry that is allowed to fill the pours and grain.

If you are working with a well used stock or one in which there are many battle scares one might want to use a low grit sand paper, but I find that when using 150 grit or lower you end up sanding away the characteristics of that particular stock.

Ren GI2
 

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The grain in the wood tends to close when higher grit the sand paper is used and will not easily accept PTO/BLO. Thats one reason when you sand at the higher grit you build up a slurry that is allowed to fill the pours and grain.
But shouldn't one sand for the finish, and not the other way around? I know this is going to sound sacrilegious, but I haven't been sold yet on the idea of using teak oil on walnut or birch. First off, teak oil (which, unlike tung or linseed oil, does not come from teak) was formulated for super dense woods, such as teak, rosewood and mahogany. While walnut and birch are hard, I don't think they're at all as dense as teak or rosewood. Second, unless you're looking for a finish with a lot of hardeners, when using oils to treat wood my philosophy is that I want to get as much of the oil absorbed into the wood as possible; sanding at high grit makes this very difficult. While sanding at 220 and above is great for surfaces that will end up with a hard finish (e.g., when using polyurethane or TruOil) I have found from my own experience that 150 grit does a fine job and still allows for absorption of either PTO or BLO (the two finishes I like to use to obtain a non-glossy USGI look at the end).

However, there are many ways to skin a cat, and I'm not suggesting that my way is any better than others. GI2

If you are working with a well used stock or one in which there are many battle scares one might want to use a low grit sand paper, but I find that when using 150 grit or lower you end up sanding away the characteristics of that particular stock.

Ren GI2
With the exception of maybe one, every stock I've worked on was a "working man's" stock that looked like it had been to hell and back, twice. GI2 I first go through a cleaning regimen very similar to what Doug Carlton has already described. After the stock has been allowed to properly dry (and any large dents have been filled), most of my sanding is done to remove damaged surface wood which affects coloration later when it comes to staining. This really can't be done with anything less than 150 grit. As for characteristics, while one does need to be mindful not to sand down the profile of the stock, you can't sand away the grain in the stock itself, and generally the more of the damaged surface wood you can remove, the better the grain underneath will look.

When I first started working on refinishing stocks (with much thanks to Doug Carlton), I found myself spending a lot of time sanding, especially at the higher grits. Now, I spend much less time doing so, with more time spent on the finish letting the stock saturate the BLO or PTO. I am really liking the results I'm getting.
 

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So many ways to skin the cat!

Just go for it - trial and error is the key to learning

* I only use teak oil - Starbrite
* soy gel and degreaser is the best way to strip the stock - listen to Doug!
* I steam the entire stock - steaming does more than just raise the grain
* I almost always use stain - which is another art to master (alcohol based stain only)
* Tactical sanding - I use 150, 220 and 320 - tactical sanding a stock is a true art (to do properly) and not change the classic lines of the M14 stock - all angles need to remain sharp and not rounded off! Sometimes you have to correct errors that others have created!

I just re-finished this walnut up for a forum member - A nice walnut that needed some love!

A quick progression below (many steps in-between) - as stated above many ways to skin the cat! It takes me ~2.5 weeks to re-finish a stock. Be patient!

Starting point - Winchester Walnut


Soy gel


Fully stripped and steamed


Tactical sanding - note the sharp angles and classic stock lines unchanged


First coat of teak oil


Finished Stock - reparked the front ferrule, front swivel and all stock hardware - be sure to put nice hardware back on the stock!




 

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Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
* I almost always use stain - which is another art to master (alcohol based stain only)


Would you say for the first one that I do not stain? Or if I should which brand/color did you use?

Not sure if this is something completly different, but I had read some people doing a french polish, wondering if anyone could tell me the effects of a french polish over teak oil and wax, unless its the same thing...
 

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Warowl
You mentioned wanting a red tint for your finish
Here is a sneak peak of my half completed baby 14 conversion
I used Rit co co brown fabric dye mixed with denatured alcahol on this walnut stock
It has been my observation that most hardware variety wood stains will kill the chantoyance of the wood grain , the nice thing about this type of stain is you can adjust the color to your liking easily
 
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* I almost always use stain - which is another art to master (alcohol based stain only)


Would you say for the first one that I do not stain? Or if I should which brand/color did you use?

I think the concept of walk, crawl then run is good to use for stock refinishing. It is all personal preference - as a stock can look just fine without any stain. The TRW below was stained as I specifically wanted to have the colors of the natural grain and figuring maximized. I would only use Stew Mac Guitar Stains as you mix them with denatured alcohol and can add color later in the wet sanding process so you don't wet sand it all off as you add coats of oil up your wet sanding progression. Regardless if you stain the stock or not it will look much better after you strip it, do your tactical sanding and wet sand your teak oil. Staining takes experimentation to know what you are going to get, then it is complicated as some wood is just more dense than others [and it will only take so much color] so you just make adjustments as needed. Alcohol based stains and teak oil give you options all along the way to make adjustments [which is not necessarily the case with other options].

Not sure if this is something completly different, but I had read some people doing a french polish, wondering if anyone could tell me the effects of a french polish over teak oil and wax, unless its the same thing...
I have not done french polish......

Here is an example of a beautiful TRW that I mixed three Stew Mac stain colors - you can see how it maximized the figuring and grain [see before and after stain pics below].

Walk, Crawl then run and you will have a lot of trial and error in-between.

Now go refinish that stock - the beauty is if you don't like it you can always start over without any harm except a little sweat equity.....


Right after adding teak oil - no stain added at this point!



Two shots after staining and the final finish







M1Army
 

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Wade, M1Army... don't mean to pick nits, but which Starbrite product? I searched to Amazon and see (2). Starbrite and Starbrite Premium. Does it make a difference? Wade, I think you might have referred to it awhile back when I bought the stocks from you, but I simply can't find it now.
 

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Starbrite

Wade, M1Army... don't mean to pick nits, but which Starbrite product? I searched to Amazon and see (2). Starbrite and Starbrite Premium. Does it make a difference? Wade, I think you might have referred to it awhile back when I bought the stocks from you, but I simply can't find it now.

Hi mic52

Get this bottle Starbrite NOT the Premium - it does make a difference....



M1Army
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Alright, so I have all the hardware off and the gun is getting stripped, but I did kinda goof up on the side screws. I didnt know if there was a real tool to remove them, so I just stuck some needle nose pliers in and twisted. This worked, but they slipped out a couple times and scratched the screws (not the wood). Can I just blue them? The butt plate has been used from time gone by it looks, can I blue that or recondition the metal pieces? Or is there a site(or someone here) that has extra hardware for sale? Thanks Guys!

 
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