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  #1  
Old 12-19-2004, 02:21 PM
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removing cosmoline from wood?


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Gentlemen,

In a previous thread I described my new Yugo M48 Mauser and how I removed the cosmoline from the metal with a solution of Windex and ammonia. All my metal work is as clean as the day it was manufactured now, but......

When this rifle was put into storage the wood stock was also heavily soaked with cosmoline, and I mean SOAKED. Does anyone have an idea how to get this stuff out of the wood without removing all or most of the original oil finish? Any and all ideas appreciated.

BTW, these rifles are a true joy to own and hold in your hands. In addition to being a shooter and an example of a rifle type, they are a piece of history that anyone can own and shoot. After cleaning the metal on mine, I couldn't help but be amazed at the level of fit and finish applied to a rifle made 60 years ago, during a war, surely under less than ideal conditions. The polish and bluing on the metal are as good or better than some sporting rifles of recent manufacture that I have seen. The wood to metal fit is near perfect, the metal parts move as if on ball bearings. It's a joy just to work the bolt on it. Whenever I hold it, I can't help but wonder, who carried it? Where did he fight? Was it used in a major battle? Even though it was used by the enemy, it could have taken part in important history. And the soldier who carried it surely thought he was doing what was right for his country. When I pick it up, it's almost as if I can reach across six decades. Not bad for $99.00 huh??

SSB
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  #2  
Old 12-19-2004, 03:12 PM
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Anything you put on the stock to remove the cosmoline will also remove the oil finish.

If you will scroll down on this posting to the "Similar Threads" you will find past threads on this same issue.
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2004, 05:53 AM
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I've had good luck with Orange Glo, and alot of hot sun... if the stock is in good shape and the cosmo hasn't penitrated the wood, simply cleaning the stock with OG will sufice. If its soaked into the wood, grab a hair drier, heat lamp, or a nice hot sunny day, bleed it out, wipe it off and repeat. its a slow process, but not terribly difficult...
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2004, 07:58 AM
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I used oven cleaner on mine, then sanded it and tru oiled for a finish. Took about four applications of cleaner to get it all out though.
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  #5  
Old 12-21-2004, 11:50 AM
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Re:

Cheapest I believe would be Mineral Spirits....cleans all parts and will not harm the wood....soak the metal parts for a bit while you rub down the furniture. Purple Power cleaner also works...To remove all the cosmo from the furniture I have had good luck putting it in the oven (line oven with heavy aluminum first) at about 175 degrees (cosmo liquifies at 135) Keep checking and wiping down the wood every 15 to 20 minutes or so until there is no more seeping out. Other folks have had good luck putting the wood in a black plastic bag and leaving it in the sun too. Quick rub with 0000 steel wool and some Formbys tung oil finish and you are good to go. Good luck...enjoy.....mack
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  #6  
Old 12-21-2004, 02:13 PM
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mack,
You must either not be married or have a VERY understanding wife if she lets you put a nasty old stock in her oven.
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  #7  
Old 12-21-2004, 05:34 PM
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I used something called "Goo-be-gone" on mine with a green 3-M pad. I went through a few of the pads as they would get clogged with the cosmo, but it wasn't too bad. Mine is supposed to be Teak wood, and although lighter in color than I'm used to in Teak (Thailandese) it smells right. If it is something else, it is d*mn hard wood. Welcome to the M48 family.
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  #8  
Old 12-21-2004, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Luisyamaha
I used something called "Goo-be-gone" on mine with a green 3-M pad. I went through a few of the pads as they would get clogged with the cosmo, but it wasn't too bad. Mine is supposed to be Teak wood, and although lighter in color than I'm used to in Teak (Thailandese) it smells right. If it is something else, it is d*mn hard wood. Welcome to the M48 family.
One way to do it (and many of the previous post use this method in various ways) is to get a fast evaportaing solvent into the top layer of wood. IDea is that the solvent "melts" the cosomoline and carries it up as it evaporates.

The fastest cheap easy to find solvent that isn't a serious fire hazard (setting yourself on fire is not going to get the comoline out of the wood) is Mineral Spirits (try a paint supply store). You CAN set mineral spirtis on fire, and yourself along with it, but you have to work at being unsafe to do it. Are other non-flamable chemicals that will desolve the cosmoline, but they tend to either bleash the wood or darken it...mineral spirts doesn't.

If it were summer, would say to paint it on in teh shade, then take it out into the sun to whipe it off...and any "beads" of cosmoline that come to the surface.

IF the paint store is old-time, they may have "whiteing" (rally not sure of the spelling, but p\ronounce "white ing" and they'll find it if they ahve it). Kind of a thick paste/powder. Make it into a thick paste with mineral spirits...cover the stock...heat it with a hair drier...and scrub it off as it sucks up the oils and discolors. Go over the spots that shwoed discoloration with new coats until they stop taking up oil.
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  #9  
Old 12-22-2004, 05:33 AM
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Re:

Quote:
Originally Posted by mikej
mack,
You must either not be married or have a VERY understanding wife if she lets you put a nasty old stock in her oven.
Yes mike, I am married...to a very understanding wife...but she works nights..... all cleaned up long before she gets home...though she does know that I do it.....She don't use the oven much anywho..tis I who does most of the cookin and bakin etc....mack
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  #10  
Old 12-22-2004, 01:15 PM
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I know I'd get a pretty big dent in my head if I tried it.
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  #11  
Old 12-22-2004, 06:25 PM
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If you go over to Milsurpshooters they have a section on RESTORING mil surps. For the stock one of the best ways is the automotive cleaner Purple Power. It strips the wood down to nothing and will suck out all the cosmoline. It may take repeated soakings (I had a 98K that took 10 soakings to get it clean) and when you get it clean you will think the stock is ruined. However, don't panic. After using the PP rinse with Windex and when dry, rub the stock down with 0000 steel wool and if ANY color comes back, that is cosomoline and that area will need to be re-soaked/Windexed. Once you can rub it down lightly (to remove whiskers) with 0000 and it stays bleached out looking, then use tung oil for finishing. The stock’s color will come back and look like new. You will be amazed at the results. This is for restoring the factory military finish, not refinishing which IMO ruins the rifle. Leave the dents, dings, and gouges as those are part of the rifle's history, but the COSMO has got to GO!
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  #12  
Old 12-23-2004, 06:17 AM
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Re:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big Bore
If you go over to Milsurpshooters they have a section on RESTORING mil surps. For the stock one of the best ways is the automotive cleaner Purple Power. It strips the wood down to nothing and will suck out all the cosmoline. It may take repeated soakings (I had a 98K that took 10 soakings to get it clean) and when you get it clean you will think the stock is ruined. However, don't panic. After using the PP rinse with Windex and when dry, rub the stock down with 0000 steel wool and if ANY color comes back, that is cosomoline and that area will need to be re-soaked/Windexed. Once you can rub it down lightly (to remove whiskers) with 0000 and it stays bleached out looking, then use tung oil for finishing. The stock’s color will come back and look like new. You will be amazed at the results. This is for restoring the factory military finish, not refinishing which IMO ruins the rifle. Leave the dents, dings, and gouges as those are part of the rifle's history, but the COSMO has got to GO!
BigBore has it right...I tried this method on my last SKS...works like a charm doesn't stink up the house and you can do it in the sink...You can get Purple Power at WalMart or Pep Boys etc a few bucks for a gallon jug. Just remember to wear rubber gloves while applying it'll do a real # on your skin....I also believe in leaving the dents and dings as they show character. Nothing worse than a battle rifle with no scars to show its history as such. enjoy, mack
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  #13  
Old 12-23-2004, 06:27 AM
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$99? Not bad at all - Bosnian or not. Have you shot it yet? I am interested to hear how it does.

I am wanting an 8mm Mauser, but don't REALLY want to pay the money that Mitchel's wants for theirs. And a $100 bolt rifle sounds good to me if it shoots well enough.
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  #14  
Old 12-23-2004, 04:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nfmMike
$99? Not bad at all - Bosnian or not. Have you shot it yet? I am interested to hear how it does.

I am wanting an 8mm Mauser, but don't REALLY want to pay the money that Mitchel's wants for theirs. And a $100 bolt rifle sounds good to me if it shoots well enough.
Gentlemen,

Thanks for all the replies. Not wanting to remove the finish, I just wiped it down with a rough cloth, heated with a heatgun and repeated, and repeated, and repeated.... Will do it some more after I shoot it a bit.

Mike,

Haven't shot it yet, just got it cleaned inside and out and put back together. Was hoping to shoot it last sunday but the bottom dropped out of the temp. I like being outdoors but not really into shooting at -1. Oh well, looks like it will warm up here middle of next week, I'll try to get out then and post the results.

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  #15  
Old 12-23-2004, 08:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nfmMike
$99? Not bad at all - Bosnian or not. Have you shot it yet? I am interested to hear how it does.

I am wanting an 8mm Mauser, but don't REALLY want to pay the money that Mitchel's wants for theirs. And a $100 bolt rifle sounds good to me if it shoots well enough.
Mike, I've picked up two Yugos lately, one is a 48, one is a 48A, both have mirror-bright bores. Very well-built guns.

Bosnians should be pretty much the same thing, from what I've seen. Obviously, individual condition may vary a bit....

Other than not being the exact same dimensions as a 'true' 98 (the actions are slightly shorter), there is nothing wrong with them at all. Just have to keep that in mind if you look for an aftermarket stock.

I'm on the lookout for more of them!
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Old 12-24-2004, 05:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by singleshotbuff
I just wiped it down with a rough cloth, heated with a heatgun and repeated, and repeated, and repeated
This might get the cosmo out if you do it enough, but you must remember that the cosmo has pretty much permiated the wood over the years and is now THE finish. Cosmo has removed the militrary finish eons ago, as it was nothing but an oil finish to begin with and the cosmo bonds with it and soaks right through. One test to find out if you got all the cosmo out of the rifle, metal and wood, it to take it out shooting on a hot day while wearing a white t-shirt. When you come home and look at your shirt, if it looks like IT whiped down the rifle, time for more cleaning and if speckeled with cosmo, time to tear down the bolt and other receiver parts and get all the stuff you missed in the bolt. Cosmo is not somthing that will eventually get a hard finish to it, so no matter how much you rub, heat, rub it will still have the surface of the stock coated with cosmo and it will rub off on anything it touches. And if you love milsurps and are prone to develope contact dermatititis from cosmo like me, you soon learn that you had darned well get every last drop of that stuff off the rifle. Nothing like a nice rash on your arms and face after a day of shooting, and it itches like a mother bear.

One other trick used over on Milsurp for really badly soaked rifles is to put them in a box filled with kitty litter and leave it in the car for a week, summer time of course. That will usually draw out the very deep stuff that only high heat can get, the kitty litter will soak up most of it then the PP to remove it from the surface.
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  #17  
Old 12-25-2004, 02:59 PM
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Mike,

Finally shot it today. Went to the in-laws 500 acre spread today for christmas and braved the single digit temps to shoot my new toy. VERY IMPREESIVE!! Set up a 2" circle at about 40yds in the icey driveway. After a few familiarizaton shots, put 3 shots in about 3/4", offhand. Not bad at all I thought, considering it was 8 degrees (I was shivering), shooting offhand and the ammo was yugo surplus which didn't even fire about 20% of the time.

Moved out to 200 yards and set up a box in the cornfield, about the size of a persons torso. shot it 10 times offhand and hit it 7 times. Again not bad considering I was shivering, shooting in MITTENS, and the front sight covers most of the target. CAN'T WAIT to try it in decent weather with some handloads. The Yugo ammo was not very impressive. 1 out of every 5 or so were duds. Oh well for what I paid for it, and considering it's age.

As soon as the weather is better I plan to try homebrew ammo with better bullets and shoot it off a bench. Maybe a tack driver when I'm not froze. All in all, very happy for $99.00


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Old 12-30-2004, 08:22 AM
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Glad to see you got to play, and it's a shooter to boot!

Mike G - where do you pick these up? At gun shows, or just trawling the internet?
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  #19  
Old 01-01-2005, 12:49 PM
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Got one 48A through this board, I think, and the other one just jumped off the table at a gun show
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  #20  
Old 01-16-2005, 11:23 AM
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I'm scrubbing the cosmo off a Yugo sks 59/66A1, and I find Ballistol gun cleaner to work beautifully on the metal parts. It's a tad expensive at $14 bucks a can, but it doesn't have toxic fumes, so you can do it indoors which is nice.

To save a little cash, someone told me to soak it in Kerosene because it will dissolve the petrol-based cosmoline almost instantly.

Coveniently, I work at a gas station across the street from my apt. that sells K-1. It's obvious that this will clean the metal parts in a hurry.

But does anyone know if its OK to soak the wood stock in the kerosene? Mine is not oily teakwood, it is fairly dark in hue so I think it's Beech.
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