Stock refinishing Sako AIII

Discussion in 'Tips and Tricks for gunsmithing your own Sako' started by Sean Hodges, Mar 23, 2019.

  1. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Wanted to display a couple of before photos of a Sako AIII stock I’m in the process of refinishing. The rifle stock was a tired and dated lacquer finish with that old reddish brown stain. I’m sorry for not providing a before shot with the finish and dings showing. I got a little ahead of myself. It’s been rough sanded. It will be finish sanded down to 1200 grit, which is essentially polishing the wood. Then I will apply 20-25 coats of the Pro Custom Oil shown in the foreground. It will be a matte/oil finish when complete.


    The metal is nearly perfect. The bore is equally as nice. This rifle will make someone a nice usable hunting rifle when finished. Obviously the refinishing will be fully disclosed. I will post after photos when complete. I’m sharing this to merely demonstrate what anyone can do if they find a shooter looking for new life.
     

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  2. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Nice piece of wood under that stain and lacquer. I'll be interested to see the results.
     
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  3. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Five coats in. Starting to show the decent figure hidden under the old stuff.

    Disclaimer - I fully realize some will disagree with refinishing as takes away from the originality. Trust me, I get it. I have several original rifles some perfect, some have a few dings and a few scratches. These will never be redone under any circumstances.

    This rifle was and always will be a shooter, period....I will sell it very reasonably to someone who wants a Sako but can’t afford to spend what an original might cost. Ask yourself this, would you buy this rifle, or would you buy a plastic stocked “name the brand” entry level rifle?

    More to come. Thanks.
     

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  4. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    I'm with you. First, an A-series rifle is not especially collectible unless it is a rare caliber or configuration. Second, as much as we admire Sako's engineering, their treatment of wood has been pretty spotty. The early models were nicely finished in oil, but a lot of later models featured indifferent wood, muddy staining, and high-gloss finishes that were not up to the standard of the rest of the gun. Apart from the early guns, the only Sako rifles that consistently featured attractive, well-finished wood were the Safari, the Classic, and to some extent the Deluxe (if you like blond wood and skip-line checkering). A lot of the checkering was not the best, either, characterized by too-wide borders and an excess of finish in the grooves. So, I am very much on the side of any Sako owner who decides to improve the finish of his rifle (unless it's a rare, collectible piece like the 7x57 Mannlicher-style carbine that recently sold for over $3000 on Gunbroker). I have not personally refinished any of my Sakos except for one that already had a custom stock, but that has more to do with lack of time than anything else.

    I expect this project will produce a really beautiful rifle, given the potential shown in the first photos. I'll look forward to seeing the results.
     
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  5. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Thanks, I appreciate your perspective.
     
  6. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Finished the rifle this morning. Nice face lift on the old girl. A work colleague has already committed to purchase. We may end up with a new member soon.
     

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  7. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Looks great. A definite improvement over the factory finish, and well worth the time put into it.
     
  8. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Thanks sir, it’s going to a great home.
     
  9. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Let's see a photo of the other side. The original photos showed some interesting grain there.
     
  10. Sean Hodges

    Sean Hodges Well-Known Member

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    Here you go.
     

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  11. icebear

    icebear Well-Known Member

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    Beautiful.
     
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  12. bro.steve

    bro.steve Member

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    Best "oil finish" product I have seen is TimberLuxe. It is used by the stock maker for Heym. He was at the Dallas Safari Club convention the past two years. It is foolproof, too.
     

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