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Discussion Starter #1
Recently purchased a Turkish rework Gew 88/05 made by Spandau in the 1890’s. It’s complete save for the front band screw. Stock only has one small chip along the top of the fore end and the usual dings and dents from being 131 year old service rifle. I’m going to disassemble the rifle and swap the barreled action with one from Loewe that has a nicer bore and better finish. As for the metal parts from the Spandau that I’ll be reusing, some will need to be rust converted by boiling in distilled water and then carded off. I’ve done that before. But this stock is grimy. I mean GRIMY. Has to be the dirtiest milsurp stock I’ve ever purchased. I’d like to clean it up as best I can without doing too much damage to the oil finished stock underneath all the crud. Any suggestions on how best to do this?
 

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You'll probably get a bunch of different answers on the best way to do this but to me, the least invasive and easiest method is to let the sun do the work for you. I'd start with wiping it down with a damp rag to get the surface gunk off and then let it sit out in the sun to get the other gunk to loosen up. Just wipe it down periodically. Some people will take the stock and put it in a bag with cat litter and place it inside a car or somewhere that is hot and in direct sunlight. The cat litter will soak up the oil and other gunk. Always start with the least destructive method and work from there.
 

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Could you post images of the stock and close ups of the "problem areas"?
 

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Not for museum scenarios, but; in this case, I think mineral spirits would be ideal. Heck maybe even for a museum. I dont see any crapped out guns hanging on the wall in Springfield. And, you are swapping metal and boiling some steel. Boiling is in effect a reblue.

My only caveat is mineral spirits is not for soaking, wipe on (slop on a lot heavy) but them wipe it off. The wood may take on a bit of a dry look and you can apply the appropriate oil to preserve and protect. I would not intentionally apply this to end grain or inside. It is not good the wood. Resit the OCD inclination.

I have used ballistol but; not followed up with oil. If I though a little oil was needed, I either clean with oil or clean with some chemical, depending. Yes, BLO can be used a light duty cleaner. The worse stuff I use is acetone. I mean nasty but effective. That will draw out gun lube from cracks and pits. I suggest you start with mineral spirits, real stuff if you can find it. Not the environmentaly friendly HD substitute.

My 2c, I am not a expert. I have done a few.
 

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I have heard that Murphy Oil Soap works really well although I have not personally used it... my parents used to use it on their floors and wood furniture, seemed to work great there.

I'm imagining that your stock looks like several I got from SOG years ago... their M44/T53 "specials" from Albania that were just awful overall. Mineral spirits worked OK on those... not great but just OK. Guess it just depends on what you want it to look like, Ballistol and mineral spirits would have taken forever on some of the really dirty ones I've had.
 

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Try to make it better...until its worse. That's the bubba way!
 

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The Murphy's Oil Soap cut with water 50/50 works for me. Use a terry cloth rag and go at it. Dry and wipe it down with blo cut with mineral spirits.
 

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Bronze wool [no oil] will also remove junk from stocks without cutting into the wood. I’ve used it on a couple ‘03 stocks.
 

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Not for museum scenarios, but; in this case, I think mineral spirits would be ideal. Heck maybe even for a museum. I dont see any crapped out guns hanging on the wall in Springfield. And, you are swapping metal and boiling some steel. Boiling is in effect a reblue.

My only caveat is mineral spirits is not for soaking, wipe on (slop on a lot heavy) but them wipe it off. The wood may take on a bit of a dry look and you can apply the appropriate oil to preserve and protect. I would not intentionally apply this to end grain or inside. It is not good the wood. Resit the OCD inclination.

I have used ballistol but; not followed up with oil. If I though a little oil was needed, I either clean with oil or clean with some chemical, depending. Yes, BLO can be used a light duty cleaner. The worse stuff I use is acetone. I mean nasty but effective. That will draw out gun lube from cracks and pits. I suggest you start with mineral spirits, real stuff if you can find it. Not the environmentaly friendly HD substitute.

My 2c, I am not a expert. I have done a few.

I've used both 'real' mineral spirits and the more modern water based milky looking mineral spirits,

just to clean up some funky greasy crusty stocks and rifles found in estates,

both worked, but the 'real' MS works better,

and just as you said, sop some on (very wet rag and or a very light brush) and then wipe down,
I try to find a course fabric (burlap etc) for the sopping, seems to clean a bit better, then a rag (not the red/pink shop rag, old Tshirt or towel works better) to dry it up with
 

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What method would you suggest to convert the rust that’s on the metal or to remove the grime from the wood that isn’t a Bubba-job?
Pardon me. I picked this thread out of the "NEW" topic selection. It is in the Workbench Forum, and I missed that. Go ahead and convert rust into bluing and swap stocks. My apologies!
 

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Why do you feel the need to clean a stock? Every dent has a story, no steaming dents out, no filling deep scratches, no pigment in scratches, no dish washer, no oven cleaner, and on & on... Rust, well... oil and bronze wool. May boil metal parts and soak in PB blaster & Kroil oil for a week. Do not buff, do not remove blue, do not re- blue and on & on...
Lets see this stock.
Here is an ancient post I redid from SRF. It shows my Turk stock near the end. Lots of ideas...
Think conservation, not deep cleaning, you want a new rifle buy one at a gun store. Relics & antiques are best left as found except for conservation.
A quote from my Victory lamp post:
"If the essential original character of a historical item is altered, or more than 50 percent of the finish or original parts have been changed to altered the original surface patina or non original, contemporary replacement parts has been utilized in the restoration, the item is no longer considered an antique. Its value is drastically lowered. It's an amateur muddle job, not a restoration. A large portion of the value of an old piece or historical military antique is determined first by scarcity, then second, it's patina and original nature. Patina is the aged surface finish caused by the the changes that occur in the aging/handling process. If you alter the original aged finish or do not restore with original, period correct parts, you destroy both the charm and value of the historical object. In some instances the remuddle is so bad the item is worthless even for its parts value."
A quote:
"
Quote:
also would leave as is, especially if you plan to sell it. Of course, an original finish stock is worth a heck of a lot more than some refinished shiny pimp stock. But, if you must clean please consider these fine antique wood products:
First to just lightly clean use a high quality Howards orange oil ( NOT LEMON OIL ) or Kotton Klenser brand "Protective Wood feeder". You are feeding natural oils back into an original stock, not really scrubbing the stock, and some of the grim may come off. Second, A drastic cleaner is Kotton Klenser "cleaner " that actually removes the surface grime with some of the finish. Best if some nut got paint on a stock. This is a last resort and care must be given to not remove too much of the original finish. Most use this product on old clocks or antique furniture. I like the original stock where the handling marks are visible and you can see where the hand held the rifle on the butt or forestock from the wear patterns from years of handling grim and sweat. You can tell a cleaning redo because small dents are filled with color, or the scratches filled and a stock has a uniform finish
" end of my quote

So If it is so filty, try a light wipe with a damp rag H2O - not wet. Let it dry a day. Test too see if water actually removes any dirt. It may do nothing. STOP the water. Or??? If in a hurry & not using caution, next try a more drastic wipe with mineral spirits, let it sit a day. Wood sort of discolored?? Then you should have done a slower process. My thought, go slow first, do test spots. Instead of mineral Spirits. Try a wipe of Howards orange oil. Let it dry a day. More?? Next, try a slightly more aggressive wipe with Kotton Klenser wood protector, still do not like what you see? Let it dry for a day and rub the stock with a clean T shirt. Not Happy??? By now, you may be cleaning too much, but try a rub with Kotton Klenser Cleaner. Still not happy, then try mineral spirits, not mineral oil. Think! You are not stripping a stock. Or consider the Candyman BLO scrub if you want to go real crazy. See SRF about the BLO scrub.

see this SRF post & internal links


CONSIDER, what is on the stock? Dry oil, mud, blood, dry cosmo, paint, cattle dung & hard grease??? All factors in the correct solution and path. It is always best to test clean a small area prior to screwing up the cleaning job. Think restoration & conservation.

Please...Can we see this flithy stock, some close up views.
By now, Martin wants to slap me...

Now the real test, take it to a show , if people say you did a nice stock cleaning-- you failed. You want them to say its ok, but you might want to refinish. Then you know your restoration is unseen, not known, considered original and natural aging by the people that must refinish a workman art.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
First few pics of the 88/05 stock with the Spandau barreled action, as I acquired the rifle. Sam’s bolt, which I removed to clean so that it could be used to check headspace for the Loewe barreled action I plan to put in this stock.
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Discussion Starter #19
Pics of the Spandau barreled action after being removed from the stock. Note the significant pitting below the wood line. Also the Turkish rear sight. The barrel shroud seems frozen to the receiver. I’ve stopped short of using a stillson wrench amd a vise to remove it. Condition of exterior of barrel is unknown, at this time. Bore is not bad.
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Discussion Starter #20
Pics of Loewe barreled action that I’ll be using. Much nicer finish very little pitting. The left of the receiver is also intact as opposed to the Spandau. I’ll need to source a rear sight, and a front band screw, as those are missing. Bore is G/VG on the Loewe.
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