At this point the SKS is stripped down and the majority of cosmoline is off the stock via light applications of acetone via rag. Do that in only well ventilated areas! With that off the assessment of the stock finishing is what I thought it would be: it is uneven, has drips and drops on it, and the underlying stock while having gone through two sanding phases doesn't appear to have actually been worked too much after basic shaping. There is enough uneven shaping to show that areas of the stock that should be relatively flat and smooth just aren't that at all. While those are limited in extent just after the firing port inlet on the right of the stock and on the buttstock on the right, they do need to be addressed. Visually its a mess.
Another set of shop projects moved up in priority while the SKS stalled out on getting out two pins: the bolt retaining pin and the handguard retaining pin (which is more like a rivet that has been flattened out and smoothed down on one side). For those I scoured the message boards and found this message thread on the SKS Boards which addresses forming a hex bolt to have a pin at the end and then thread it into the windage tool. Absolutely ingenious! I'm waiting for a few bolts to come in from Bolt Depot and then will send those with the tool to my sister who works in a machine shop to get them finished down to a 1/8" pin pusher for the front part of the bolt. I will probably end up having to dremel the handguard retaining pin and put in a replacement and for that I should have some decent pin stock which I can pound in and then just shear off the end with a hacksaw and smooth it. I will give a try at just using the new tool to push it out, but don't expect much success there. Either way the handguard piece must come off so that it can be finished with the rest of the stock.
I need to get a quick router table set up and need the workbench to do the finishing work on that. I'm giving it a nice coat of Herter's Red and then will do a tung oil coating... probably 5 or 6 of them, and that will take about a week to ten days.
Reading up on final finishes means that I now have a supply of carnauba wax in to help get a wax/tung oil based varnish made. I was doing the chemistry set sort of looking around with alcohol burners, stands, beakers and such until one fortuitous entry of 'alcohol burner set' got me the greatest possible invention for making this stuff ever: fondue sets. Think of it you have the burner, you have an oil resistant pot, if you hunt around you can find those with actual lids to them, you have a stand and, if you are real lucky, you can get a stainless steel one so as not to live with '70's avacado green in your shop! Found a nice one used for $25 delivered, 2 quarts. That should last a lifetime of varnish making.
On the finishing front I do not give up on shellac so easily and look forward to that with a set of bench drawers that I need to make to get some order to things here. Reading up I found that shellac wax is almost as hard as carnauba wax which means the button lac I picked up needs to be processed through to yield its wax and shellac. That is a week to two week process and since the wax is only 3-5% of the material I would need to make a lot of shellac to get it out. A quart ought to yield enough to do some tests with, at least, and it proves out I should then have a final varnish that would look good on most gunstocks and will only add a bit of luster to it.
That's it for this report, sorry for lack of pics but should have some once I get the pin pusher.