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  1. #1
    Contributing Member ghost07's Avatar
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    How to remove polyurethane from a rifle stock

    I have a model 1895 Chileanicon Mauser that is in really good condition and numbers matching except for the bolt. The bad thing about it is that somebody put a high gloss finish on the stock which looks hideous. I want to remove it, hopefully without damaging the original finish, and put several coats of BLOicon on it. I have tried mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, denatured alcohol and acetone and nothing phases that high gloss finish. I’m guessing it’s high gloss polyurethane. Does anyone have any idea on how to get that gloss finish off?
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    Legacy Member 72 usmc's Avatar
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    "I want to remove it, hopefully without damaging the original finish,"


    I would get an intact replacement stock. Heavy boat striper will remove all finish. Results: you got a refinished garbage stock. Chemical boat or aircraft remover (nasty) and you got bare wood and again a refinish = garbage stock. Likewise, a heat gun, wood scraper (popsicle sticks) and t shirts may leave some finish depending on the care in removal, but you still have a mess, Poly melts into wood surface and it is hard to fix the stock color and again a cheep refinish. Results = easily seen cheep refinish that is spotty looking. You will never have the aged patina of the original wood finish.

    Two other suggestions that may leave the wood color somewhat intact and allow for a BLOicon rub. Lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol (equal parts) may work on cheep poly. Also orange citristripper, may leave some intact original color. You do small sections at a time and rub it off asap with t shirts and or oooo grade wool. This is the best way, but may take a week to remove. You must use a non water base wood cleaner on the sections as you strip little section by little section. I use KOTTON KLENSER prodducts :wood restorer. Now if it is a high grade hard polyvinyl coat forget it. Best solution is an intact finish, replacement stock.


    you may also want to consider 1850 furniture stripper- likewise, work fast it bubbles off and may remove too much original color. Small sections at a time, do a review of this product.
    Circa 1850 Furniture Stripper



    Anyway you do this, it is going to look like garbage- a cheep refinish that cuts the collector value as bad as the present poly coat. Lets hope it's cheep soft poly and not a marine grade hard poly. Then it's sanding time = garbage stock as a result. I'd say unless you want a refinish, you buy a replacement, intact finished, vintage replacement stock.
    That is my 2 cents of unwanted information. Poly is bad news! At least Chileanicon stocks are easier to find than K98kicon or 1917 intact stocks. Expect to pay $150-250.
    Last edited by 72 usmc; 11-08-2023 at 06:02 PM.

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    Legacy Member BVZ24's Avatar
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    You might be able to leave the polyurethane alone but reduce the gloss with some very fine sandpaper or steel wool. I would try buffing with a paper bag first. It's roughly 1200 grit. Be careful on corners on edges so you don't take any thickness off.

    If removing it, I've used 5 minute remover and a paint scraper, small sections and no sandpaper. Follow with steel wool with care. The poly will peel off, but it takes most of the underlying color or oiled finish off as well. It generally leaves a better stock than sanding, but you still need apply your own finish. I'll heat raw linseed (flax) oil, found at an organic food store to just below boiling, add dyes as needed. Apply warm and buff once a day for a week, and after apply cool and buff once a week for a month, and once a month for a year. Dump all used rags in a bucket of water until they can be later be burned when convenient.
    Last edited by BVZ24; 11-08-2023 at 06:42 PM.

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    Legacy Member 72 usmc's Avatar
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    Back in the day (2008), when these sold at Gander Mountain Gun World for $129, there were 7mm and converted NATO 7.62 1895 rifles where the inserts came out and the store got rid of all the conversions. Considered a store liability issue. Such a dog may be found at a gun show and have no takers and you can get the stock parts from such a 1895 Chileanicon dog. It has been at least 12 years so most may have been broken down for parts. Flee bay sometime has stocks for the rifles.
    http://dutchman.rebooty.com/1895Chile.html


    I do like the steel wool rub down idea by BVZ 24, just gradually rub to a a dull , thin coat, and tone down the gloss sort of like a BLOicon shine. Just that it will take some careful circular rubbing as to not make sanding or buffing marks. A uniform dull finish like an old enfield with a thick BLOicon that is dull. That might be the first thing to try to save the stock. Sit and watch TV as you do a rub down over the wood after the action is removed. It all takes time and oooo wool of a soft green pad the paper or a wool rag as a finish tone. Then it can be darkened with Fiebrings leather dye with a thin dry rag wipe if even needed. A better approach, do not remove, rather thin it out and dull it down like a vintage thick blo coat found on some rifles.
    Last edited by 72 usmc; 11-08-2023 at 07:14 PM.

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    Legacy Member 72 usmc's Avatar
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    Photos do not load?? Do a search for an original stock finish.
    Last edited by 72 usmc; 11-08-2023 at 08:40 PM. Reason: unable to add photo

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Before you spend big money on a new stock, try a cabinet scraper. Cheapest, most valuable tool you'll ever buy or make.
    It will shave the top hardcoaot off, leaving the layer of original color and finish in the wood below. Sandpaper will tear the fibers, so stay away from that. Chemical strippers will remove everything, make a mess, and muddy up whatever original color is under there. I've tried it all as I learned, and trust me a cabinet scraper is the fastest method, and also the safest, simplest, and easiest way to not screw it up. After scraping, rub down with some clean mineral spirits. Let it dry and then apply some linseed oilicon or whatever you like.

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    Legacy Member 72 usmc's Avatar
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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    yep.

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