Refinishing Your Mini 14 Wood Stock

Refinishing Wood Stocks

Refinishing a Mini 14 Wood Stock

So your Mini 14 wood stock needs some work to bring it back to it’s original glory. There are plenty of local gunsmiths and woodworkers that will do the job for you and most are reasonably priced. If you want to complete the task yourself, you just need to devote a bit of time and a small amount of cash.

There are many videos of this process online and various refinishing kits your can purchase. Here we will outline the basics of the process and some of the needed tools and supplies.

Before beginning the refinishing process, ensure that you have all the necessary supplies:

  • Wood stain or “Wood finish” in your favorite stain color. Available at any hardware store
  • Clear polyurethane coating
  • Paint stripper to assist in removing old stain/clear coat
  • Rubber gloves
  • Scotchbrite stripping pad(use lightly)
  • 220 grit sandpaper
  • Foam brush
  • Paper towels
  • Small paint brush


Stripping the Wood Stock

Stripping a Rifle StockBegin the process outside or in a well ventilated area and use a piece of cardboard to keep the stripper from contacting anything that it shouldn’t. Apply a small amount of the paint stripper to the stripping pad and lightly apply to the stock.

The stripping pad can remove a large amount of material if too much pressure is used. Use the pad to lightly apply the stripper to the stock and let the paint stripper do the work. Continue to apply until all areas have been covered. You should see the original stain and clear coat begin to come off. Let the stock parts sit and allow time for the paint stripper to do it’s magic.

Allow to sit for 3-5 minutes and run the Scotchbrite pad over the Mini 14 wood stock again to remove the remaining stain and finish. Run cold water over the stock to remove all the stain, finish, and paint stripping material.

If there is still stain remaining in spots, repeat the process in those spots until all stain and finish is removed. You should be left with a stock that is completely stripped down. A few dark areas are okay to leave, they will give character and depth to the stock once the new stain is applied.

Once all desired stain is removed and the stock has been cleaned with water, dry it off with a lint free towel and allow it to sit overnight. The wood stock must be completely dry before proceeding to the next step.


Sanding the Mini 14 Stock

Sanding Mini 14 StockYou may have some rough spots on the stock or dark areas that you want smooth out. Use 220 grit sandpaper to lightly sand the stock. The goal is to smooth out the rough spots, not to remove a lot of material from the stock. Take your time, use light pressure, and let the sandpaper do the work for you. You always want to sand in the direction  of the grain.

Be careful not to sand the checkering or other patterns that are on the stock. Also make sure that you don’t round off any squared or hard edges that are part of the wood stock design, such as the edges on the buttplate.

Once you have smoothed out the stock to your liking, you need to clean the stock and remove any residual wood dust. Using compressed air is the quickest and best way to do this. Be sure to wipe the stock down with a clean, dry cloth as well.


Staining the Stock

Applying stain to the Mini 14 wood stockPut your gloves back on before staining the stock, unless you want your hand stained as well. You can use paper towels, the foam brush, or a combination of both to apply the stain to the stock.

Apply small amounts of the stain to the foam brush or paper towel and apply to the stock using long strokes. You will want to apply several coats of the stain to the wood stock. The first coat can be a medium coat, however the next coats will be light coats.

After the first coat, you will see the stock beginning to look great. Avoid the temptation to apply too much stain. Several thin coats will give you the best results. Using a wipe on, wipe off method can help ensure that you don’t apply too much stain.

Allow the stock to dry for 10-45 minutes between coats, depending on the climate. The coat needs to dry before applying another. Allow the stain to dry for several hours prior to moving on to the clear coat step.


Applying the clear coat

Allow the stain to completely dry before applying the clear coat. Using a small paintbrush or foam brush, apply small amounts of the clear coat to the stock. Apply the clear coat by brushing lengthwise on the stock.

You want to apply several very thin coats of clear for the best results. Using a quality paintbrush will eliminate visible brush strokes in the clear coat. Allow to dry completely between coats and allow to dry for several hours before installing on the Mini 14.

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