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Wood Stock Work

John A.

Unconstitutional laws are not laws.
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I found an old memory card that had some material that I had planned on posting that I had long forgotten about. So maybe it might help some of you guys who like to do things themselves. Since my Dad was so good working with wood, I picked up a lot of things from him that I'm going to pass along to you guys that may help you as well. This walkthrough isnt' just for old AK's :lol:

In this case, I wanted to doll up an old AK stock because I was wanting to get a saiga 7.62x39 and convert it and wanted as much of a show piece as a shooter. So far, other things has stood in my way of that, but I haven't given up all hope of it happening yet. :lol:

I started with an old WASR surplus stock and used 220 grit sandpaper to smooth it and take most of the dark brown stain off of it. This was no small feat in itself considering the rough condition of the old surplus/import sets. Another important note that whoever made the stock to begin with must not have gotten the memo on, sand WITH the grain and not against it. :roll:


Since it will be going on a Russian rifle, and like many of you being a product of the cold war, I wanted a red hue presentation stock like you would likely see on an AK guarding the Kremlin.

So that should tell you why I did it the way I did. This project would likely make the "AK purist" cringe. But that's OK, I'm doing it the way I remember an AK looking when I was a kid.

After sanding, I soaked it in scarlet red RIT dye as per their instructions. (Yes, the same kind we used tie dying T shirts back in the 70's)

You use scalding hot water and a cup of salt, stirring occasionally for an hour so I would have good coverage. Boiling water isn't only recommended for the dye, but it also pulls any small dings out of the wood as a side effect.


After rinsing in cold water until the runoff was clear, and after air drying, here is what the wood looked like before clear coating.


For anyone who may want to give it a "camo" appearance, a dark green RIT dye would be perfect for that. ;)

After waiting at least overnight for any remaining water to seep out of any cracks and crevices, it's time to clearcoat and seal it with Polyurethane. Since I wanted a presentation piece, I used clear gloss, but satin gloss isnt' as shiny and matte has very little shine at all to it if that's more to your liking.

After each clear coat is dry (up to 3 coats) use the extra fine steel wool to scuff the entire pieces between coats. This step may seem insignificant, but it's what gives the wood the "wet glass" look I was going for and even though the directions calls for 220 sand paper, trust me, the steel wool will give you a better finished product.


In the end after everything is said and done, I think the color turned out to be exactly what I was going for. It didn't look like a beet or strawberry like some may would've expected it would look like. But you can definately see the reddish tint I wanted now and the stock no longer looks like a piece of plywood that someone wiped a camel's butt with :lol:




Now to get a nice Russian Saiga 7.62x39 to go with the stock and convert it :lol:
Nice work!

I never worked with wood much until recently, but I find it very rewarding. Here's the furniture set I refinished for my Romy...

LES, that turned out really well.
Thank you Sir.

I used an oil based Red Mahogany stain on mine under the same Minwax poly laquer you used. The set had a very dull, dark gray finish to it when I got it so a bit of sanding was needed to get down to bare wood. It was a fun project.
John A. said:

John...That is just awesome looking. I think I might try that on my old Ithaca stock. It's in rough shape....
This furniture was as rough as it gets. It was like a piece of plywood (no joking).

It was sanded with and against the grain (any way they felt like I guess).

Now that I sanded it correctly, dyed it and sealed it with polyuerathane, it's entirely different.

Not only is it smooth, it looks very decent too.

I plan to use this furniture for a presentation safequeen :cool:

You can use RIT dye on any kind of wood. But the more dark grain the better in my opinion.

I was going for a "Russian Red" look for this particular project considering what it was going on, but you can use any color dye you want.

I'm interested seeing how it looks when you finish with it.
It's Brown at the moment...so I was thinking of desert colors for the whole gun. But what color would I do the stock? Suggestions?
No worries RIP. Just glad to help.
Thank you for the compliment. I think it's going to look nice if I ever get to finish it. :lol:
Ok..I'm done sandin it. I'll post pix tomorrow. Going to the hardware store Monday, so I'll figure out what color I want it to be.