refinishing an oil soaked stock?

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by 9 fingers, Apr 27, 2009.

  1. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    Hi, been working on the 2 piece stock of my Mossberg 472 and an fully stripped and sanded and it looks good but the buttstock forend seems to be stained and maybe saturated with gun oil. Lets just say the wood near the rear of the receiver looks darker like it is wet. I was planning on using a dilluted walnut Birchwood Casey stain and then Tru oil, maybe 6 coats. I don't want to sand any material off this area as it was already not a super perfect fit to the receiver. Can I proceed or do I need to get the stock "clean" and how do I do it? Is there some sort of degreaser to clean the wood?
    Thanks as always,
    9 fingers
     
  2. USMCSpeedy

    USMCSpeedy Member

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    I saw a product in my MidwayUSA catalog but I can't find it online right now. I'll keep looking and post a link if I find it.
     

  3. USMCSpeedy

    USMCSpeedy Member

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  4. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    I've heard of wrapping the stock in plastic wrap and hanging outside in the sun. The heat leaches the oil out of the stock. I've also heard of doing it with a blowdrier. Faster, but you have to be careful not to burn it.

    I've got an old gunsmithing book that recommends wiping the stock down with Clorox. That brings the oil to the surface, but also turns the stock white. You then have to sand the white away. If you did that, you might end up with proud metal.
     
  5. Monkey Hollow

    Monkey Hollow Member

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    I've had great success with using clean rags (old cotton T-shirts) and a spray bottle of Murphy's Oil Soap. Murphy's is cheap - abiut 2 bucks - and is not really harsh. Make sure to get the spray bottle and not the concentrate. I use a handheld blow dryer on the low fan setting and never had a problem with burning. Hold it 1 1/2 to 2 inches away and keep it moving. Work a small section at a time. I've cleaned many late 1800's double barrel stocks this way and they come out really nice. The stock will get really white looking, but as soon as you get oil back on the wood, it looks great. First time I tried this I thought I really ruined the wood. You'll be surprised at all the grime that will pull out of the wood onto the rag.
     
  6. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Talcum powder!

    To remove as much oil from a stock as possible I used good old talcum powder. They sell it at drug stores for babies. I am sure you can get it in the states. Just warm the stock, either leaving it in the sun or on a mild heat, and the oil will surface and get absorbed. Remove the powder and replace.

    To oil a stock, a tiny dab of linseed oil rubbed well in. Get it from an art supply shop. On a dry stock to colour you get can be amazing.

    To raise dings, try a wet cloth and the household iron on top. It swells the wood reducing the dent. (Only works on clean wood).
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 28, 2009
  7. Enfield

    Enfield New Member

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    I have never tried it but an old chap told me that you can clean gun woodwork by putting it through the dishwasher - sounds reasonable as we have kitchen knives with wooden handles and they come out clean and bleached. I don't think that I would be brave enough to try when the wife is about though :D

    I have refinished a few and just left things soaking in methalated spirits and it seems to kill off most of the oil however it does not bleach them - the dishwasher idea may get them up cleaner because you have the heat and the detergent

    Let us know how you get on

    Cheers

    Enfield
     
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Water and wood is a bad idea!

    You can use baking soda (like you use on your battery terminals). You heat the stock (hang in sun, or put in oven on very low setting or judiciously use a hair dryer) then pat on the baking soda. The oil will initially boil out of the stock with heat application. Let it sit with the baking soda on it over night. Do this multiple times until after an nights soak the baking soda is still white and not discolored from pulling the oil out of the stock.

    These old stocks are loaded with oil and it takes many times of this process to get it all out if you even can. Be sure to remove all the metal parts from the stock before doing this process. A wipe down with mineral spirits or alcohol helps to remove really heavy concentration, too. Stain will hide a great deal of the discoloration that is left.

    I like to use Polyurethane Varnish to avoid the buildup of oil again. It seals the wood from water and oil damage but you have to put at least one coat on the inside of the stock as well. It can take many coats to fill the grain of a dry old stock but you know you have arrived when the tiny holes of the walnut are filled to the level of the rest of the wood and the surface is completely smooth. I take the shine off the surface with 0000 steel wool leaving a water proof semi-dull surface that is completely smooth. That of course is not the way a military gun left the factory (oiled surface most common) but it makes a shooter a lot easier to take care of.

    LDBennett
     
  9. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    This is a great forum, responses from all over the world in a day!

    LD Bennett, you mentioned stain hiding some of the oil discoloration but I use water based stains. Will water based stain even have an effect on the wood if oil is present? I am going to use Tru Oil as my finish as I really like and have done it before. It is a mix of varnish, linseed and turpentime, from what I have read. I sprayed Gunscrubber on the bad area and it has removed all of the surface oil but I am sure ther is more to come up to the surface so I have it wrapped in a black garbage bag in the sun right now and will try cat litter or baking soda to absorb and spray more gun scrubber on it until it is clean. It is leaving a wet line mark on the stock so will see if light sanding removes that. I am also painting the corroded receiver, which I think is zinc alloy as it did not rust red but corroded oddly. it is not alluminum as magnet sticks to it. Will post pics when done in a week or 2. Thanks for all the advice!
    9
     
  10. pawn

    pawn Active Member

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    i used a chemical stripper and then held the stock under very hot water running from the tap and scrubbed away using 0000 steel wool. worked just fine.
     
  11. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    I have used an oven cleaner type spray, like "Easy Off," and have gotten good results. Just spray it on and wait while the bubbles do their thing. TJ
     
  12. Tom Militano

    Tom Militano New Member

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    I have a old shotgun that had a stock that was soaked with oil. I live in Alabama and it gets pretty hot down here in the summer. I hung the stock and forearm from a tree outside my shop and the amount of oil that actually dripped out of that stock amazed me. I let it work like that for about a week, wiping it down a couple of times a day. I put it up at night. I gave it a final wipe down with acetone and refinished it. I did that about five years ago and it's never leaked out anymore oil. I never figured out why whoever owned it before me used so much oil on the wood.
     
  13. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    This one appeared to have been a varnished stock, got kind of yellowed over the lst 45 years, but the area where the butt stock hits the receiver (this is a lever gun very much like a 336 Marlin) was black deep into the wood. I hit it with Gunscrubber spray about 5 times then put it in a black bag of talc powder and it is about 90% better. Will do a little more and then can't stand it any more and an eager to try the Birchwood Casey walnut stain I bought. I have to try to match the two pieces.
    9 fingers
     
  14. USMCSpeedy

    USMCSpeedy Member

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    Don't for get the pics when you get it done.
     
  15. GimmeThatGlock

    GimmeThatGlock New Member

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    9 fingers:

    i Just Refinished my 91/30 and i had the EXACT same problem and i got all of the oil out in 30 minutes.

    1.Ok First Get a big bucket ( a mortar bucket would do fine) pour boiling water in the mortar bucket.

    2.Next get some towelsbig enough to cover at least half of the stock Soak em in the water for 30 seconds then put them over the stock and pour baking soda on top, smear it into the towel and let sit for 2 minutes.

    3.Next rinse out the same towel and soak it again and cover the stock. then get an iron and put it on the towel covering the stock to steam out the water in the towel.repeat.

    after your done with step 3 remove the towel and the stock is completely dry and ready to sand i kinda over killed my sanding i use a 120 150 220 320 800 then a 1000! ULTRA SMOOTH. :cool::cool::cool::cool:

    Glock.