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Clean old stock without damaging finish

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    Clean old stock without damaging finish

    Just picked up a "Big Red" birch M14 stock for my M1A. The stock is in very good shape for an early 60's piece of wood, has nice color and it's a bit grimy. I want to clean it up of all impurities on the surface and give it a couple coats of tung oil. What's a VERY safe product to clean crud off without removing the finish underneath? I don't want to use anything that might take away anything but the dirt and oil on the surface. Thanks.
    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction" R.R.

    #2
    Maybe Simple Green? Super safe would be Dawn dish soap and warm water. Whatever you use, test in an inconspicuous place first.

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      #3
      Are you stripping the entire finish off or just cleaning up what you have? I used Murphys Oil soap on an old Romanian AK I had and it cleaned up nicely.

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        #4
        Originally posted by Surfer21 View Post
        Are you stripping the entire finish off or just cleaning up what you have? I used Murphys Oil soap on an old Romanian AK I had and it cleaned up nicely.
        I was thinking about Murphy's Oil, but OP mentioned that he wanted to put a couple of coats of tung oil on after cleaning. I'm not sure how the tung oil would get along with the Murphy's.

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          #5
          Old English, the cleaner(I think it's lemon) the other ones have a dye.

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            #6
            I've been leaning towards the simple green and if I use that I'll remove any remnants of it with a light wipe of alcohol, , I would just be cleaning the gunk off surface, I heard about using lemon pledge, guess that's pretty much the same as old English lemon. Thanks for the advice guys.

            Read somewhere that one could use tung oil on a rag and rub vigorously to remove surface junk. Anyone hear of that? That sounds like the safest way to go to avoid removing original finish.
            Last edited by C6NY; 08-20-2016, 10:29 PM.
            "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction" R.R.

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              #7
              Pledge and old english tend to leave a residue, not bad for cleaning up a wall hanger but i wouldnt use it as the final step prior to applying tung. By grimy and impurities, what do you mean, are we talking cosmoline level or just some years of dirt? Post some pictures if you get a chance.

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                #8
                No cosmoline just surface dirt, gun oil, hand oil........Just decades of military use.
                I'll get some pics up in a day or two.
                "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction" R.R.

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                  #9
                  If you're going to use tung oil, then clean the stock with mineral spirits and let it dry for a couple of days.
                  SHADAP VARMINT!

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Mad Russian View Post
                    If you're going to use tung oil, then clean the stock with mineral spirits and let it dry for a couple of days.
                    Thing is, I can't remove any of the color, stain underneath. Big Red Birch M14 stocks were stained at the factory with the factory finish where they were made to darken the light colored wood and if spirits removes some I'd never be able to recreate it. I'm looking for something more mild. I just want to be sure I don't screw it up.

                    "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction" R.R.

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                      #11
                      I redid all the stocks on my Mosins, Enfields, Mausers, Swedes, and Swiss rifles based on the great advice found on the SurplusRifles forum. There's tons of great information, every question imagined is asked and answered, and you can ask and will probably get a good answer from a expert.

                      Here's the web addy. I wouldn't do anything till I spent some time there.

                      http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/vie...8659cbf3d676a5

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                        #12
                        Mineral spirits would be my choice too. You'd have to soak it really deep to remove the stain under the original linseed oil. Dampen a rag and wipe it. A few light passes should take off the grime. Watch the rag for brown stain color vs blackish mystery gunk residue.
                        If it helps you rest easier, try a spot with a qtip under the hand guard or receiver covered area on top of the stock first. Should clean up nicely. Re-oil afterwards with tung or linseed oil.
                        NRA Patron Life Member
                        Caribou R&P Club Range Officer
                        NRA RSO

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by dougfxdl View Post
                          Mineral spirits would be my choice too. You'd have to soak it really deep to remove the stain under the original linseed oil. Dampen a rag and wipe it. A few light passes should take off the grime. Watch the rag for brown stain color vs blackish mystery gunk residue.
                          If it helps you rest easier, try a spot with a qtip under the hand guard or receiver covered area on top of the stock first. Should clean up nicely. Re-oil afterwards with tung or linseed oil.
                          Decided I'm going to go with a less aggressive approach at first and see how that goes. Simple green and a light touch with a soft scub pad to see if that removes the gunk.if that doesnt work then I'll move up in cleaning caliber to spirits. Thanks.
                          "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction" R.R.

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                            #14
                            A very helpful thread from M14 forum.com:

                            http://m14forum.com/stock/187371-cleaning-day.html

                            This threads OP does amazing artwork/restoration tigerstriping of M14 stocks. The guys on the M14forum.com probably have the most collective knowledge about this. Do a thread search there, and ask questions. Everyone there is generous, and will help you out.

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                              #15
                              Mr. Clean Magic Eraser.

                              I don't know how it does it, but it removes surface dirt from just about anything. And it actually works like an eraser. It wears down, flakes away and takes all the ick with it. Pretty amazing. And I'm pretty sure it won't do any harm at all to the wood or the finish. First, do no harm.
                              Last edited by BLAMMO!!; 08-21-2016, 07:52 AM.
                              Give a man fire, and he stays warm for one night. Set a man on fire, and he stays warm for the rest of his life.

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