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M1 Garand stock restoration project

This a step by step stock restoration project I recently completed on a pretty beat up post-war M1 Garand Springfield stock. The stock had a ton of dings, scrapes, bullet tip marks, paint, and a generally ugly finish. The ordnance acceptance stamp (eagle with stars cartouche) was marked very shallow into the wood. It looked more like a stain than a stamp. Any refinishing of the stock would likely remove the remnants of this stamp so I protected it before refinishing the stock with a cut of electrical tape. I would not normally (or ever) refinish a well marked WW2 M1 stock with this process, but for a rack grade post war stock in it’s shape this process is fine. A very nice rifle stock is the usual outcome if you take your time and do not rush the process.

The DOD stamp is very lightly stamped so some precautions must be taken or it will be lost in the refinishing process.

The stock was in pretty pore shape. I would not usually bother with restoring a stock in this initial shape but the lock up was very nice and the receiver and buttplate fit well with no over-hang.

I cut a section of electrical tape large enough to cover the DOD cartouche and applied it to the wood pushing and rubbing it firmly into place. I did not want anything getting in under the tape.

Next I spray the stock with oven cleaner. I use the cheap oven cleaner found in many dollar stores for $1. Sure beats $4-5 dollars at the big box stores. Again, I would not use this process on a collectible WW2 stock or even a well stamped post war, but in the case of this throw away stock I will take a bit of shortcut by using the strong chemicals.

I never spray the oven cleaner directly on the buttplate area. The end cut of the wood will absorb more of the chemical and it is hard to remove.


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