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Hello,

i recently bought a cmp m1 service grade with a walnut USGI stock. It still has few rearsenal marks (RRA) near the trigger guard and the butt. The finish of the stock is rather matte, with a bit of graininess to it. On one side of the stock, it has a long gash that i would like some advice on.

is there a way to repair that gash to make it less unsightly, ie using stained wood putty. I tried to rub BLO on the stock, hoping to bring a bit of shine to no avail. Is there other better options?
 

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You might try the old steam iron and wet cloth method to try and raise the wood fibers, but frankly I would leave it as is - adds character to a great old battle rifle.
 

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As mentioned, your best bet is to leave it. Just about anything you do will require re-finishing to at least some extent, and once you start down that path it's hard to stop. The damage you show doesn't look that egregious that it requires repair.

You can try the iron and wet cloth method, sometimes that works. Be careful to not go too far with it, as too much heat/steam will remove some finish and you may end up with a light spot there, making the repair obvious.

Putty would be a bad idea. However, if you are deft at wood finishing you might try melt some laquer into the hole to fill it. Sticks are available from Lee Valley or Tools for Working Wood. You would have to be very careful with how you went about it, but it could be done. This was done by a previous owner on my 03A3 with that method (the "dollop" behind the cutout, it was only really visible when the light hit it just so):



When I realized that - I found it had been done on 2 or 3 other locations on the stock as well - and done well enough that had I not known to look for it, I would never have seen them.

Steaming (w/hot steam as opposed to using an iron with wet cloth) can raise crushed grain if you are very (and I mean VERY) patient with its application. This took me about 3 weeks of near daily sessions to do and required the stock be completely refinished - which took another month to do using RLO:






You'll notice that the damage was crushed fiber and not a gouge where wood was missing, which is the key to the steam working.

HTH
IR
 
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