I may be picking up a Mosin Nagant next week and was wondering how to go about making the stock less sticky? Is this the shellac, or just the cosmoline it was bathed in? I want to keep an original look, sorry if this sounds dumb.
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They used shellac on the gunstocks.. Remove it with any good quality wood finish remover. Then clean it up, restain it, and apply a few hand rubbed coats of BLO to it ( boiled lindseed oil ) You'll also find some cosmoline so be prep'd to clean it up as well.
the sticky is just cosmoline type preservative the rooskies use on those rifles.
to remove it put the stock in a black trash bag and put it in the sun to heat up. take it out and wipe down every few hours if you want to really get a bunch of it out.
i just dampen a rag with hoppes #9 and wipe it down. the hoppes will cut the cosmo and leave the shellac alone. however it will continue to seep out of the wood over time and may become sticky again. just repeat the wipe down. just be sure to wipe with a clean cloth after the hoppes is done. you dont want to leave it wet with solvent.
either way works.
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For metal parts I've always used mineral spirits to remove the cosmoline. For wood, hot soapy water has always worked. If it will fit, I've also run stocks through the dish washer. Using a degreaser like simple green works also.. More than likely you will need to remove and reapply shelac if you desire to have that finish on your stock after cleaning so that the finish is even.