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does any one know how to steam out the dents or whatever on old military rifle stocks??? what is the best way to do this? i have a few gew 88 stocks that im planning on trying this on. thanks
 

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dents

use a damp rag and place it over the dent then iron the dent area, the water will turn to steam and enter the wood which will swell filling in the dent. It won't get them all out but will help on big dents/gouges and works better on smaller dings.
 

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The iron/rag procedure works for small dings & dents. If you need to work on the really big & deep dents that occurred from careless handling of "old junk" rifles thrown into a scrap bin to sell to US collectors, you need some serious steam.

I have an old pressure cooker that works great for dent removal. I simply fill it with water, put it on the fire with the pressure regulator left off the stem on the lid and wait for trhe pressure to build. Once a steady stream of steam blasts forth from the stem, I'm ready to commence steaming. It not only swells dents like no other method, but also helps minimize scratches, and work out excess cosmoline from the wood.
 

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Where did I get my pressure cooker? Out from under the counter in the cabinet where all the pots & pans are stored:D

Actually, my wife had it, so it must be at least 16 years old.

Yard sales are a good source, since people dump them when the lid seal begins to leak under pressure. Since you're not using it under the pressure intended for cooking, but only to generate a directed column of steam, the seal is no big deal.

Otherwise, Target, Walmart & anyone selling pots & pans & kitchenware should have them.

I've actually cooked some stuff in the pressure cooker & it is pretty quick for rice dishes & casseroles.
 

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steam

Go to the drug store and buy one of those small steam cleaners that they sell to clean and degerm things.I bought my wife hers for like $20 and they work great to clean your barrel after shooting corr. ammo.mike
 

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I've used an old travel iron, a cast iron flat iron and for small dents a tapered steel cake knife heated on a stove eye.
You aren't supposed to steam the stock with steam itself you wet a cloth and hold it over the dent then apply the heated iron. the heat pushes the generated steam into the grain raising it. I've gotten out dents over 1/4 inch deep that way without disturbing the finish of the surrounding wood.

I've refurbished old furniture and sewing machines as a hobby so I picked up alot of these tricks of the trade long before I used them on stock repairs.
Taking out dents and drawing out oil is even tougher on very old Singer machines than it is on most rifles.

The iron/rag procedure works for small dings & dents. If you need to work on the really big & deep dents that occurred from careless handling of "old junk" rifles thrown into a scrap bin to sell to US collectors, you need some serious steam.
I may give that a try one day but with enough patience the iron and rag does as well. You just have to apply it as often as necessary.
I use trisodium phosphate to leech out oils by recrystalization which draws the fat molecule into the crystals and they push themselves to the surface.
Hanging the stock over a heater and letting most of the oils work out the end grain first is best.

Time consuming but worth the effort in the long run.
 

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I use an electric soldering iron for the heat source instead of a clothes iron. Also I wet down the dents before hand with a small piece of paper towel saturated with water and placed on the dent to soak some water deep into the dent. Then when steaming it out, the water in the rag plus the water in the wood creates alot of continuous steam and does a decent job with the high heat of the soldering gun. The pressure cooker steam will really go to town on the bigger stuff. If you have a piece of rubber hose that will slide over the top fitting on the cooker it makes it easier to use. But you'll need something to wrap around it where you're holding on as it gets HOT! Prolonged steaming of stamped markings in the wood (inspectors marks, cartouches, etc), especially with the pressure cooker method, may make the stamped wood swell to the point where it becomes a reversed image and is above the surface of the stock instead of stamped into the wood. It is a dent in the wood afterall.
 

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Steam/heat only works if the wood fibres aren't too seriously broken. Good luck.
 

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The iron and damp cloth are ok for small dings. I have an old tea kettle with a 4 ft length of automotive heater hose fixed to the spout. I heat the kettle on a coleman (Naptha fuel)camp stove in the garage. High volume steam can really lift some serious dents, especially if you give it 2-3 applications. A drawback to this setup is that it puts a fair bit of moisture into the wood, and you need to let the stock dry for at least several days before you attempt the next step in the refinishing process. It will also pretty much destroy any existing finish so it's not much good for touch-ups.
 

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The iron method will work better if you cover the cloth in aluminium foil, and it might be an idea to make a sort of aluminium packet with a small hole to match the dent. That way you will get more steam where you want it, and there will be less roughening of the good areas of the stock.

It is a good idea to clean off as much dirt and grease as you can, first, as it keeps out the steam. Watch you don't send jets of steam anywhere you don't want it, as it can burn.
 

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Don't laugh, it worked very well. I had received a 03 from CMP that I think they packed all of the left over cosmo in and on that they had and then tossed it in the dirt out back. I not only steamed the stock but used it to clean the bore and all of the hard to reach spots around the rear sight and inside the bolt.






After steam cleaning.
 

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Pressure cookers are a thing of the past. if you are looking for one just go to any antique store. they are available by the truck load. I went to two antique stores Tuesday and found 6 at one and 5 at the other, so they can be found. i really like the idea above.
a small length of tubeing and you can steam out that dreaded cosmo from the smallest of places. not to mention the dents.

Peafowlguy
 

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Pressure cookers are a thing of the past. if you are looking for one just go to any antique store. they are available by the truck load. I went to two antique stores Tuesday and found 6 at one and 5 at the other, so they can be found. i really like the idea above.
a small length of tubeing and you can steam out that dreaded cosmo from the smallest of places. not to mention the dents.

Peafowlguy
I love to find a large pressure cooker (30or 40Qt) with a self contained electric heating element where you just turn the dial. If anyone has one for sale or knows where one is I'd be interested in buying it. Thanks. Sunfish
 
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