View Full Version : What color should my wood be?

September 10, 2001, 10:18
I am in the process of stripping and refinishing some L1A1 (aussie) kits and a G1 kit.
I would like to make the wood look as original as possible. Is a dark red color correct for the L1A1 stocks? Kinda like the wood on the CETME?

How about the G1? it came to me with a thick coat of polyurethan on it, was this standard?
Is it also suppose to be dark red or just brown?

Mosin Guy
September 10, 2001, 22:24
What I have found to be the best looking stain for stocks is Minwax oil stain in Golden Oak color it gives the wood a nice brown golden color and you can get it as dark as you want by useing multable coats.HTH

September 10, 2001, 22:26
I love the golden oak on the metrics, but I like to use the red mahogony stain on the L1's. They look awfully close to as issued (before the cosmoline applications per the armory manuals)

September 11, 2001, 07:15
I don't really care for Minwax finish. The problem is that it is a stain mixed with a poly sealer. As such, once you apply the first coat and allow it to dry, all subsequent applications just lay on the top. The second coat cannot penetrate the wood, it just coats it with another layer of tinted poly.

I prefer the alcohol based dyes such as Chestnut Ridge Military Stock Stain (dark reddish brown, typical of arsenal Garand finish). Feibing's Leather Dye is essentially the same stuff, and comes in many different colors. An alcohol dye will darken as long as you keep wiping it on. It can also be applied directly over a linseed finish without removing the dried linseed. It doesn't gum up the pores with tiny black goobers like oil based stains, either.

I'm not a pro wood finisher. These are the opinions of a guy who seals his deck with used motor oil.


September 11, 2001, 07:58
Try using brown Kiwi wax shoe polish as a stain with a hand rubbed tung oil finish. I have refinished a couple of shotgun stocks and pistol grips with it. Works good IMHO

September 11, 2001, 07:59
Just FYI, the Minwax stains are just that,...oil stains. they do start to seal the wood, but NOTHING like poly-urethane.
Oil finishes (e.g.-boiled linseed, tung,etc.) still soak in like gangbusters.
Minwax brand "poly-shades" might be what you are thinking of... Now THAT stuff is pure crap for raw wood finishing, but not bad for certain half-assed applications,(...but not on firearms).

September 12, 2001, 08:15
I got a fantastic result on my G1 stocks that very very closely matched the original finish that was on them (only much cleaner and nicer). After you clean the stocks, raise the grain, sand, sand some more, fill gouges, wet sand, finish sand to a smooth base using 600 g paper (whew!).

Use a mixture of Minwax oil stains in the following ratio:
6 parts Minwax Red Oak #215
5 parts Minwax Early American #230
1 part Minwax Natural #209
This is fully scaleable for large and small batches. Top off with a good wood wax and buff. You can also apply linseed or tung over it if you like.

This is especially excellent for those slightly dinged or arsenal repaired "well used" looking surplus stocks as it gives them a nice finish that still retains that "seasoned veteran" look.


Timber Wolf
September 13, 2001, 08:51
I preffer the reddish stains too. Whatever I can find in the shop that I have enough of. Hey Byron, I hear that used motor oil is good for killing the mange on an old hound too. :D

September 13, 2001, 09:47
Wasn't the original finish just linseed oil or Tung oil. Why not strip and clean the wood then apply Linseed or Tung oil? It will darken with age but until then it will look like it just came from the factory.