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Finish in Checkering Removal

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Johnm1, May 17, 2019.

  1. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    143D9650-3F79-4B22-9D7A-AC04B1BC5A4A.jpeg I just traded for a very nice Fox Sterlingworth 12 gauge. Great little gun, has a little bit of collector value. Not much. The clear finish, shellac, has been added to over the years. It is quite dirty in several places. I can tell it has been added to by the drip marks in certain areas. I am going to clean off The older shellac finish and replace it with a nice amber shellac. Cleaning off of the flat wood is not the problem. I know how to do that. But there is an accumulation of shellac in the checkering that I don’t really know how to remove. I do not intend to re-cut the checkering no matter it’s condition. I will live with it the way it is even if the checkering is somewhat rounded. But I would like to remove the excess shellac. I have tried using my solvent to loosen it with a soft bristle brush. But that just seems to move it from one place to another. Does anyone have a suggestion on how I can remove the excess from within the checkering.
     
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  2. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Since you plan to refinish the stock, remove it from the action and soak the wood in acetone.

    This soaking will cut the old finish and pull oil's that have soaked into the head end.
    If the finish is shellac then use alcohol first, but soak the whole stock.
     
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  3. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    As above, if it's actually shellac use denatured alcohol to dissolve it and brush it out with a toothbrush, wiping with an alcohol soaked paper towel to get it off the wood as it's brushed out of the checkering.

    If it's not shellac, use whatever solvent works like lacquer thinner, or a commercial wood stripper like Formby's.
    Again the correct "tool" is a stiff toothbrush, and if used gently a brass toothbrush.
     
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  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    goof-off works good to, use a old tooth brush.
     
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  5. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    With a stock this old, soaking in solvent to pull out oil's from years past is a good idea.
     
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  6. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Thanks. I try not to remove anything but the dirt/oil and the clear finish. The oils I’m dealing with here are hand oils. On old furniture Formby’s works well. I may need to be more specific with my solvent. I have tried the Formby’s and a brush/paper towel and seem to manage to only move it around. I can only guess what has been added to the finish over the years. Research indicates the original finish was a shellac but who knows what was done since 1923.

    I have a fear, probably unwarranted, of submerging entire pieces of wood in any liquid. Maybe I can use the stiff brush over a container of solvent and achieve the same result. I really don’t want to use a wire brush for fear of damaging the checkering. In the end if the checkering appears dark and soft I could live with it. I’d prefer it to be as sharp as the wood is and closer to the main color of the stock.
     
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  7. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    05D979E4-489C-4286-936B-8C0D68A83A6E.jpeg 1E91D165-D1B8-4BBF-B078-F4C5F850631B.jpeg Here are some more pictures
     
  8. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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  9. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I'm not really concerned about damaging the finish. The color will be what it will be when the clear finish is removed. I try not to strip everything off of the wood but by removing the clear finish some of what is below comes with it. In reality the Formby's or the home made equivalent is meant to lossen the clear finish allowing a tight weave wool to pick up the dirt and oil and spread the remaining clear finish out. In reality by the time you clean the dirt and oil there is little or no clear finish left.
     
  10. earlthegoat2

    earlthegoat2 Member

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    Boiling hot water can loosen things up too. Put a little Simple Green or Mr Clean in with it for some suds.
     
  11. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Try this first, then acetone if needed, as jaguarxk120 suggests.
     
  12. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Thanks all. I'm going to focus on the denatured alcohol and brush. I'll use both the wetted towel as well as a reservoir of alcohol to try to both 'flush' as well as lift. I'll let you know now it works tomorrow.

    Thanks again.
     
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  13. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    8F66F340-1A39-4900-AF84-87BEA965F3AE.jpeg B55AACDB-9156-4FB9-840A-D06B2FA34EBF.jpeg 2ABD88A2-39CD-49B0-B791-B2CBCD76D892.jpeg


    The advice to soak the wood was correct. Mind you, I tried the hard way and it worked but soaking the wood was much more efficient. While the finish coats are drying I’ll start with some of the before pictures. Haven’t quite figured out how to get the pictures to show up after the text.
     
  14. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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  15. jaguarxk120

    jaguarxk120 Member

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    Once you get all of the old finish off, you will see that the head end of the stock
    is a darker color.
    That dark color is oil that has soaked into the wood.
    The acetone soak will bring that oil out.
     
  16. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    These were while I was trying to do small areas without soaking in alcohol.

    E5847C97-7AE4-4064-9AE1-F1D68C1A4E69.jpeg BD16F035-93F6-436F-ADEA-60002914EADF.jpeg 1D9B68D5-A2DA-4861-859E-E39FFF1D8741.jpeg
     
  17. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    54115819-0B1A-4B11-9E43-F833A849EB29.jpeg 6AA6C8FA-0618-46E8-9222-D3889EA1840F.jpeg 21580BDA-1D48-4582-BCAD-003C4927C837.jpeg C2D7E6C4-807C-4CDD-A71F-F6F75D8D8C7D.jpeg In order to clear the checkering I had to soak the entire piece and brush while submerged.


    54115819-0B1A-4B11-9E43-F833A849EB29.jpeg 6AA6C8FA-0618-46E8-9222-D3889EA1840F.jpeg 21580BDA-1D48-4582-BCAD-003C4927C837.jpeg C2D7E6C4-807C-4CDD-A71F-F6F75D8D8C7D.jpeg I
     
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  18. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    The finish coats won’t be done until after sunset. So here are a couple of pictures after the first coat has dried but not yet ready for the second coat. I’ll Smooth out the first coat with 0000 steel wool and clean with a tack cloth before applying the second coat.


    7FBD3DB9-2890-43B7-A61D-DBD900AD19CB.jpeg 3A084AFB-2388-4E09-ACA5-A6CE5EE2F4D2.jpeg EBC24140-2557-4373-ACC2-A79E3C00C2E4.jpeg
     
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  19. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    And the finished product before the Renaissance Wax:

    37CD4DF4-D6BE-46C9-B325-D5297E712151.jpeg 05FFBB7E-D825-44CB-A599-6BAD36A839C2.jpeg 681B32B1-5A70-46E1-A0BF-07133B288475.jpeg FA880FD3-05A2-48A2-9E97-878DF6490A30.jpeg 05D572B6-0AE6-4E6D-9451-AC95ECAC2CEE.jpeg 137B30C1-FE9D-4EF8-B7EA-51CD821BA250.jpeg
     
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  20. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I have to confess the whole premise behind the Fox. I have tried for years to teach myself how to shoot birds with no luck. Right handed left eye dominant issues. My dove hunting motto has been “1 box 1 bird”. So I decided if I’m going to miss, at least I can look good while missing. New motto “Missing with Style”.
     
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  21. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    You can use blinders to help with the dominant eye.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2019
  22. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I have tried that. It doesn’t make up for me just “sucking” with a shotgun. I need all the excuses I can rationalize.
     
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  23. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    “Missing with style”.

    I can appreciate that. I collected Baker shotguns. Never could hit anything in the air with them.

    Kevin
     
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  24. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Missing with style is nice, and a Fox Sterlingworth is a nice gun to be missing with, but why not switch shoulders? I shoot off both, but mostly right even though I'm left eye dominant. We had a kid on the HS Trap team shoot his first round right handed (left eye dominant) and shot a 5. Had him switch shoulders, he doubled that the next round, and is now shooting 15-18.
     
  25. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I'll start this off with 'I have an excuse for everything ' but I did find an instructor just today.

    When I started shooting the CMP matches 10 or so years ag I found that my right eye would fatigue within seconds trying to acquire the sight picture. So I started shooting left handed. It worked ok even with a bolt action and didn't impact the Garand. It wasn't bad prone and sitting. Off hand was a challenge. At that point I switched to the left with my shotgun. But I'm not terribly coordinated with anything left handed. Couple that with not knowing how to shoot a shotgun and not much changed. Skip forward to 6 years ago and a minor stroke. I lost 40% of the vision in my left eye and the remaining vision in that eye turned to mush. Oddly I can read with that eye uncorrected if very close and that was actually better. But what distance vision I had left was mush. Corrected I can see while driving well. So I had to switch back to right handed. But I am still very left eye dominant. With my correction which I use all day mymleft eye remains dominant. So I pretty much have to close my left eye to shoot anything right handed. So I struggle no matter what I shoot except pistols. I have always shot right handed but always lined up with my left eye. Not technically correct but it works.

    When I deer or elk hunt for a week I take my glasses off once I arrive for the week. Within hours my right eye tries to take over dominance. I have pretty good distance vision in my right eye and if I need to read my phone or a map I can do that if I get close enough.

    Like I said, I have a lot of excuses. The real issue is I need training to learn how to shoot a shotgun. And now i have a line on that.
     
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