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Old December 5, 2012, 04:35 PM   #1
chasgrips45
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Location: Franklin North Carolina
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Grip refinish.

I`ve got a nice set of original wood Colt Trooper grips. They were refinished by a PO,but not good. I know I can sand the smooth part of the grip ,but what about the checkered area ?
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Old December 5, 2012, 05:05 PM   #2
MSD Mike
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Don't sand the checkerd area, it will destroy the checkering. I have used stripper and a stiff brush with decent results. I have only refinished a couple of sets myself and would like to hear suggestions on this as well.

Thanks
Mike
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Old December 5, 2012, 08:04 PM   #3
Dfariswheel
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Use a good stripper like Formby's to remove the old finish.
Use a solvent-proof toothbrush or other small brush to scrub the finish out of the checkering.
Let the stripper do the work.

After stripping, do as little sanding as possible, staying away from checkering and grip medallions.
Make sure to keep the bottom of the grips flat, and be careful around edges so you don't remove wood and alter the tight match between the grip halves.

Apply whatever finish you want.
Colt used a stain-finish for their grips. This was a reddish stain mixed with a varnish-like finish.
The closest I found to Colt the factory finish was Minwax Polyshades Old Maple.
This is a reddish stain mixed with polyurethane.
The satin finish comes closest to the factory look.
Usually, three coats gave a good finish.

You can buy Polyshades in most Walmart's and hardware stores in small cans.
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:53 PM   #4
chasgrips45
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I guess I`ll need something like grease so that I won`t harm the
colt Logo. I hear about this new Orange stuff Any info on that?
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Old December 9, 2012, 09:31 PM   #5
bushmaster65
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i just came up here from the Black Powder and cowboy gallery and saw this thread. Small world. Just yesterday I stripped the walnut grips of my BP 1851 rebel navy .44. Yes I used CITRA-STRIP for the first time. Got it at Home Depot and used the spray can. It worked GREAT!! used one of my plastic gun brushes and blue towels and it took two applications to get all the little stubborn spots.
But the best part is the wood is spotless and ready to refinish. I did not attempt to take any of the color off, just the lacquer. I want to oil the wood.
good luck and have fun.
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Old December 10, 2012, 07:59 PM   #6
Dfariswheel
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Not knowing what finish was applied to the OP's grips, I recommend Formby's.
If the finish is a normal finish, I just soaked the grips in a small container of lacquer thinner.

This removes the Colt finish and won't harm the medallions at all, with some scrubbing of the checkering to speed things up.
This also won't raise the grain so little to no sanding is needed.

Usually a 30 minute soak was all that was needed, followed by allowing to air dry overnight before applying any stain or finish.
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Old December 12, 2012, 09:58 AM   #7
rrruger
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Quote:
Use a good stripper like Formby's to remove the old finish.
Use a solvent-proof toothbrush or other small brush to scrub the finish out of the checkering.
Let the stripper do the work.
IMPORTANT! After stripping the finish use something like naphtha or acetone to wash the piece down. this will neutralize any stripper left in the wood pores. If you don't your million dollar finish will start to show little gas bubbles after a month or two.
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Old December 12, 2012, 10:24 AM   #8
rrruger
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another hint that I can add here is to use about a cup of corn meal to help keep the stripper under control. Liquid stripper and paste can be very messy. Paint the stripper on the surface and let it do its work, but before removing the stripper add a heavy dusting of corn meal to soak up the liquid.
Stripper-corn meal-brush
Stripper-corn meal-brush
No fuss and no mess
You might have to do this three or four times
Finish with lacquer thinner and "0000" steel wool

It sounds like a lot more work then it actually is.
I used this approach to refinish furniture for 15 years.
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