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Thread: How do you clean your old wood

  1. #1
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    How do you clean your old wood

    Got myself a old Spanish Mauser Carbine,

    and first thing I did was take it apart,
    rusty and dirty as, bit of pitting under the wood (didn't expect it to be mint for the money)

    metal i can deal with easy, cleaned and lubed, bolt polished up,
    might need to get some bits re-blued in future?

    now the wood, I don't want to do a full restore,
    just a thorougher clean, and get the wood looking nice,

    I've been through youtube and google,
    and theres alot of different methods/opinions

    so I thought I'd get some more....
    any one got any tips? do's/don'ts?
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    jakewire and Tommy like this.

  2. #2
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    I've had excellent results with oven cleaner - just got to be careful as it can raise the wood grains on some wood.
    I've done a few stocks, oven cleaner - water blast - dry - sand - oil.
    Some of the rubbish woods grain really raises and needs a fair bit of sanding, others have been fine.

    @

  3. #3
    Member Marty Henry's Avatar
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    Oven cleaner is caustic and excellent at getting grease oil and dirt off. But if left it will attack wood softening it. Best option when using it is to wash off with water and vinegar to neutralise any residue. Water will also raise the wood grain so as little as possible is good. Raised grain can be sanded back and waving a gas torch over the surface afterwards to get rid of cut grain will give a surface like silk.

  4. #4
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    Tru Oil and Armourall.

  5. #5
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    I do quite a few stocks and I have a cracker on the bench right now. It has had a lot of gun oil used in the past and as such is quite black. Yep, you can use oven cleaner but its nasty stuff and you really have to clean the wood up after using it.

    My two main methods are using a hair dryer, heat the wood until the oil starts to come out and then wipe off with a paper towel. For heavy oil patches I also dip the paper towel in acetone and wipe the stock down.A heat gun works the same but it does pay to careful and they run a lot hotter. What I also have is a Shark steamer which had several heads that can be changed and this works very well. Just pull the trigger and instant steam, that really gets the oil and shit off plus gets a lot of the dings out. Its not quick method but the oil does come out.

    If the stock is really bad then I also have a bath that I can toss the stock in with either acetone or miricle clean but thats a last resort
    Beaker and Tommy like this.

  6. #6
    Member ANTSMAN's Avatar
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    Instead of sanding forever, another method to quickly remove lots of small dings is to use either a wide chisel-2-3inch wide or else a chisel or knife held cross ways so u use the length of the chisel at a right angle to the timber as a scraper, tend to get thin shavings, much like a draw plane, can then sand. Also can then sand with a random orbital . User beware, it can go wrong real quick.
    Rule 4: Identify your target beyond all doubt

  7. #7
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    Stick with the scrapper mate, its far tidier than the orbital sander, playing with the stock you want to take off as little as possible or you can end up with wood that does not match up with the metal work all of a sudden i.e. you have sanded off far too much and its a "oh fuck moment".

    One does learn after 30 odd stocks, I hope

  8. #8
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    dry cleaning fluid and a rag. wear gloves as it will dry your skin out

  9. #9
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    I get my Mrs to spit on it and give it a polish.

  10. #10
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    just rub it until your happy with the result

  11. #11
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    +1 for acetone. It gets the oil out and cleans the wood very well in a controllable way. It is also a bit poisonous to breath so I do it outside.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by rupert View Post
    +1 for acetone. It gets the oil out and cleans the wood very well in a controllable way. It is also a bit poisonous to breath so I do it outside.
    Opps, I have always used mine in the shed

  13. #13
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    If you really want to restore it without destroying it's value (ie by sanding) then the correct and most unobtrusive method is to use calcium "carbonate" (chalk powder and not calcium bicarbonate as it's different ) and acetone.
    What you do is you mix up a paste and then paste it into the wood. I use an ice cream stick and smear it on like plaster of Paris. The acetone draws out all of he old oil and it's absorbed by the calcium carbonate which when dry brushes off. You need to get it on quick though as the acetone evaporates quickly. It truly is the most amazing technique and turns black stocks (and I mean stocks that look like they have been soaked in sump oil for 50 years ) into "as new".

    It's so easy to do and calcium carbonate is available on TM.

    It helps if the stock is warm when you apply it. For black areas you need to do a few coats but you can reuse the powder one you dust it off.
    AzumitH and Steve123 like this.

  14. #14
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    @MassiveAttack and @northdude I was wondering when it was going to go downhill as soon as this thread started was just a matter of time and a question of who.

    But back to the original question I have never done it but with this good advice I might give it a go, the stock of the baikal is needing a bit of tlc

  15. #15
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    well, i ended up just cleaning it with sugar soap, no sanding,

    I just want it to be clean, i like the imperfections, its part of the history,
    as for the value, not so important to me, its far from mint, but it is all matching numbers

    i just need to protect the wood again
    @omark what do you recommend to oil/seal the wood with

 

 

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