View Full Version : Staining and finishing AK stock set

01-27-2009, 4:52 PM
So I just got a tracking number from Ironwood Designs, which means I have an unfinished birch laminate 4 piece AK stock set coming my way. Ironwood Designs provides good instructions on how to prepare the wood before staining (http://www.ironwooddesigns.com/1howto.html). What I would like is your suggestions on what color combination to stain my AK stock set.

I ordered RIT liquid clothing dye in four colors: cocoa brown, scarlet, yellow, and tangerine. I would like suggestions on how to combine these colors into the perfect stain for an AK. Would it be a good idea buy a piece of scrap wood at Home Depot to compare my color combinations? Will I be able to find a small sample birch laminate similar to the wood of my AK stock set?

As recommended by Ironwood Designs, I am going to use the Watco exterior oil finish and Howar Feed-N-Wax wood preserver. I have no experience staining or finishing wood, so any tips that aren't included in the Ironwood Designs instructions would be appreciated. Thanks!

01-27-2009, 4:59 PM
Tagged for interest.
I was going to order a set for my Saiga,I have an old set I want to refinish also.

01-27-2009, 6:27 PM
I don't know what combination of those colors to use but I love russian red stocks.
How long did ironwood take to ship your stock set? I've been considering buying a set.

01-27-2009, 7:03 PM
Depends on what scheme you want. Brown with a hint of red? Reddish brown? A bit orange?

I started off with mostly brown, added a touch of red and a pinch of orange (technical measurements). I also add isopropanol. It will thin the color allowing deeper color soak and it will dry super quick. Get a piece of scrapp wood similar in color to test, but more importantly test a small area on your stock (under the buttplate is good, but since that is end grain it will show up a bit darker.) Prep is also super important. I sanded my stocks down starting with 220 and finishing with #0000 steel wool. That will leave the wood with a satin smooth look, and once it's stained, hit it again with the wool. I then applied a couple of coats of tung oil, let it dry, and wool again.

I turned WASR wood into something beautiful to look at with the above steps, so I'm sure your Ironwood set will be even better.

Best tip: take your time! Nothing will ruin your day like rushing a re-finish job. Ask me how I know ;)

*This was an older set that has a polyurathane coating, not tung oil


01-28-2009, 1:06 PM
I should sand with the grain, not against the grain, correct? Obviously I should be wearing gloves when I do this, right? I am looking for a medium brown color, maybe with a hint of red. I will go to Home Depot to find a piece of wood to sample the stains on.

01-28-2009, 1:14 PM
Some good info in a thread I started here (http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=142781&highlight=FAL+furniture).

I've had other projects and put this on the back burner...very interested to see how yours turns out. Good luck!

01-29-2009, 8:50 PM
Sweet! Just got my stock set and it looks awesome! I can't wait to finish it, just need to take my time and make sure I do it right. I didn't know that the Ironwood Designs AK buttstocks have room for a cleaning kit or whatever. Now I need to find a buttplate with a trap door and a side sling swivel. I was thinking about K-Var for those parts.....

01-29-2009, 10:05 PM
See this thread started by Oaklander:


01-29-2009, 10:30 PM
you can test the color on the inside of the handgaurd/ end of the buttstock. just a inch or so till the color is correct

01-30-2009, 9:55 AM
How long did it take Ironwood Designs to fulfill your order?

01-30-2009, 10:01 AM
How long did it take Ironwood Designs to fulfill your order?

It took them 2.5 weeks for my birch metric FAL set. Give Matt a call or email and I'm sure he'll let you know what's on the horizon.

01-30-2009, 3:36 PM
How long did it take Ironwood Designs to fulfill your order?

It took 3-4 weeks from the time of order until I received my AK stock set.