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Old October 26, 2012, 02:46 PM   #1
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P08 Luger

I own a nice 1917 DWM P08. The gun has its original wood grips. They`re filthy from years of being exposed to all kinds of gun stuff! They are loose on the frame, I think, because the wood has been coated with oil based cleaner etc,I & think the fibers in the wood need cleaning. How do i do this without screwing up the grips?
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Old October 26, 2012, 08:31 PM   #2
James K
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There are several wood cleaners, but I usually use a soft soap (Ivory) and an old toothbrush. Of course, if there is something like lacquer or varnish on there, that will need special treatment.

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Old October 27, 2012, 01:48 PM   #3
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Wood can shrink with time. I am not sure that stripping the wood is going to thicken it back up. The looseness may be that they have been tightened down too many times as well.
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Old October 27, 2012, 08:34 PM   #4
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Those grips can be shimmed using small pieces of wood at the top and under the screws. I don't glue the shims on, though some do, because I like to keep the grips original.

Some folks also handle dried out wood by careful steaming, or by use of linseed oil to replace the lost moisture in the wood.

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Old October 28, 2012, 06:48 PM   #5
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I'd start with the mildest cleaning method and work up to harsher methods only as required.

First off I'd try a soft toothbrush and a mild cleaner like Murphy's Oil Soap. Rinse with water, pat the excess wood off with a towel, and let the grip dry s-l-o-w-l-y, perhaps even loosely wrapped in plastic so it doesn't dry too fast.

If there's some sort of varnish on the grips, acetone may strip it off. Follow up with the Murphy's Oil Soap wash.

Whatever you do, don't try oven cleaner which is sometimes recommended to clean up military rifle stocks! (Sometimes military wood rifle stocks respond well to a cycle in the dishwasher, but I'd be reluctant to try this method on thin pistol grips.)

Rub in a thin coat of boiled linseed oil afterwards.
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