View Full Version : About to try the "steam out a dent"....

July 19, 2010, 07:07 PM
procedure and was wondering from those that have tried it - how damp does the cloth need to be that you hold over the dents, and what temp do you set the iron on? It will be my first attempt at it.


July 19, 2010, 10:15 PM
towel should be wet but not dripping. iron on high

July 20, 2010, 02:31 AM
I use a washcloth, it is thick enough to hold enough water and also protect the wood. Soak the cloth, grip it hard to force out the water but don't wring it. Put the iron on the cotton or wool setting. Lay the cloth over the dent, lay the iron on the cloth over the dent, move the cloth to areas that are still wet and do it again until the dent is raised.

July 20, 2010, 07:13 AM
I bought one of those cheap hand held steam cleaners you see advertised on TV for house cleaning. Great for raising dents and cleaning mil-surps. Plus it doubled as a Anniversary gift:eek:

July 20, 2010, 08:47 AM
It definately works, it is less effective ie the dent actually cut the wood fibers though.

July 20, 2010, 06:25 PM
I use a Q Tip and wet the dent very well, then lay the cloth over and use the iron on it's hottest setting. Did so this last weekend on a Lee Enfield stock. Small dents are usually no problem, large dents may turn out OK but may just be "improved". As has been stated, if the fibers are cut you may or may not have any improvement at all.

July 20, 2010, 06:53 PM
Would a heat gun be OK, or would it get the wet towel too hot?
Also, I had someone that restores milsurps tell me he used either a mixture of alcohol and water, or amonia and water. I can't remember which he said.
Anybody know about this?

July 20, 2010, 07:04 PM
towel should be wet but not dripping. iron on high
It really is that simple. You want to concentrate "Steam" in the spot you want to lift. I have even gone to using a flat tip soldering iron. Don't let the towel or pad, go dry or it wil burn Your work. I try to stay plenty thick on the towel or cotton cloth. You may have to repeat the process on the deep areas.
Would a heat gun be OK, or would it get the wet towel too hot?

Have never tried it and can't see how it will work. Remember that you you want concentrated "Steam". Irons work !! ;)

Be Safe !!!

July 21, 2010, 07:55 PM
with patience, the damp towel and steam iron is amzingly effective

bear in mind it will lighten the wood, but in my experience with old USGI walnut, a coat of boiled linseed oil darkens it up again

This M1 carbine stock was bone white after I cleaned it with isopropyl alcohol and odorless mineral spirits, and then steamed it. This is after one coat of boiled linseed oil:


July 24, 2010, 07:40 PM
Sounds like a cool technique!
Learn something new every day!:)