Advice on refinishing wood?

Sporterized and unofficial modified Krags
MosbyRidge
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon May 30, 2022 2:45 am

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by MosbyRidge »

It didn't not occur to me to remove and install the handgaurd that way, but that makes a lot of sense.

I need to pick up more Scotch Brite pads and having that furniture stripper probably wouldn't be a bad idea as a backup.

Is there any stain I should look for or just anything reddish brown? Oil or water based?

Thanks

User avatar
butlersrangers
Posts: 8429
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 pm
Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by butlersrangers »

'MosbyRidge' - Your Krag rifle stock will also be a good learning piece. (Here is some material that might be of help).

I believe it is actually a model 1898 rifle stock, that has been fitted to your model 1892/96 rifle, by a hobbiest.

I am attaching a photo of the left-side, where 'arrows' indicate two fine cracks and an area where some wood is bearing against the side-plate.
The small cracks can be strengthened with some glue or epoxy-bedding.
A slight amount of wood can be filed or carved away to eliminate the pressure against the side-plate, which may have contributed to wood splits.

On the right-side, there is wood pressing against the rear of the bolt notch/flange. A little wood can be removed to eliminate uneven pressure against the metal.

You will want to make sure that the whole bottom of the large magazine-box is sitting firmly and squarely on wood.

Model 1892 and model 1898 stocks are different in the action area.
Your stock can be made to work. It just needs to be completely fitted.

Stock wood may need to be removed from underneath the receiver flange, that surrounds the bolt handle.
(This is the area of greatest difference between 1892/1896 and 1898 actions).

***Caution*** - Rags being used in this kind of work are highly flammable (think spontaneous combustion)!
Attachments
ridge-stock2.jpg
ridge-stock2.jpg (140.58 KiB) Viewed 382 times
Ridge-stock1.jpg
Ridge-stock1.jpg (158.1 KiB) Viewed 382 times
Krag 1896 bolt-handle area.jpg
Krag 1896 bolt-handle area.jpg (92.36 KiB) Viewed 382 times
Last edited by butlersrangers on Fri Jun 03, 2022 5:02 am, edited 3 times in total.

MosbyRidge
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon May 30, 2022 2:45 am

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by MosbyRidge »

I have done some fitting on a musket kit I built a little while ago.

While in the process of refinishing I will take a look at these areas as it will be the best time to make modifications. I can understand why I would want to relieve pressure on the stock, especially on thin areas, but why would I want to make it like the 1896 under the bolt? I mean I prefer the look so I'm probably going to try regardless, but is there any mechanical / ergonomic reason?

Thanks for the information and annotated pictures!

User avatar
butlersrangers
Posts: 8429
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 pm
Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by butlersrangers »

The receiver metal, that surrounds the notch for the Bolt-Handle, has to be fully inletted into the stock. If the receiver metal hangs up on the wood a bit, the action will not be fully bedded into the stock.

A model 1898 action can readily fit into an early stock, with generous gaps in the Bolt-Handle Area.

A model 1892 or 1896 action Will Not Fully Fit into a model 1898 stock. The action must be inletted into the stock, at the bolt-handle 'notch' area, to be bedded properly.

I included the photo of the 1896 stock, because 1892 and 1896 stocks look the same in that area.
1898 stocks are different in that area.

Attached photos:
1. A model 1898 stock (bolt-handle area).
2. A model 1892 updated to 1896 (bolt handle area).
3. Whig's model 1892 updated to 1896 (bolt open).
4. A cut-down model 1898 rifle stock, that I altered to accept a model 1896 action.
Attachments
Model 1898 bolt-handle area.jpg
Model 1898 bolt-handle area.jpg (282.34 KiB) Viewed 373 times
model 1892-96 bolt-handle area.jpg
model 1892-96 bolt-handle area.jpg (42.32 KiB) Viewed 373 times
model 1892 updated to 1896 Whigs Collection.jpeg
model 1892 updated to 1896 Whigs Collection.jpeg (333.93 KiB) Viewed 373 times
Faux 1896 carbine-ed.png
Faux 1896 carbine-ed.png (202.05 KiB) Viewed 373 times

MosbyRidge
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon May 30, 2022 2:45 am

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by MosbyRidge »

I'll be honest, I didn't have a great grasp on bedding.

This helped https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rifle_bedding

Thank you for the pictures. I'm looking forward to some woodworking as I finish. I'll be sure to post the results, abomination or not :D

User avatar
butlersrangers
Posts: 8429
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 pm
Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by butlersrangers »

Krag projects are fun. Enjoy the learning process.
Your Krag will end up being a lot more functional then it was, when you started.
"A lot of Krags got rode hard and put away wet".
Your metal looks better than the GunBroker photos first indicated. The wood can be made functional and improved in appearance.
You wanted a Krag "shooter" and you will have one!

Museum pieces are nice, but don't get shot much. Project Krags bring a lot of enjoyment and insights.

Don't feel pressured.
Most of us are incapable of doing gun work anywhere approaching the workmen of Springfield Armory.

Information and pictures were shared to answer questions and give ideas, not to make anyone feel bad.

Opinions on restoration and wood finishes will vary among KCA members. You are the only one that has to be pleased with this project.

BTW - You asked about wood stain. I have had a bit of luck splicing a couple of new American walnut forearms onto cut-down black walnut Krag stocks. I got a decent color match using "ZAR" oil based wood stain, #124 - Rosewood. ZAR stains are sold at my local hardware store and the company has an online web site.
There are probably lots of good stain options. The "ZAR" Rosewood has just been convenient for me.

I still need to try sealing the wood pores of these forearms to better match the surface finish of the original wood. Waxes and polishes don't quite do the trick.

'Parashooter' has shared a technique, called a 'French Rub', that uses thinned shellac.
The 'rub', if done correctly, seals the wood pores and gives the surface a pleasant matt sheen, with no runs. It's on my 'to try list'.

The subject of Military wood finishes often sparks heated debates:
Some will argue, that the only thing U.S. armories applied was several coats of heated raw linseed oil (by dipping stocks into vats of heated RLO) and that the rich color of a military stock is the result of hand rubbing, sweat & dirt, sun light, and accumulated oils and greases. (Partially true, but I don't quite buy this as the whole story).

I have rubbed a lot of linseed oil onto wood and never found it to seal wood pores. I have also read in official documents that Springfield Armory used 'logwood' stain, until about 1924, when it was discontinued for economy reasons. I have viewed lots of trapdoor Springfield and Krag stocks that were nicely preserved and seemingly 'un-messed with'. IMHO - The surface was sealed with something.

User avatar
Parashooter
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:14 am
Location: Kragmudgeon House, CT

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by Parashooter »

butlersrangers wrote: Fri Jun 03, 2022 3:11 pm. . . I still need to try sealing the wood pores of these forearms to better match the surface finish of the original wood. 'Parashooter' has shared a technique called a 'French Rub', that uses thinned shellac.
The 'rub', if done correctly, seals the wood pores and gives the surface a pleasant surface sheen, with no runs. . .
The conventional term for the wood finishing technique is "French polish". The "rub" seems to be a culinary technique. :roll:

I sometimes use a very light French polish on new wood added (or old wood sanded) to emulate the thin sheen on military oil-finished wood that results from years of handling. It is the final step, after dye and raw linseed, to match color/texture of remaining original wood.

User avatar
butlersrangers
Posts: 8429
Joined: Wed Oct 07, 2009 11:35 pm
Location: Below the Bridge, Michigan

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by butlersrangers »

Thank you 'Parashooter' for the correction to "French Polish".

Here's the rub; my wife is Polish and keeps Picking up and hiding things from me, by putting them in a logical place.
Hey, I remembered the French part OK!

How about a repeat here of your recipe? It would be mighty helpful.

User avatar
Parashooter
Posts: 675
Joined: Thu Feb 04, 2010 5:14 am
Location: Kragmudgeon House, CT

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by Parashooter »

Not a recipe, it's a technique for applying shellac. Search "French polish" to find many tutorials - or ask someone who makes/repairs fiddles. Don't use uppercase "P", avoiding instructions for kissing Poles. ;)

MosbyRidge
Posts: 40
Joined: Mon May 30, 2022 2:45 am

Re: Advice on refinishing wood?

Post by MosbyRidge »

Small update:

Got most of the finish out of the stock. Feels about a quarter pound lighter :D

Next ill probably hit it again tomorrow and the handgaurd.
Compress_20220603_205929_9143.jpg
Compress_20220603_205929_9143.jpg (927.85 KiB) Viewed 344 times
Compress_20220603_205927_7827.jpg
Compress_20220603_205927_7827.jpg (944.97 KiB) Viewed 344 times
Compress_20220603_205926_6540.jpg
Compress_20220603_205926_6540.jpg (922.58 KiB) Viewed 344 times

Post Reply