Refinishing another rifle stock

Awhile ago I refinished the stock on my SKS. I was kinda nervous about the project at first, but when I was finished, I liked the result and was tremendously proud of myself (more than I should've been, really).

Recently, I've gotten the idea in my head that I want to refinish the stock on my Mosin Nagant, but I'm not 100% sure of some of the details.

I'm not sure about:
1. Removing the original finish. I used some spray-on oven cleaner for my SKS. It got the finish right out of the wood, and all the moisture right out of my hands (I didn't use gloves, stupid me). I'm perfectly content using oven cleaner again unless someone can make a convincing case that it's really, really, really bad to use, because it'll give me cancer, and I'll lose all my hair, and then I'll lose all my friends, and the government will seize my home.

2. What to use for the new finish. Last time I used SeaFin Teak Oil. It works great and a few local old-timers that I trust recommended it. I was very happy with the result, even though I threw an unnecessary layer of polyurethane over it (minor mistake).

What I really would like for the finish this time around is something extremely weatherproof. The SeaFin Teak oil stuff that I put on my SKS is meant for the flooring on boats. I would like whatever I put on my Mosin Nagant to be on-par with this.

Also, I seriously want the finished wood to have a very neutral gray look when it's done. Much like the wooden siding you see on a lot of older beach houses. I know, this is probably gonna end up looking ugly as sin, like some rifle that was built from haunted-house scraps, but I wanna try it.


To get the weathered look your after try the white wash pickling or just the plain pickling stain from Minwax. The oven cleaner if it is the good stuff and not the Calif. app. junk is fine but remember the gloves next time.
I've refinished several rough antique rifles before, and here's what I've done. To remove the old finish, I sand it down enough to take the old finish off, but not to wear down the wood too much. I then BOIL the stock. This will take out or reduce any minor dings and dents by causing the wood to push out and swell. It also leaches out long term storage grease like cosmoline or any over-lubrication from all little cracks and crevices. Let it dray for a week or so. Re-moisturize the wood by letting multiple rubbings of linseed oil absorb.

To put in your gray finish, I'd use any stain that suits you, applying it until you get the right color. The gray one is actually readily available at Home Depot, Lowes, Ace, etc. To seal, I normally use Tung oil, used on wooden hulls for old sailing vessels. If you want a more modern seal, use a satin polymer, like Valspar.

By controlling how the finish is applied, I've been able to make a Mosin look like it was just issued, a Mauser look like an honor guard rifle, an Arisaka look presentable... as opposed to abused


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