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I have a stripped birch stock that came with a CMP grade A parts kit. Right now, I'm torn between staining to look "as issued" or just applying tru-oil. The stock does have some nice color to it when wet with mineral spirits, but that blond look doesn't quite seem right. What stain did the government use originally? How do you prefer to finish these stocks?
 

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Tru oil isn't GI correct. Straight Tung oil is correct.

Tru oil will work thoe. There's Gunny Paste that is a special mix of Tung oil, bees wax and something else!

True oil has "stuff" in it that outs a shine on the wood and lemon in it so ur rifle smells lime lemons! Tru oil is for furniture nit gun stocks!

As for staining, birch doesn't take stain well! GI stocks were never stained. Tung oil, dirt, sweat, and grease along with polishing from years of handling is GI finish.

I own 2 birch stocks 1 I stained and one is natural. Both have their beauty! Walnut it's not but it's beautiful in it's own way! Something different. The birch really stands out when it sits in the middle of a bunch of "ordinary" walnut stocks.

As for stains. I like "Freds red" gun stain. Real good stain and gives a nice deep color. But again birch doesn't take stain well so it may or may not take and can come out blochy. Alot of guys prefer to use die when doing birch. A good qual leather die w/o additives and oil based is best.
Tiger striped birch is a beautiful, high dollar piece if that's what you got from CMP! You should be quite happy and feel lucky if that's what the luck of the draw got you from CMP. If the light birch is not what you want and it has any qual tiger striping to it you may want to think about selling it on the PX to someone who wants it and buying a walnut stock and maybe make a few bucks while ur at it!

Your rifle your decision! Answer in my book is you should leave the birch natural and buy another kit, hope you get a walnut stock, and then you can have one of each! All of us hear know that 1 M-14 is not enough!
Good thing about the sickness is that you've found a good support group Nd we hold meeting all the time!
 

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With respect to other posters, birch stocks were stained when manufactured because the natural color of birch is very light color, almost blond or white. Birch does not readily stain and will not absorb most stains unless it is a spirit type stain. Many years ago I had the mixture the stocks were dipped in but no longer do. Gus Fisher at one time said he had been told it was some type iodine mixture. though whoever told him that may have been basing their info only on the original color. I'm certain there are stains you could find that would closely duplicate the original red/orange color.
 

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Clean, degrease, sand, steam dents, clean again w denatured mineral spirits, Tung oil.

1. Clean w warm water, soap and a scrub pad.

2. Sand with 200 grit paper first for big work. Then 400 grit to finish.
Never use higher than 400 grit paper, any finer and it is to smooth to allow the Tung oil to penetrate.
3. Steam out dings and dents. If the grain is broken dents will not come out.
Steam by using a cloths iron and a CLEAN wet towel.
Place wet rag on dent, place iron on top off wet rag that's over the dent and let sit for a minute. May take many tries to get the dents out.
4. GI stocks often have a lot of cosmoline imbedded in the stocks. This needs to "drawn out" before any quality staining or finish can be applied. If you don't then cosmoline will leach out when the rifle gets hot, run over, and ruin the finish. The "drawing out" can be done a couple of ways.
Wrap stock in clean dry paper towel, place paper towel wrapped stock in a black trash bag, and place in the sun. The heat from the sun will heat up the bag and stock inside. The paper towels will grab the cosmo that leaches out.
Turn kitchen oven on LOW place stock in oven and let it get WARM not hot! When the stock and cosmo heat up the cosmo will leach out. Take stock out of oven and while still hot wipe cosmo off with clean rag. Do this again and again and again. When you think ur done more will leach out.
5. Wipe sanded, cleaned, steamed, leached stock with mineral spirits using a lint free rag.
6. Let stock dry from cleaning.
7. Wipe stock with a painters tack cloth. This is a sticky cheese cloth that will take all dust and stuff off of the stock
8. Make a mixture of 1/3 real Tung oil and 2/3 mineral spirits and apply a wet, not dripping, coat. Let this 1/3-2/3 mixture soak in for about an hour. It will dry up, saturate, and be kind of tacky. Wipe stock lightly with lint free rag and leave it alone for atleast 24 hours.
9. After waiting atleast 24 hours wipe stock with #ooo quality steel wool. This will knock down the shine and even out the finish. Don't rub to hard or to much. All your trying to do is knock it down not rub it out.
10. Wipe again with painters tack cloth. This will pick up any little pieces of steel wool left and stuff you just knocked down and off the stock.
11. Repeat application of 1/3-2/3 mineral spirits/Tung oil. Repeat this apply, dry, wipe with #000 3-4 times. Then switch to half and half Tung oil, mineral spirits.
12. After another 3-4 cycles of applying 50/50 mix make a mixture of bees wax, mineral spirits and Tung oil. I make a mix of 2/3 cup mineral spirits, 1/3 Tung oil and 1/4 cup of of bees wax. Apply this mix the same way you did the other 2 mixtures. Apply, let sit for aprox 30 min, wipe excess, let sit 24 hours, #000 wool, tack rab, repeat. I like to apply this secret mixture with my CLEAN, bare hands and rub into the stock of a few minutes. I rub till mixture starts to dry and add a little more to keep it moist. The hand from your hands and the rubbing will warm the bees wax and the stock just a little and help work it into the stock.

Do this as many times as you like. The more times you do it the more it will sink in to the stock. The deeper the tone will become. The better it will look!
I like aprox 12-16 coats total. Then buff with an old soft warn out t-shirt.GI2
 

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With respect to other posters, birch stocks were stained when manufactured because the natural color of birch is very light color, almost blond or white. Birch does not readily stain and will not absorb most stains unless it is a spirit type stain. Many years ago I had the mixture the stocks were dipped in but no longer do. Gus Fisher at one time said he had been told it was some type iodine mixture. though whoever told him that may have been basing their info only on the original color. I'm certain there are stains you could find that would closely duplicate the original red/orange color.
I've read and been told this as well! That is about the iodine dip/ stain and then I have read and been told no GI stocks were ever stained. I have never Sean any documentation that shows anything about staining a birch stock. Im not trying to argue! I to would like to know the real truth.
Maybe The master guns Gus could elaborate more on this.

I do know that if and when you ever see a rack of rifles the birch stocks really stand out! I also know that birch has a lot of natural color differences than Walnut. Meaning there is a huge difference from stock to stock and even in different areas in the same stock. Boy those tiger stripped birch stocks really look wild!

I truly would like to know what the true history is on this subject. Anyone got the straight scoop? Gus? Help!

Looks and staining are what the post was about but as far as stocks the birch is a much better stock than birch. Much tighter grain. Much stronger and resistant to moisture warping and damage. I wonder why the military chose walnut primarily over birch? Was it because walnut is easier to work with and more abundant therefor easier to get and cheaper to make? Again anyone? Gus?

As I said in a prior post I have 2 birch stocks for the M-14 and I have 2 birch stocked SKS's. I have done no stain, Freds Red stain, and leather die. All are quite different looks depends on what ur looking for and the grain in the wood. Each way looks cool in it's own right.
 

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I have always used Chesnut Ridge military stain on birch and walnut.It is a alcohol based stain that comes as close to GI as you can..apply,then buff with 0000 steel wool,1 coat BLO,buff hard,then 3-5 coats pure tung oil buffing with 0000 wool in between..Doesnt get any better....
 

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According to Different when I asked,,the original factory issue complete rifles, stocks were NOT stained at all.Walnut was double dipped in pure tung oil,,birch originally was double dipped but took to long to dry,so they were single dipped. Some of the subcontractors who supplied replacement(?)stocks did try to darken birch with ??? whatever worked best.
 

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Yes, EVERY LAST G.I. birch stock (and Garand handguards) were stained with a tincture of Iodine mixture originally. Then when the birch stocks went through rebuild, they stained them with an outdoor stain that actually had paint pigment in it to get a brown or reddish brown color.

I have no idea how many thousands of birch and walnut Garand and M14 stocks WERE finished with Tru Oil for NM purposes by G.I. NM Armorers on G.I. rifle stocks and handguards over the years. It is true Tru Oil was not used as an original oil finish when Garands or M14's were manufactured. Tung Oil was only used for a few years during WWII until they could not get it due to WWII. I can't remember if they could not get more in 43 or 44, but I think it was 43 when they ran out.

Now, exactly what is a "correct" military stock (oil) finish? It all depends. Prior to WWII it was raw linseed oil. They switched to Tung Oil when Garand rear handguards began charring and burning. They ran out of Tung Oil and could not get more so they switched to linseed oil and added chemical drying agents to it. Linseed oil does not dry fast enough to make and turn out thousands of Garand stock sets per day. The stuff sold in paint and hardware stores as "Boiled" Linseed Oil is NOT the same stuff!!!!! The stuff you easily find has petroleum by-products in it that was never used by the manufacturers or arsenals.

A "real" military finish when the rifles were first manufactured only had a bare bones finish that DID NOT seal the stocks from the weather. The problem was that any kind of Linseed Oil was not MEANT to seal the stocks, it was meant to keep the stocks somewhat moist so they would not dry out and crack. Linseed oil does not even wave at moisture going in and out of the wood and it SUCKS as far as sealing the stocks. G.I.'s were issued both raw and boiled linseed oil over the years in garrison (peace time) to apply to the stocks so they would not dry out and crack. However, it also became the custom in peace time to sand and bone the wood and then apply MANY coats of oil so the stock was.......get this....... shiney/purty for inspections with a glossy look that is said not to be a G.I. finish.

The NM Armorers in the services turned to Tru Oil as the best finish for wood stocks and handguards so the stocks would not swell and shrink during environmental changes. The Navy also used Fullerplast which was actually a finish originally designed for wood guitars.

Here is a way to do a really good finish that looks like a "tradtional" G.I. finish, but is actually much better.

http://m14forum.com/gus-fisher/104330-refinishing-wooden-stocks.html
 

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Original finish? No idea.

I can tell you that in 1975 to 1979 if a "new" stock was issued from the arms room it was dark and dull looking whether if was walnut or birch. We stripped the finish off (sandpaper) and then used the other thing the arms room/armorer gave us to refinish the wood. A small glass jar of "lin speed" oil. Not linseed. Lin speed. It gave us a nice shiny finish after several coats. The rifles had to have nice shiny stocks to go with the white slings, white gloves, etc. for those ceremonies at the White House, the Tomb, the Pentagon, etc.

I never saw a "blond" stock unless someone had stripped off the original finish as issues.

Once stripped of the original finish the linspeed oil would result in a dark finish on the walnut stocks and a very light or "blond" look on the birch stocks. Some of the guys would even bleach their birch stocks to make them lighter. Only two guys in 1st platoon never used birch stocks. If you see a picture of 1st Platoon of Honor Guard Co. on a ceremony those two walnut stocks on the front rank were being held by me or my buddy from Chicago, Jim Sorenson. Birch prettier that walnut? Nope.
 

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The original finish would be either linseed oil or tung oil. ... going to try the Brownells Stock Whiting procedure to pull the oil stains from my CMP rifle's birch stock
 

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Tincture of iodine gives birch a nice strawberry blonde tone but it's not a final finish. You'll still have to work that out.
 

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Iodine procedure question

Greetings,

BD111, would you kindly comment on a procedure using tincture of iodine as an ingredient for stock finish work? What should it be mixed with, in what ratio, etc.? Thanks!

Regards, Jim
 

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Get a bottle and swab it on with cotton compress patches. Work in the fresh air and wear rubber gloves. It burns if you have a cut. Thin Tru Oil 50-50 for final coats with a little shine.
 
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