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While I don't have the experience Wes has, I would like to give one piece of advice. Where most go wrong when refinishing a 50 plus year old stock is over sanding. It is easy to tell the difference between a professional restoration job vs an amateur, you will find it every time in a stock that has been over sanded. All the edges which should be sharp will look rounded over, it is the tail tail sign, so be careful when sanding and go slow because once the wood is gone its gone forever!

REN GI2
Ren - is exactly correct regarding the sanding of a stock and like I mentioned above properly sanding is really a skill that takes a long time to master.

If you want to see an example of a stock that was poorly sanded take a look at the link below - Go To Post #23. This is a relatively rare National Match Stock that I restored. Post #23 will show the results of a BAD sanding job and you will see how I was able to correct those sins.....

https://m14forum.com/stock/471448-restoration-h-sacks-son-s-stamped-7791174-done-2.html

M1Army
 

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Ren - is exactly correct regarding the sanding of a stock and like I mentioned above properly sanding is really a skill that takes a long time to master.

If you want to see an example of a stock that was poorly sanded take a look at the link below - Go To Post #23. This is a relatively rare National Match Stock that I restored. Post #23 will show the results of a BAD sanding job and you will see how I was able to correct those sins.....

https://m14forum.com/stock/471448-restoration-h-sacks-son-s-stamped-7791174-done-2.html

M1Army
Damn Wes, it an't mine is it?!

RenGI2
 

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….. amateur...... All the edges which should be sharp will look rounded over, it is the tail tail sign,....
REN GI2
Exactly. Advice on that- As one sands in stages, sand near the edges last and use a block when doing so. Also, sand with a block the upper flats of the receiver and heal last. This will ensure sharp edges. Afterwards though, very,very lightly use 400 to 800, depending on your overall stock finish, on the sharp corner edges so they're not too sharp. Just a few strokes. You don't want someone to get cut on themGI2
 

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We all look forward to seeing the finished stock JGW....

JWG - not trying to hijack your thread, but I thought everyone might enjoy this progression of pictures as it basically ties to what you are tying to explain -> [I have shown this on many of my refinish posts] but since we have some interest this might help everyone understand the progression. this is a really nice Birch TRW stock. My disclaimer again - there are hundreds of ways to refinish stocks and this is not the only way and I do not know it all, but this pictorial may help you follow this specific process.

After refinishing so many stocks over the years I can generally look at the stock after stripping it with Soy Gel and getting the first few coats of teak oil on the stock what type of plan I have for that specific stock in terms of staining / color. Generally speaking the staining we are discussing relates to birch stocks. However, even with a plan you might get into the refinish and the stock will dictate the direction you ultimately take. After finishing hundreds of stocks you begin to see certain attributes and you move along and make adjustments on the fly.

As far as walnut stocks I generally do not want to stain walnut unless the stock has a lot of Sap Wood and has light and dark areas. When I get a stock like that I often use a mix of tobacco brown and mahogany [I call it my "Walnut Helper"] and will stain the stock so it has a nice uniform color.

Like I have mentioned so many times before I have had a lot of "Failures" in the earlier years, but those failures taught important lessons that I retained on future refinishes.


Here is the starting point:



Next - using Soy Gel and to strip 60 years of crud off of the stock



Next - after removing the Soy Gel with a warm water bath and spraying down with de-greaser you have a Birch Stock stripped to the bare wood.....



Next - comes the "Tactical Sanding Phase" as I call it [Dry Sanding - generally use 150, 220 & finish with 320]- where I removed some of the "sins of the past" and ensure the stock has the sharp lines that an M14 stock should have. You may get a stock that has some damage or that has been sanded poorly in the past. This process corrects those problems. I would say this is one of the hardest steps to do well and can only be mastered with a lot of practice. You tend to know each stock manufacturer and the classic lines of the M14 stock. When a stock has been rounded off in certain areas due to poor sanding it is just ugly...




Next - after filling the grain with the stocks own sawdust, I begin working up the teak oil wet sanding progression. I generally begin by adding a thin coat of teak oil over the entire stock then work up the progression from 320 to 1000. You apply the teak oil, gently wet sand and then take your 2x2 cotton folded up lint free rag and wipe the stock down. You need to let the stock dry overnight, then repeat to the next grit. This is what the stock looks like after wet sanding with teak oil [Still NO Stain at this point]. To follow the entire process you need about 2 weeks and you need patience. Many are not willing to take the required amount of time to use this method as you are talking about 9 days to work up the wet sanding progression.



Next after reaching and finishing the 1000 grit wet sanding it is time to lay down the stain. I only use Stew Mac Alcohol Based Stain - this is a mixture of tobacco brown and vintage amber. A few pics after adding the stain to the stock then wet sanding at 1200. After adding the stain you need a VERY soft sanding hand to wet sand. You apply a thin coat of teak oil over the entire stock then apply very little pressure when you wet sand or you will loose color. You can see the stock has taken on some color. When the stock dries it will have a bit of a dull look [but don't worry].




Lastly - after working up to 2000 and doing the final wet sanding you allow the stock to dry two days then take it to the buffer and that is when you will see the reward of all your had work. I buff the stock and then hand wax [3-5 coats] with Renaissance Wax then do one more final buffing. This is the final Product / Reward!


Im actually surprised how well the color took applying it over the teak oil after it cures. One good thing about the dye over a few coats of oil is the dye is more "in" the oil than the wood. Defiantly a way to keep "open or end" grain from really sucking up the dye making a blotchy mess.

Heres my first big jump into dye. Looking for that Gibson Guitar sun burst look. It did not take as well as I liked and the grain was lifeless . I have used dye on other stocks also to try and get something different. this has Minwax Tung oil finish for a final coat. Its a tree rat gun so it sees use. Minwax tung oil finish repairs easily also.
 

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most of my stocks just get pure tung oil

The M1 eventually got the matching new wood hand guards
I did have to stain the C stocks as the parts where way off in tone. That took some time. Basically just went with a darker walnut stain to try and even out the hand guards.


Its all fun and I highly recomend practicing on scraps or small projects. I use cigar boxes sometimes to try stuff
 

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heres one I simply stripped off that classic mud brown paint/stain/varnish they put on everything back in the day. Then a few coats of TO finish. Think it was Minwax could have been Tru oil.


I am a novice for sure and I dont really attempt anything unless I can live with messing it up.
 

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most of my stock work is on inexpensive guns that have that brown sludge applied at the factory.
Heres a few marlin 60s that where salvaged from the trash. Pretty beat up and ugly. The wood lent well to steam removal of dings and dents.
I played around with straight dye color the red is finished with just a few coats of tru oil and buffed back with rotten stone for a matte finish
the golden one is straight up minwax polycrylic its tough as nails but can show dings well and its not that easy to fix....

I dont know what type of wood this is but it did not suck up the color like I thought it would. It took what it would and unless I left the dye on there heavy (it was more like a top coat) it would basically just come out when applying the top coat? especially the red

I still think shellac offers some of the best looking finish but its just not very tough and is easily damaged with solvents.

My camera and skills are even worse than my wood skills
 

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M1Army and everyone else sharing info here...
Thank You

I work with wood nearly every day and we are just about to jump into the
Alcohol Dye game. This info is very well timed.

There is a crazy piece of Birch, from our forest/mill/kiln, that I just sealed and shelved a few weeks ago. It has a pattern that is 6" to 8" wide that looks like
twisted hemp rope. As soon as the sawmill opened it, I knew what it wanted to be. Now, I have to wait for it to finish it's final drying and then...I plan a very patient attempt to build a new M14 NM stock from scratch.

I'll work on getting a pic or two on here.
 

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Apologize for the short derail here, but we all like beautiful wood grain and this is Very Rare grain for Birch.

Here's a few...
The cracks don't worry me, as they don't go all the way through and we'll be stabilizing with a quality epoxy resin before we start milling out the basic M14 shape. I realize that this isn't a simple stock shape, but for now, that's the plan.

This has been run through our Shelix-head Planer and is about 180grit finish. I wetted it with water to show the grain for the pictures. We will probably, leave it on the shelf till next Winter, to continue to dry and do whatever moving it will.

In pic #2, this shows the other side. The stock will be cut from the top side of this slab/pic...even has a rifle shape already!!

-Bottom side of pics #1 and #3.
 

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M1Army and everyone else sharing info here...
Thank You

I work with wood nearly every day and we are just about to jump into the
Alcohol Dye game. This info is very well timed.

There is a crazy piece of Birch, from our forest/mill/kiln, that I just sealed and shelved a few weeks ago. It has a pattern that is 6" to 8" wide that looks like
twisted hemp rope. As soon as the sawmill opened it, I knew what it wanted to be. Now, I have to wait for it to finish it's final drying and then...I plan a very patient attempt to build a new M14 NM stock from scratch.

I'll work on getting a pic or two on here.
Im not sure if they still do it but you could get wenig custom stocks to cut your blank to 80-90% then hand fit from there?
 

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I looked up Wenig and it appears that they still offer basic stock shaping.
The Rifle Gallery shows one M14 at the end, so I'll be contacting them for details and posting their answers to the forum, probably in a new post.
I bought several shotgun stocks from them. At that time I seen M1/M1a stocks available. Several years later I want to buy one of them. I called as it was not listed on their web site. They said they did not have any more blanks unless I wanted a Fancy grade walnut.... that was several years ago.
 

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Having never worked on wood before I have a couple questions to get some clarification on the steps above.

1. Wet sanding. Does that mean, apply teak oil to the entire surface of the stock, via a lint free rag, and then sand the stock while the teak oil is wet?

After the wet sanding, is the stock wiped down and left to dry 24 hours? I dont follow the filling the grain portion of the descriptions.

2. for the final dye. I see a 50/50 mixture of tobacco brown and vintage amber with some alcohol is used. What is the application process for this dye combination? apply lightly with a lint free rag? Allow to dry? then additional coats until you're satisfied with the look?

Is there any sanding with the dye process? or add the dye, then teak oil and sand the teak oil?


I'm re-reading all the steps over again and maybe I'll finally see it... thanks for your answers in advance.
 

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Having never worked on wood before I have a couple questions to get some clarification on the steps above.

1. Wet sanding. Does that mean, apply teak oil to the entire surface of the stock, via a lint free rag, and then sand the stock while the teak oil is wet?

After the wet sanding, is the stock wiped down and left to dry 24 hours? I dont follow the filling the grain portion of the descriptions.

2. for the final dye. I see a 50/50 mixture of tobacco brown and vintage amber with some alcohol is used. What is the application process for this dye combination? apply lightly with a lint free rag? Allow to dry? then additional coats until you're satisfied with the look?

Is there any sanding with the dye process? or add the dye, then teak oil and sand the teak oil?


I'm re-reading all the steps over again and maybe I'll finally see it... thanks for your answers in advance.
I usually oil my stock for a few days (let it dry between applications) until it's nicely saturated. After that I start wet standing by oiling a section of the stock and sanding it in small lengths (all the same direction with the grain). After wet sanding I get a bit of oil on my hands and rub the stock hard across the grain with my hands (it was described to me as giving it an "indian burn" from childhood) to force slurry into the pores. Let it dry completely, wipe it down, then wet sand again. I usually do 2 treatments of each sandpaper up to 2000.

I've always left my stocks natural colored so I can't help with the dye question

Gun Tree Wood Recreation Trunk
 

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thanks for the reply!

where I need more clarification - adding the stain.

Do you add the tobacco brown to the dark stripes only via a brush, sit for an hour or day, then remove excess? Then add vintage amber to the light stripes only via a brush sit for a hour or day then remove excess? Repeat until satisfied?

The staining step has me.
 

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thanks for the reply!

where I need more clarification - adding the stain.

Do you add the tobacco brown to the dark stripes only via a brush, sit for an hour or day, then remove excess? Then add vintage amber to the light stripes only via a brush sit for a hour or day then remove excess? Repeat until satisfied?

The staining step has me.
There are real experts who will help more than me, but my experience with stain is that you could either mix the stains together and put it on at once over the entire stock, or you can do the stains in separate applications over the entire stock. Always a good idea to try it on a test stock before you do anything on your really nice one too.
 

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is it an issue

We all look forward to seeing the finished stock JGW....

JWG - not trying to hijack your thread, but I thought everyone might enjoy this progression of pictures as it basically ties to what you are tying to explain -> [I have shown this on many of my refinish posts] but since we have some interest this might help everyone understand the progression. this is a really nice Birch TRW stock. My disclaimer again - there are hundreds of ways to refinish stocks and this is not the only way and I do not know it all, but this pictorial may help you follow this specific process.

After refinishing so many stocks over the years I can generally look at the stock after stripping it with Soy Gel and getting the first few coats of teak oil on the stock what type of plan I have for that specific stock in terms of staining / color. Generally speaking the staining we are discussing relates to birch stocks. However, even with a plan you might get into the refinish and the stock will dictate the direction you ultimately take. After finishing hundreds of stocks you begin to see certain attributes and you move along and make adjustments on the fly.

As far as walnut stocks I generally do not want to stain walnut unless the stock has a lot of Sap Wood and has light and dark areas. When I get a stock like that I often use a mix of tobacco brown and mahogany [I call it my "Walnut Helper"] and will stain the stock so it has a nice uniform color.

Like I have mentioned so many times before I have had a lot of "Failures" in the earlier years, but those failures taught important lessons that I retained on future refinishes.


Here is the starting point:



Next - using Soy Gel and to strip 60 years of crud off of the stock



Next - after removing the Soy Gel with a warm water bath and spraying down with de-greaser you have a Birch Stock stripped to the bare wood.....



Next - comes the "Tactical Sanding Phase" as I call it [Dry Sanding - generally use 150, 220 & finish with 320]- where I removed some of the "sins of the past" and ensure the stock has the sharp lines that an M14 stock should have. You may get a stock that has some damage or that has been sanded poorly in the past. This process corrects those problems. I would say this is one of the hardest steps to do well and can only be mastered with a lot of practice. You tend to know each stock manufacturer and the classic lines of the M14 stock. When a stock has been rounded off in certain areas due to poor sanding it is just ugly...




Next - after filling the grain with the stocks own sawdust, I begin working up the teak oil wet sanding progression. I generally begin by adding a thin coat of teak oil over the entire stock then work up the progression from 320 to 1000. You apply the teak oil, gently wet sand and then take your 2x2 cotton folded up lint free rag and wipe the stock down. You need to let the stock dry overnight, then repeat to the next grit. This is what the stock looks like after wet sanding with teak oil [Still NO Stain at this point]. To follow the entire process you need about 2 weeks and you need patience. Many are not willing to take the required amount of time to use this method as you are talking about 9 days to work up the wet sanding progression.



Next after reaching and finishing the 1000 grit wet sanding it is time to lay down the stain. I only use Stew Mac Alcohol Based Stain - this is a mixture of tobacco brown and vintage amber. A few pics after adding the stain to the stock then wet sanding at 1200. After adding the stain you need a VERY soft sanding hand to wet sand. You apply a thin coat of teak oil over the entire stock then apply very little pressure when you wet sand or you will loose color. You can see the stock has taken on some color. When the stock dries it will have a bit of a dull look [but don't worry].




Lastly - after working up to 2000 and doing the final wet sanding you allow the stock to dry two days then take it to the buffer and that is when you will see the reward of all your had work. I buff the stock and then hand wax [3-5 coats] with Renaissance Wax then do one more final buffing. This is the final Product / Reward!



So I didn't take my stock all the way down to 150, only 400, and I didn't apply oil in this raw state, I went from 600-1000 alternating dry and wet, with water, then, added teak, so as it I, I have put my initial coat down with a surface prep of 1000 grit, then I decided on the new round to wet sand with teak oil at 600 in hopes to great slurs, which I also dont think is goin on.its currently on it 2nd application of teal oil, and tomorrow will be wet sanded at 800. Should I just start over?
 
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