Saturday, June 23, 2007

CMP Carbines - Furniture Re-Store

As previously, Ben and I both got CMP carbines. First step was to do something about the stocks as they were both pretty ugly at first look. Ben’s was Italian birch, pretty badly dented. Looking at mine, I couldn’t tell what is was - it appeared to have been varnished and was completely black

The Italian seemed to need the most work so I started with that. Stripped the original finish with Formby’s finish remover (great stuff as is conditions the wood along with stripping any old finish).

Next step was to take out dents as much as possible. Used a damp cloth and a steam iron and that raised most of the dents with the exception of the really bad ones. Left the damp cloth on for a couple of hours, not enough to soak the wood but just enough to keep it damp. One last iron session and we were good to go.

I had originally wanted a lighter finish, but the stock had a lot of hand sweat stains and other water stains all along the stock, so I would up using a Spanish Walnut, which is an extremely dark stain. The first pass resulted in an almost black rifle. Left it a day to let it dry and we were on to the final finish.

I personally prefer a Tung Oil finish versus boiled linseed or any of the various oil finishes. The low gloss Tung gives a satin finish but also a harder surface finish that resists water and sweat stains. If you need to fix it a bit after time, you just apply another coat and steel wool it, turns out good as new.

After four coats of tung oil, light steel wool in between, we had a much better looking stock and about as well as we were going to do with the Italian stock.

On to my stock which was by far the worst looking of the two. After the application of the Formby’s finish remover, we found that we had an original GI black walnut stock! Needless to say, this did not take any stain. We just smoothed her out with some fine sand paper and steel wool and were ready for the final tung oil finish. Word of caution - if you want to preserved the cartouches on a stock you have to less than enthusiastic with the sandpaper and steel wool.

Four coats of tung oil later, and we had a damn good looking walnut stock.

Sometimes the ugly duckling turns into a swan. Start to finish about one week for both.

The Old Man

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