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Thread: Removing Polyurethane Stock Finish

  1. #1

    Removing Polyurethane Stock Finish

    It's raining and I'm bored, but ...

    I have a Ruger 77/17 that has a walnut stock with a factory-applied polyurethane finish. I love the rifle and it looks OK but it just looks and feels a bit cheap and nasty beside my Tikka M55, which has a "proper", old, oiled stock.

    Can I remove the finish and oil it properly or should I just leave well alone and find something else to occupy me in the workshop? Grateful for any thoughts or tips,

    Thanks,

    Graeme

  2. #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme M View Post
    It's raining and I'm bored, but ...

    I have a Ruger 77/17 that has a walnut stock with a factory-applied polyurethane finish. I love the rifle and it looks OK but it just looks and feels a bit cheap and nasty beside my Tikka M55, which has a "proper", old, oiled stock.

    Can I remove the finish and oil it properly or should I just leave well alone and find something else to occupy me in the workshop? Grateful for any thoughts or tips,

    Thanks,

    Graeme

    It can be done, ive just done a Tikka. You can use Nitromores or some old English stock varnish remover but in either case be careful what you use to remove the coating because it needs scraping off and very lightly sanding, wire wool is also a must. After its all gone use a steam iron to take out dings and dents then your away...hours of oiling!

  3. #3
    Right! Off to see what potions are lurkng under the bench! I'll give it a try and see how it goes - thanks Jager!

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Graeme M View Post
    Right! Off to see what potions are lurkng under the bench! I'll give it a try and see how it goes - thanks Jager!
    No worries, if you get stuck PM me.

  5. #5
    Do Not use steel wire wool best to use something like Scotchbrite. If you must use wire wool use brass or bronze as the steel wire wools leavies tiny bits behinde which can rust later and leave horrible rust spots under you finish. I use the green pads and 400 wet and dry paper to smooth a stock after wetting and rinsing off the nitromors.

  6. #6
    Thanks chaps -I'll start in the morning and take it slowly!

  7. #7
    I second Brithunter.....do not use steel wool.

    Also, after steaming out any dings, very lightly sanding (avoiding chequering)...make sure all other contaminents including hand sweat are removed and then finally wipe down with a tack cloth before begining oiling.

  8. #8
    Thanks again, Scotsgun. Just tried a test patch with stripper - the varnish is very thin and comes off easily, revealing a nice piece of wood beneath, so I'll get going properly tomorrow and follow all your very helpful advice!

    Graeme

  9. #9
    I did my shotgun this year and it worked a treat, in fact I'm still at it . It is an old Aya yeoman that I have had over twenty years. It looked crap like it was finished in ronseal wood stain or something .
    The only points that I would add are 1. remove all metal parts before you start (obviously)
    2 . Once you have removed the finish clean it down with plenty white spirt, brings up the grain. When spirited you will get an
    of the end colour. You may need to add a little dilute stain to darken the wood (the mistake I made ).
    3. use various grades of fine sand paper clean down with more spirit and allow to dry then sand again
    this will reduce the amount of dents you have to lift with the iron.
    4. The first coat of oil should be thin and palm it in well.
    5 .Don't be in a hurry to finish it, allow previous coats to dry well before applyng the next, otherwise it will get gummy and look
    crap. Your going to be oiling from now on so its not a race.

  10. #10
    OK - spent yesterday stripping it all down, removing the varnish and sanding. Got a few liitle dings and scratches out and then used green pads and extra-fine wet and dry and ended up with a nice piece of mirror-smooth American walnut that is going to be a big improvement on the original finish, so many thanks again for all your various pieces of advice! Applied a thin first coat of P-H Walnut Oil last night and went out this morning to find that it had dried nicely: I shall now take my time, keep the coats thin, and rub after each one.

    I have two further questions, please:

    1. On removing the stock, I found a couple of very superficial surface rust spots on the underside of the receiver. All cleaned off fine but, when I come to re-assembly, should I put anything on the "hidden" metal parts, like a very thin coating of oil or maybe a little vaseline? Or maybe I should leave everything dry and just remove the stock for cleaning more regularly?

    2. I haven't put any oil on the chequering yet. Should I, or do I do it with something else? I got it all clean with a toothbrush and it actually looks quite good just left bare but I guess it needs something?

    Thanks again,

    Graeme
    Last edited by Graeme M; 10-06-2010 at 07:22.

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