Well, this project has taken a lot longer than I had thought it would. Here is some background:
I decided that having some rifles that are accurate, reliable, and sturdy, would be a good thing. I decided that I would pick and purchase 4 of these rifles, and prep them for future need; along with any accompanying gear and ammo. Since I already reload (with a lot of supervision by JRS) I decided that I could pick any caliber I wanted.
I ended up choosing the SMLE #4, Mk. 1 rile as the basis of my project due to the Iron Sights that are available. Believe me when I say, I looked at everything out there.
Now that the decision was made, I started trolling around on Gunbroker and Gunsamerica for likely rifles. I determined that my highest price was going to be $160 per rifle. I ended up paying $165, $110, $122, and $134 for the rifles. Transfer fees for the first rifle were horrible! $55! The rest were transferred by a friend at $0. Favor owed.
I had to purchase two barrels at $48.99 each. I also had to purchase two rear sights, and assorted small parts to complete the rifles.
All of that is done now. I am working on the stocks, and small things now to complete the project.
So, now we are at today....I have really nice Butt stocks, I have really nice hand guards, and really nice forestocks: But the forestocks have been bleached nearly white! Bad match with the rest. I hate modified parts.
So, I tried to sand one and then stain....Bad...spotty and not at all matching.
Then, I tried to treat one with pre-stain....Bad....Did not take any stain.
Then, I tried to use the nasty, pasty, chemical stripper. Bad....Just bad,,,,,.
So, having no other method available to me, and having determined that the fore-stocks had been bleached and not treated in any other manner, I determined that I needed to remove the original oil and cosmoline before anything else would work.
So, off to the store to get the el-cheapo aluminum pans like you use for a holiday turkey....Found a size that would work (18" x 12"). Bought two at $8.99, went home, filled with water, and proceeded to boil the four fore-stocks for three hours (weighted down by 6-1lb lead bars).
The after effect is that the chorine bleach has been leached out, along with a lot of oil and soot, and crap. The wood has darkened to a nice dark brown color, and there is no warping thus far....Keeping my fingers crossed on that one.
During the boiling process, I used 1/2 a paper towel every ten minutes or so to mop up the oil floating on the top of the water. Picks it up pretty well.
So, I am now baking the fore-stocks in the oven at 170 Degrees F. to promote the "hydro-expiration process" at a some what controlled rate. Keeping fingers crossed; This has worked for me in the past, but has also had disastrous results in some cases.
Look for the next post tomorrow!