what is the best wood stripper that is used in stocks to remove old nasty and chipped finish also I believe that you can use steam to remove bents and scratches but how do you know when to stop steaming or what is the best method of steaming. thanks . kjg
I've not had a particular problem stripping finishes with a paste stripper from the hardware counter unless it is the type like Remington uses. Their finish is epoxy and requires heat (like in a heat/paint stripper gun) to loosen up the finish. As for steaming out the dents, I would use a wet washcloth and a steam iron/ soldering iron. Place the wet cloth over the dent and hold the steam iron on the cloth till the steam stops rising. You must remove the finish before trying to steam out the depressions. Scratches are difficult if they have cut through the grain of the wood.......but it won't hurt trying. Usually, scratches and deep depressions can only be fixed by filling with sanding dust form the stock mixed with the new finish.
I use Ceristrip from Brownells to remove the bulk of the finish then use NAPA spray gasket remover to finish up. If your careful with the putty knife, you can go right to finish sanding after the stock dries. Both strippers are water soluable, and I take the NAPA off with wet O steel wool. I recommend rubber glove with the Certistrip it burns a little.
Remington finish is polyurathane not epoxy. The only epoxy finishes I've run into were the older SKB's. Even the certistrip won't take it off. Remington and Browning poly finishes melt just fine with the Certistrip.
I use heat in the form of a propane torch to soften and ease the removal of nearly all finishes. A torch even males short work of Remingtons RKW finish. This is a long chain polymer by the way.. Play the torch on a small area at a time just until the finish bubbles and softens. It may then be easily scraped away with a sharp butcher knife. Hold the knife perpenduclar to the stocks surface and use as a scraper. Don't worry about getting all the finish material off just 80-90%. A quick pass with sandpaper(220) will knock off the rest which has been destroyed by the heat and will no longer clog your sand paper. I can have a stock ready for the initial finishing steps in less than an hour...
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