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  1. #1
    Member Fasdaff's Avatar
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    Arisaka Stock Restoration Advice?

    Hello all, first time on this website. I recently picked up a Type 99 Arisakaicon in pretty good condition, except that the stock appears to have been varnished at some point. The gun store owner who sold it to me seemed to think that it would be simple enough to remove the varnish with some steel wool. However I don't know a thing about wood except that it grows on trees so I was hoping I could get some knowledgeable advice on whether it's possible to restore the original finish and if so how best to do it safely.

    I'm hoping that the original Japanese lacquer is still present and the varnish was just applied directly over it. The stock still seems to have its reddish color under the varnish, and on the underside of the handguard where the unvarnished wood still has its original color the parts that were varnished seem to match the color of the rest of the stock, so I'm hoping that means the rest of the stock wasn't refinished either besides the varnish. But I'm wondering if anyone has a better way to tell whether the original lacquer is still present underneath?

    Assuming the original finish is still there to be restored, the next question is how to remove the varnish without harming the original lacquer? I tested it a bit with some fine steel wool and the edge of a coin but it seemed resistant to both, which based on what I've read suggests that it might actually be polyurethane rather than varnish? Again I know next to nothing about wood so any advice on how to tell the difference and how to remove it gently in either case would be welcome.

    Hopefully my question wasn't too rambling for anyone to actually answer it. I'll include some pictures of what the stock currently looks like. I don't know if they'll be helpful at all since it's hard to pick up the proper color of the wood with the camera. Thanks in advance.
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    Senior Member AGB-1's Avatar
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    Removing Varnish

    Read this.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I don't think you have any of the original finish left. Looks to have been sanded right down. The originals were finished with a formula made from poison sumac I think it was, so I wouldn't want to raise that dust at all... We've also had this discussed here and you could find those discussions by looking through the Japaneseicon weapons forum...



    Here's a whole article about this.

    https://www.gunboards.com/sites/banz...h/UpM99Fin.htm
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    Nothing to loose. I'd try citristrip and then reevaluate.

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    Contributing Member WarPig1976's Avatar
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    Yeah, that's been stripped and Poly slopped on.

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    Contributing Member mmppres's Avatar
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    Jeff is correct. Need a full restore

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    Member Fasdaff's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks for the info everyone, after doing a bit of experimentation with sandpaper I can confirm whatever this stuff is it's not coming off easily and I'll be fully refinishing the stock after all.

    My next question is: does anyone have any tips on what to use to get the stock to resemble the original finish as closely as possible, without tracking down actual urushi and risking sending myself to the hospital trying to use it?

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    I do not know much about "Urushi" but if you use say 60/40 mix RLO (Raw linseed oilicon) and 40 Mineral Turps keep applying & drying it out 24 hours between coats till it cannot take any more then rub it down with bees wax and buff with a soft cloth should look schmiko.
    Thats how I do my 303 stocks and they are various timbers like beech, walnut and on one 1945 OA MkIII in a teak stock now that is a dense piece of timber.

  11. #9
    Contributing Member WarPig1976's Avatar
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    Sprayed on Lacquer, rubbed out with Rottenstone will give the closest to Urushi Iíve been able to come up with.
    Could buff it with jewelers rouge too.

    Edit= I didnít mention it should be tinted Lacquer. Thereís canned stuff available, Iíd go for an Amber or Honey color.
    Last edited by WarPig1976; 12-10-2018 at 05:33 PM.

  12. #10
    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Yes, that really looks like what I have referred to in other contributions as a "treacle rifle":

    Modern jelly-type paint stripper - the stuff that burns your skin (I think it contains some kind of -uol or -ene -toloul? xylene? who knows?) - will remove just about anything - apart from original Urushi lacquer! As others have said, you have nothing to lose.

    BUT - you do NOT need to use sandpaper or wire wool. Sorry, let me correct that: NEVER use sandpaper or wire wool. I have described how to do it some detail in a long series about restoring an Argentineicon Rolling block. I suggest you look it up.

    Forum/Milsurps Discussion Forums/The Restorer's Corner /Argentino M1879 Rolling Block. Is it worth restoring?

    Start on Page 5.
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 12-11-2018 at 01:04 PM.

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