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Cosmoline

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by madmike, May 10, 2006.

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  1. madmike

    madmike Member

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    Okay, I've wiped, scraped, detergented, hot watered and oven heated a stock that had cosmo 1/4" into the wood. It now merely looks oiled.

    I'd like to get more out in order to refinish this (horrifically) dinged stock.

    Astringent chemicals? Any ideas?
     
  2. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    There are chemical options, but the stronger the chemical the more it will end up damaging the wood. I've come around to the slow approach. Get what you can with heat, then just set the thing in the hot sun in a plastic bag with kitty litter and periodically clean it off.
     
  3. madmike

    madmike Member

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    This stock is trash. All I need is the inletted side. I figure to epoxy and reshape the entire outside, so some wood damage isn't a problem.
     
  4. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    When I was in high school, I redid a Norinco SKS. I stripped it, and then submerged it in a tank of 87 octane..... One of the perks of living on a farm that still uses ancient massey fergusons... It worked really well.
     
  5. madmike

    madmike Member

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    Damn! I don't have a Massey Ferguson.

    But the farmer behind me does.

    Oh, wait. I have kerosene, gasoline and acetone here.
     
  6. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    Soak that puppy in gasoline.
     
  7. AJ Dual

    AJ Dual member

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    I'm cribbing myself here, I've posted this on other forums/threads when the issue of stubborn Cosmoline comes up. The gasoline will work, however, it's dangerous unless you can do ALL the soaking and drying outside. Your stock will also smell/stink of gas for a long, long, time. Going the solvent route, I've had good results with Acetone. Acetone is insanely aggressive, it'll penetrate the wood completely, it dissolves most everything, and it drys very, very, fast, with no odor, but it's also very dangerous. from a flammability and toxic standpoint.

    My favorite method is now Purple Power engine and part degreaser.

     
  8. madmike

    madmike Member

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    THanks. They must have boiled this thing in cosmo.

    Still, it's durable.
     
  9. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I've also heard good things about acetone. Gasoline scares the bejesus out of me, both because I've had a shirt blown off my back from it and because of the benzene. Putting gas-soaked wood next to your face and lips seems like an extremely bad idea. Not to mention having a deep soaked stock right next to a red hot barrel!
     
  10. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    Dear God man, do you honestly believe you would pull the thing out of a tank of petrol and start shooting? Acetone has a much lower flash/combustion temp as well....... alot scarier....

    I stand corrected, Petrol is -40 degrees.....still, I'd prefer it to acetone.
     
  11. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I wouldn't want to use either one, but if the stock still stinks of gasoline weeks afterwards that means you still have gasoline in the stock. And that's not a good thing. AFAIK the acetone all turns to gas and leaves in short order. Salons use it to take nail polish off. It's also not nearly as nasty on the system as gasoline. Of course, you don't want to be smoking around it!
     
  12. .45Guy

    .45Guy Member

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    Perhaps we should have some big THR wide contest to find a *SAFE* cosmoline remover. I'd be willing to ante up for a prize...... Hell, it worked for space travel....IE. the X-prize and Burt Rutan....
     
  13. madmike

    madmike Member

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    The end result of this project is going to make 10% go :scrutiny:, 10% go:D and the rest go some combination of :eek: :what: :barf: and :rolleyes:.
     
  14. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    I think we can safely say that if you put the stock in a bath of gasoline or acetone, then shot a flare into it from behind a bunker, the cosmoline problem would be resolved forever :D
     
  15. madmike

    madmike Member

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    So would the stock problem;)

    I'm sanding enough off in a lot of places, I think a good wipe with acetone will do most of what I need. And acetone will vaporize a LOT faster than gasoline.

    Then it's on to the fiberglass, epoxy and paint.

    I'm thinking paisley.

    Brown, tan, black, sage and green paisley.
     
  16. Live Free Or Die

    Live Free Or Die Member

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    I used heat on my SKS stock...that worked pretty well. I burnt it in the oven a bit (!!!), then switched to suspending it above a space heater for a few hours. Almost all the cosmo came out this way. Since I was refinishing, I went directly from the heat/wipedown regimen to sanding. That first go-round of 60 grit paper got rid of all the visible cosmo, dirt, etc. A few iterations with increasingly fine sandpaper, and a couple coats of minwax later, and I had this:

    [​IMG]

    I finished it off with some 0000 steel wool to remove the obnoxious gloss (even though the minwax was a "satin" finish). Now it's a beauty...er, insofar as an SKS can be considered a beauty. :)
     
  17. madmike

    madmike Member

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    Pretty.

    This stock won't clean up like that. Apart from being at least 60 years older.

    But the shape is coming along. I'll acetone it when I'm done cutting.
     
  18. redranger1

    redranger1 Member

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    when my grandfather had his gun shop i cleaned untold numbers of milsurp in gasoline. i remember one day seeing my grandpa smokin a cigarette while doin it. :what: the secret to cleaning the stock is oven cleaner, no joke. just spray it on, set it out in the open fer a while, rub it down with a soft bristle brush and then rinse. continue till finished and then lightly sand and spray with some semi gloss. looks like so.....
     

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  19. NMshooter

    NMshooter Member

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    What about steaming the stock?

    If you can use steam to "inflate" dents in the wood, perhaps you could use it to remove soaked in cosmoline as well.

    Never tried this myself, I eventually gave up trying to get rid of it all.
     
  20. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    The old stock maker and furniture maker's oil and grease removal technique is the "whiting" method.

    Whiting (actually Calcium Carbonate) is a flour-like white powder sold by Brownell's.
    http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=1133&title=OLD+FASHIONED+WHITING

    Old woodworkers used it because it actually ABSORBS the oil from the wood without doing any damage to it.

    This is mixed with a solvent to a pancake batter-like consistency and applied to the stock with a brush.
    The solvent soaks into the wood, dissolves the oils and grease and brings it to the surface, where the whiting absorbs the gunk and holds it.

    The whiting will turn all colors of brown and orange as it's absorbs the oils.
    While solvents and cleaners will bring the oils to the surface, they can't lift it ABOVE the surface, and as soon as the solvent evaporates, the oil is pulled right back into the wood, no matter how fast you try to wipe it off..
    Only the whiting can actually soak UP the oils and hold it.

    The best solvent was Trichloroethane or "chloroethane", but this is difficult to get today. It was the best because although it was one of the most aggressive grease cutters ever, it was nominally non-inflammable.

    With chloroethane, the wood was coated a section at a time, including the inletting and butt area, with the whiting/solvent mix and was heated with a heat gun.
    The oils and greases would literally boil to the surface.
    When treated this way, 2 to 4 treatments would clean even the blackest oil soaked wood back to it's natural color.

    Today, without chloroethane, you can use a solvent like Acetone, or Lacquer thinner to mix with the whiting.
    DO THIS OUTSIDE.
    Mix the whiting and solvent and apply a medium coat to the wood. Quickly wrap tightly in a black plastic bag, and leave it on a hot driveway or on a roof in direct sun.

    The heat will draw the oils to the surface where the whiting will absorb it.

    After a hot afternoon, brush the dirty whiting off, mix up another batch, and repeat until the stock is clean.

    Unlike dishwashers, liquid soap cleaners, oven cleaners, and other harsh methods, this whiting method will REMOVE the goop without damaging the wood.
    In addition, unlike other methods, there are no chemicals to leech out later and corrode the metal.
     
  21. madmike

    madmike Member

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    Calcium carbonate = lime or chalk.

    Got some:)
     
  22. dfaugh

    dfaugh Member

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    Not sure if any of the stocks I've cleaned were quite as bad as you describe...But I've done the acetone/mineral spirits thing...But I've also used regular paint stripper which worked well (wear gloves) and my favorite is oven cleaner (also wear gloves). I hose it down w/ oven cleaner and let it sit in the sun, then hose it off. Works good, and not quite as dangerous/nasty as other methods.
     
  23. Terrierman

    Terrierman Member

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    Portland Cement is about the most aggressively absorbent powdered material I can think of. It pulls oil spots out of concrete floors way better than anything else I've tried. I'd bet mixing up a paste of portland cement with acetone or another aggressive solvent and smearing that on the rifle would work about the same as whiting. And it's super cheap and available everywhere building materials are sold. Mind you now, I'm talking straight portland cement, not dry concrete mix like sakrete.
     
  24. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 Member

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    An agressive cleaner is cheap oven cleaner, get 2 or 3 cans of spray on and spray that sucker down, let it set for a couple of hours, wash, dry and do again. Use vinegar to to neutralize the oven cleaner.
    I would not use this on a really good stock but I feel it is okay for a beater.
    Just my experience.
     
  25. madmike

    madmike Member

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    I also recommend not trying ALL these methods at once. I believe the combination of fumes and chemical reactions would constitute a WMD:D
     
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