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Removing Dykem Blue from a Gunstock

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by sign216, Jan 20, 2023.

  1. sign216

    sign216 Member

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    Any ideas how to remove Dykem Hi-Spot Blue from a raw gunstock?

    I'm inletting a semi finished walnut stock onto a CZ 527 bolt action. Started w Dykem blue on the action to find high spots on the stock. I put too much blue on, and it got everywhere. Reportedly it's soluble in rubbing alcohol, and that did remove it from the action. But getting it out of the stock pores is a no-go. Tried alcohol + tooth brush, next I'll try a brass brush w alcohol, but wanted to see what sharper minds have to say.

    Fortunately I haven't started sanding and finishing the stock exterior, so it's not a disaster (yet). The stuff gets everywhere! Also, a saving grace is the kitchen towels have a blue/white pattern, so the wife hasn't noticed anything (thank G-d for small victories).

    Joe

    SDC10555.JPG
     
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  2. Taurus 617 CCW

    Taurus 617 CCW Member

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    That’s a tough one. Perhaps you could try the old method of lifting a stain using an iron and a paper towel. Try some 50% or 70% rubbing alcohol on a rag. The heat will draw it out…if the stock isn’t permanently stained. Otherwise you might have to sand down past the stain.
     
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  3. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    You could try acetone, or brake cleaner, but I doubt that you can remove that stain completely. Follow with light sanding of the area and apply some darker wood dye to the whole stock to blend in the spot. An alternative is to dye the whole stock black with a heavy stain, like Fiebing's leather dye, and then sand it off completely, so only the soft portions of the wood remain darkened. That way you will not only blend in the stain, but you will also bring out the grain.
     
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  4. deadeye dick

    deadeye dick Member

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    I don't know, but you could try bleach in a inconspicous spot or on a scrap of wood. Worth a try.
     
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  5. a5werkes

    a5werkes Member

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    I second the acetone approach.FWIW.
     
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  6. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    If none of the previously mentioned solvents work, try lacquer thinner, which is a mix of solvents, none of which is acetone or alcohol.
     
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  7. Mauser fan

    Mauser fan Member

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    Denatured alcohol is what I would use. It evaporates quickly and isn't as harsh as acetone. Mineral spirits might be another approach.
     
  8. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    I would go with the solvent/ whiting approach to draw the dye out.
    Spotting blue/ Prussian Blue is for use on impervious surfaces, inletting black is the product to use on stocks. Lipstick will work in a pinch.
     
  9. sign216

    sign216 Member

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    Thank you for the advice. I'm going to use solvent to draw it out, as you all suggested. Fortunately I haven't started the exterior sanding/shaping so this should be recoverable.

    I also contacted the owner of where I got the stock; https://www.gunstockinletting.com/
    They advised acetone too. Also masking tape the stock exterior, and hand washing after the blueing is applied. He didn't seem to have any problem using Dykem blue, but I'll switch to an inletting black.

    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  10. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    I use a candle or a small kerosene lamp to smoke parts I'm inletting, soot is a lot more forgiving.
     
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  11. sign216

    sign216 Member

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    The acetone worked well. Before that I tried rubbing alcohol, which dissolved some, but not as well. Some of the darker, deeper spots remain, but I hope with sanding, maybe a little stain like Mizar suggested, those spots will just become "character."

    Deadeye, I tried bleach on a piece of scrap wood, but it didn't do anything to the blue. The Dykem blue must be inorganic/mineral based. Bleach seems best on organic products.

    The orig. stockmaker (gunstockinletting.com) was quick to reply. He still uses Dykem blue, but he has almost "medical style" sanitation with it, so it doesn't go out of bounds. Like Kp321 suggested, I'm going to use inletting black now, the dykem is too difficult around wood. Jackrabbit, candle black is a good idea, but I'd rather pay for the blackening, than deal w a candle.

    Joe
     
  12. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    May want to try the next carbon chain solvent MEK. It's hotter than acetone, evaporates a little faster too. But, all I'm finding now is a substitute. So I have no idea if it works the same. Soak a rag and let it sit on the spot to extract it.
     
  13. sign216

    sign216 Member

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    Blue68,
    Wasn't MEK pulled for being a carcinogen? I'll try an MEK substitute, maybe check it on some scrap wood first to make sure it's safe.
    Thanks,
    Joe
     
  14. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    That's what they say. I'm glad I still had the real stuff when I rebuilt my boat. Acetone took twice as long to clean up tools. But I only used it if acetone did not clean it well enough.

    MEK/substute will not harm the wood any more than acetone, it removes all of the oils. IF you going back to epoxy bedding it makes it stick better. It will soak up oil easily.
     
  15. ms6852

    ms6852 Member

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    You can try a baking soda paste and rub gently rub the wood. Also you can try a mixture of vinegar and baking soda this increases the acidity. If nothing works from the recommendations a list ditch effort would be to stain the stock blue.
     
  16. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    If someone really wants to know what almost anything is made of, go to the website of the maker and ask/look for the SDS (safety data sheet). Required by law to be there. In the case of Dykem, the two solvents are alcohol and butyl acetate. The butyl acetate is used in nail-polish remover, among a bunch of other stuff. If you get an attempted run-around, state that you are using it to make something.
     
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  17. Mizar

    Mizar Member

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    A very good advice indeed.
    P.S. The only problem I'm facing is when some company is simply rebranding a product (for example, gun lubes & fishing reel lubes are notorious for this) - then it gets rather hard to find the actual maker and the SDS.
     
  18. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    That's when a magnifying glass may be your best friend. The website may be printed somewhere on the label, however small it may be. Still, if a manufacturing unit (such as us) needs the SDS to comply with Federal law, someone must supply the SDS, because every company with employees must have the SDS's on hand. (I was a manufacturing engineer for many years, and a furniture maker for many more.)
     
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  19. sign216

    sign216 Member

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    Beag nut,
    Isn't nail polish remover acetone? The other listed solvent was alcohol. I found alcohol to dissolve the Dykem, but not nearly as fast as acetone.

    Taurus,
    There are still a couple of blue spots left. I was going to try your idea of heat, like an iron, on top of a cloth w solvent, to draw the Dykem color out. It's a good idea, but the best solvent is acetone. Super volatile and flammable.

    Final sanding and polish will remove some of the blue spots, and I'm hoping stain will blend them so they'll just be a reminder that sometimes "acting without full, careful research, leads to error" (didn't my high school shop teacher say that?). Contrast that to the saying of the British SAS; "He who dares, wins."

    Joe
     
  20. beag_nut

    beag_nut Member

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    No, nail polish remover is mostly butyl acetate, which is why it smells "fruity". Acetone would evaporate much too quickly to be useful. Each individual maker of the stuff is free to make their own concoction, though. At this point I don't know of a retail supplier of pure butyl actetate, but either one of us could find out.
     
  21. herrwalther

    herrwalther Member

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    Next time for inletting, my advice is use Prussian blue. It comes out easily with medium (440+) grit sandpaper without chemical strippers. And hides better under even light stock stains.

    Between acetone, Citristrip, minieral spirits, and simple green. Most of my gunsmithing needs for cleaning/degreasing/stripping jobs are met. For this, acetone is my first stop. Use an eye dropper to concentrate the acetone into one area so you have less wood to restore with stains and oils.
     
  22. 12Bravo20

    12Bravo20 Member

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    I always hated having to use Dykem Hi Spot Blue/Prussian Blue. It is darn near impossible to remove from skin. And most of the time one just has to let it wear off on its own.

    And that stuff always seems to get every where you don't want it to. And yes I had to use it quite a bit as a tool and die maker and as a mill wright.
     
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  23. sign216

    sign216 Member

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    Ok, my next choice is either inletting black, or Prussian blue. Which is better?

    I know some like lamp black (user Jackrabbit) but I'd rather not be using a flame in the workshop.
     
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