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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a new walnut GI profile stock on order from Fulton Armory.

I've been digging through this forum to try to make heads or tails of how I want to initially finish it, and have to admit my head is swimming from all of it!

So, for a stock that is going to come to me unfinished, what products would you all recommend (paging Doug Carlton and Gus Fisher!!!) to get a nice, darker matte finish? This M1A will be carried a LOT, so a pretty finish isn't needed, just a good, durable matte one.

Thanks!
 

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I have a new walnut GI profile stock on order from Fulton Armory.

I've been digging through this forum to try to make heads or tails of how I want to initially finish it, and have to admit my head is swimming from all of it!

So, for a stock that is going to come to me unfinished, what products would you all recommend (paging Doug Carlton and Gus Fisher!!!) to get a nice, darker matte finish? This M1A will be carried a LOT, so a pretty finish isn't needed, just a good, durable matte one.

Thanks!
Custom II - Depending on the Walnut stock you receive [actual grain & color that you get from Fulton] many times you can just prepare the stock to the smoothness you want by lightly sanding as required [start with 150 and work up to-220 up to what you like etc.] and not stain it at all as Walnut will often finish dark(er) by just by adding teak oil and following the information in the teak oil experiment link that Doug Carlton has provided.

One advantage to not staining the stock is that if you use it hard [as you have indicated] and bang it up you can re-sand the stock later and just repeat the teak oil process (with buffing etc.) and be good to go again without worrying about matching a stain etc.

You don't have to use teak oil and many have done fantastic finishes using other techniques - well documented on this site, it is all a personal choice and what you have comfort using [I prefer teak oil but its only me].

Your material list might look like this- [sand paper [only as needed - 150, 220 for sanding and 320 -> 1500 if you use the process in the teak oil link provided], long sturdy qtips, a tact cloth to get stuff off your stock, acid tone or denatured alcohol to clean prior to applying stain or teak oil, if you stain [I like the stew mac stains and if you want dark I would use a combination of tobacco brown with a light coat of vintage amber - that link has been provided too], then for buffing you will need a drill or grinder with a 7"-8" buffing pad to buff the stock and briwax to put a protective coating on the finished product. Oh yes and a lot of patience as you never want to rush the refinish process - just take your time and go slow!

Below find two stocks finished with tobacco brown and vintage amber and teak oil.

Again - many, many different ways are out there to refinish - that is why your head was spinning and you have many options. Most that are good at refinishing or finishing have found their way through a lot of trial and error to get it right.

Good Luck - M1Army and post some pictures!!

Walnut #1 - Tobacco Brown and Vintage Amber



Walnut #1 - just the rear stock view - 1st stock

Walnut #2 - Tobacco Brown and Vintage Amber



Walnut #2 - just the rear stock view - 1st stock

 

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I use dyes, either Transtint or Fiebings leather dye. Dyes can be diluted with denatured alcohol which allows dye to penetrated deeper into the wood. Water as a diluting agent can cause "whiskers" which are wood fibers to rise up and need to be sanded down again. This was a greasy cosmoline soaked stock that I used stripper and sent through the dishwasher. I followed up with diluted Fiebings dye followed by Boiled Linseed Oil.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Long time no post... Life has been crazy!

I have gotten my stock stained to the shade I like. So far, it looks amazing! Thanks for the tips.

Now I'm hung up on how to seal it. I have easy access to profin, which can be made into a decently matte finish, but still has some shine to it. I'm going for a truly matte finish if possible....

Is there a better product to achieve a matte finish, or should I use the profin and rub it down with a cloth to dull the shine?
 

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I seal the inside of a stock simply by soaking it with diluted teak oil until the wood can't absorb any more. Use a clean, stiff toothbrush to work it into the corners.

The outside can be sealed by wet sanding the last couple of coats. Sand in the direction of the grain and gently wipe off with a paper towel. It will leave a smooth, matte finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I seal the inside of a stock simply by soaking it with diluted teak oil until the wood can't absorb any more. Use a clean, stiff toothbrush to work it into the corners.



The outside can be sealed by wet sanding the last couple of coats. Sand in the direction of the grain and gently wipe off with a paper towel. It will leave a smooth, matte finish.

Wet sanding with a medium such as the teak oil?
 

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i have a handful of questions that might be answered here since I'm working on a NOS stock. currently its had the dings and dents steamed out, and completely stripped the outside along with the inside with the use of pure acetone. i haven't taken sandpaper to it yet to get it to its desired smoothness. I'm considering on starting with 220 grit, staining it, and soaking it in oil for the first day. then wet sanding from 220 to 2000 with oil as my medium. but i was curious to know if the use of a sanding block is needed for the first initial sanding for smoothness or for every stage of sanding and wet sanding? also should i keep the stock liner and screws installed while refinishing? in regards to those who have used stewmac colortone stain. did you dilute with water or alcohol for best results? i have a bunch of other questions, but ill just start off with these. any help would be appreciated.
 

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Am awaiting completion of stock from bedding/fitting process and stock has considerable figure/stripes, etc. and will need final finish work. Staining can alter the coloration of the wood if that is desired, but can also cover up, hide some figure of the wood. Process I use is for final finish sanding, 800grit paper, then spray down with water, apply hair dryer/heat for this will raise or open the pores of the wood somewhat and then cut those off with another sanding of 800grit. Lots of finishes out there but I prefer BLO wet sanded for final finish. Cut sand paper in 2" squares, apply oil on section about the size of your hand, sand with the grain and when the paper fills up with wood particles it turns dark, discard that square and then wipe that section across the grain to drive the oil in the wood pores. Move on to another section slightly overlapping first one and go from there. I usually start at the butt and work my way up to front. Nothing magic about the process and for a normal stock might take you as much as an hour to complete. Next step for me anyway is to give entire stock light coating of the oil, hang to dry in room temperature area for 24 hours and wipe dry. If high shine is desired repeated process as above will give that type of finish. If basic "oil finish" is goal, most likely you have obtained that with the first process. Hand rubbed finish is talked about a lot and w/ BLO and brisk rubbing of the stock to the point of generating heat on the hand will aid in giving higher sheen as well. For normal service this type of finish does well and if scratched/dinged, etc., not that hard to repair just as you did the original finish. There are some negatives to this approach and one is if the rifle is to be used in constant wet weather, dampness, etc. one of the more modern urethane/synthetic finishes will give better protection. If the stock is to be bedded the oil in the inletted portions make it difficult for the bedding compound to cure/harden and attach itself to the wood. Local gun store likely to stock "True Oil" and similar finishes and they can give good finishes as well, but a pint of BLO will do a number of stocks at a low cost.
 

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i have a handful of questions that might be answered here since I'm working on a NOS stock. currently its had the dings and dents steamed out, and completely stripped the outside along with the inside with the use of pure acetone. i haven't taken sandpaper to it yet to get it to its desired smoothness. I'm considering on starting with 220 grit, staining it, and soaking it in oil for the first day. then wet sanding from 220 to 2000 with oil as my medium. but i was curious to know if the use of a sanding block is needed for the first initial sanding for smoothness or for every stage of sanding and wet sanding? also should i keep the stock liner and screws installed while refinishing? in regards to those who have used stewmac colortone stain. did you dilute with water or alcohol for best results? i have a bunch of other questions, but ill just start off with these. any help would be appreciated.

"I'm considering on starting with 220 grit, staining it, and soaking it in oil for the first day. then wet sanding from 220 to 2000 with oil as my medium. but i was curious to know if the use of a sanding block is needed for the first initial sanding for smoothness or for every stage of sanding and wet sanding?" - I use a "soft-sided" sanding block that I get from an automotive supply store. You can cut a standard sheet of sand paper in half and it wraps around it and fits perfectly. By having a flexible sanding block, you can work the angles of the stock and be less likely to sand and get flat spots which you do not want to do. I can cup and bend this type of sanding block.


"I'm considering on starting with 220 grit, staining it, and soaking it in oil for the first day. then wet sanding from 220 to 2000 with oil as my medium." I normally start with 150 to base sand the stock (assuming it has dents/dings that you want to remove [i.e. you steam out what you can but you still may have to remove some material depending) and then move up to 220. I rarely go higher than 220 on the initial sanding but do go to 320 in some cases depending on how the stock is reacting as all grain is different. Once this base sanding is completed [don't forget to cover your DOD and Proof P if it has one] then I move on to staining [if desired] and then on to applying the teak oil. The first coat is more of a soaking coat that is heavier and that I leave on for 24 hours - checking for spots that need reapplication. then I start wet sanding using teak oil as the medium at either 220 or 320 [last grain used in the initial sanding] moving all the way up to 1500 to 2000 but only wet sanding the teak oil.

Lastly - I do NOT use a sanding block for wet-sanding, but you must be sure you do not put heavy pressure with any single finger or you could remove stain etc. I cut small pieces of the sand paper and fold it over once [maybe 2" - 2.5" wide and use two/three flat fingers] to do the wet sanding. You develop a feel for this after doing it as it allows me to feel the stock underneath the paper and teak oil and I can actually feel the raised areas smooth out when wet sanding. It does take some time to do this right so go slow when wet-sanding. I finish the stock at the very end by buffing and applying wax to the finished stock.

Good Luck - M1Army
 

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Another one of those "more than one way to skin a cat" situations. I use the rubber sanding block to wet sand, I just don't apply pressure to it. I hold the opposite end of the block and just let it ride over the stock, this way I know it's getting consistent, even pressure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Aaaand, here's the (almost) final product!

SAI loaded m1a
Fulton armory mount
ADM recon sl rings
Vortex viper PST 2.5-10 MRAD scope
Sadlak NM guide rod
And a recently shimmed gas system.

I was getting consistent sub 2" groups at 100m with irons and the plastic stock. I can't wait to see what it can do now!



I'm cringing at the thought of drilling through the stock to mount my cheek rest, but I know it really needs to be done.
 

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Aaaand, here's the (almost) final product!



I'm cringing at the thought of drilling through the stock to mount my cheek rest, but I know it really needs to be done.
She sure is a looker!

But I am cringing for you about drilling holes in the stock as wellGI3
 
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