cleaning stocks for 1903 & Garand

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by 25-5, Mar 15, 2014.

  1. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    I just acquired a M1903A3 and an M1 Garand, to go with my M1A. They are in very good shape with excellent bores. The stocks have some dings and scrapes, but still nice. They are, however, very dark. I want to clean and preserve them. Not refinish. Clean and preserve with what? That's the question.
    Thanks
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    For most, you can use any good furniture cleaner, and an oil made or wood (NOT GUN OIL!!!)

    What you are possibly seeing is generations of lubricating oil, grease, cosmoline, hair oil, bear fat, and peaner butter sammidges.

    I have a SMLE from 1915 that could solve the worlds oil crisis if we could just get it out of the stock! What I HAVE done that is fairly gentle, and seems to work-

    1. Remove action from stock.
    2. Roll stock in several layers of brown paper grocery bags
    3. Put rolled up stock in a BLACK plastic garbage bag
    4. Place bag in direct sunlight
    5. Leave for as long as sun is shining. Turn about once an hour.

    Inside bag gets hot- but not so hot as to damage wood. Brown paper grocery bags wick up the oil driven out of wood by heat.

    There is another route, involving a paste of acetone and whiting (powder from paint store) Paint it on, acetone goes into wood, pulls crud out into whiting. When dry, brush off soiled whiting with soft brush. Repeat until you have a buzz from acetone fumes. Leave rifle, go look for kidney donor to replace one you just fried with a highly flammable solvent.

    I prefer the trash bag route for a first attempt.
     

  3. molonlabexx

    molonlabexx New Member

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    Murphy's wood soap has never steered me wrong. Mix it with some hot water and you are good to go. The hot water opens the pores of the wood, as always go with the grain.
     
  4. JWagner

    JWagner New Member

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    I think that the bag method will be the winner here, as he stated that he was interested in keeping the finish. The acetone would be pretty tough on any finish. Midway USA has a number of Youtube videos on gunsmithing and they have one in which the stock is soaked in acetone to get the oil out.
     
  5. therewolf

    therewolf New Member

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    Midway also sells a composite stock for the Garand.

    Blasphemy, I know, but the crisp, clean new black stock

    looks rad with the white-metal action, and doesn't make

    your skin crawl, every time you pick it up.;)
     
  6. Orlando

    Orlando New Member

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    Wipe lightly with mineral spirits, when dry apply BLO
     
  7. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    I like the original furniture and tend towards tung oil to finish. I know what LOL is, but need help with BLO.
     
  8. Orlando

    Orlando New Member

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    BLO=Boiled Linseed Oil
     
  9. 1563621

    1563621 New Member

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    Apply BLO 1x per week for 6 weeks. Brush on and let sit for 1/2 hr. wipe off. Search for gunny paste. really will fin ish off.
     
  10. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    Gunny paste:
    Equal parts BLO, Beeswax, and Turpentine or Mineral Spirits.
    A very old and revered recipe. Thanks
     
  11. HM2Grunt

    HM2Grunt New Member

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    You say the wood is dark, does it have a lot of oil soaked into it?
     
  12. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    Just like C3 said. Found no peanut butter though. :cool:
    The fellow I got them from was very generous with oil and grease. It's in FL so that is a good thing. All metal is in great shape. I had to run a bore snake through before firing.
     
  13. HM2Grunt

    HM2Grunt New Member

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    I have done this before, and it lightens up stocks that have a lot of oil in them. You have to be careful though. I have a heat gun that I pass over the wood until it begins to sweat. I take a rag and wipe off the oil. Repeat this over the whole stock using a clean section of rag to wipe so as not to reapply the oil. I let the stock set over night. I have no proof, but I think that the oil deeper in the stock migrates to the surface were you had removed the oil. When I use the heat gun the second day I can still sweat out out. It takes me about three days of doing this when little oil can be raised by the heat, and the wood is somewhat lighter in color. You have to be careful not to burn the wood by using too much heat too long, and not to catch the oily rags on fire. I use a roll of paper towels so I can pitch them when they become oily, and then be able to use a clean dry piece next time. If the stock was really covered in grease and cosmoline, I use spray brake pad cleaner first, let the spray cleaner completely evaporate before using the heat gun. I have had to do this to almost every milsurp rifle I have had. Hope this rambling of an old fart helps
     
  14. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    Thanks. Kind of like C3's black bag method, only quicker.
    I am surprised at the unique methods available.
     
  15. drboompa

    drboompa New Member

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    Do not use oven cleaner. The wood will turn yellow. I speak from experience.


    Sent from my iPhone using Firearms Talk
     
  16. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    I would also remind anyone that linseed oil + rags = fire. Linseed reacts with oxygen, and has a "slow burn" effect. Generates enough heat to char cloth, and suddenly POOF! into flame about a half hour after you are not paying attention to things.

    Either put rags/ paper towels into a fireproof METAL container, or into a plastic bag with enough water/ detergent to saturate the rag. Or just take them directly to a safe spot, and burn them right there.

    For those that read, there is a big warning about this hazard on the label of linseed oil cans.
     
  17. samnev

    samnev New Member

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    I have used GOOP a waterless hand cleaner with excellent results to clean quite a few misurp stocks that were as described by the OP. Harbor Freight carries GOOP as do a number of Auto Stores. Be careful do not get the waterless hand cleaners that contain any kind of abrasive. Just take the rifles out of the stock and apply apply and hand rub until the white GOOP gets dark. Remove with a soft cloth and reapply as needed. Finished my BIL's CMP M1 Garand a few moths back.
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2014
  18. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    I use GOOP to de-cosmoline metal parts- soft nylon brush, flush with HOT water, leaves kitchen smelling like oranges. You can get it at Dollar Tree as well.
     
  19. 25-5

    25-5 New Member

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    C3
    A bit of update. I am in S FL where I bought the rifles. Got a few boxes of 30-06 and have shot them quite a bit. Grouping within 1 M.O.A. I'm a happy milsurp nut.
    Anyway, I was in the hot sun and the 03A3 was sweating oil and brown crap (probably peanut butter) like mad. I was wiping it off with a towel and it kept on coming. When I get it home I'll do the bag thing with paper towels and see how well the quicker picker upper works.
    Thanks
    25-5