Rimfire Central Firearm Forum banner

stock refinshing

779 Views 14 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Fatstrat
Help, I have a 1957 marlin 39A in fair to poor shape. Almost all the parts are there, missing front sight hood and the little red dot (?) in the stock. The barrel and action have light surface rust, the barrel's rifling is clean with no visable pits and the action works smoothly.I would like to retore it to usable condition.
I plan to clean the rust using oil and a cloth. If that does not clean up most of the rust I plan to use 0000 steel wool. I would like to keep the orginal blueing if possible.
The stock has turned black and there does not appear to be any finsh on the stock. The stock is does not have any dents, major scratches, or cracks. What is the best way to get the stock back to a more natural color and what do you suggest as a finsh?
I am open to suggestions from those who know better, let me go ahead and say thanks to those who will respond to this post.
tninman
1 - 15 of 15 Posts

· Premium Member
Joined
·
3,162 Posts
try do find a stripping product called Dissolv. dont even know if its made anymore, but it works GREAT. strip-eez is mostly for paint, doesnt work well on clear wood finishes. dont get a paste or semi-paste stripper, get liquid, trust me they will work better on clear finishes. once you strip the wood completely (take all the metal off the wood before stripping) sand down using 120, then 220, then 320. you can go up to 400+ grit sandpaper if you desire but i stop there. leaving the buttpad on during sanding will prevent rounding of the end of the buttstock. once you have it sanded smooth (careful with checkering) use a tack cloth to tack up the dust. now some people use different methods, but the easiest is to use tung oil, or i LOVE minwax antique oil finish, it uses some combination of linseed oil and solvent. follow directions on whatever you get. if you want to fill in the grain of the wood, you can wetsand the stock using the oil finish as the wetting agent then smooth it all in with fingers (cross grain) and let dry for a day. sand with real fine sandpaper or #0000 steel wool between coats, and again, tack cloth. each coat let dry for 24 hours, then sand and reapply. let the last coat dry at LEAST one week. you can assemble after a few days but i wouldnt use it for a week or so. the longer the better.

my mossberg 352kc has 4 coats of minwax antique oil finish, and its a perfect satin finish that looks nice, feels nice, and really brings out the grain of the walnut. Im no expert in refinishing, but my dad worked with wood (had his own small wooden toy business for years) and told me to stay away from boiled linseed oil, tung oil or the antique oil finish would be a better choice for an actually used stock. and i trust my dad because his work was always top notch. too bad he gave it all up years ago :( i swear i never saw any runs when he was finishing any wooden project, and his staining was always even and looked like it was wood not stain. dont know how he did it...
 

· Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
Stock refinishing and more....

tninman said:
Help, I have a 1957 marlin 39A in fair to poor shape. Almost all the parts are there, missing front sight hood and the little red dot (?) in the stock. The barrel and action have light surface rust, the barrel's rifling is clean with no visable pits and the action works smoothly.I would like to retore it to usable condition.
I plan to clean the rust using oil and a cloth. If that does not clean up most of the rust I plan to use 0000 steel wool. I would like to keep the orginal blueing if possible.
The stock has turned black and there does not appear to be any finsh on the stock. The stock is does not have any dents, major scratches, or cracks. What is the best way to get the stock back to a more natural color and what do you suggest as a finsh?
I am open to suggestions from those who know better, let me go ahead and say thanks to those who will respond to this post.
tninman
http://riflestocks.tripod.com/
(Copy and paste into Yahoo or Google)
Great source for info and detail on many areas of gun work.
You may want to save it to your "favorites".
Pete K.
[email protected]
 

· Registered
Joined
·
887 Posts
The way you describe your rifle it sounds like it is in good condition rather than fair to poor. On a walnut stock I use Birchwood Casey Truoil. There are an number of finishes that will work well on walnut. Without too much effort you should end up with a beautiful rifle.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
428 Posts
I'm in the middle of refinishing an old Enfield. I used the same cleaning technique on my M1 carbine and it worked great. I spray the wood well with Easy Off oven cleaner. Then wrap with paper towels to keep moist. Then seal it with saran-type plastic wrap. Let it sit a day, then open up and clean up with a brush and running water. Use rubber gloves for all stages!
Here is a pic from yesterday after a little sun-drying:
 

· Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
Tninman, 39A front sight hood....

tninman said:
Help, I have a 1957 marlin 39A in fair to poor shape. Almost all the parts are there, missing front sight hood and the little red dot (?) in the stock. The barrel and action have light surface rust, the barrel's rifling is clean with no visable pits and the action works smoothly.I would like to retore it to usable condition.
I plan to clean the rust using oil and a cloth. If that does not clean up most of the rust I plan to use 0000 steel wool. I would like to keep the orginal blueing if possible.
The stock has turned black and there does not appear to be any finsh on the stock. The stock is does not have any dents, major scratches, or cracks. What is the best way to get the stock back to a more natural color and what do you suggest as a finsh?
I am open to suggestions from those who know better, let me go ahead and say thanks to those who will respond to this post.
tninman
If you have the 39A (Late) model, Gun Parts Corporation (Numrich) lists a hood . http://www.e-gunparts.com/product.asp?chrProductSKU=407220C
You may have to copy and paste this into your Yahoo or Google search.
Pete K.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
Question.

I come from a mostly milsurp collector viewpoint in which refurbishing a rifle actually leads to less value. Basically we just try to clean them up and get them functional w/a minimum of cosmetic change. Of coarse battle scars and ansenal markings are (part of) what make milsurps interesting and every attempt is made at preserving them.
Would the same basic therory apply to vintage sporting arms? If you have a functional, but comsmetically poor condition vintage sporting arm, does a complete "makeover" inhance or hurt the value? Or would it remain the same?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
618 Posts
Fatstrat said:
I come from a mostly milsurp collector viewpoint in which refurbishing a rifle actually leads to less value. Basically we just try to clean them up and get them functional w/a minimum of cosmetic change. Of coarse battle scars and ansenal markings are (part of) what make milsurps interesting and every attempt is made at preserving them.
Would the same basic therory apply to vintage sporting arms? If you have a functional, but comsmetically poor condition vintage sporting arm, does a complete "makeover" inhance or hurt the value? Or would it remain the same?
most of the time it diminishes the value but sometimes if it is done properly it can actually increase the value as it looks better and more "custom". Plus, most of the time people just pick up old beaters and refinish them into good looking (and working) order and they keep the gun after putting all of the work into it.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
.22 shooter.. Exactly!!

.22 shooter said:
most of the time it diminishes the value but sometimes if it is done properly it can actually increase the value as it looks better and more "custom". Plus, most of the time people just pick up old beaters and refinish them into good looking (and working) order and they keep the gun after putting all of the work into it.
First of all, do you want to enjoy it? Do you enjoy bringing a beat up rifle to the range? Would you be happier to have a good looking older rifle to use and enjoy. If you just want to put it away and let in appreciate in value over the next say fifty years, then oil it and put it in an air tight bag in a dark closet. Maybe coin collecting is a better hobbie, or stamps. I like to enjoy them!!
My friend gave me a rusty old 1936-1941 cheap rifle made by Marlin for JC Higgins/Sears as a 103-18 or model 100 Marlin. Back then they cost aroung $19.95 new. It had some surface rust, dry wood, and an excellent "Micro Grove" bore. I thanked him and ten minutes later it was in parts in my basement. I took it to the range last thursday and even with the open bead and V rear sights this cheap little rifle shot exactly where I aimed her. 8,9, and 10 rings were common at fifty yards. I do like my Olympic Redfields on my Win. 75T better but was extremely happy with this little rifle from so long ago. Should you clean her up? you tell me.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v64/pdexter46/DSCN0061.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v64/pdexter46/DSCN0064.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v64/pdexter46/DSCN0060.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v64/pdexter46/DSCN00662.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v64/pdexter46/DSCN0057.jpg

Rust or no rust, what is your choice?
Pete K.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v64/pdexter46/bigchief.gif

;)




 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
I've got a Marlin Model 100 that is just a DANDY! Perhaps my favorite plinker. I've been greatly dissaponted that one currently at auction (not by me) has failed in 3 tries to even get an opening bid of $70. People don't realize what great little rifles these are.
My concerns over refurbishing rifles was mean't as a point to ponder. I've done a few myself. I have also enjoyed shooting beat up collectors guns (in good functioning condition) every bit as much or more than shooting shiney new looking guns. Sometimes there's history behind those worn finishes and dings. Just wanted to point out that refinishing CAN lead to lowered value on some guns. It's a personal choice that should be made after concidering all factors. And I absolutely dissagree that gun collectors would be better off collecting stamps if they don't want to shoot every gun they own. What kind of narrow minded statement is that to make?
 

· Registered
Joined
·
353 Posts
Fatstrat, You are...

completely correct. I am narrow minded!! I should have said "this is my opinion about my feelings of my guns", not everyones guns.
The alternative, depending on condition is to let them age, dry out, rust, etc. This is what happened to the rifle given to me. In years to come it would have become worthless. I decided that now that it is my gun to stop the physical aging process and enjoy it now. This rifle may increase in value a bit but it is not a collectors rifle. But I do see what you mean and I admit to being narrow minded. At least you and my wife (what's her name?) understand me. Thanks for that, I feel like were family:D
p.s. Don't forget the barbicue next weekend, plz bring the potatoe salad!!
No harm intended,
Best to you,
:) Pete K.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
LOL! Mustard or mayo?

Presearving a rifle (or any gun IMO) from deterioration is a noble cause. I've "restored" many basket case milsurps in my time. Using (of coarse) correct vintage/arsenal marked parts. It can get to be a real hassle tracking down just the right parts and usually the end result is more investment than value. But a labor of love.
I enjoy few things more than a good gun project. Finding and restoring (doing what I can or having some work done by gunsmith) usually a non operable gun is a passion of mine.
But sometimes there's a fine line between restoration and "bubbatizing" (IE: doing more harm than good value wise). But my goal is always to restore to original condition while preserving as much of the used history as possible. Only on VERY rare occasions will I re-blue or refinish. To me the dings,dents and worn finishes often add a personality to the gun and it be would kinda like giving John Wayne a face lift.
I have/do fire the vast majority of the guns I've owned. But there have been a few that the risk of destroying the value made firing prohibitive. (for example: 18884 Trapdoor that I am the 5th generation in my family to own).
But I understand that my sensibilities are not shared by everyone. I just advocate researching the gun/value etc; BEFORE diving into a restoration. Sometimes the less you do, is better.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,236 Posts
I'd wipe down the stock with some type of degreaser and then a once over with mineral spirits. Then "sand" down the wood a bit with 0000 or 000 steel wool - do NOT use sand paper. It tends to leave scratch or swirl marks, even with fine grit. After you get the wood to where you want it, then wipe it down with mineral spirits to clean off the dust. Apply light coats of tung oil. Tung oil doesn't color the wood like some other finishes and it doesn't eventually crack out like boiled linseed oil. It is also much easier to work with. All you do is wipe on a thin layer (with the grain) with a sponge or cloth, then wait 5 minutes and wipe off the excess with a clean cloth. Just a once over. Then let it dry 24 hours. The next day just give it a once over with 0000 steel wool and apply another layer of oil in the same manner. I usually repeat this 4 or 5 times an it gives the stock a very nice, smooth matte finish and leaves the natural color of the wood.

For the gun you describe I'd say definitly refinish the stock and clean up the metal parts. It's a shooting rifle (or sounds like it) and it won't hurt the value one bit. military surplus/collectors rifles are another matter. If it was a TRUE collector rifle, say a civil war musket or a early model Winchester, then I'd leave it alone. Plain old surplus guns are fine to refinish if you want- I've redone a few and they all came out much nicer than when I got them but still retained all their "historical" value because all I did was clean up the wood a bit and take some rust off. I'm about to do it to a 98K Mauser. Shoots great, has mostly matching parts, and an original stock - but the stock has a bunch of scrapes, dings, and small dents that I'll take out and it will look much better. That's just me. I want to collect military WWII rifles, but I want them to look decent also- not like beaters that should have been scrapped.
 

· Registered
Joined
·
1,764 Posts
That's pretty much my style too. Amazing how much proper CLEANING can make a big difference w/o having to refinish.
Actually part of my meaning in my original post was a inquiry of if the standards of colectibility which apply to milsurps, appy to sporting arms as well. One can very easily destroy the value of a milsurp in only minutes w/a piece of sandpaper.
 
1 - 15 of 15 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top