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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
What are the pros and cons of using a chemical stripper vs sanding the original finish off?

Thanks :cool:
 

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Strip off with chemical stripper, sand lightly, reapply stain if any is to be used, then apply finish. Much faster, and less chance of ruining checkering if any is present:)
 

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If you have checkering you need to use a stripper and a tooth brush.
Depending on how old the gun is (what kind of finish it has)depends on what stripper you need to use.
If it has no checkering then sanding is ok but WARE A MASK!!
Mike
 
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I use a nontoxic stripper that changes color from green to a cream color. Then you just scrape it off wash the stock off and sand as needed.
 

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^^^ True. IMO most people do WAY too much sanding. Gunstocks only need to be sanded to about 320 grit. Then you use the finish agent to make it feel smoother. I use Tru oil. Usually about 8 applications, hand rubbed, with at least 4 hr dry time between does a nice job. I like to give plenty of dry time. 12 hrs usually.
 

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First, what firearm and what finish?
Some of the military oil finishes can be cleaned very easily without stripping or sanding. Commercial lacquer types and urethanes will be best removed with chemical strippers as mentioned above; use a steel wool or scotchbrite pad to remove finish as you strip it.
Often you may need only the lightest of sanding after stripping with whatever chemical you use, BUT, to remove stripper rinse with water and wipe the stock dry and then place in front of a fan to dry quickly and hopefully reduce the amount of surface grain that you raise in the wood. Wood will swell when wet, the longer you let a stock surface stay wet the more the grain lifts. Sanding will "cut" the surface of the wood fibers meaning that you have to keep sanding untill the whole surface is smooth again; your first finish coat will cause the wood to again swell as it is sealed and you will have to fine sand again after the first coat dries. Since I am lazy I will chemically strip as a rule.
 

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Can you lacquer over a light oil finish? I lightly sanded a stock and put 1 coat of mineral oil on it cuz I hadn't made up mind on a final look yet. Wondering if lacquer is still an option, don't want to resand.
It looks fine but I noticed I can put a slip on recoil pad on it and remove it a minute later and the stock is lighter where the pad was. Then shortly the stock blends back to its even color. Its been may months sense the finish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
Again, what rifle?
The question was just out of curiosity; I've read that some people preferred sanding to a chemical strippers, and I started wondering if there was some sort of untold problem with chemical strippers. For what its worth I also felt that in certain circumstances sanding off the original finish could easily lead to fit issues with various metal parts.
 

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The question was just out of curiosity; I've read that some people preferred sanding to a chemical strippers, and I started wondering if there was some sort of untold problem with chemical strippers. For what its worth I also felt that in certain circumstances sanding off the original finish could easily lead to fit issues with various metal parts.
I'm no authority on chem strippers but sanding simply needs to be done with common sense. Where you can't afford wood loss you obviously must take caution and settle for very light sanding. If the stain is deep you probably won't be able to remove it all.
 

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PS: I can tell strippers basically strip what is at the surface and won't draw all of a deeply penetrated stain out.
 

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Basically why I was asking what firearm, is that some commercial guns seemingly use tinted finish rather than a stain. I have stripped a few late Ithicas and Winchesters that revealed a very pale wood after just stripping.
 
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