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Old February 2, 2013, 02:49 PM   #19
Barnacle Brad
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Join Date: March 12, 2009
Location: Greybull, Wyoming
Posts: 382
No water!

Well if you don't have enough to consider, here are a few more tips:

1) The finer 600 grit papers are called wet/dry sandpaper but the caveat is that the wet sanding process applies to metal finishing primarily. Water and unfinished wood just doesn't mix - it stands up and softens the fibers so the sandpaper doesn't cut well.

2) If you a familiar with the use of a cabinet scraper, they can be used to effectively remove finishes. Care must be taken when using this tool. A proper edge must be maintained to facilitate the cutting action. No nicks in the edge are acceptable. I use an old putty knife and prepare the edge with a flat file by drawing it across the edge at a 30 degree angle and down about 45 degrees. This 'rolls' the edge under and provides the cut.

3) If you have dark oil stains you wish to remove, Brownells has a whiting compound for this job. If you are like me and want to save some time and $$, go to your kitchen and get a 1/4 cup of flour and a small glass bowl. Mix the flour with enough mineral spirits to make the consistency of pancake batter. Apply to the stock liberally in the areas needed (I used a 30cal cotton patch). Heat with a heat gun - careful though the stock will get pretty hot. The flour will dry and adhere to the wood and absorb the oil as it boils to the surface. This will take several or more applications to fully remove the oil - patience is key. The mineral spirits will leave a witness mark in the stock as it dries. To remove this, apply mineral spirits to a rag and wipe in the direction of the grain. Now start your sanding process.

Good luck with your project! It is both fun and rewarding.
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