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Thread: Removing Varnish from a stock... how?

  1. #1
    Grant grunzter's Avatar
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    Removing Varnish from a stock... how?

    Hi all,
    I have my eye on an old rifle that has a very good stock but its shiny... a bit to shiny for me, even though it woill probably last a million years...
    I cannot find any www pictures of the rifle with a varnished coat, so if i end up getting it I will make it a little project to make original...
    Is it hard to remove varnish?

    The original stock was Walnut, but this one is a much lighter coloured wood, so i assume its a replacement, or maybe a later batch who knows?
    Will try and get a picture tomorrow...

    I guess my next post maybe how to then refinish the wood...
    Cheers in advance.

  2. #2
    Bah, humbug ! Frogfeatures's Avatar
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    Paint stripper and a toothbrush to get into the checkering
    jakewire, P38 and grunzter like this.

  3. #3
    Grant grunzter's Avatar
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    Thanks. It has checkering, forgot to mention that!

  4. #4
    Caretaker jakewire's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Frogfeatures View Post
    Paint stripper and a toothbrush to get into the checkering
    Yip exactly what I did with my M-Bolt before coating with boiled linseed, came off very well.
    Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

  5. #5
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    Make a container to dip your stock into:
    Take a steel, aluminium or stainless tube of 100 diameter . Weld a plates the base.squeeze the other end so that the stock rear end fits inside .
    Fill up with paint stripper or acetone,
    Deep your stock inside for a few days and your stock will be " blank". You do the same for removing old oil from stock.

  6. #6
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    Yeah,just use paint stripper and stainless steel wool and toothbrush to clean out checkering. Then, use Scherells oil dark walnut to finish. This makes a beautiful satin finish.
    grunzter likes this.

  7. #7
    Grant grunzter's Avatar
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    Back again,
    See below pictures of the wood bits before they get worked on, which wont be until ~March...

    I have found this oil...
    Birchwood Casey Stock Stain Walnut - color, stain, sunfast, produces, clear, rich, ... - Serious Shooters
    But not the 'Scherells' item mentioned above.

    Out of interest does the wood need any other finishing after the oil?
    I see many other stocks seem to have a slight sheen to them, but its definately not a varnish...
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    basically after a more original look like this (original woodwork was Dark Walnut):
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    not a good photo but gives the idea.

  8. #8
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    Personally I have had good luck with Truoil Birchwood Casey Tru Oil Gun Stock Finish 8oz - Solvents Oils Blues Finishing - Vices Tools Cleaning - Accessories - Reloaders Supplies Ltd

    Have used it on probably 20 or so stocks over the years and it gives a good durable finish IF applied correctly
    grunzter likes this.

  9. #9
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    if you don't have a container ive seen people put stripper on it and wrap it in plastic don't know what stripper they used but it worked well and it didn't attack the plastic

  10. #10
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    I use polystripper, and the true oil is good but resist the temptation to go for the larger bottle as the bloody stuff goes like jelly ( dries ) in the bottle after its opened
    Quite a few of the walnut stocks I have done ( military rifles ) need restained to get their original colour, sometimes only in patches , but you will get the knack . If you fuck it up ( to dark ) just give it a quick wipe with a bit of turps and reapply , sometimes if it needs a real good darken up you have to let it dry till its no longer tacky and give it another coat .... this may take a couple of days . I sometimes give the stock a light wiz with a bit of 000 steel wool between coats if its a bit prickly . Military stocks don't look right to shiney , but the tru oil finish can be low sheen , smooth and it doesn't seem to get to slippery if your hands are a bit sweaty. you can get test pots of stain at most paint shops ...... cheap and it gives you a few colour options .
    grunzter and Barryeye like this.

  11. #11
    Grant grunzter's Avatar
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    I picked up this set from Reloaders this morning for $36.
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    https://www.birchwoodcasey.com/Refin...inish-Kit.aspx

    I will photograph my progress and post here, as i intend to do the same with a Remington 788 stock.
    As for the later i may also try bluing it, or may just get a modern coat of something on it...

    Some vids:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PaCBHb0wDls
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fOhnr9AENLU

  12. #12
    Member northdude's Avatar
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    be good to see how it goes whats the 788 ive got one that I wouldn't mind having a darker stock

  13. #13
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    use paint stripper but the non caustic stuff use solvent based stuff as caustic stuff will bleach the wood not a worry if repainting but no good if your oiling coat well and wrap in plasic food wrap and leave a couple of hours then it should scrub off with a nylon brush may need to do a 2nd or 3rd time if its stubben

    if you use tru oil keep coats very thin just rub it in with your finger and use lots of coats till you get it where you want it
    grunzter likes this.

  14. #14
    Grant grunzter's Avatar
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    Some progress.
    Used polystripper to remove varnish, then washed clean.
    A few small patches remain that will easily sand off.
    Next is to smooth off the wood prior to staining. I am following the comments above and the birchwood casey instructions and videos so should be ok...
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  15. #15
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    Good idea to neutralise with methylated spirits after using paint stripper if you haven't already done so.

 

 

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