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how to strip finish off stock?

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by deadmeat, Oct 19, 2004.

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  1. deadmeat

    deadmeat Member

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    I have a Browning Hunter rifle with the glossy stock. I would like to take the gloss off and put on a matte finish. What would be the best way to do this and with what tools to make it look like a factory finish? Thanks!
     
  2. Mark whiz

    Mark whiz Member

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    as long as you're SURE you want all of the old finish off, you can get a relatively mild citrus-based paint stripper, brush it on the stock, let it sit until the finish starts bubbling.......... then lift off the finish lightly with a plastic putty knife. Repeat until you think you got it all, then put on another coat of the stripper and work it off with fine steel wool. WIpe dry with clean rags and then wipe it down better with mineral spirit soaked rags.

    Some people just coat the stock with spray oven cleaner, let it sit, and then rinse it off in the shower :what: (or with a garden hose). Never tried the oven cleaner as that stuf can be REALLY stinky :eek:

    BTW this assuming that you have removed the action and all accesories from the stock 1st.

    really not much if any special tools are needed for this other than general woodworking finishing stuff like brushes, steel wool, etc. Although a checkering rifler will make geting the old finish out of the stock checkering a lot easier and can allow you to sharpen the checkering some too for better grip.

    Your final finish is kinda up to you....................you can use a urethane based stain that will create a finish similiar to what was on it previously (but you can pick the color and go with more of a matte/satin finish) OR you can go with the hand-rubbed oil-type finish like that found on military firearms. That's just for your personal choice.
     
  3. SMLE

    SMLE Member

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    I have used the oven cleaner method on a few military stocks. I use Easy-Off in the YELLOW can NOT the blue one.

    Here are the steps I use;

    Remove all metal and plastic from the stock.
    Spray with oven cleaner and let set for about five minutes.
    Rinse off with the hottest water you can get.
    Dry stock over a heat source such as a stove, be sure to keep moving so at not to scortch the wood. This will also help sweat out minor dents. On military stocks, it also sweats out more oil. I will repeat this process of oven cleaner- hot water-heat. until the stock is totally clean.
    You can work out some dents by placing a wet cloth over them and pressing a hot iron to them.

    I then go over the wood with fine steel wool, 0000 is what I usually use.

    For military stocks, I use a mix of equal parts boiled linseed oil, beeswax and turpentine. Apply in very light coats and rub in throughly, (If you don't get a blister, you ain't rubbing enough :D ), and let dry. Buff lightly with 0000 steel wool every couple of coats for a matte finish, or rub with a soft cloth for a gloss finish. Be sure to apply the stuff to the inside of the stock as well.
     
  4. DWS1117

    DWS1117 Member

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    I have had good results using the following method.

    Liberally spray the naked (all parts removed) stock with Orange Blast and let sit for about 10 minutes. Then wipe away everything that has come up. I repeat this step until I am satisfied, usually about 2-3 times. This stuff also has a cirtus smell. Much better smelling than oven cleaner.:D

    Next I mix 1lb of TSP in the very hot water (not boiling) and let the stock soak for approx 15 minutes. After the soak time I lightly scrub it sown with a green scotchbrite pad. Let dry over night.

    When it is dry I sand it with very fine sand paper followed with 0000 steel wool.

    After sanding, stain with you favorite stain. Use as many coats to get your desired color. let the stain dry for at least 24 hours. Finish with (I like 2 coats) Formby's Tung Oil Finish. Some like the straight Tung Oil. I haven't tried it so I can't comment. The tung oil finish comes in low or high gloss.

    This has produced very good results for me. I will post some pics when I get home.

    Here is a pic of a Mosin M38 that I refinished with this method. I will post a better pic when I get home to my comp.

    [​IMG]

    Here is a little bit better picture.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2004
  5. HankB

    HankB Member

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    I think the oven cleaner, TSP, etc. methods are usually used on military surplus stocks to get decades of accumulated oil, grease, cosmoline, powder residue, and other crud out of the stock . . . I'm not sure it would work well on a glossy Browning stock, which is probably coated in some sort of epoxy or acrylate coating.

    I have a Belgian-made Browning Safari .375 which came with just such a stock - pretty in the gun case, but so shiny it really was a poor choice for a hunting rifle. I broke the finish by lightly wet-sanding it with various grits of sandpaper, starting at about 600 grit and working my way to something coarser until I got an adequately dull finish. Do this by hand and be careful around the edges (so you don't round them over) and you ought to get a good result.

    Steel wool, either dry or "slightly" moistened with a solvent like acetone, might work, too . . . with plenty of elbow grease.

    Good luck.
     
  6. DWS1117

    DWS1117 Member

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    I agree with you here. This is just one option. I have also used this method on a couple of other non milsurp stocks with pleasing results. Granted, they were a couple of .22 rifles that are somewhere between 20-30 years old and most of the finish had worn away.
     
  7. Master Blaster

    Master Blaster Member

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    Why strip it if you want the same finish just matte???

    Take some 00 steel wool or some 220 sand paper and sand the whole stock, Viola you now have a matte finish by simply dulling the shinney finish that was on there.


    I know I have done it.
     
  8. patentmike

    patentmike Member

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    I stripped the shiny finish off my Browning BLR the other day with Klean Strip from Home Depot. The stuff is strong! Just a little scrubbing with a toothbrush to get the gunk out of the checkering, and a rinse with lacquer thinner, and it was done. I finished it with two light coats of boiled linseed oil.
     
  9. Sparky

    Sparky Member

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    May be too late to help, but
    I've used Certi-Strip from Brownell's to remove epoxy finish from an Ithaca LS 55. The stuff is magic!
    Not cheap, but probably saves HOURS of elbow grease with sandpaper!
     
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