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Old June 2, 2013, 11:52 PM   #1
Join Date: April 2, 2013
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Oil and/or Cosmoline in wood stock

In my VZ24 build I was putting dye color back in the stock and I laid it aside along with the hand guard. The hand guard was not yet dyed. The sun had moved and began to sun the two components. When I returned I notices the hand guard was oozing oil. Thankfully, the stock was not.

I had in my earlier preparation used the Whiting formula twice to try to eliminate the cosmo/oil. It was caked in some very small crevices and there was a little bit darkness in the wood elsewhere on the guard. Nothing really apparent on the outside. I thought after the Whiting process and by the color of the guard that I had got the cosmo/oil out. The grain and grain rings are very noticeable, so much so it doesn't complement the stock. I applied the Whiting again and left the hand guard in the sun and saw the soaking effect work.

I have a feeling that the wood is so saturated it will never completely come out. I had planed to oil finish the wood with a mix of varnish at the finish stage. At first I was thinking I'd finish the stock as planned and leave the guard alone after dying. However, I guess I can proceed adding the oil finish to make the wood more water resistant.

I've noticed with another mauser I have which has the arsenal shellac, that when it heats up it get mildly sticky. And I imagine this one will do the same. Comments or recommendations please.
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Old June 3, 2013, 10:29 AM   #2
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Heat and time will get most of the oil out. Get it warm (110-120 deg F), wipe down with denatured alcohol. Let it sit a week; repeat; repeat; repeat. Alternatively, less kind to the wood, soak in acetone overnight; wait a week; repeat; repeat; repeat.
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Old June 3, 2013, 01:42 PM   #3
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Heat will work but will never get all of the oil out, it will just get it down to a tolerable level. Soaking in acetone is hard on the wood but will work. Nicer to the wood is soaking in mineral spirits, it will eventually get most of the oil out of the wood so you can refinish it. I have done this with old shotguns and rifles with very good results.
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Old June 3, 2013, 04:17 PM   #4
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Wrap it up in cheese cloth like a mummy, place that inside a large Garbage bag and seal it.
Now, simply put it in your car trunk. (Easy 120+F) Change out cheese cloth and wipe down with spirits every afternoon.
Should take about a weeks time.. Geography plays a big part
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Old June 3, 2013, 07:23 PM   #5
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Whatever heat and/or solvent technique you use, the whiting makes work far better when used with it.

Heat and solvents can bring the oils and grease TO the surface of the wood, but unless there's something to absorb it, it just soaks right back in again.

Unfortunately, you can't get Trichloroethane any more, but when mixed with whiting to a pancake batter consistency and applied to the wood, then warmed with a heat gun, the old gunk would boil to the surface and be soaked up by the whiting which would turn orange and brown from the grease.
Using that method you could turn a stock so grease soaked it was black back to the natural color.
Make sure to apply the solvent/whiting mix to the end of the butt and inside on the inletting and barrel channel.

So, I recommend using a solvent mixed with whiting, quickly seal the stock in a black platstic bag (solvent proof), then put it on a hot driveway or roof in th summer sun for a few hours.
Brush off the dirty whiting and repeat 3 to 4 times and you should get almost all of it.

Then oil finish it which whatever process you want.
Remember, petroleum oils and greases never dry. Oils used for wood finished DO, so a small amount of old oil or grease in the wood won't matter. The idea is to get as much out as you can so the wood will return to it's natural color.
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Old June 5, 2013, 05:59 PM   #6
Join Date: April 2, 2013
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Thanks for all the suggestions and on the latest try with the Whiting it did help as I repeated my sun test of leaving on the hand guard. That day the temperature was about 10 degress cooler. I noticed alot less bleeding mostly at the really dark spots with minut wettness at the grain. What I did notice after the Whitting procedure the wood looked very dry, I aslo wiped it down a few times with Mineral Spirits. When I performed the sun test the besides what I had described above the color of the wood came back. So the oil did resurface some what which is the balance that will probably remain and not come out.

I will once again do another Whitting procedure and sun test, hopefully I'm near the end and I will use a combination of the suggests, thanks again all who had commented.
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Old June 5, 2013, 08:35 PM   #7
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The version of whiting I used on my garands, with good affect, was denatured alcohol and mostly oak and maple fireplace ashes. I set the stocks in the Virginia summer sun to let them get good and hot....I mixed a slurry of denatured alcohol and ashes to a consistency similar to mayonnaise or yogurt. When the stock was almost too hot to handle I applied the slurry with an old paint brush and let it dry in the sun. When all the alcohol evaporated I was left with a brownish powder which I brushed off. I repeated the process a couple or three times and pretty soon the ashes were no longer discolored. A light tough up sanding and several coats or tung oil and I am a happy scooter. I would imagine in less challenging climates a similar process could proceed with a heat gun, taking care not to scorch anything.
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Old June 5, 2013, 08:56 PM   #8
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Interesting version, I like the idea of getting the wood bleeding prior to putting on the mayo. I'll try it, only ashs I have are in the charcoal/wood fired 'Old Smokey BBQ' but why not same prnciple, ehh.
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Old June 12, 2013, 05:45 PM   #9
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I tried the oven technique to remove the oil and alot of oil came out into the 'cake' mix, much more than the other methods I tried.

So, not yet convinced, I cleaned off the mix and reheated the wood in the oven at 160* and brushed on another coat and left it in once again for 90 minutes. It was dark outside when I cleaned it so I will revisit the wood today to see how the hand guard looks.
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Old July 16, 2013, 07:56 PM   #10
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Cosmoline odder

I'm cleaning up a Steyr 95 that is arsenal fresh and after stripping it down and cleaning up the metal I did two Whiting applications on the stock. The last app I left the Whiting on for 4 days and kept it in outside in the suns heat. The Whiting clayed up pretty good. I cleaned the stock up and left it in my shed and the next day when I went back into the shed the cosmoline odder was very strong. With such a strong smell permeating, I'm guessing there's more cosmo to be drawn out of the stock. I'll repeat the Whiting with the current heat wave of 96* temps, hopefully I can get more out.
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Old July 17, 2013, 07:45 AM   #11
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An one last thuing on the Steyr's cosmoline

I didn't mention the Steyr's stock from the outside looks very clean there is no apparent oil stain showing in the wood. The cosmo was typically apparent on the inside at the breach where the wood shows evidence of a discolored oil stain. I wasn't planning on removing the shellac because it is in decent condition. However, I'm wondering do I need to remove the shellac to let the pores open up and apply the Whiting to the outside as well to draw out the oil. Or am I over thinking this, any thoughts?
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Old July 17, 2013, 06:05 PM   #12
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I wouldn't worry too much about the inside, as the outside is where it could ruin a finish. Cosmoline is not bad if the gun isn't stored a really long time, but in some cases, like the old military guns popping up have, and it can be a mess to deal with.
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