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Thread: A little furniture restoration - cosmoline removal from wood tips?

  1. #1
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    A little furniture restoration - cosmoline removal from wood tips?

    I picked up this Type 53 this week for less than $80 as the furniture is damaged on it.
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    The upper hand guard had a crack, which was all intact, just needed re-glued.
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    The stock looks to have taken a beating over the years as a drill rifle, but the barrel and receiver are actually in great shape.
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    The area with the gouging in the I was thinking about doing a dutchman/filler if I can get the spanner nut off.

    There's a lot of machining marks on the barrel under the hand guard, so not really worth turning into a sporter.
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    I'm mostly looking to clean up the stock, but leave some of the wear and re-finish it. I need to get the cosmoline soaked out of the stock. I've read that I can use whiting for this, which I have on hand. Just wondering how it will affect any finishing?
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  2. #2
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    Is it cosmoline, or is it linseed oil? Back in the day, we rubbed our stocks daily with RAW linseed oil. Being raw, it never polymerized, and stayed wet and sticky.

    You might just want to scrub the stock vigorously with mineral spirits (paint thinner), and repeat several times to get most of the residue (either cosmoline or linseed oil) out/off. The whiting will help absorb either one out of the wood's pores, and it won't damage anything. Once it's absorbed the oil, it'll just brush off. After you get it cleaned up, apply numerous coats of Birchwood-Casey Truoil and it ought to look pretty good.

    As with any old military rifle, check the headspace before you fire it.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    Is it cosmoline, or is it linseed oil? Back in the day, we rubbed our stocks daily with RAW linseed oil. Being raw, it never polymerized, and stayed wet and sticky.

    As with any old military rifle, check the headspace before you fire it.
    Yeah, pretty sure it's cosmoline, was caked pretty badly under the barrel/receiver, and it's surplus. Definitely checking the head space, usually do, but this one doesn't have matching numbers on the bolt. That was common though with these as I think the Russians sent them a bunch of surplus parts to use with the newly built rifles.

    Thanks for the info.
    Darren

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
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    The USA used to pack rifles in Cosmoline for shipping overseas to the Orient.

    Heard rumors of new ones being boiled in 55 gallon drums of water while the Japanese straifed the area. As in boiled, and rumors.

    Here is a link with some modern methods.

    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&s...98.gq9NEZrRzpE
    It's kind of fun to do the impossible

  5. #5
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    Great collector piece for the price.

    Interesting article on Wikki about this overall rifle category http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mosin%E2%80%93Nagant and its fascinating history.

    There is a interesting business snippet in the article about two of the gun makers (Remington Arms and New England Westinghouse) in the US needing to be "bailed out" when the Russians stopped paying for the rifles they had purchased and received. I found it interesting because it pre dates any auto industry bail out like happened to Chrysler when Iacocca managed to get a bail out in 79. Dont know US bus history anywhere near sufficient to know if this was potentially a first, probably not.

    Good point Jim makes about linseed oil. Growing up in a cricket playing country we were told to put linseed oil on a new bat. It always confused me and put me of the concept of linseed oil as a finish, i always wondered how someone would want a sticky non drying finish. Then i got to learn about boiled linseed oil.

    So was the whole idea of putting linseed oil onto wood like a rifle stock or bat valid or should it have been the boiled linseed. Both soak in so i cannot gather what the motivation is for the non polymerizing version.

    Darren what is the chemical you are referring to as whiting? Bleach?
    cheers

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Keeble View Post
    ...what is the chemical you are referring to as whiting? Bleach?
    Rob,
    'Whiting' is essentially just powdered chalk. I think that chemically it's Calcium Carbonate.
    Jim D.
    Adapt, Improvise, Overcome!

  7. #7
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    Thanks Jim do you have knowledge of the motivations behind using linseed oil on wood as opposed to blo. I am presuming that blo is not a relatively new idea so again presuming both were around at the same time.
    cheers

  8. #8
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    When I was in "The Corps" we use to work on our rifle stocks by the hour, hand rubbing linseed oil into the stock. (We carried M-14's) I don't remember them being sticky if we rubbed long enough and had enough. If I remember correctly, the theory was it would help keep the outer surface of the stock soft so if you banged the stock it would dent as opposed to crack or break. We were technically not allowed to use anything but linseed oil, but some used linspeed oil (I think that was the name) which would dry and live a shinny finish after hand rubbing it in. Looked nice, but woo unto a Marine that got caught using it.
    "We the People ......"

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim DeLaney View Post
    ... Back in the day, we rubbed our stocks daily with RAW linseed oil. Being raw, it never polymerized, and stayed wet and sticky...
    It's my understanding that raw linseed oil is a hardening oil, and thus will still polymerize, but much more slowly than "boiled" linseed oil. (I used "boiled" because these days the pre-polymerization is typically done with additives and by heating it in ways other than boiling it.)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linseed_oil

    I suspect your gun stocks stayed wet and sticky because the daily applications of raw linseed oil were never given the time needed to polymerize.
    When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro. - Hunter S. Thompson
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  10. #10
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    Hand Rubbed oil finishes is something I am familiar with . As far as rubbing BLO or straight Linseed oil it only requires a drop on the palm of your hand to do a side of the stock. The heat from the friction dries the oil. I prefer 100% Tung myself but BLO works. I've used it on the old 1718 French Fowler I restored a few years back.
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