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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi, folks! I am new to the forum and also new to the M14/M1A rifle.

Recently I fall in love with the tiger stripe stock and wanted one badly. I went to the Fred's Treelinem14 ordered a 90% Tiger Birch in excellent condition and it arrived yesterday. Upon arrival the stock was dark and I can barely see the grain, so I went ahead stripped the stock to the bare wood. It looked nice and doesn't seem to need much sanding, so I just lightly sand it with 320 followed by 400 grits.Then I put a coat of 50/50 tung oil and mineral spirits mix on it and wait for it to dry.

It did not turn out the way I expect. I mean... yes it is tiger stripe indeed. But the grain looks very messy to me, the random black dots and stripes are all over the place. And whole stock looks kind of dull too... I don't know what other people thinks about this but I don't think it is pretty. To be honest I was quite disappointed, or is it just I am expecting too much? Did I do something wrong? Advice, please?

Picture posted at #3
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Hi, folks! I am new to the forum and also new to the M14/M1A rifle.

Recently I fall in love with the tiger stripe stock and wanted one badly. I went to the Fred's Treelinem14 ordered a 90% Tiger Birch in excellent condition and it arrived yesterday. Upon arrival the stock was dark and I can barely see the grain, so I went ahead stripped the stock to the bare wood. It looked nice and doesn't seem to need much sanding, so I just lightly sand it with 320 followed by 400 grits. Then I put a coat of 50/50 tung oil and mineral spirits mix on it and wait for it to dry.

It did not turn out the way I expect. I mean... yes it is tiger stripe indeed. But the grain looks very messy to me, the random black dots and stripes are all over the place. And whole stock looks kind of dull too... I don't know what other people think about this but I don't think it is pretty. To be honest I was quite disappointed, or is it just I am expecting too much? Did I do something wrong? Advice, please?





 

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What did you strip it with, did you wash the stock well after stripping, and was it completely dry when you put oil on it? That does not look right, at all.
 

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Welcome from SE GA.

That's a Jaguar not a Tiger........just kidding.

Go to the stock section of this forum and do a search of stock refinishing.
Two members here Doug Carlton and M1Army have excellent posts on refinishing.
They do beautiful work.
 

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Some of the experts here recommend Soy Gel to strip the stock and then Emerge Degreaser to clean the stock and rinsing with hot water.
 

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Purple Power Degreaser and a scrub brush has given me good results, and it's cheap and available at Walmart in auto. I just use warm water and a brush to rinse well, with a final DI rinse, and then wrap it in a thick old bath towel, so it dries evenly and slowly. Strippers aren't usually necessary on USGI stocks, as they are not painted.
 
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Hello and welcome to the forum.

You have what I call a "Mottled" Birch stock. With the proper practice and technique you can sharpen the contrast and float the darker grain off of the lighter background amber but the characteristics of the stock are always going to be there for better or for worse.

Do not be disheartened, you can merely wipe it off and start over. Again, you can make this piece beautiful. If you want something fancier than you will have to start with a fancier grain piece. There is no way around this.



Hi, folks! I am new to the forum and also new to the M14/M1A rifle.

Recently I fall in love with the tiger stripe stock and wanted one badly. I went to the Fred's Treelinem14 ordered a 90% Tiger Birch in excellent condition and it arrived yesterday. Upon arrival the stock was dark and I can barely see the grain, so I went ahead stripped the stock to the bare wood. It looked nice and doesn't seem to need much sanding, so I just lightly sand it with 320 followed by 400 grits.Then I put a coat of 50/50 tung oil and mineral spirits mix on it and wait for it to dry.

It did not turn out the way I expect. I mean... yes it is tiger stripe indeed. But the grain looks very messy to me, the random black dots and stripes are all over the place. And whole stock looks kind of dull too... I don't know what other people thinks about this but I don't think it is pretty. To be honest I was quite disappointed, or is it just I am expecting too much? Did I do something wrong? Advice, please?

Picture posted at #3
 

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As far as the dull finish is concerned, you have a number of coats more to do before it starts to "pop" as if by magic. You might be surprised at the end result when it's all done. But start with a deeply cleaned stock and work with what you got. They all turn out differently.

D.C. Did this one for me.




Hi, folks! I am new to the forum and also new to the M14/M1A rifle.

Recently I fall in love with the tiger stripe stock and wanted one badly. I went to the Fred's Treelinem14 ordered a 90% Tiger Birch in excellent condition and it arrived yesterday. Upon arrival the stock was dark and I can barely see the grain, so I went ahead stripped the stock to the bare wood. It looked nice and doesn't seem to need much sanding, so I just lightly sand it with 320 followed by 400 grits.Then I put a coat of 50/50 tung oil and mineral spirits mix on it and wait for it to dry.

It did not turn out the way I expect. I mean... yes it is tiger stripe indeed. But the grain looks very messy to me, the random black dots and stripes are all over the place. And whole stock looks kind of dull too... I don't know what other people thinks about this but I don't think it is pretty. To be honest I was quite disappointed, or is it just I am expecting too much? Did I do something wrong? Advice, please?

Picture posted at #3
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, I will try it out today.
Purple Power Degreaser and a scrub brush has given me good results, and it's cheap and available at Walmart in auto. I just use warm water and a brush to rinse well, with a final DI rinse, and then wrap it in a thick old bath towel, so it dries evenly and slowly. Strippers aren't usually necessary on USGI stocks, as they are not painted.
 

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You will first need to remove the tung oil from the stock as much as possible, acetone or use the stripper again. Be sure you get it all, then go to the warm water and whatever cleanser. Be sure its dry before you begin refinishing.
 

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You will first need to remove the tung oil from the stock as much as possible, acetone or use the stripper again. Be sure you get it all, then go to the warm water and whatever cleanser. Be sure its dry before you begin refinishing.
Getting a stock completely dry may take a few days if not a week.

The surface may appear dry, but moisture (cleaners, strippers, water) will soak in deeper.

Air humidity will effect drying time.

Refinishing a stock is not a one weekend job.
 

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You will first need to remove the tung oil from the stock as much as possible, acetone or use the stripper again. Be sure you get it all, then go to the warm water and whatever cleanser. Be sure its dry before you begin refinishing.

I'm not sure which of the experts suggested Purple Power, but I used it on birch and walnut USGI stocks, and didn't need any stripper. Here's Bertha in her birch from Treeline. I degreased it with Purple Power, wet sanded with 800 then 1500 grit and tung, and waxed with Renaissance wax. The wax gives excellent grip, and any quality wax will work. I just happened to have Renaissance wax because I use it on leather. Note:I added about 6-8 drops of tincture of iodine to about 1/2 ounce of tung/spirits @ 50/50. I mix it well in a yogurt cup, and dip the wet sandpaper into that. Don't mix more than you will use at a time, as it polymerizes, and turns hard. I cook it into the stock by putting it in a car in the sun for a few days. Several coats of tung(slowly reduce the spirits in the tung) and then wax. Only sand with the grain, not back and forth.
 

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Discussion Starter #17

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Finding true "Mottled" Birch stocks are difficult to find at least in all off my past pick trips to Fred's.

I think I Picked (4) that I thought to be worthy out of thousands of stocks.

Using Teak Oil, alcohol based stains and a lot of trial and error learned over the years I think the Mottled Birch Stocks are unique in their own way.

Stick with that stock - she is a beauty!! M1Army



Here is a Overton/TRW that is in my personal collection.









This stock had an Arsenal Repair tag on the front swivel for a broken safety!



Here is another one I picked years ago and refinished and sold to a forum member in Washington state.







 

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The sicker they look in the beginning, the better they turn out in the end.
I guess they call that character in the wood.

Finding true "Mottled" Birch stocks are difficult to find at least in all off my past pick trips to Fred's.

I think I Picked (4) that I thought to be worthy out of thousands of stocks.

Using Teak Oil, alcohol based stains and a lot of trial and error learned over the years I think the Mottled Birch Stocks are unique in their own way.

Stick with that stock - she is a beauty!! M1Army



Here is a Overton/TRW that is in my personal collection.









This stock had an Arsenal Repair tag on the front swivel for a broken safety!



Here is another one I picked years ago and refinished and sold to a forum member in Washington state.







 
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