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(How To) Steam Out Dents In Wood Stocks?

This is a discussion on (How To) Steam Out Dents In Wood Stocks? within the Stock forums, part of the Rifle Forum category; Been reading alot of impressive knowledge being shared around these parts so thought I'd ask: Is there a special steam "gun" (like my heat gun) ...


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Old October 21st, 2013, 10:32 AM   #1
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(How To) Steam Out Dents In Wood Stocks?

Been reading alot of impressive knowledge being shared around these parts so thought I'd ask:
Is there a special steam "gun" (like my heat gun) to localize the steam you apply to remove the dents & dings in wood stocks?
I've read advisements of caution to avoid steaming out a stamped inspection cartouche so whatever is being used must be highly effective!
Thanks in advance!

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Old October 21st, 2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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There are small flat irons used for such purposes. You dampen the wood, and hold the iron about an inch away. As the water heats up it expands the wood.

http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-to...prod13120.aspx

I've also used standard clothing irons, but you have to be real careful since you can not see the area closely.

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Old October 21st, 2013, 11:14 AM   #3
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I've always used a damp wash cloth and a clothes iron, but I wonder if you could be more precise with a soldering iron and a very damp rag?

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Old October 21st, 2013, 11:18 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by cjjtulsa View Post
I've always used a damp wash cloth and a clothes iron, but I wonder if you could be more precise with a soldering iron and a very damp rag?
You would have to very careful with a soldering iron. They usually have only one setting and it is hotter than needed. You could easily burn the wood.

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Old October 21st, 2013, 11:29 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cjjtulsa View Post
I've always used a damp wash cloth and a clothes iron, but I wonder if you could be more precise with a soldering iron and a very damp rag?
This works on guitar necks & bodies, so it ought to work fine on a rifle stock. Of course, I've got an adjustable temperature soldering iron (or two) so I could set the temp lower. IIRC I used an old washcloth with a bit of nap to it so it would hold more moisture and approached dents very gradually: touch/check/repeat. It's OK if you raise the grain a tiny bit more than surrounding wood, but you don't want to break grain fibers when you sand it back smooth.

Speaking of which, if the grain is broken in the "dent" then steaming will not cure all that ails you. Has a good chance of making it better but that kind of ding won't go away.

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Old October 21st, 2013, 11:41 AM   #6
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my grandpa stabbed the tip of an exacto knife into the dent then put a drop of boiling water in it. you couldnt tell there was ever a dent there...

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Old October 21st, 2013, 11:58 AM   #7
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Thanks everyone for sharing your preferred wood dent removal tricks. These stocks are or can be transformed into such things of beauty which accent & complement the iron within. It's only right to be able to do it properly, with care and skill.
Cheers lads

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Old October 21st, 2013, 01:39 PM   #8
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I have a Wagner drywall steamer that gets secondary use as a dent raiser. I imagine a clothes steamer would work as well.

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Old October 21st, 2013, 02:06 PM   #9
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steam iron, high heat, high steam, COTTON towel (very wet)

plus PATIENCE/PERSERVERANCE

yes, original finish will be removed (whoopie-doo, how hard is it to re-apply an oil-based finish).

yes, cartouches/stamps must be protected.

(PS, I can keep doing these before and afters for a long time--lol)





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Old October 21st, 2013, 02:13 PM   #10
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oh yeah, you WILL ruin any steam iron via a couple hours of steaming wood/cloth. buy a 25 dollar Chinese Slave Labor iron from Walmart (if you want to sleep in your own bed, anyway).




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Old October 21st, 2013, 04:40 PM   #11
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The iron will lift a lot of grime from the typical oil-finished USGI stock. I've found that it ends up leaving a very clean patch and which highlights the dirtier area under the dent.

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Old October 21st, 2013, 04:52 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by danthman114 View Post
my grandpa stabbed the tip of an exacto knife into the dent then put a drop of boiling water in it. you couldnt tell there was ever a dent there...
I will have to give that a try . I have used steam kettles and clothes irons before . and While the dent was removed there was always a bruise mark left behind

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Old October 21st, 2013, 05:18 PM   #13
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Yeah. I would MUCH rather have a deep, nasty looking gouge than a "bruise mark."






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Old October 22nd, 2013, 09:53 AM   #14
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Clean the stock with oxy clean or sime green before you steam it.

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Old October 22nd, 2013, 12:03 PM   #15
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I bought a used scunci steamer off eBay cheap. That works really good to localize the steam.

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