PDA

View Full Version : Cleaning wood l1a1 furniture


Moosie
March 13, 2017, 19:19
What's the best way to clean/degrease old l1a1 wood. I've read oven cleaner, simple green, purple power
. I was thinking that citristrip might take off the crud and maybe draw some of the grease out of the wood. I'll post pics asap. The wood is in great shape and i don't want to sand it at all. Also, the handguard had a little splinter of wood that's a little loose. I was thinking of securing it with some titebond wood glue. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

Aeroscout
March 13, 2017, 19:23
A soak in hot water with dawn dish washing detergent and a good scrub with a not too stiff brush is what I use.

Dry slowly....too fast and they could crack....or crack worse. I keep them wrapped in a slightly damp towel and let the whole package dry together. YMMV.

Moosie
March 13, 2017, 19:29
Thanks for the reply. That seems like a nice, non-aggressive way to do it. I'll give it a try. Any advice on a sealant/finish? I was thinking of using formby's low gloss tung oil.

G3isMe
March 13, 2017, 21:56
Thanks for the reply. That seems like a nice, non-aggressive way to do it. I'll give it a try. Any advice on a sealant/finish? I was thinking of using formby's low gloss tung oil.

I have tried a lot of different products and have settled on pure tung oil. Not the tung oil finish like Formby's as that has other chemicals. If you like a low gloss finish that looks authentic and dries completely use pure tung oil. The other good option is Birchwood-Casey Tru-oil. This also dries well and is pretty easy to apply and is dummy proof which was good for me when I first started refinishing. It does have a tendency to become glossy but you can buff that down with steel wool. Some people will scoff at Tru-oil but it worked for me. I have tried boiled linseed oil and it always was wet and sticky, never seemed to dry completely even with the addition of Japan Dryer.


If you plan on doing more than this one set I would invest in a bottle of pure tung oil and I think you will be happy.
.

G3isMe
March 13, 2017, 21:59
What's the best way to clean/degrease old l1a1 wood. I've read oven cleaner, simple green, purple power
. I was thinking that citristrip might take off the crud and maybe draw some of the grease out of the wood. I'll post pics asap. The wood is in great shape and i don't want to sand it at all. Also, the handguard had a little splinter of wood that's a little loose. I was thinking of securing it with some titebond wood glue. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks!

It depends upon how greasy. I often soak an old greasy stock set in a pail of acetone for a week. It pulls the oil out and doesn't damage the wood. I have had great success with the acetone soak.


There are a billion threads on here on refinishing wood. Use this search engine as it is much better than the built in search procedure available within the files.

https://cse.google.com/cse/home?cx=016627024816471058913:jrp-_hjyone


.
.

machinegunner
March 13, 2017, 22:24
Tung oil is very nice. not too shiny. I have some HGs I am working on now. I am held up because I need to get more liquor thinner.

machinegunner
March 13, 2017, 22:25
stupid spell check not liquor thinner.

Invictus77
March 13, 2017, 22:29
I need to get more liquor thinner.

I'm well stocked on the liquor. I do need to get thinner though :whistling:

PvtJoker
March 13, 2017, 23:50
Another good option for wood that is simple but effective is Howard Feed-N-Wax. Follow the directions on the bottle after you have cleaned it to where you are happy with it, and it makes a good preservative.

DakTo
March 14, 2017, 09:00
I have tried a lot of different products and have settled on pure tung oil. Not the tung oil finish like Formby's as that has other chemicals. If you like a low gloss finish that looks authentic and dries completely use pure tung oil. The other good option is Birchwood-Casey Tru-oil. This also dries well and is pretty easy to apply and is dummy proof which was good for me when I first started refinishing. It does have a tendency to become glossy but you can buff that down with steel wool. Some people will scoff at Tru-oil but it worked for me. I have tried boiled linseed oil and it always was wet and sticky, never seemed to dry completely even with the addition of Japan Dryer.


If you plan on doing more than this one set I would invest in a bottle of pure tung oil and I think you will be happy.
.

I use both and I also use Birchwood/Casey Stock & Sheen Conditioner or very fine steel wool to tone down the Tru-Oil to a satin finish.

Moosie
March 14, 2017, 09:13
So, acetone won't harm the wood? Would it take off the finish on the steel portion of the handguards? I have had the same experience with boiled linseed oil. I'll try tung oil. I want it to be as close to a correct military finish as possible. Her's a pic of the set.

<blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="a/pKOgs"><a href="//imgur.com/pKOgs"></a></blockquote><script async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

jam762
March 14, 2017, 09:26
Acetone won't harm the wood or the finish on the metal tabs. I've soaked many HGs in acetone for days & even weeks.

Eyeguy
March 14, 2017, 09:42
Another good option for wood that is simple but effective is Howard Feed-N-Wax. Follow the directions on the bottle after you have cleaned it to where you are happy with it, and it makes a good preservative.

I've tried most of the cleaning recommendations already listed and all seemed to work well. If oil, grease or cosmoline is deeply imbedded heat can also help draw that from the wood. I'm always surprised what surfaces when wood is left to "sun" for a few days. Always avoided oven heat for fear of cracks and splits.

I've used the feed-n-wax also. Leaves a nice satin finish that's good for the wood. It also allows for recoat without overlapping issues.

Never had an issue with BLO getting sticky but have always hand rubbed which tends to remove excess prior to drying.

Believe it was Yellowhand that recommended Linspeed to me. Easy to work with but does leave a bit of a gloss that I like to tone down with steel wool.

Moosie
March 14, 2017, 09:53
Thanks for all the replies. Good to know the acetone won't damage the metal or wood. I'll try the sun technique too. That may take a little time since the weather is not looking like it'll be warm and sunny for quite some time. I will let you guys know how it turns out.

G3isMe
March 14, 2017, 17:37
I would be tempted to leave those handguards with the original finish. They look pretty good in the picture.

.

Moosie
March 15, 2017, 09:37
Well, I do want to keep them as original as possible. I guess I'm not sure if this is what they are supposed to look like or not. Maybe I'll just start with the dish soap cleaning to clean any excess oil/ dirt and see what they look like after that. I want them to look original but I also want to preserve/ protect them.

def90
March 15, 2017, 10:16
For simply removing the years of dirt and oil I have found regular old Dawn dish soap to do a pretty good job. If you want to get all of the oils and dirt out of the wood to refinish I then follow up by soaking a tshirt in water, laying it on the stock and taking an iron to it. The steam and tshirt will suck everything out of the wood in no time. I use a ski wax iron as they don't have holes in the botton and they have a curved lip for getting into concave areas.

JonnyP
March 15, 2017, 10:40
You could do a lot worse than follow GP's notes on wood refinishing. They are comprehensive and have pretty pictures and what he explains, works pretty well.

http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/notes/notes-finish-wood/notes-finish-wood.html

Moosie
March 15, 2017, 13:11
<blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="a/IcinO"><a href="//imgur.com/IcinO"></a></blockquote><script async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Moosie
March 15, 2017, 13:12
<blockquote class="imgur-embed-pub" lang="en" data-id="MICc1EM"><a href="//imgur.com/MICc1EM"></a></blockquote><script async src="//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js" charset="utf-8"></script>

Moosie
March 15, 2017, 13:15
I read those notes. I washed in dawn dish soap and hot water and scrubbed with a stiff bristled brush. I also used some purple power degreaser. Those pics show the result. How do I mend that little crack. I don't want to do any sanding. I want sharp lines and to preserve the little letters stamped into the wood. I don't see how I could screw a brass rod into there and there is no room to add a support behind it because of the gas tube. I plan on rubbing in a few applications of tung oil. Any suggestions on what to do about the crack?

Tattered
March 15, 2017, 14:28
I'm no wood expert, but I usually use wood glue to fix those. I apply the glue with a toothpick (typically on the inside of the handguard since it will be less visible) and then blow some compressed air into the cracks so the glue spreads. Then I clamp the wood together and wipe any excess glue off. Leave them like that overnight and they should be good by the next day. I do occasionally check on them to make sure more glue hasn't seeped out. Also, do not over clamp and make the problem worse. Most of the time the crack is invisible or very hard to see as long as there was no debris in the crack or the wood was rotted.

Moosie
March 15, 2017, 14:35
Thanks. Yes, it's a clean, inconspicuous crack along the grain. I am going to use acraglass as it is more oil and solvent resistant than glue. I am going to try and reinforce it with a little sheet of fiberglass on the inside.

G3isMe
March 15, 2017, 19:55
I'm no wood expert, but I usually use wood glue to fix those. I apply the glue with a toothpick (typically on the inside of the handguard since it will be less visible) and then blow some compressed air into the cracks so the glue spreads. Then I clamp the wood together and wipe any excess glue off. Leave them like that overnight and they should be good by the next day. I do occasionally check on them to make sure more glue hasn't seeped out. Also, do not over clamp and make the problem worse. Most of the time the crack is invisible or very hard to see as long as there was no debris in the crack or the wood was rotted.

^^^this. I was also hoping to tell you before you washed them the original finish will be gone if you do the Dawn and scrubby pad or brush. :uhoh:....

Moosie
March 16, 2017, 08:09
Yes, that Dawn and scrub took off all the finish. There seems to be oil damage where the hump of the stock meets the lower receiver. I have some of that powder from Brownell's. I'll try to draw the oil out with that but it may be too far gone. The wood seems soft and almost mushy at that spot. I may be able to hide it, though and replace/reinforce with acraglass.

Gio
March 17, 2017, 15:41
I had the same problem with my L1A1 handguard. To prevent the small crack to move on, I reinforced all the internal side with a layer of fibreglass glued on it. It seams that the wood gained a good resistance and strength. Obviously before doing the job I well cleaned and de-greased the surface with a strong solvent. Here below a picture of the final result:http://i1325.photobucket.com/albums/u622/capocivida/L1a1/DSC_0229_zpsp6aqopye.jpg

Ciao

Moosie
March 21, 2017, 16:25
Great idea on that fiberglass reinforcement. I bet that adds a lot of strength.

gunplumber
March 21, 2017, 16:39
I've been playing with several methods since I have a thousand to do.

Previously used easy off heavy duty as most effective for one at a time. Orange Citrus strip took longer and messier but not a problem getting on my hands. I seem to have a very strong sensitivity to the aerosol Easy Off.

Different lye ratios and TSP. The lye works a little better, but is more expensive and about 1 PH higher than the TSP. Neutralize in 50-50 vinegar water.

Then started playing with using TSP in the ultrasonic. Good results, especially in dent mitigation on grips but too slow for stocks, as I can only get about 8 in the tank at a time.

And yes, wood glue like Titebond or Elmers is stonger than any epoxy. Counter-intuitive, but in the strain testing by woodworker magazine, all the modern glues did poorly compared to traditional wood glue. Hide glue and gorilla also did poorly.

I did my own testing when I repurposed some oak rifle racks I'd made previously. The wood split before the glue joint gave way.



http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/wp/eai/eai-l1a1-stock-wood-uk-strip-01.jpg

http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/wp/eai/eai-l1a1-stock-wood-uk-strip-02.jpg

http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.com/wp/eai/eai-l1a1-stock-wood-uk-strip-03.jpg

G3isMe
March 21, 2017, 17:40
...I've been playing with several methods since I have a thousand to do.....

.
Good Lord you do have a lot of stocks. Kind of off topic, but why do you think Enterprise had a thousand wood SLR stocks and grips? They weren't putting out those rifles, were they?


p.s. gp, I shipped your selector yesterday. :D

.

Moosie
March 21, 2017, 18:09
I read your notes on refinishing, gp. I just wanted to do the least aggressive way of cleaning possible. I thought dawn dish soap would be that. It actually took all the finish off. I wanted to avoid sanding but will definitely use your swirl/slurry method next time i sand something. Not to get too far off topic but i also read your notes on battle load/ gear. Great info there. I too have a pile of stuff i tried but didn't quite like.

Moosie
March 21, 2017, 18:12
A member here was kind enough to offer to refinish that furniture in the original manner. I'll take him up on that and post the results.