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View Full Version : Pressed Checkering Full of Paint - Iron it out, Sand it off, or Both?


FrankenMauser
March 17, 2011, 01:55 AM
I have a stock I am in the process of refinishing. Most of the process is going well, even though the stock had 5-8 coats of paint on it (depending on which part you refer to).

The problem lies in the checkering. I managed to get the checkering on the wrist clean, but can't, for the life of me, get the paint out of the checkering on the fore end.

So.... This is pressed checkering.
What is the best way to proceed here, while planning to use Tung Oil to finish the stock?

I don't care whether the checkering is preserved, or not.

If I sand it off, will I have "ghost" checkering showing in the finish, with the compressed areas of wood?

Can I iron out the checkering? (and then remove the paint)

Or, will I have to iron it out, and sand it?

PIGMAN
March 17, 2011, 02:47 AM
Liquid paint stripper should do the job.

FrankenMauser
March 17, 2011, 03:50 AM
Liquid paint stripper should do the job.

Acetone is the only thing that works on the bottom coat of paint.

I've done all I can with the Acetone. It's time for something else. :(

Goatwhiskers
March 17, 2011, 06:58 AM
First choice: wear gloves, use acetone and old toothbrush or small wire brush.
Second choice: use a single line checkering tool to recut the checkering, removing the paint in the process.
Third choice: as you are not too worried about the checkering, a judicious sanding job may be in order. You will have to sand a large area (most of the forearm) to avoid having a depressed area that would probably show.
Here endeth the lesson. Goatwhiskers the Elder

Scorch
March 17, 2011, 11:02 AM
Acetone??? :eek: Can you say HazMat? Actually, the worst part about acetone is that it dissolves any finish and helps it soak into the wood, making it harder to remove. For removing paint, use CitruStrip, available at your local big box hardware store. It's a thick gel, and stays where you put it. Let it sit on there for about 2-3 hours, then brush, let sit, brush, etc, until you are satisfied with the removal. I use it all the time for stripping stocks prior to refinishing.

IME, you will have ghost checkering unless you get under the compressed wood in the stock. Fortunately, most manufacturers leave enough wood on gunstocks to build a small cabin or an addition to your rec room, so you can tin down the stock quite a bit and not have the stock look like you snaded the snot out of it.

After the stock is refinished, consider checkering it. If there is any ghost area even after sanding, a checkered area will hide it just fine.

brickeyee
March 17, 2011, 12:16 PM
use CitruStrip

Do not use any water based stripper on pressed decoration.

It will swell the wood and destroy the detail.

If Methylene Chloride stripper did not remove the last layer it is not just paint but may be a plastic based finish.

Acetone is not really that much of a hazard, paint thinner is worse.

You might try some lacquer thinner, and if that is not working MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone).

If gently warmed (no open flames) MEK will even break down epoxy.

mapsjanhere
March 17, 2011, 01:17 PM
That must be that new biodegradable epoxy...

Scorch
March 17, 2011, 04:21 PM
Do not use any water based stripper on pressed decoration.
It will swell the wood and destroy the detail.
CitruStrip does not swell the wood. I use it at least once a week to strip stocks for refinishing (I do stock work professionally for a living). The OP is actually indifferent about the checkering, so that should not be an issue.
Acetone is not really that much of a hazard, paint thinner is worse
I agree that acetone is not as hazardous as MEK, but it is nothing to be flippant or casual about either. I use water soluble strippers when stripping finishes, save paint thinner for thinning paint and MEK for removing nail polish, IMO.

hornetguy
March 17, 2011, 04:50 PM
by "iron it", do you mean run a steam iron over it? I think you get better results from letting some water actually soak into the wood, then heat it with a dry iron... it's supposed to swell the wood grain cells back from the "inside out" . If the forend was sanded down to almost the bottom of the pressed checkering, then steamed out, I would think that would relax the "damaged" wood that was pressed with the checkering... but this is only an assumption on my part.... worth what you paid for it. :D

FrankenMauser
March 18, 2011, 12:55 AM
Thanks for the replies. I worked on the checkering for a couple hours today.

I decided to go for the "Both" option.

I used a steam iron according to Patrick Sweeney's (http://books.google.com/books?id=eOl91X9BsDQC&printsec=frontcover&dq=gunsmithing+rifles&hl=en&ei=t-uCTZGyIpD2tgPv-oTmAQ&sa=X&oi=book_result&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CEEQ6AEwAA) recommendations*:
Soak a cloth in water, and let it sit on the area to be "lifted".
Apply the iron, and let it sit as long as possible, without completely drying the cloth. (Much longer times are possible with a steam iron, so I didn't let it sit very long, at first.)
Repeat, as necessary, until the desired result is achieved.

Because of the odd pattern of steam ports on the iron I used, I had to get creative with positioning, and keep moving the ports to a different location on the stock with each repeat of the step.

In the end, the previously "negative" (low) spots in the checkering had been lifted enough to be significantly "positive" (high spots). The best side of the fore end had the inverted checkering lifted almost 0.050" above the surface, including the paint that had previously been stuck in the holes. It is really quite odd to see "negative image" checkering on a stock.

After the stock dried thoroughly, I sanded the lifted portions until flush with the stock surface.

It looks like I will need to hit all three areas again (left, right, and bottom), but the progress thus far is looking good. There won't be much more wood to be removed, should I decide to completely eliminate the checkering; and if I decide to re-cut the checkering, there will still enough wood for that, as well.

If anyone was wondering - the steam process didn't loosen the paint at all. It was still well bonded to the lifted wood (and is the reason some areas didn't lift well - and will be needing a second attempt after a little detail work).


*Sweeney's recommendations are for a stock iron... but I use what I've got, and the steam seemed to help quite a bit.


You might try some lacquer thinner, and if that is not working MEK (Methyl Ethyl Ketone).

Previously tried on this stock and/or action (under various brand and product names):
MEK
Lacquer thinner
Carb cleaner
Brake cleaner
Brake fluid
Mineral spirits
Citrus Brite (may be misspelled)
Purple Power (wicked, wicked engine degreaser and paint stripper)
Turpentine
Naptha
Kerosene
Denatured Alcohol (I hate this stuff.... It didn't last long, even though it worked on some "contaminants")
Some kind of biodegradable, "earth friendly", universal "Paint Stripper". (it was crap!)

Not all of the above were used specifically for paint, but were tested on it, if the opportunity was there. (This was one dirty, nasty, grimy, paint-encrusted rifle; with coats of a variety of paint types.) Some of the chemicals were eliminated for vapor/odor concerns, and some were eliminated because I hate working with them. One triumphed over all.

Acetone was the big winner. It took all of the upper coats off fairly well, and was the only thing that worked on the base coat in a timely manner (some kind of enamel, I think).

I'll update this thread, as the stock progresses.

HiBC
March 18, 2011, 03:21 AM
I have forgotten the name of it,but at the local chain hardware store they had some aircraft paint stripper that said it would disolve epoxy paint.
I had the job to remove the accraglass from a forend on an octagon bbl Hiwall to fit another bbl,a little larger.
It took a few applications,but this stripper removed the skin of accraglass.

brickeyee
March 19, 2011, 11:14 AM
I agree that acetone is not as hazardous as MEK, but it is nothing to be flippant or casual about either. I use water soluble strippers when stripping finishes, save paint thinner for thinning paint and MEK for removing nail polish, IMO.


MEK is overkill for nial polish.

Acetone was common i nail polish remover, but there are safer solvents for typical nail polish now that are not as drying to the skin (ladies hate dry skin, and acetone strips out the natural oils very well).

Acetone is actually one of the safest.
It is pure enough to not have a lot of other junk in it like paint thinner (the contaminants being the chief danger with paint thinner).
.
Warm MEK is used to dissolve epoxy PCBs and potting compound.
It is rather aggressive stuff, but its purity tends to limit actual hazards unless you use it day in and day out.

Most of the dangers of single use of solvents are breathing in to much vapor.
Many have various narcotic effects in high concentration or long exposure.

The OSHA standards are based on industrial repeated long term exposure, not single use (or just a few time a year).

Like anything else, the dose makes the poison.

geno22
March 22, 2011, 09:29 PM
Paint remover from Ace an a brass wire brush, the kind that looks like a tooth brush. Worked for me but there is a lot of different base paints out there.

oneoldsap
March 23, 2011, 01:07 PM
Permatex aerosol gasket remover , it'll even remove the gloss Browning finish and that stuff is harder than Chinese arithmatic !

44 AMP
March 23, 2011, 03:22 PM
Last time I did this (decades ago) I used a product called Zip-Strip. Repeated applications with rubbing/scraping and steel wool did the job just fine, cleaning the impressed checkering from a Remington stock. (note, this was done in a barn, with the door open! it was not nice stuff to breathe)

Today, Citri-strip should do the same thing, with less hazardous side effects.

FrankenMauser
March 23, 2011, 04:08 PM
Since there is still some interest in this thread, I figured I post a quick update.

I ran three ironing 'sessions' on each checkered area of the fore end. Session one was extremely productive, with massive lifting of the pressed areas. Session two helped lift areas where I used a dental pick to carefully remove paint and finish, but didn't do much to the previously lifted areas.

The last session was completely unproductive, and the stock had so much of the natural oil removed, that it appeared to be doing more harm than good.

I ended up sanding the checkering until all tool marks (cuts at the edge of the checkering), sanding marks, and paint residue was removed. Although barely noticeable after sanding, the 'ghost checkering' showed with the first application of cut Tung Oil (mineral spirits). The surface is smooth to the touch, but the eye tells you it's checkered. ;)

I was refinishing this stock, just to sell the rifle. So, I planned on doing quite a bit more work, to remove the paint in the massive pores of this stock. But... I found a buyer last night, that likes it the way it is. :D

It's no show piece, but I like the way it's turning out.

I plan to get two more coats on today, including a wet sand. I'll try to get a picture, some time during the process.

abber
March 23, 2011, 04:21 PM
Previously tried on this stock and/or action (under various brand and product names):
MEK
Lacquer thinner
Carb cleaner
Brake cleaner
Brake fluid
Mineral spirits
Citrus Brite (may be misspelled)
Purple Power (wicked, wicked engine degreaser and paint stripper)
Turpentine
Naptha
Kerosene
Denatured Alcohol

You forgot to try some Dave's Insanity Sauce...:D

brickeyee
March 23, 2011, 04:32 PM
"CitruStrip does not swell the wood."

If it is water based the wood WILL absorb some moisture and then swell.

It can be particularity bad on pressed decoration since the wood was crushed to create the decoration, and ANY swelling is going to distort it.

Maybe you have found a source of wood that does not change size and shape with moisture content, but I really doubt it.

Here is a link to Chapter 3 of the Wood Handbook by USDA.

You might look it over.

Figure 3-3 is especially good.

http://www.woodweb.com/Resources/wood_eng_handbook/Ch03.pdf

Chick
April 16, 2011, 01:49 PM
Scorch, in your experience, how much does the Citri-Strip raise the grain, or swell the wood, around the pressed checkering? I have a Savage 340E, with pressed checkering, that I need to refinish the stock on. Thanks!

hooligan1
April 16, 2011, 04:18 PM
I know one thing, if you use too many chemicals on one piece of wood,,, it won't love you when you're through!!!!:rolleyes:Frankenmauser Scorch is the telling the gospell here, you can even "toothbrush the checkering once every30mins or so and the Citri-Strip will clean it out,...... just back off on the harshness dude!!!;)

FrankenMauser
April 17, 2011, 02:37 AM
Frankenmauser Scorch is the telling the gospell here, you can even "toothbrush the checkering once every30mins or so and the Citri-Strip will clean it out,...... just back off on the harshness dude!!!

That stock is about 12 hours from getting its final coat of Formby's Matte Tung Oil finish. It's baby-bottom smooth, and pretty much finished.

It's a bit too late, now.

...And the harshness didn't hurt it. ;)

hooligan1
April 17, 2011, 07:28 AM
Right on man it will no doubt be nice to look at!!:)

orionengnr
April 18, 2011, 06:28 PM
Please post pics when you are done.

FrankenMauser
April 18, 2011, 08:53 PM
This post used to read:
Please post pics when you are done.

I swear... I'll get some. The camera just never seems to be around, when I'm working on it.

It's been raining here, since yesterday afternoon. Once the wet weather passes, I'll get started with the Formby's.

However, I remembered I had some in-progress pics on my phone, and grabbed the camera for the "current condition" photo. As we all know... photographs always make the flaws stand out. The left hand side of the stock had some issues show up in the photos (sand marks and uneven finish), that I hadn't noticed before. I'll have to give a little more attention to the wrist and cheek piece, before the final coat.

In progress, crappy cell phone pics:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69458&stc=1&d=1303179644

http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69459&stc=1&d=1303179647

http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69460&stc=1&d=1303179647

orionengnr
April 18, 2011, 09:09 PM
No worries--I am subscribed.
I hope to try a rifle stock refinishing one day...and every little bit of inspiration helps.

FrankenMauser
April 18, 2011, 09:29 PM
http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69478&stc=1&d=1303195196

Current condition:
Dark background with post-production color adjustment brings out the detail:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69479&stc=1&d=1303195196

Neutral grey poster board kills the detail, but shows truer color:
http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69480&stc=1&d=1303195196

The "white specks" in the wrist checkering are just reflections. I'm hoping the Formby's will tone down the shine.

The fore end checkering does not exist. The eye sees it, but the hand can't feel it. Ghost Checkering. ;)


It's no show piece, but I like how it turned out. I just wish it had been inletted a little better, at the factory. All this work... and the action, barrel, and floor plate still fit like a square peg in a (slightly better looking) round hole.

cornbush
April 18, 2011, 11:02 PM
your photos didn't work

FrankenMauser
April 19, 2011, 01:42 AM
That's just weird.

They were uploaded to TFL. My computer shows them as being hosted by TFL. I can clear my cache, and still view them on TFL... Yet, they still weren't showing for any TFL member, but me.


...Fixed the photos.

cornbush
April 20, 2011, 11:21 AM
Looks even better than when it was originally obtained.

FrankenMauser
May 3, 2011, 08:33 PM
...Done.

http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69936&stc=1&d=1304472379

http://thefiringline.com/forums/attachment.php?attachmentid=69937&stc=1&d=1304472379

Lots of clean up.
$30 scope. $10 rings. The old rings were thoroughly thrashed, and the old scope took a nosedive onto concrete... :rolleyes:

Final finish was Fromby's Matte Tung Oil Finish.

Okay... it's not quite done. I still need to have the trophy shop down the street cut a grip cap medallion. The old "medallion" was adhesive-backed foil. It did not survive well, with 36 years of abuse. ;)