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Citristrip and wood stocks…

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John Spartan

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Per multiple recommendations here I finally tried Citristrip (twice) on a musket stock in a attempt to remove BLO. Dunno if it really worked well (already used another stripper brand twice, scrapped, sanded, solvents, etc) but after a scraping each time I think I am finally at bare wood.
Spending today digging out the Citristrip residue (white cakey powder) and BLO crud from the numerous nooks and crannies on a musket stock.

Question: I feel there is no way I am going to get every bit of white powder out of some of these holes and lock area recesses. How concerned should I be if some hidden spot gets left behind? I’ll guess its acidic? Or is the acid gone when dry? Some solvent (type?) to wash it out? I’m reluctant to hose bare wood with water assuming it might work…right?
TIA
 
Per multiple recommendations here I finally tried Citristrip (twice) on a musket stock in a attempt to remove BLO. Dunno if it really worked well (already used another stripper brand twice, scrapped, sanded, solvents, etc) but after a scraping each time I think I am finally at bare wood.
Spending today digging out the Citristrip residue (white cakey powder) and BLO crud from the numerous nooks and crannies on a musket stock.

Question: I feel there is no way I am going to get every bit of white powder out of some of these holes and lock area recesses. How concerned should I be if some hidden spot gets left behind? I’ll guess its acidic? Or is the acid gone when dry? Some solvent (type?) to wash it out? I’m reluctant to hose bare wood with water assuming it might work…right?
TIA
No water! It will swell the wood! I use mineral spirits in a wooden 'trough' I nailed together and line with thick plastic. Lay the stock in there and use a stiff bristle brush to get into nooks & crannies. I've had too luck with the Citristrip, but the modern plastic urethane takes more that one application. good luck!
 
Stripper is not as strong as it was years ago . . . I remember using a product called Zip Strip in the 80's and 90's and you could watch varnish and finish bubble up in seconds after it's application . . . burned your fingers too if you didn't use gloves . . . nothing I've used this century is all that good. It's probably safer now, but not as effective.
 
Giving it a little more (perhaps hopeful) thought I think the white powder is part of the gelling agent and the acid has evaporated….hopefully.
Still gonna work on it though. Just got done flushing solvent in the holes and hidden areas.
And you are not the first to tell me how public use solvents, strippers, and chemicals, have been “dumbed down” over the years.
 
I used citrustrip on my GPR and I think it took four rounds to get all of the oil/stain out. Even then I had a couple of spots I had to rub with alcohol as oil kept seeping out. Keep at it and you’ll get it all out.
 
Its out now I believe but I was wondering about the removing the residue.
My normal stuff is “Strypeez” and the residue is like dried…snot but it seemed easy to clean from all the holes and crannies. Citristrip leaves a white powder which I reckon will just take more elbow grease. Was hoping for a magic trick but oh well.
 
Well, I cheated and sprayed mine off with a water hose. No residue, but the lock mortise got a bit tighter because the wood swelled some.
 
Citristrip is about the poorest excuse for a stripper I've ever used. The cheap spray-on stripper from Wally-World works much better & faster & doesn't take 1/2 dozen coats.
 
Citristrip has worked for me on all kinds of stocks. Don't let it fully dry before scrapping or brushing it off and you'll avoid lots of white powder. I use a garden hose or the wand in the shower to wash it off. A squirt of water won't hurt. Wood doesn't swell or shrink instantaneously. Worst case, the stripper only gets 90%.of the oil out. Use heat to draw out the remainder. If a stock is short enough I bake it in the oven at 250° until the oil rises, then wipe it off. There's no magic to it.
 
I rinse my stocks with water but certainly don't submerge them. Take a clean white T-shirt and submerge the shirt in water, then wring it out to where the shirt is still plenty wet. Next lay the wet t-shirt on the stock and take your wife's iron and apply light pressure to the T-shirt with the iron on medium heat. Use the touch and move method not allowing the iron to burn the stock wood. The heat and wet T-shirt will draw the impurities (Citra strip, oil, etc.) out of the wood. If you have oil-soaked wood, you can use acetone to remove the oil. The stock will have to be lightly sanded and dried out before applying a new stain or finish.
 
Any time you need to wet stock wood, PLEASE DON'T put it out in direct/hot sunlight shortly afterwards or the stock is surely going to crack.

When I have to wet a stock, I paper towel dry it and leave it indoors overnight. Then it can spend the morning of the next day outside, but not in direct sunlight. Then and only then do I hang a stock in direct sunlight in the afternoon. BTW, if you still have a clothesline outside, this can be an excellent spot to hang a stock from a couple of special bent wire coat hangers.

Gus
 
Think I’m ready for the final light sanding today before staining. An additional bonus of sanding (which I always do anyway) will be to remove any residue left by scraping and solvent wipes on the large flat surfaces.

In regards to all the holes and nooks and crannies liberal flushing with solvent in between several hours of small pointy metal tools and scrapers seems to have done a amazingly good job of cleaning residue - especially the solvent which I “dive bombed” for as much force as I could generate.
Thanks all!
 
You will not remove BLO at home. It soaks in to deep.

A modern musket, I hope. IF it is original aggressive cleaning or refinishing is a very bad idea.

If you have furniture stripper businesses in your area they can submerge it in solvent stripper. That will get most of it off the surface. This was SOP for greasy grimy milsurps when I used to mess with them. Be specific that they do not sand the wood.

I am so temped to get in to the why BLO, but that is another recent thread.
 
Well I spent a lot of time, elbow grease, and chemicals on this thing for over a week and I really think I am at bare wood finally. Next is stain.
With that said I don’t plan to repeat this again in the future!
 

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Well I spent a lot of time, elbow grease, and chemicals on this thing for over a week and I really think I am at bare wood finally. Next is stain.
With that said I don’t plan to repeat this again in the future!
It's looking good. Stripping stocks is one of my least favorite things to do, but when you do it right and put a nice new finish on it, the labor will be all worth it. Good job
 
Last bit of follow-up. It would appear I did, in fact, finally(!) manage to get all the BLO out of the wood. It can be done… and hopefully I’ll never do it again.
Pic after the first (and probably only) coat of stain with excess wipe off with dry rag but before a mineral spirit wipe.
 

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I have used Citristrip to strip the polyurethane finish off a Euroarms P1853 Enfield. Also to remove the stain. It worked well. I used acetone to wipe off what remained and pull it out of the wood into a rag. For the nooks and crannies, I used a toothbrush with acetone.
 
Kwik-Strip spray is the one I get best results with. It foams up and even tough poly finishes come off in a few minutes then acetone wipe down. It worked better than Citristrip for me but will burn your hands if you don't use a good stripper resistant glove. I never use BLO so I never tried to remove it, but it did remove True Oil finishes for me.
 
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