Refinishing Wood Gun Furniture

Topkick

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Apr 26, 2017
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#1
I am refinishing the wood on an AK 47. It's my only wood gun and my first time refinishing. I've sanded her down and would like some tips on how to apply the staining process. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
 
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Ooh-Rah

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#2
Hey Top,

Just a shot in the dark, but by chance have you tried YouTube? I cannot imagine there are not at least a few videos that demonstrate what you want to do.
 

Topkick

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#3
Yeah, I have been looking at videos but there are different ideas on how to best do it. Wondering if any Shadowspearians could provide lessons learned from trial and error.
 
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#5
Use a lint free cloth or an old flannel shirt. Motion depends on the grain of the wood. When did m M14 (M1A1) stock that was walnut I did small circular motions. You can also use straight lines from front to back. I typically over saturate the wood with the stain and wipe off the excess.

Do you plan to do a polyurethane top coat?
 

CQB

Australian SOF
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#10
I had a similar situation & a mate sent me this email:
- sand paper – 180, 400 and 800 grades.
- paint stripper. There are 3 different types, buy the cheapest.
- Small paint brush to apply the stripper – buy the cheapest one. Make sure it small enough to fit in the top of the stripper container (if not pour it into a container).
- a scraper to scrap the paint stripper off – you could use an old knife or anything similar.
- scrubbing brush with stiff nylon bristles.
- if you are French polishing, then French polish (its made up as a liquid). You don’t need much, get the small one. Or you can make your own from shellac flakes and metho – dissolve the flakes in the metho. They are together on the same shelf. Or you can try one of the other wood finishing products on the same shelf.

From the supermarket you will need to buy washing soda (in the dishwashing section I think). You can’t buy it at Bunnings.

Apply the stripper with a paint brush. Cake it on thickly, the thicker the better. It should start working on varnish after a few minutes. After it bubbles up, scrap it off. Use newspaper to clean the scraper. Try not to let it dry out. Dissolve a handful of washing soda in hot water in a bucket. Its harmless (its a water softener). Dip the brush in the water and vigorously scrub the wood – dip the brush lots of times in the water. After its been well scrubbed, hose it off (garden hose) or in the laundry sink. Its best to dry this in the sun, you don’t want to leave the wood wet for too long.
The wood should now be good as new.
Now sand it down. Start with rough paper, say around 180. Brush it vigorously with a soft brush (I use a dust pan brush) to get the dust off. Then sand with 400 grade, brush again and finally sand with 800 grade and brush. The wood should be very smooth by now. If you are French polishing you can’t have the surface too smooth. Finally wipe the dust off with a cloth dipped in metho.

I then applied a coat of Feast Watson Sanding Sealer to fill in the grain but you don’t really need this (you will also need turps if you use this, to clean the brush). You will still get a good result without sealing.
Now use French polish or whatever else you want to use.
If you are using French polish apply it using as soft cloth – l use muslin but flannelette is good. You can also apply with a paint brush but be careful because brushes can put too much on. The secret is many thin coatings. Scrunch it into a ball and dip the tip of the ball in the polish (its a liquid) and wipe it across the wood in the direction of the grain. Only wipe once on each area – French polish dries almost immediately (its lacquer dissolved in metho and the metho evaporates). If you wipe more than once on the same area it will be tacky and the cloth will stick. It should dry enough for a second coat in less than 30 minutes, depending on temperature and humidity. Apply more coats – the more coats you have the deeper the lustre. After say 3 coats give it a very light sand with 800 grade paper. Then wipe with a cloth dipped in metho to remove the dust. All up do 4, 5 or 6 coats, whatever you want. If you are keen you can sand very lightly after each coat for a super smooth finish (I didn’t).
 

Topkick

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#13
I just read somewhere that you can apply polyurethane over tung oil. Recommend? Any advantages or disadvantages to a top coat over oil?
 

DC

Navy Diver
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#17
Is Tung oil applied alone?
Yes or you can stain it first. I like the tung oil only because it seals and waterproofs the wood. Maybe do a similar piece of wood with tung/stain and another tung and see how you like it.
 

Topkick

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#18
I am using Tung Oil. After two coats, it looking good. I wish it was darker but the grain is showing up good. That's something I am hoping for. I'll post up the finished product as soon as its complete.
 

DC

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#19
I am using Tung Oil. After two coats, it looking good. I wish it was darker but the grain is showing up good. That's something I am hoping for. I'll post up the finished product as soon as its complete.
Do you have a leather sling on that beast?
 
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