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Thread: Removing Old Gun Oil

  1. #1

    Default Removing Old Gun Oil

    I have an old old custom Highwall that had probably not been cleaned in 30+ years. What appears to be old gun oil is caked on to the finish and will not come off. I have tried CLP & Hoppes and nothing. I am afraid of ruining the bluing or scratching the metal using something like steel wool or a bronze brush.

    Any ideas on what will take this stuff off without ruining the finish?
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  4. #4
    Member GD Yankee's Avatar
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    Not really sure what you have there. Are you sure it isn't a little rust? If Hoppes doesn't take it off, I'd suspect it may be rust. Join this forum and post your question there:

    http://www.doublegunshop.com/forums/...fc1b381b9f6ce6

    There are some real experts on the board, including Mr. Petrov who lives in AK. I'm sure you want to proceed cautiously, so definitely take the time to join the forum and post there.

    Good luck.

    Dave

  5. #5
    hap
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    It would appear to be polymerized oil... Acetone will take it off without harming the blue. Use a Q-tip and do a small area at a time. Keep it wet with acetone and it will soften up and go.

    Obviously acetone would not be good for the finish...
    art

  6. #6
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    Default Rust or dried oil?

    For really nasty dried on oil, stock finish, glass bedding etc. on metal to can remove the stocks and use the old standard methyl chloride paint remover to get it ALL off. Paint remover won't hurt the metal but you need to wash it off with boiling hot water and then dry and oil the finish.

    The spray cans of carb cleaner you get in auto repair stores is almost as good but don't get it on the finish or your hands. Brake cleaner works also but again is not as aggressive as even carb cleaner.

    For rust some Hoppies #9 and #0000 steel wool is about as good as you can do.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  7. #7
    hap
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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    For really nasty dried on oil, stock finish, glass bedding etc. on metal to can remove the stocks and use the old standard methyl chloride paint remover to get it ALL off. Paint remover won't hurt the metal but you need to wash it off with boiling hot water and then dry and oil the finish.

    The spray cans of carb cleaner you get in auto repair stores is almost as good but don't get it on the finish or your hands. Brake cleaner works also but again is not as aggressive as even carb cleaner.

    For rust some Hoppies #9 and #0000 steel wool is about as good as you can do.
    No perfect way to do it probably, but with a better gun would you still do it that way? Ordinary old factory guns would not give me a second's pause...

    Chlorides on steel are bad juju... Any left will cause issues later. The boiling water shows you know that. And it probably will get the stuff off, but between the increased hazards with the methyl chloride and the need to get it ALL off I think I would just pickle my liver in acetone.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by tvfinak View Post
    For really nasty dried on oil, stock finish, glass bedding etc. on metal to can remove the stocks and use the old standard methyl chloride paint remover to get it ALL off. Paint remover won't hurt the metal but you need to wash it off with boiling hot water and then dry and oil the finish.

    The spray cans of carb cleaner you get in auto repair stores is almost as good but don't get it on the finish or your hands. Brake cleaner works also but again is not as aggressive as even carb cleaner.

    For rust some Hoppies #9 and #0000 steel wool is about as good as you can do.
    Is there any risk of scratching the finish with #0000 steel wool?

  9. #9
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Remove the wood, have a package of 0000 steel wool Handy and a can of light weight machine oil handy and a roll of paper towels handy. As you rub off the crud with the steel wool and oil, clean off with the paper towels. Keep at it until you are all done. Give the rifle a good wipe down with a clean paper towel and oil before you put the wood back on. Dont Touch the metal when you put the rifle back away. This should hold you for about 5 years if you leave it alone.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10
    hap
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Remove the wood, have a package of 0000 steel wool Handy and a can of light weight machine oil handy and a roll of paper towels handy. As you rub off the crud with the steel wool and oil, clean off with the paper towels. Keep at it until you are all done. Give the rifle a good wipe down with a clean paper towel and oil before you put the wood back on. Dont Touch the metal when you put the rifle back away. This should hold you for about 5 years if you leave it alone.
    Al
    I am fairly certain it is polymerized oil rather than rust he is trying to take off. The machine oil will not do anything to dissolve the hardened oil. The abrasive steel wool would just be working on the metal the whole time...

    Like the old Monsanto commercial used to say "Without chemicals Life itself would be impossible!"
    art

  11. #11
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    Default Paint remover

    I've used paint remover on quite a few guns 0f all kinds over the years with no problems. The methyl choride is just a super solvent that desolves almost any organic solid including paints, epoxy, polymers etc.

    Chloride salts are a problem with rusting and stainless but chorinated hydrocarbons aren't an issue. Freon for an example is an excellent solvent and won't attach steel. Carbon tetrachoride is another outstanding solvent. Some of the brake cleaner have chlorinated hydrocarbons also. Just wear rubber rubber gloves and don't breath the fumes.

    I wash with lot of boiling water to clean the stuff off and to instantly dry the heated steel. The paint remover removes all the oil so the bare steel will quickly rust - I follow up quickly with spray on oil and a rag.


    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    No perfect way to do it probably, but with a better gun would you still do it that way? Ordinary old factory guns would not give me a second's pause...

    Chlorides on steel are bad juju... Any left will cause issues later. The boiling water shows you know that. And it probably will get the stuff off, but between the increased hazards with the methyl chloride and the need to get it ALL off I think I would just pickle my liver in acetone.
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  12. #12
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    Default Monsanto

    I worked for Monsanto as an engineer at a couple of locations years ago before they got out of the commodity chemical business. They were truly an outstanding company and a great place to work.

    I remember they gave me a raise the first day I showed up to work. A real welcome aboard.

    Thanks for bringing back some old memories!


    Quote Originally Posted by hap View Post
    Al
    I am fairly certain it is polymerized oil rather than rust he is trying to take off. The machine oil will not do anything to dissolve the hardened oil. The abrasive steel wool would just be working on the metal the whole time...

    Like the old Monsanto commercial used to say "Without chemicals Life itself would be impossible!"
    art
    Living the urban lifestyle so I can pay my way and for my family's needs, and support my country. And you?
    ".. ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country" JFK

  13. #13

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    Another trick I'd try is to use some windex (glass cleaner) with a toothbrush or bronze brush.

    We have dealt with varnish/polymerized oil where I work and brake cleaner and such won't touch it. But the guys are able to soften it with windex. Go figure.

    Of course clean and oil well after use, don't get the windex on the wood, etc.

  14. #14
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    When you speak of "methyl chloride", do you actually mean methylene chloride?
    Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocre minds. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence. Albert Einstein

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  15. #15

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    Mr OP, did you have any luck?

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    Member Alangaq's Avatar
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    0000 steal wool, and Hopies #9. Just like Al said... it'l work, I promise.... just use light pressure on the wool and keep it really lubed up and wet with the Hopies. wipe off with paper towel.
    “You’ve gotten soft. You’re like one of those police dogs who’s released in to the wild and gets eaten by a deer or something.” Bill McNeal of News Radio

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    Default Try this...

    Use the edge of a penny and 'scrub' it against the edge of that stuff. I've used it against rust, and it works well for that, especially if kept moist and wiped often to get rid of the nasties you'll lift. Also works well for cleaning up the small 'oops' you sometimes get when using an epoxy bedding material and the release agent doesn't work especially well. In a pinch, you can put a bit of an edge on it for tough spots.

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