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Anybody know if removal of oil is possible? How to do? I posted same question in gunsmithing. Thanks for replies. Headed to church now. Will check back later. The gun is new to me but old otherwise, and metal is very dirty. Looks to be lots of oil in stock, and the stock finish was oil as well. Not the hard finish of late models. :-\
 

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pinenut said:
Anybody know if removal of oil is possible? How to do? I posted same question in gunsmithing. Thanks for replies. Headed to church now. Will check back later. The gun is new to me but old otherwise, and metal is very dirty. Looks to be lots of oil in stock, and the stock finish was oil as well. Not the hard finish of late models. :-\
Heat the area with a hair dryer, or if you are careful, a heat gun on the Low setting. The oil will start oozing out, and you can suck it up with paper towels. You'll have to do this several, several times, but it will remove a lot of the soaked in oil. Also, you could put it in the oven at less than 200 degrees on some absorbent material and let the oil bake out, but you have to be very careful doing this.

Some folks recommend acetone on the wood to dry it, but I would rather not use chemicals. I like the hair dryer or heat gun the best.
 

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A buddy of mine has fixed up quite a few very poor condition stocks on some very old high dollar Winchesters and I've talked to him about it. I'm not certain but I'm thinking he said he used "whiting" to draw out the oil. It was a slow process but the results were very good. I'll have to ask him again though because I certainly am NOT sure that's what he used. He described the process as coating the wood with the powder and letting it leach out the oil. The white powder would turn yellow as it drew out the oil and the process had to be repeated multiple times.
 

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Although a clothing iron and water can be used to steam out dents, with the things I'm about to list, it can also be used to pull crud and oil out of a stock. A good wash off with a stiff bristled brush, dish soap, along with a little cheese cloth and baking soda will get a lot of crud out.
 

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The quick and dirty method I use for milsurp stuff that is oil soaked to blackness is to use E Z Off oven cleaner. I usually do this during the summer (here that's June, July, August) since I like to warm the wood up by setting it in the sun. Get a pair of heavy vinyl gloves like you wife would use to clean the oven with EZ Off, and spray the stock, coating it well on one side. Let it set in the sun for half an hour to an hour, you don't want it to dry out completely, then use a hose and rinse the residue off. The lye in the cleaner will pull the oil out of the wood. Really black stocks may take 2 coats. Do one side, then the other, and get the inletting too.
The caveat (you know there had to be one) is don't over do the applications, the lye will eventually start dissolving the lignin which is the glue that holds wood fibres together. Done right it will save you time like you can't believe. After the wood is dry you may want to neutralize it with something like vinegar. Then once dry refinish as usual. If you did it right you can glass bed it now too. I've probably done a couple of hundred stocks with this method, used to use the whiting (which is a somewhat more mild base than lye) but it's much slower. If you don't want to do a refinish the whiting method would be the way to go. If the wood is really oil soaked you can use the torch method, but it'll take a long long long time to get enough oil out to be able to rebed the wood or add finish in the inletting.
 

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I used a solvent and a spot remover with heat. douse w/solvent, spray on the spot remover(texize kr2, etc) after a day or 2 the white powder turns brown. Wipe off and do again. Be careful not to get the wood too dry.
 

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I set the buttstock of a Win. model 71 near a heat source, and sopped up the oil with a paper towel as it oozed out. I was unsure about the effect of using chemicals, so I just used heat.
 

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I've used the heat source as well, and just wipe it off as it oozes out, but I do use white vinegar (damp, but not soppy wet) on the wiping cloth. A note that may save you some time and trouble...Whiting is nothing more than carpenters' white line chalk, and can be purchased at your local home or hardware store. I've mixed it with enough mineral spirits to make a "slurry" and coat the stock with it. It does take the whiting 12 to 24 hours to dry and do it's job, and will probably take multiple applications.
Good Luck,
Rick
 

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Glad to hear I was right about the whiting. I'd be curious about more info on that process from those of you who have used it. I know I said I have a buddy who does it but I've found that it doesn't much matter what process you are talking about, if you talk to multiple people you pick up different slants on doing it.
 

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I recall a member in our collectors forum talking about whiteing a few years back, but I'll be darned if I remember who. Those guys have to deal with this often though so it might pay to ask about it down there. Way I remember it worked without destroying the orginal finish.
 

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I've had good luck with acetone but you have to soak the wood for a while to get the best result. I'd never heard of using oven cleaner so will probably give that a shot next time I refinish an oily stock.
 
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