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Hello! What's the best way to remove varnish or shellack from a stock without doing damage to the wood?

Thanks,

James
 

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Shellac comes off SLOWLY with DA.

Acetone will remove shellac RAPIDLY, and will also remove most varnishes.

Toluene will remove varnishes, as will xylene.

ALL of the above will damage the glue in laminate stocks unless used with GREAT care and attention, and SLOWLY.

Do NOT use steel wool - it rounds wood corners and buffs them more than you may think. Soak a rag and work SLOWLY in a well ventilated area.

The key to success is don't rush it. I usually strip a varnished stock in about 4 days work with a rag and cotton tips. Shellaced stocks take much less.



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I prefer generic paper towells to rags...paper snags come out easier than cotton cloth..
Acetone over DA for sure...
 

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....do not use steel wool - it rounds wood corners and buffs them more than you may think. Soak a rag and work slowly in a well ventilated area.....the key to success is don't rush it. I usually strip a varnished stock in about 4 days work with a rag and cotton tips. Shellaced stocks take much less.
very sound advice!!!!!!
 

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Never steel wool on a firearm, unless its to prep the stock on a shooter or field gun with no collector value. I use acetone. If that doesn't work, step it up to Blix or one of the chemical strippers for antique furniture at Home Depot. Stretch a wire coat hanger (unpainted), one loop in your triggerguard slot, the other over a tree branch. Spray the stuff on there and let it do the work. Wipe off with a towel, or at most a nylon bristle tooth brush. Repeat. Be careful of any stock markings. Light wipe after that with HFW or even some boiled linseed oil.
 
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