View Full Version : K31 Refinish

January 27, 2009, 13:56
The other day I bought myself a K31. The wood is in good shape, just worn. Does anyone out there know how or where to point me to find out how to refinish the stock (I've never done anything like that).

January 27, 2009, 14:11
Go to the Straight Pull section of SwissRifles.com. Lots of info on the wisdom of restoration and best methods to so if you choose to proceed. Lots of pics of owners restored guns to give you an idea of what various methods look like finished.

Swiss wood in good shape is kind of rare so it may be better to leave it as is and preserve future collector value as an original example with nice wood.

January 27, 2009, 14:15
Is it a beech stock or one of the walnut ones? How much of a purist are you?

There are alot of different opinions about whether or not to use oven cleaner to strip, whether or not to sand, etc.

The beech stocks are more common. If it is, strip the stock and do whatever sanding or repair you feel inclined to do- based on whether you feel it is a sin or not. My uderstanding is that Minwax Golden Oak is a match to the original stain color. Finish after drying with boiled linseed oil.

If it's a walnut stock I will get a little more up on a stump. Strip it, clean it and sand repair as you will. But, dont stain it, just apply a good oil finish. Boiled linseed oil would still be my choice. I know others prefer other finishes. The age and natural color of the walnut will probably surprise you after it gets a couple of coats of oil. I did this with a Mauser once and the wood was beautiful.

I am not as much a purist as some tend to be, though I appreciate collectability and try not to sin too terribly. I wanted to keep my K31 original in configuration but I disliked the lighter color of the Golden Oak and went with Red Oak. It made the beech look really nice in my opinion.

January 27, 2009, 14:45
Don't forget to look under the buttplate.

February 13, 2009, 11:21
Here's one that I did last summer:


February 13, 2009, 12:01
Originally posted by Texgunner
Here's one that I did last summer:


That is a thing of beauty. I wish I had the patience required to do that kind of refinish job.

February 13, 2009, 12:17
I've got a 47. All I did was sand just enough to keep the buttstock from tearing up my face when shooting it. It all depends on rough it is.
Try 100 grit sandpaper if it's rough. Then work your way to about 220 grit. You can stop at that if it's smooth enough for you, but it won't be commercial smooth so it will still look military.
I just use Formby's Low gloss Tung Oil for a finish. I like BLO as well, but it seems to need more coats and it doesn't dry as fast.

February 14, 2009, 10:11
Originally posted by xtremerange

That is a thing of beauty. I wish I had the patience required to do that kind of refinish job.

Thank you sir! You can do it; heck, if I can, you can too. It's actually a lot easier than you might think. Shellac is cool. But, I did cuss it a bit at first, lol.

February 14, 2009, 13:13
Nice, really nice! :bow:

February 14, 2009, 23:03
Post up some pics after you do it. I have a walnut stock one with tiger striping that I wanted to refinish but I am afraid of messing up the stripes.

February 14, 2009, 23:57

No sandpaper, no steaming. Just total strip-bleach-recolor-oil finish. All the original character. Best wishes. Dave

February 15, 2009, 21:40
Very nice looking walnut K31 Dave! You done good, congrats on a great gun.