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Author Topic: Anyone have experience with refinishing M1's?  (Read 1326 times)


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Anyone have experience with refinishing M1's?
« on: January 11, 2017, 09:22:27 pm »
I recently bought a service grade M1 garand from the CMP and it came with a new production stock. Anyone experienced with refinishing? Thanks.

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    Re: Anyone have experience with refinishing M1's?
    « Reply #1 on: January 11, 2017, 09:32:41 pm »
    Smith Enterprises in Tempe?  edit sorry, thought you said m14s


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      • Greg Langelius *
    Re: Anyone have experience with refinishing M1's?
    « Reply #2 on: January 12, 2017, 12:31:59 pm »
    I wrote an article on it that was published over my by-line Greg Langelius in Tactical Shooter's first issue back in the 90's.

    Strip whatever finish exists, then soak and dry the wood with odorless paint thinner to clear the wood pores and open them wide to receive the finish. Once thoroughly dry, soak and completely dry the wood with a 3-1 mixture of odorless paint thinner and Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil. This can be repeated (or not) up to twice more, but make sure it's completely dry before reapplying. Sand the wood by hand with 220grit sandpaper to remove raised grain. No part of this process should require power tools.

    Basic knowledge; we want to build the finish within the grain, and not on top of it. This is accomplished by building up thin layers of the oil finish, allowing complete drying between coats. Once the finish begins to show some gloss, cut it back down to the grain with 00 steel wool. (Note, steel wool contains some preservative oil intended to prevent it rusting, this must be rinsed out with alcohol or acetone before using the steel wool on the stock. Discard the steel wool if/when it starts to rust.). Do the fill grain/cut back process until the steel wool uncovers an overall, unbroken sheen.

    Take a larger soft cotton bore cleaning patch, apply one drop of Tru-Oil, and rub it onto the surface until it's spread so thin it dries pretty much at once. You may need to do this several times in order to get that single final coat to cover the entire stock. Let this harden/cure, the finishing process is done. If you need it shinier than a satin sheen, repeat the last step. To maintain this finish, periodically cut it back lightly with the 00 steel wool and repeat that last step, thus renewing the finish's exterior.

    Some of you are going to be starting with used stocks that have dings. Dents, even some of the monumental ones, can be steamed out using a few folds of paper towel soaked with alcohol held firmly between the stock and a regular steam iron.

    What can't be steamed can be filled. Start by wet sanding the surrounding area lightly using 220grit sandpaper, moistening the work area with Tru-Oil. Rather than excavating, extend the work area, gathering fine wood dust from a wider and wider area. Get it muddy and work the mud into the ding (don't try to get it all in one pass). Eventually, this will fill the ding, but be certain the mud hardens before continuing to fill in the successive stages. Finish up by slightly overfilling the ding, and let it cure hard. Once cured, block sand the excess away. This filler consists of the wood itself and the finishing material being used, and will be a perfect match.

    Because of all the drying stages, this is gong to be a long process, possibly taking more than a month. But the result is worth the extra time. The interior of the stock parts should also receive a couple or three coats of Tru-Oil, but does not require all the sanding, etc.; all we want to do is seal the wood inside and out. Metal parts and bands, like the one on the upper handguard, can be taped over with masking tape to protect the metal's finish.

    My own Pre-WWII Garand has this finish, as did my M1A, and my Norinco SKS (my first attempt guinea pig).

    « Last Edit: January 12, 2017, 12:59:20 pm by JarheadAZ »
    Not lookin' to be in a gunfight, but if you find yourself mixed up in one, it might be kinda nice to have a gun...

    "Faint heart never filled a flush" - Brett Maverick

    Good marksmanship is no accident - JarheadNY

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