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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought an 1880 vintage musket this morning on another site after seeing a very nicely tiger-striped stock under many years of accumulated grease, cosmo and assorted filth. It has led a hard life, and I believe it was used by native levies in East Africa, post-WWI. I don't expect it to clean up ALL that well, but I'd like to show the grain of the wood to best effect.

In the past, I have cleaned stocks such as this with warm water, liquid dish soap and a plastic bristle dish scouring brush. After steaming the prominent dents, I then oiled the stocks with BLO or some such.

Does anyone have any methods that work better than this?




*Had to take pic posting 101 to get this in* What a mess, eh? SW
 

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I've used a similar method Hogger, except I use a Scotchbrite green pad on really gunky stocks. Dishwashing soap, or laundry detergent work well, but that orange citrus spray cleaner really takes the oil out too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I finally figured out the whiting secrets & have used that to a small extent for grease in the stock. Even where I used it on an old musket, I had grease coming from the handguard this morning after a long string of fire that really got the barrel warm. I'm not sure if I'll use whiting on this one as I hope to preserve a LITTLE of the used-in-combat flavor.

For rust & solidified grease/cosmo on metal, I've had good results using a curly copper dish scouring pad with Hoppes #9 or a light oil. Really gets to the bottom of things and does not harm the metal or such finish as remains. SW
 

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Hi 'Hogger,
I have used Pledge on a few of my stocks. I use a t-shirt and work with the Pledge to remove old sweat, dirt, etc. I really don't know how it would work on a really grungy stock, though. I was impressed to find some original (Ithink!) varnish and some beautifully figured wood on my Grade "C" 1898 shotgun.
BTW: You posted a photo elsewhere of yourself with an M-3 'Greasegun'. Was it the older version with the charging handle, or the newer version with the thumbhole?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Roundsworth,

That was the newer version. I was not issued that - bought it at Graves Registration in Dong Ha for 15 bucks. When recently deceased were brought in, their arms had presumably been written off as lost, & the GR guys sold them. I knew of guys who wanted a really nice M16 for inspection who bought another there to hump in the bush. The GR guy said 45s were the most sought-after, and the CAR-16s were very popular - and costly - too. We had plenty of 45ammo at Cam Lo & the guy threw me in 3 magazines. I gave it away when I rotated home the 1st time.

I loaned it out a lot to guys who had a ride to the PX in Dong Ha. Carried it to the shower - stuff like that. SW
 

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I haven't had a lot of luck with Cosmo soaked stocks. They have a tendency to split on me.

I've had good success with a Pledge Mitt on commercial sporting guns- it gets all the surface dirt and oil off the wood.

Tiger striped Walnut seems to be very dense, and the cosmo doesn't seem to penetrate that far into the wood. The one milsurp I have with this type of wood cleaned up beautifully- after stripping, steaming, and refinishing.

Is that dried preservative on the metal? If it's what it think it is, Hoppe's 9 should melt it after letting it soak in....

What musket is it? Interesting to say the least.... That could be some nice Circassian walnut there...

Regards,

Doc Sharptail
 

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steve!

shoot that thing wearing GLASSES! :shock:
i had one years back, and a old primer in old shells let go, and the gasses came back thru the bolt and gave me a "amos and andy" face!!!
if i hadn't been wearing glasses, it would of burned my eyes! :shock:
 

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Clorox will bring all the oil out of the wood if you need to glue a break or start from scratch. moodyholler
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Doc,

That's an 1870/87/15 Italian Vetterli. - 6.5X52 cal. Judging from the other pics, it was carried all over the horn of Africa - possibly hung by a thong on some sweaty camel. I agree that the metal looks a mite grungy with dried cosmo, and the copper dish pad will cut right trhough the stuff. You will see some truly beautiful walnut on the old muskets. After several wars, the nice stuff flat dried up, and they used whatever hardwood was handy. I have a couple Steyrs stocked in red elm. You want to talk about an open grain! The Italians used a lot of the wood they called 'faggio' - can't recall what it is in English.

Kaintuck,

I shoot these - with LIGHT cast loads and no 'Step-n-fetchit' face for me! Well, worse'n normal! :wink: I've always been skeered to try ball ammo in these.

Moody,

Clorox? Interesting! I'd be leery of staining the wood, with that, though. I have always used rubbing alcohol to clean breaks - 79 cents a qt at Wally. I'll try the bleach on a small out of the way break, though. Then Gorilla Glue! SW
 

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I've got some pictures of a trapdoor stock po cleaned with it rather than sanding. If I haven't erased them! moodyholler
 

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For metal,I use a PVC plastic tube capped on both ends with screw in plugs. I put the entire action into the tube, and then cover it with diesel fuel or kerosene. Let it soak for a couple days, and it will clean everything off, without hurting any of the metal, or wearing you out cleaning it!
This really works good on complicated actions that I don't want to take apart.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Marlinman,

I've done the long-term diesel bath, too. I tried it on an 1881 you know about, but all it accomplished was to remove the top layer of dirt.

I'm pumped about this one as I hope to show the grain of the wood and still have a 'combat veteran'. I like shooters like this because of the history - like that 1881. It ain't worth a penny, but oh, the history! :D
I didn't think talking about the actual cleaning would be off-topic, but I'll post pics of the finished project on another forum.

Sadly, there wasn't a lot of really nice walnut left in Europe proper starting at about WWI. It was still there, but in very limited quantities and was expensive. If shum8 ever gets to talking about the different kinds of lumber he's encountered, I'll post a pic of a red elm stock and the stuff called 'faggio'.

Do you know if the prices Marlin charged for premium European walnut took a rise after WWI? SW
 

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My understanding is that Marlin didn't offer any special premium stocks after WWI, so I guess the answer is no. There were a few guns that came out in the 1920's with what looked like higher grade wood, but my old catalogs don't show any options, so I guess some lucky buyer just got nicer wood for the same money.
 
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