Sako stock finish circa 1987?

Discussion in 'General Sako Discussions' started by shinbone, Jun 11, 2021.

  1. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    I just came into a Sako AV in 25-06. The 595,xxx serial number puts it at about 1987 manufacture.

    The previous owner applied some sort of coating or other product to the stock, which has now turned into a cloudy residue. I would like to clean this residue off the stock, but don't want to harm the underlying factory finish. Anyone know what was the stock finishing material Sako used during this era, or could otherwise recommend a cleaning product that won't hurt the Sako finish used during this time period?

     

  2. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Sako used at least two different finishes during that AV time frame. One was a satin type finished they called "oil", which it wasn't & one was glossy that they called "lacquer", which it wasn't. Both were a sprayed on synthetic, probably urethane based. Sako also had troubles with the glossy finished stock for a time during the AV era with the finish becoming soft & cloudy, which "could" be what you are experiencing. I believe the "cloudiness" would come & go depending on conditions & I have heard of people using Renascence Wax or Johnson's Paste Wax to help with this issue. If it was caused by the previous owner, I know of no chemical remedy but you may be able to buff it off with the proper tools & buffing compound. Regardless of the cause, you more than likely will need to refinish your stock, but it wouldn't hurt to try some of the over the counter stock polishing products or even some fine pumice mixed with flax oil.
     
  3. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Ballistol rubbed over the stock will not damage finishes and will clean and "condition" the finish. It won't hurt to give this a try. (It's good for the metal, too.)

    I once owned a Model 74 Super (mid-1970's) which produced a cloudy residue on its stock surface. You could rub it down and the cloudiness would disappear, but would show up again over a few weeks. Over a period of time and a number of rub-downs with (I forget what oily cleaner) the cloudiness quit coming back and the finish remained clear.

    I have no idea what cause this with my Sako, but I met with a guy who had a dozen or so Sakos NIB which had been stored in a hot basement. All of them had a haze on the stock surfaces. I asked him to let me rub some Ballistol over one of them to see what it would do. It magically erased the stubborn residue. He had been considering selling me the lot for an attractive price, but once he saw they could be restored he decided that they were not for sale. I screwed my own pooch.
     
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  4. paulsonconstruction

    paulsonconstruction Sako-addicted

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    Can't believe Ballistol didn't enter my mind. Miracle oil!!!!
     
  5. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    paulsonconstruction and stonecreek - Thanks for the info.

    The finish is a glossy finish, and does not feel soft. I experimented with some vigorous hand buffing with an old T-shirt, and that seems to remove the cloudy residue, which leads me to believe it must be some kind of rubbed-on wax finish that has degraded. Anyway, I'll start simple and hand buff the whole stock. If that doesn't solve my problem, then maybe I'll try the Ballistol.

    Thanks again for the help.
     
  6. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I've been using Ballistol for 10 or so years with no ill effects. It is pretty much a miracle product to remove or hide finish problems. I collected Brownings for many many years and had quite a large number of them at one time. Brownings are notorious for stock crazing. Even a well cared for Browning in the proper environment might develop crazing. I found early on, that ballistol used on the stock hides the crazing so good that almost all of it becomes next to impossible to see. It works good on crazed Sako stocks too. But like Stone says, it always takes several treatments to make you happy with it. After the first treatment if usually needs another treatment within 2-3 weeks, then by the 7th or 8th treatment, I've had it to last 2 to 3 years between treatments. Here's how I apply it to get the results I like, but please don't follow my method, develop your own. I apply generously, but not so much that it runs, and leave it on for 24 hours or so, allowing it to work its magic; then , with the softest cloth, I carefully wipe it off. IMPORTANT, do not allow the oil to get on bare or lightly finished wood areas, such as the checkering. It can cause bare wood to darken slightly. 90% of the time, the results are outstanding. The other 10% of the time, it never reaches the point that it lasts much longer then a couple months between treatment.
     
  7. douglastwo

    douglastwo Well-Known Member

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    I forgot to say, I use my fingers and rub the Ballistol on like an oil finish is applied. I don't spray it because I I don't want it on the checkering, and I don't like taping the checkering off because I've had a few bad experiences when removing the tape.
     
  8. stonecreek

    stonecreek SCC Secretary Forum Owner SCC Board Member

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    Douglastwo sounds as if he applies considerably more of the product than I do. For the finish "fog" or cloudiness, just a bit of Ballistol sprayed on a soft cloth and wiped over the surface will make it go away. If your experience with the clouding is like mine, a few treatments of a few months will have the finish pristine again. Successfully covering the spiderweb crazing of a finish may, as Douglas says, take more product.

    The cloudiness must be a result of some chemical component of the finish off-gassing or otherwise changing in nature over time. Whether this is mostly caused by environmental conditions or by an imperfect formulation of the finish is not clear, but this problem does impact a small number of Sako stocks.

    It's a little like the Sako waffle pads -- some went squishy and some turned crumbly while others are like new 60 years later. It all depends on whether they had the right chemical formulation, or perhaps curing, as to whether they held up or not.
     
  9. shinbone

    shinbone Active Member

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    I tried hand buffing, but progress was slow. I did some internet research on cleaning old wax off of wood furniture. Most internet pundits said that mineral spirits would dissolve wax without harming a polyurethane finish.

    I rubbed a little MS on just the very end of the forearm to see if it had any affect on the Sako finish. I checked with a finger nail, and the finish seemed unfazed by the MS. No clouding. No softening. I then cleaned off the wax residue on a small area of the butt. The wax came off easy, and the finish, again, was unharmed. I then went to town and cleaned the entire stock except the checkering. The MS did a great job, and the stock looks practically brand new, now.

    Before the mineral spirits:
    [​IMG]


    After the mineral spirits:
    [​IMG]
     

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