The first thing I did with my Chinese SKS was tear it apart, scrub the "cosmoline" off the metal bits, lubed and protected the parts, and then put them away while I played with the stock. From all appearances, this rifle has never been fired. The bolt face is pristine, the gas piston looks brand new...no powder residue.
The stock was coated with varnish and Citrusstrip cleaned it up nicely. I don't see any signs of oil soaked in.
The rifle had one of those tan plastic, sex toy-looking upper hand guards. Before it even arrived I grabbed a wooden one from eBay. Last night I began fitting and shaping the stock and handguard so they mated up smoothly. I'll probably go ahead and fit the stock, the ferrules and the butt plate tighter and closer to one another as I go along.
I've refinished several M1s and Carbines over the years and have come to love the smell of Walnut. I gotta say, Catalpa smells great as well.
Once everything is fitted to my liking, I'll fine sand the stock. I haven't decided if I'm going to stain it darker, but that's a possibility. Since I don't care for shiny gunstocks, I'll probably do a final finish with BLO. I'll post pictures as it comes together.