Pennsylvania Firearm Owners Association
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  1. #1
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    Default Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    Hey guys...I have a newer Thompson rifle, and the maker tells me that the stocks are walnut, treated with boiled linseed oil.

    Problem is, the butt stock is not well finished with sanding marks, etc and I'd like to make it nicer. If I lightly sand, I get color so I know they have some sort of stain. In order to make them smooth, some sanding is required and that will cause light spots.

    Is there a product or technique that would allow me to draw the stain out so that I have a clean slate to work from?

    My thought process is to get them right...then stain.

    I've yet to find any good info on-line about this as most folks are looking to remove stains, like oil stains...not an actual wood color stain.

    Thanks in advance for your thoughts!

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    Murphy's oil soap and/or Citristrip.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    Citristrip for me too. I stripped stain off stairs to re-finish. Works amazingly and won't kill you when you sniff it.

    My wife sells stun guns and pepper spray! PM me for info!

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    Let me qualify this by saying that I am far from a master craftsman when it comes to woodwork. I have refinished a few surplus military rifles though and used the EZ Off oven cleaner to strip the stocks. Spray on, let sit, spray off with hose. Allow to dry for several days. Again, not a pro, did this with old surplus rifles with ROUGH stocks. I am sure that there are commercially available products intended for the task.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    There is nothing that will remove stain other than sanding it down the best that you can. Wood bleach will bleach it but you don't want to do that. What the other people have suggested is to remove finish, finish isn't stain, finish is the clear. Sand it down really good to the point where the color is somewhat consistent then stain again.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    Quote Originally Posted by fallsflyer View Post
    There is nothing that will remove stain other than sanding it down the best that you can. Wood bleach will bleach it but you don't want to do that. What the other people have suggested is to remove finish, finish isn't stain, finish is the clear. Sand it down really good to the point where the color is somewhat consistent then stain again.
    This was my concern, that I couldn't "draw" the stain out. I was hoping that something like Citrus Strip might work.

    Thanks for all the help guys!

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    I have some wood in the workshop right now with some really old stain, probably 50 to 80yr's old. I'd be interested in a way to remove it, and was thinking about trying the Citristrip. If you want to wait, I can post my results in a few days. The wood that's out there doesn't really matter if it gets screwed up.
    Rules are written in the stone,
    Break the rules and you get no bones,
    all you get is ridicule, laughter,
    and a trip to the house of pain.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    middle smithfield, E.burg, Pennsylvania
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    Quote Originally Posted by ar15jules View Post
    Let me qualify this by saying that I am far from a master craftsman when it comes to woodwork. I have refinished a few surplus military rifles though and used the EZ Off oven cleaner to strip the stocks. Spray on, let sit, spray off with hose. Allow to dry for several days. Again, not a pro, did this with old surplus rifles with ROUGH stocks. I am sure that there are commercially available products intended for the task.
    skip the easy off and mix some sodium hydroxide or purchase some pre-mixed. less chems in the raw product.

    i have done a bunch of wood work and second the sanding. sand it all down even, the wood will lighten and once you're consistent go ahead and finish it again with the same color or slightly darker.
    don't be afraid to blend your own stain colors and use oil based, water based is crap.
    make sure you mix enough for the whole project if you're not just layering colors.

    i always fail at applying a nice poly coat. no matter how hard i try, it's unsatisfactory to me. even wet sanding between coats @ 1000 grit.
    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    Streaker69...that would be awesome!

    I've been wanting to do this over the winter, but have been sidelined with sorting my Mom's estate, the house, etc. So, for obvious reasons....I've gotten nothing done on this project.

    I'll be watching to see how it works. If it doesn't, I'm not against sanding as I want to fix some sanding marks in especially the butt stock that frankly, shouldn't have left the factory the way it is. I see it as an opportunity to make it really nice. (Now, we'll have to see how my skills are!)

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    Default Re: Removing Stain From Wood Stock

    I refinished an old stevens model 311A as a gift for my father years ago. Here's what I did to strip the old stain and finish off the stock. You're going to need some cheesecloth, citristrip, and steel wool and or sand paper (both are optional).

    1) separate the stock from the gun, removing any and all hardware.

    2) bring a large pot to boil (if possible you want the pot to be of a size that you can rest the gun stock across the rims of the pot, letting the steam rise around it)

    3) spray the stock down with citristrip, then cover with the cheesecloth.

    4) rest the stock across the rims of the pot letting the steam rise over it. I probably did this for a few minutes then flipped it over. Added benefit of the steam is that it will pop out any dimples or indentations in the wood. I was amazed at how many of the dents and dings in the wood came right out.

    5) pull the cheese cloth off and repeat steps above as necessary until the citristrip and cheese cloth pull all the stain out of the wood. If necessary you can scrub the stock a little with cheese cloth or steel wool to work off stubborn spots.

    6) if you really want to smooth the wood out, it with with the steel wool or fine grit sand paper to knock down all the bits of wood raised by the steam.

    7) let it dry and then smooth out with light grit sand paper to your liking and your ready to re-finish. I used one of the birchwood casey kits and some minwax stain, both are pretty inexpensive, and it turned out great.

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