Remove whiting from pores?


February 22, 2014, 09:38 AM
For giggles, I bought an old beater Mossberg 183. It was slathered with varnish and had a bit of oil staining.

After stripping with Citristrip, I used some whiting to pull out the oil stains.

It really is one good looking piece of walnut. Certainly the best in my inventory. (Not that that is saying much.)

The problem is I now have quite a bit of whiting remaining deep in the pores.

Are there any tricks to removing whiting from the pores?

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February 22, 2014, 05:54 PM
"Whiting" is one of those old-time materials which have, for the most part, outlived their usefulness. Especially on porous woods, which walnut is one of. I don't think it was ever recommended for removing stain or oil from porous wood. I would suggest a very brisk application of elbow grease and fine-gauge wire brushes. It's gonna take a long while. Then, sanding afterwards to smooth out the wood again.
Alternatively, if you could determine who made the whiting, preferably in the last twenty years or so, you could demand a MSDS for the product and find out what the whiting really is. Then, you could find a solvent to dissolve the whiting.
Finally, if all else fails, simply re-stain the wood, including the whiting. It'd be better than nothing.

February 22, 2014, 06:36 PM
A simple way to remove most of it is to "whisker" the wood.

Use a damp sponge or rag to wet about 1/4 of the stock at a time then quickly dry with a heat gun or over a stove burner.
Be careful not to scorch the wood or burn sharp edges.

This will do two things.
First it steam cleans the wood, blasting dirt out of the pores, and opens the pores to accept a finish.

Second, it makes tiny splinters stand up. Use a synthetic polishing or pot scrubber pad to gently rub the wood with the grain.
The pad will hook the tiny splinters and pull them out, leaving a very smooth surface.
If you don't whisker the wood, many finishes and stains will cause them to lift and leave a rough finish that has to be sanded.
To whisker DON'T use sand paper, All that does is press the tiny splinters back down.

Whiskering the wood will usually steam out whiting nicely.

February 23, 2014, 07:01 PM
Whiting is calcium carbonate. The things that I know quickly dissolve it aren't very kind to wood (strong acids).

I imagine a long soak in vinegar would do it, but I don't know what the effect on the wood would be.

Seltzer water (carbonic acid) can also dissolve it, but I don't have a container that can hold the stock while still retaining the carbonation.

Oxalic acid (wood bleach, etc) reacts with it too, but forms another insoluble compound, so I was afraid to try it. I figured I'd just be exchanging one substance stuck in the pores for another substance stuck in the pores.

Using a combination of dfariswheel's suggestion, but substituting seltzer water (which probably added very little, if anything), and a lot of compressed air did get nearly all of it out.

I'd used whiting several times before, and it never stuck in the pores so stubbornly. Those stocks were all much tighter grained though.

stan rose
February 25, 2014, 02:54 PM
Rub the stock down mineral spirits, let dry, repeat.

February 27, 2014, 12:50 AM
Try dfairshweel's suggestion again, this man knows his stuff about stocks ! Might save your stock for finishing, putting a stain on it that will last. Ol' hands know the good tricks.

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