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An interesting and cautionary thread, especially as some posters added their diverse experiences from various professional backgrounds.

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mauserdoc
Posted - 07/02/2006 : 5:49:18 PM
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I have discovered a real keeper in my last batch of swedes that I wrote about a few weeks ago.

The gun in question is a all matching except the rod 96b with a Flash hider in place... It has a beautiful tigerstripe on it. The tiger stripe was lovingly preserved by someone in the past with a hard shiny and somewhat yellowish finish. I tried denatured etoh to no real avail--nothing but dirt came off. Then tried some laquer thinner with the same result. Some of this finish is on the barrel bands as well...

Took the gun to the range yesterday and shot a DIME sized group at 50 yards--I always try to stop when I am ahead, so moved out to 100 and could touch the three holes with a quarter. A lucky day! However, clearly also a keeper!

So, with a bit of free time over the next few days, considering the options... I usually dont do much with swede stocks, but my plan is to remove the gun from the stock and apply "dad's" stripper to it and then rinse with alcohol or acetone and go back with linseed.

Any other thoughts before I dive in? Should I stop with stripping? would anyone steam or sand at all? It is pretty dinged up and the tiger stripes are so pronounced that they give a ridged feel to the wood between grain transitions?



308nutt
Posted - 07/02/2006 : 7:09:07 PM
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Hi Mauserdoc,
I use oven cleaner to dissolve the grease etc, then hot water & wire wool to clean off the oven cleaner. Don't leave the oven cleaner on more than 15 min or it may burn the wood.


TE53
Posted - 07/02/2006 : 7:42:24 PM
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Mauserdoc, You may possibly have some type of urethane finish there. I would suggest one of the milder "citrus strip" strippers with 000 or 0000 wool (the one I have used is orange colored), and then when dry go the linseed route or something similar which may dry quicker like Watco Oil.
Steaming and/or sanding will always be obvious to an expert, and what's the point, it's a used milsurp. But it's a Mauser, and will look beautiful anyway with that grain, regardless of the dings.
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NW Swede
Posted - 07/02/2006 : 11:46:04 PM
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Mauserdoc,

Sounds like polyurethane. Remove all the metal from the stock and then I suggest using paint stripper to remove the poly. Then, using a stiff plastic brush, scrub the stock clean with warm, soapy water. This will unfortunately also remove the original finish where most of the color is, but I don't think you can avioid removing the original finish along with the poly. Next, let the stock dry completely and apply a stain to bring back some color to the wood. Ideally, you should use an alcohol-based dye stain like Behlens. Let dry completely and then apply linseed oil in multiple coats making sure to let it dry COMPLETELY between each coat (24 hours min.) I would not sand at all during this process. In fact, you can probably get away without using steel wool too. I would only use it if the cleaning process caused some of the grain to raise, but then only lightly so as not to round off any sharp edges. Good luck and post some pictures before and after.


mauserdoc
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 11:21:42 AM
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I am impressed as I noted with the appearance to the rifle you restored. I have a few questions.

I too am interested in taking abused mausers such as the one you have shown and the one I have been discussing. I however have had what I think are negative experiences with the stain thing and have spend a great deal of time considereing this issue. I thought I had an answer to the issue rescently, but over the past 2 weeks have digressed again.

First, I wonder if anyone knows whether swedes were stained or not originally? If so, did that involve all years or just some? I thought that staining didn't take place. However, I started looking inside several of my guns and discovered what appeared to be brown stain inside the handguard--uniform on the outside but on the inside, just runover. These guns that I have noted this on most are from the 1920"s.

If stain was used, what kind was used?

Now back to the present--NW swede: I have used BEHLENS alcohol based DYE on several guns and one swede. I have been generally displeased with the outcomes.

These swede is an old beater that was my second swede--turned out, however, to be an all matching obie. It has a significant amount of fiddleback on it on the butt stock and is rather beautiful. The stock had an entirely washed out appearance and a lot of stains on it. I can't recollect what all I did to it as it was several years ago, but basically it was about as bad as it gets for a collecting point of view. I think it involved purple power, probably oven cleaner, some sanding, etc. Ultimately, I started putting maple behlens dye on it. Then I put linseed over that. The dye kept bleeding through on my hands. Then I stripped it again, dyed it again, and sprayed it with shellac. Finally went back with alternating coats of blo and TOF. That stopped the bleeding using this split coat technique. However, as one might imagine, the gun is now more shiney than one would want. It is also more orange than I would want. Belive it or not, I get a lot of compliments on it at the range and it is a very presentable shooter. It is my only matching obie 96 that I have in my possession. I don't know If I will just let this gun age and hope it ages will or go back and try another redo. BTW, it was not acceptible in anyones book prior to my working one it lest anyone mention not dying guns and destroying collectability.

And now on the the 1908 tiger striped gun: My current plan is to stip it as recommended. Then go back with linseed. However, given the issues with whether dyeing was done originally and how one would address some of the issues of dying I have brought up above have been weighing heavy on me with regards to this project. Now that I have seen what NW swedes gun looks like, I'd like to know what folks think about this whole project.



swede
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 12:40:19 PM
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All of the beech stocks were stained , as beech is nearly white in its natural state . As to what kind of stain was used , it is anyone's guess . I doubt that the French walnut stocks were stained , but any that were in civilian hands at one time or another may have been stained by them . The linseed oil will turn orange in color over time . For sure the Swede arsenals used differant stains in differant time periods . I have a 1920 & 1921 dated M-96 with a dark brown stain that is seen dripping on the wood in places . It reminds me of chocolate syrup that has been diluted for a stain . I do not know if this is original or applied at a later date . There are no Crown/letter stamps on the stock or barrel . I see other 1920's dated M-96's with a lighter stain , but do not know if original or done as an arsenal rebuild . Many of the M-38's are seen with differant color stained stocks . Some of which may have been done in the USA .

As for "Easy-Off" oven cleaner , "Purple Power" , etc . used for cleaning your stock , it will permanently damage your wood & continue doing so , as it is very hard to stop the deteriating action , even when flushed with water . If you look at the fibers under a microscope , you will see the damage . I have not seen a Swede stock that needed to be degreased . It is easy to get carried away when you are used to cleaning old Enfield & Turk stocks that have been in storage for 50+ years . Many of these recent Swedes were in use up into the 1990's . Do not do anything that is unnecessary to your stock .


MP78
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 12:48:39 PM
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Hi Doc,

Nobody knows what type of stain was used on the Swede's. It's amaizing that Anders or other Swedish collectors haven't been able to contact someone that actually done the stock finishing to get the heads up. However most of those guys are either old and aren't computer savy or they have passed away with the knowledge, Either way it's our loss.

As far as refinishing the wood goes, I don't do it. I buy the best I can afford and the less expensive pieces that I've come across that would be candidates for refinishing, I enjoy just the way they are. I'm either conservative or just plain lazy and I haven't decided which one yet. If it's a matter of repair to keep the rifle from deteriorating or to return it to military configuration then I'm all for it. Very few Swede's are oil soaked to the point of needing stripped of it. I've cleaned up Turkish stosksets with good results. I've recently come upon two Swede's that had the socksets redone by their owners but they have been priced way too high. If I ever get one I would return it to a traditional finish...Jim


kriggevaer
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 12:53:36 PM
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Thank you swede for your comments on Easy Off and other harsh cleaners. I have never seen a Swedish stock that needed more than mineral spirits to clean up. I've also done some research on cleaners that have sodium hydroxide as a component and found that sodium hydroxide is the compound used in the paper making industry to break down and deteriorate the wood fibers during the pulping operation. Oven cleaners are simply bad news for any rifle stock.



swede
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 1:36:09 PM
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Just for you guys that do not know the common name for sodium hydroxide , it is " LYE " . Try cleaning your hands with lye after working on a greasy auto engine . It will take the grease & your skin " OFF " .


mauserdoc
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 1:37:57 PM
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I agree wholeheartedly on the oven cleaner issue. The swede I mentioned above was my second swede and I was in the early stages of collecting. At around the same time, I was purchasing turks for 49$ each and cleaning up masses of guns. The swede for better or worse fell in to my hands at around that time. That is why I used the odious easy off.

I would tell anyone I come accross never to use that method. My last experience with that has been a turk 1893 that is nicely tiger striped. It was well cleaned by its previous owner--apparently he hung it from a tree with a wire and doused it in oven cleaner. The stock is now like an attractive greenish piece of drift wook. I reallly hate oven cleaner and would never think of using it on a swede.

My only interest at the present time is to take bubba's adventures with such as polyurethane and try as much as possible to reverse this situation. I am hopeful that I won't have to do anything but put BLO on the gun after I get the oven cleaner off. I have never steamed or sanded a swede stock save for the first one i mentioned. I have about 40+ swedes at the moment and have done little with them except clean with remoil and ballistol and apply a little blo to a few. I clean them much less than other guns and do not take cosmo out of the channel, etc. I only do enough to clean off exterior crud and enough to make them function well.

I appreciate everyones thoughts on this matter--This striped gun is going to be a real keeper both in terms of appearance and at the range. I will try to do before and after photos.

Thanks all! mauserdoc



Windstar
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 5:52:26 PM
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I'm always surprised when oven cleaner is advised as a cleaner for wood. Having spent 17 years in the sign painting business, oven cleaner was used as a last ditch remedy to remove lettering enamels from truck doors etc in preparation for relettering. It always left a ghost and discolored the base coat of paint. With the porous nature of wood, it seems to be the last place I would apply oven cleaner. The product is intended for metal (oven) surfaces and has effects on others, but are they positive ?
Just my .02
Dana


MP78
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 9:02:14 PM
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Hi Swede,

Being I'm in the hair care industry I'd add that Sodium Hydroxide is also the active ingredient in a chemical hair relaxer for a soft curl perm. Here's a real senario, If you color your hair with Just for Men or other male hair coloring product that contains metal dies and you get sodium hydroxide (Lye, oven cleaner) in your hair you cause the hair bonds to break or melt if it's not immediately washed out. So you collectors out there who color your hair with those products, stay away from oven cleaner. ;>)..Jim


JK
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 9:59:21 PM
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Mauserdoc
After you have striped the gun take some mineral spirits (paint thinner) on a rag and wet a spot on the stock. This will give you a good idea of what the stock will look like if you finish it without staining, and will disappear without a trace when dry. If it looks good to you then skip the stain. I always prefer not to stain, but sometimes the wood is just too light in color.

Also I have used both stain and dye on very many projects besides rifle stocks. I find that the dye will take you much darker and deeper looking than the stain. The trick is to dilute the die with alcohol to a much lighter color and apply more coats slowly until you get to the color you want. I recommend Fiebing's Leather Dye and they also sell a solvent to dilute it with.

Perhaps it would be best to try it on a old Turk stock and see how it goes.

Best of luck, John


TE53
Posted - 07/03/2006 : 10:03:58 PM
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If you use water on the stock after stripping you will raise the grain significantly-- you will have to oil for weeks to eliminate the flat finish which results. That is why I still recommend very fine steel wool to burnish the wood surface during stripping and for application of your oil finish. It is easy to avoid rounding off sharp edges with the steel wool, I would not worry about that.

I would never stain or dye a swede walnut stock, period. There are many on this forum who I would defer to in regard to Swedes and milsurps in general, but I do have 30+ years experience in woodworking and cabinetry, and I would not advise doing anything more than replacing the detested urethane on your rifle with an oil finish.

This rifle started out in the same condition as the one you describe, and has only been stripped and reoiled with steel wool:

http://old.gunboards.com/uploaded/TE53/20067322326_1906 Tiger Sm.jpg
Download Attachment:
42.37 KB

If you don't like the result, you can still do more to it later.
I wish you the best on your project.
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308nutt
Posted - 07/08/2006 : 5:53:34 PM
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Hi guys, thanks for the info about the oven cleaner..I won't use it again. I'm fairly new to Swedish mausers and am learning heaps from this forum.
 

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I have been refreshing the finish on a 1900 with a nice stock also. I just cleaned good, there was nothing like you describe to remove so my job probably has been much easier.
After cleaning I have been using a formula I found over on the doublegunshop.com forum called Slacum oil the formula is as follows

Boiled linseed oil 16 oz
spirits of Turpentine 2 oz
carnauba wax 200 gr
venice turpentine 2 tsp. (10 ml)
mix and simmer for about ten minutes until wax is melted and a clear liquid is formed.
cool.

I generally apply one or two finger appications ( close bottle with finger and shake well) then apply and rub this small amount into stock , let set for a day, wipe down with paper towel and repeat until desired effect is achieved. It has been slow, about two weeks of applications but the stock sort of glows, no high gloss shine like tru oil or similar finishes.

This is said to be the finish some of the high end London gun makers used one the high grade shotguns.

Venice turpentine can be obtained from artists supply stores or from some feed and seed stores. It is used on horses hooves to make them shine.
 
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