Is it in original refurbed (oxymoron) condition or has someone already tried to refinish it? What is the issue with the existing stock finish? Just trying to understand so that I might direct you to a solution. Most people probably would keep it as is unless it is really ugly.
The stock had carvings on but area. I also removed all shelac and throughly cleaned wood and submerged stock in 150 degree water for 1 hour (twice) to lift oils and cosmoline from the stock. It is now in the raw as if it had just been mfg'd. Now I need to apply finish.
While i'm pleased for you that your stock is finished and you're satisfied, I'd never recommend to ANYONE that you "dip" a stock into ANYTHING. Wood is like a sponge and even if whatever you are using does dilute or remove the preservative in the wood, the cleaning material simply replaces it. You end up with a stock has might not have much cosmo in the core but now has cleaning solutions in there, instead. There is simply nothing short of heat and patience that will leech out deeply embedded cosmo from a stock. Even then, some will remain in the core of the stock. Bathing a stock is a surefire way to ruin it. It could check (stress crack), warp, swell (especially when exposed to water) and twist or a little of all of the above. The damage can not be fixed, either. If you were successful then count your lucky stars. And, scrubbing the surface with caustic cleaners does absolutely nothing to anything except the outer 1/16" surface of the stock.
On the SVT rifles, the standard Russian finish was shellac. It was probably a deep reddish/blonde shellac, too. Shellac comes in a large variety of colors from water clear to ruby red and everything inbetween. It is relatively easy to find a suitable color and you would buy it in dry flakes and then make a solution using denatured alcohol which will melt the flakes into an "evaporative" finish. Depending on the application, you would use a "1 pound cut" (1 pound of flakes to a gallon of alcohol) for spraying or a "3 pound cut" for brushing. Of course you don't need a gallon so you could simply make a pint by simply doing the math.
Finally, tinting shellac requires that you use an alcohol based dye. Iodine is a water based material and won't properly mix with the alcohol very well. What can happen is that it might appear to be mixed but after the finish finally dries, you might notice colorant coming off on you hand or cheek. A water based material will not go into solution with an alcohol based finish. You'd end up with a "mixture" which means tiny bits of color would be floating around in the finish as opposed to a solution which traps the color perfectly.
I just wanted to share a bit of this info with you all. I mod a board over at Parallax and this is my profession. My goal there is to help guys maintain the originality of their stocks. There's no real magic process and finishing military stocks has been pretty much the same for well over 100 years. The materials are inexpensive and the process is really simple once you understand it.
I'd like to see pics of your stock, too. Glad you were successful!
Buying a tinted shellac is proably the best way, Tandy Leather dyes are alochol based and will mix with shellac just fine but I have never tried it on a stock as of yet, just on repairing old furniture.
Quick question for Cabinetman. What did the Czech's use on their rifles (VZ 24's, VZ 33's, Etc...)to get that red finish? Did they use a red stain, tint the oil, etc? All I have seen look as they were finished with linseed oil. How would one duplicate that color & finish? Thanks BB
The red color usually was imparted by the inexpensive shellac that the Soviet bloc states used at their arsenals. Shellac comes in many colors from water clear to deep, dark red and every shade in between. In it's 'natural' state, shellac is red. Clear and lighter colors have been filtered after harvesting.
The problem we face is this. The stocks we see have been handled and stored for years. Shellac has a tendency to pick up hand oils, shooting debris and UV. Therefore, a pristine stock will take on a very intense redish color by just existing and being handled. You can impart the red tone with the shellac, however. All you have to do is make up some finish using shellac flakes of the appropriate color and shoot the stock. It's really all in the finish, not in what's been applied to the wood.
Now, you can also add color to the shellac by adding alcohol-based dyes. That's another way to mimic the original color.
Anyway, that's what makes the finish so deep, dark red. It's a natural color found in shellac (bug spit, actually). If you'd like to learn more, I'd suggest you stop by Parallax and check out the stickys at the top of the forum I mod. There are a couple of essays up there that will walk you through the process. It's certainly not difficult, hard, or expensive. Knowledge is a beautiful thing!
I will follow up with Pic's soon! The feedback from some on "warping stocks),has never been a problem for me. I have used this procedure for 20 years. I have used water from a boiler at a local plant 220 degrees, but it must be on hard wood only. Laminated stocks 110 degrees or less. You must be able to place a stock horizontally in a large tube and agitate water for 1/2 to 1 hour. Let dry 2 days horizontally. Please do not take my procedure and try it on a good stock to validate my procedure. Try a spare low cost stock. You will have to strip any shelac, clear coat etc.
Rome, I wish I had this info about 10 years ago!!! That is by far the most informative info I have ever seen on refinishing military type stocks. I think I'm going to have to redo some of my past work along with my current projects!!!! I'm looking to simulate this exact finish on a Czech rifle(walnut stock) Should I use the flakes or a pre made solution & what would you use for tint? Sorry to hit you for so much info. Best Wishes, BB
PS, where do they harvest these beetles? Do they live worldwide?
G43, I read it. I guess everyone is just terrified of what could happen. Let me ask you a question. Does the wood need to be cured again? I was under the impression that stock wood needed to dry out/cure for at least a few years(or be kiln dried) before you cut it because it could warp?