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Cleaning rifle stocks

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#1 vespa100

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 12:44 AM

Hi could anyone recommend the best method to clean wooden rifle stocks, it has alot off old oil marks inbedded in to the wood. I have looked on the net and there are so many ways to try.

#2 m1ashooter

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Posted 21 April 2012 - 01:27 AM

If the stock doesn't have maker stamps in it and it will fit in a the dishwasher then this process works if you take it out before the dry cycle. If it is a collector grade stock then I would not do it. Putting the stock in a black trash bag will also pull the oil and grease as it sits in the sun.

Edited by m1ashooter, 21 April 2012 - 01:28 AM.

#3 shtur

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 02:22 PM

I use biotite (a floor oil absorber from NAPA auto stores) placed in a black plastic bag left in the sun. Every evening, remove the oil from the surface of the stock, until the stock turns dry. Once done, hand rub Tung oil (a very small amount goes a long way) back into the stock.

Edited by shtur, 31 May 2012 - 02:23 PM.

#4 AustinO

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 09:02 AM

It really goes on a case by case basis. I've used harsh chemicals on some, boiled, baked, scrubbed others. Some I've opted not even to bother with. If you can find a way to shrink an image down to less than 150kb and post it I believe you'd get a truer response to your question. What exactly are you dealing with? If its just a couple small surface spots you can try steaming them out with an iron and some paper-towel as an absorbent intermediary.

#5 oldfireguy

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Posted 02 June 2012 - 03:05 PM

I've used a dishwasher on 10-12 old beat up Garand stocks and never had an issue. I would not use this method on anything that was remotely collectable.

#6 Wolfie303

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 06:40 PM

Hoppe's put out this M-Pro7 stuff not too long ago. I found the spray on gun cleaner works very well. I had a rifle come in that was just saturated with cosmo, so I laid the gun on a towel, sprayed the stock, let it sit for 20 minutes, and wiped it off. It did a really good job pulling the cosmo out of the wood, I was surprised. I also used it on a gun that had apparently been hung over a fireplace for a very long time, and it took the black crud off. What I got from that was a gorgeous finish to the wood underneath, and the guy who owned the gun couldn't pick it out of the wrack when he came to get it. Again, wouldn't do this on anything very collectable because I don't know if it will discolor certain stocks.

#7 Brandon

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 07:52 AM

I have seen easy off oven cleaner used with great sucsess. It sounds crazy but doesnt harm the wood or cartouches. It removes all oils from the stock. You just need to use a non abrasive cloth and rub it while you are rinsing it. Let it completely dry and then I do several coats over several days of boiled linseed oil. Just an idea.


#8 Jack's Son

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Posted 07 June 2012 - 06:28 PM

Some interesting ideas!
I use "Goo-gone", (the orange liquid) and it works fine. Spray in on liberally, let it sit for awhile, then wipe off with a soft cloth. Do it over and over until desired results are obtained. :thumbsup:

#9 Sgt Saunders

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Posted 10 June 2012 - 11:08 AM

I've got 2 14" diameter pieces of heating duct with end caps and a 100W flood lamp in one.
A piece of wire fence for a rack and away you go. Every hour take it out and wipe it down with mineral spirits.
That's one way I deal with an oil/grease soaked stock. A couple of final washes with a clean rag with lacquer thinner
and it should be ready to finish. I don't sand a stock except for a repair. I use bronze wool and scotch brite for final smooth down. This way I can preserve the stock cartouche and not loose any wood.
The second method I use is Purple degrease (50/50 mix) and a trip to the bath tub. Make shure you wear rubber gloves.
Spray the wood down and let set 5 minutes or so. Don't let it dry. Scrub with a natural bristle brush and rinse as you go. Don't soak the stock, just rinse. Two or three treatments then let it dry slowly for a couple days. Stand it on some news paper. The repair if needed then bronze wool or scotch brite then tack rag down.
I have a gallon of Behr tong oil stashed for my stock refinishing jobs. I really like it and it's my personal choice.
There other typed of finishes so it up to you. BLO is an old stand by and it's used by a lot of guys to refinish stocks with.
Here is a pic of my 03-A3 I cleaned with Purple stuff and Behr tong oil. Nuff said!


#10 Mitter2k1

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:10 AM

I know this is late, but it is an area I'm familiar with. I will never use brake parts cleaner, purple power, laquer thinner or anything that is solvent based. The method I have always and will always use is whiting. I usually mix it with acetone or denatured alcohol. Both of these are miscible in water and are safer than any solvent based cleaner. Brake cleaner will break down the fibers and natural glues within the wood. Purple power has other chemicals in it that can have the same adverse effects. I would mix powdered chalk (white) for chalk lines with acetone or denatured alcohol and brush this on to the stock. It doesn't take much to get it too runny, so easy does it. I then wrap it with paper towels then tape. Next I wrap it with aluminum foil or a trash bag (depends on the next step) and either place it on the dash (trash bag) of my car during the summer or put it in the oven (aluminum foil) on the warm setting for 30 mins at a time. You do not want to leave it for too long so make sure you are not distracted and can frequently check on it. Take it out, let it cool and brush off the chalk powder. You will notice that the powder was maybe orange or brown in spots. That's the oil that was absorbed. Once you have cleaned off the powder, use a clean rag and wipe down the stock with whichever cleaner you mixed your slurry up with and repeat. This will be drawn out and meticulous but when I restore a stock for someone else, I leave zero room for error. If anyone has questions PM me. Thanks

#11 MIFlyer

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:55 PM

If you go over to the Civilian Marksmanship Program website you can find recommendations on how to clean WWII vintage rifle stocks such as for the M1 Grand and M1 Carbine. I recently decided to clean up and refinish the stock on the Carbine I bought from them and plan to do so with the M1 Garand I have on order.

For original condition stocks they recommend pure Tung Oil as a cleaner, followed by a suitable finish, of which they list and discuss several. Pure tung oil (not a Tung Oil varnish, which has other additives) is not easy to find but you can always mail order it as cheap or cheaper than buying from a store.

Good luck!

#12 Linedoggie

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 07:32 PM

I've used Brownells Whiting compound with success, Simple Green, Murphys Oil Soap,I once left an 1915 BSA SMLE stock in the sun for 3 weeks on my deck with whiting to remove the oils and the wood went from black back to a nice reddish brown. Last year for a particularly heavily grease infused M1903 S stock I wound up going to Easy Off.

I dont like Easy Off as it will damage surface fibers if left too long but I had run out of options. I sprayed it on, waited 5 minutes and removed it using a 3m pad sponge. I then thoroughly rinsed the stock and let it dry for a week. did it again and let it dry for a week. then it was degreased finally. I wound up removing over a quart and a half of grease off the rifle. Even the air spaces in the stock butttrap were filled. Magazine filled, bore filled, etc.
Once stripped and degreased I usually 0000 Bronze wool the stock and start my Oil Finish, 0000 wool, Oil etc until I'be built up a smooth finish.

#13 shcpirate

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Posted 12 May 2013 - 10:29 AM

When you need to finish your stock, the old Pre-WWI USMC hand rubbed finish is:


1/3 melted bees wax

1/3 Turpentine

1/3 Linseed Oil


It looks fantastic, but you have to hand rub it in which takes many hours in front of the TV.

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