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M1917 Colt


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#26 DSchlagan

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 06:15 AM

The best stuff to use is "four ought" (0000) steel wool. It's the finest grade available, and will remove the gloss without leaving any scratches. I wouldn't recommend using scotchbrite or any coarse steel wool.


If we were talking about removing 'whatever' residue from blued-steel, then yes, I would very much agree to use 4 ought.
Being that these walnut grips have likely been completely refinished with varnish, the use of (0000) can result in just another highly polished surface.
Though it certainly could be recommendable to start w/4 ought, to notice results, then incrementally 'work into' the courser grades of steel wool, if desired.

If one wishes to get rid of that "refinished wood look", I would recommend 'breaking through' the varnish w/(00), and perhaps a follow-up with (000). You might be surprised at just how fine of a finish that 2 ought will produce on wood, all by itself.
After removing varnish layer, the hand-rubbing of the grips (with your then slightly dirty and oily hands) will produce a finish that will look much the same as illustrated in the photo of thorin6's. This technique acts as a stain.
A light application of boiled linseed oil (mixed 60:40 with mineral spirits), can then serve as a nice protective finish.
...Although, apply too many coats, and buff in between, and your kinda back to where you started ...glossy finish. (Keep in mind that BLO is the main ingredient in traditional varnish.)

While there are many grades of ScotchBrite pads made, the most commonly available "green" (grits are color coded) is a little too aggressive for this purpose.

Don.

#27 hink441

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 11:05 AM

If you are trying to get varnish off, I have used Minwax antique furniture refinisher with great results. I have used it on Garand and M1 Carbine stocks. Leaves wood looking good and even was easy on the cartouches. Then BLO or Tung oil.

Edited by hink441, 20 April 2012 - 11:06 AM.


#28 DSchlagan

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Posted 20 April 2012 - 10:43 PM

Good suggestion, hink441; especially in regard to leaving cartouches (and also detail such as checkering, pretty much intact: ...save your old toothbrushes!! ;) )

Although I've always thought highly of Minwax products, I honestly hadn't even considered the use of a 'paint-stripper', due to several objectionable results, dozens of years ago. (I have never tried the "Minwax antique furniture refinisher", though.)

Paint-strippers, in general, all still seem to "raise-the-grain", and require the use of 'whatever-grit' abrasive, from my experience.
I have since just 'cut-to-the-chase', and get rid of surface finish, with purpose-attenuated abrasive.


Actually, a good grade of automotive lacquer thinner will cut through most any surface finish quite quickly. (Don't get the cheap "wash-grade" hardware store variety ...it is mainly acetone, and nowhere near as good.)
Combined with steel wool and perhaps a very-fine bristle brass/bronze brush; it can be most effective for detail, as well.
Lacquer thinner won't raise woodgrain to much any degree, either ...just kinda 'melts'/dissolves the finish off, through "hot" solvent action.

Regards,
Don.

#29 doyler

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

My other 1917 Colt with original holster.Have the belt and pouch also but have it packed away.


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#30 doyler

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:13 PM

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#31 doyler

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Posted 30 April 2012 - 06:14 PM

1917 Smith & Wesson

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