Originally Posted by jyantkilr
Yep yep, toothbrush isn't working. These are negative stamped impressions, guess I pick pick pick and more pick.
Keep soaking and scrubbing. You will be able to get the varnish out of those little divots. The stiffer a brush you have the better digging power.
Maybe a nylon parts cleaning brush? they're stiffer than even a firm toothbrush...but the bristles are pretty thick too so they are harder to cram down in there to scrub.
Embossed "checkering" is a PitA isn't it!
I redid an old beater 870 Express a couple years ago and had the same problem. I was able to get most of the varnish out of the pattern, but I never did get all of the stain removed. It looked about like the fore-end you've got pictured when I gave up on it...but I was restaining it a similar color anyway so it turned out pretty good.
What type of stripper are you using? Petroleum based (the old-school toluene/xylene/acetone stuff), or the new-fangled citrus-based ("safe" ) stripper?
If you're using the citrus type, try using some of the petroleum based stuff instead. I still think it just plain works better. Most auto parts stores will have it on the shelf in the autobody section.
Klean-Strip Aircraft stripper is the one I usually have around.
Rustoleum also has one that I know works pretty good on varnish too