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Discussion Starter #1
Hello,
I just purchased a 1953 model 94 and the previous owner had a cheek pad glued to the stock. I removed the pad but I'm trying to figure out how to remove the ancient glue without ruining the original finish. So far I've tried to soften it with WD40 and mineral spirits without and luck. The rest of the original finish is in good shape, so I'd like to keep it. Thanks!
 

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It depends on what kind of glue it is and what solvent works best on it. The wood finish is a varnish and acetone will melt it too.

The first thing to try is Naptha (common cig. lighter fluid). That cuts most tape glues but does nothing for many wood glues.

What was the cheek piece made of?
 

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If the original finish wasn't...

cleaned off before gluing you might be able to freeze it with dry ice and pop it off.
 

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I use Goo Gone. It's a commercial quality degreaser that cleans grime and removes glue residue easily. Safe to use on wood and it's inexpensive.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It depends on what kind of glue it is and what solvent works best on it. The wood finish is a varnish and acetone will melt it too.

The first thing to try is Naptha (common cig. lighter fluid). That cuts most tape glues but does nothing for many wood glues.

What was the cheek piece made of?

The cheek piece is rubber and I'd post a picture if I could figure out how.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I think I have some Goo Gone around here somewhere. I'll give that a try next. Thanks for all the help.
 

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Todd, how did you take the cheekpiece off (what method)? How difficult was it (pressure-wise)? Did it "pop off" or did it peel away slowly with a tearing sound? How much residue was left on the rubber as compared to the stock? What color is the glue?

Just trying to get a sense of what type of glue it might be, or narrow it down a little anyway.

Also, you know about glues to some degree - everyone does. Which ones would you rule out, if any? (like hot glue, epoxy, etc.)
 

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Well, Goo Gone is a bust. Done 6 liberal coats of it and it evaporates without any softening of the glue. Looks like I'll have to break out the sandpaper. Does anybody know where to get some matching varnish?
 

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There is no 'matching varnish'. Before giving up, contact a guitar repairman and ask how he gets the pick guard off the top. Those rubber pads came with a covering sheet on the back that peeled off then the pad stuck on. Back to lighter fluid, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Todd, how did you take the cheekpiece off (what method)? How difficult was it (pressure-wise)? Did it "pop off" or did it peel away slowly with a tearing sound? How much residue was left on the rubber as compared to the stock? What color is the glue?

Just trying to get a sense of what type of glue it might be, or narrow it down a little anyway.

Also, you know about glues to some degree - everyone does. Which ones would you rule out, if any? (like hot glue, epoxy, etc.)

Stretch, I just basically peeled it off with my fingers. Some of the edges were already separating. It was more of a tearing sound as the rubber peeled away. Most of the glue remained on the stock. Probably due to the fact it adhered to stock better than the rubber. The glue is a clear amber color and is rock hard. Right now I'm leaning towards an epoxy but, I know other clear glues that have aged that long could develop the same coloration. Your opinion would be appreciated.
 

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2 of the least known and under-used cleaning products are rubbing alcohol and white vinegar. Please, give the alcohol a try before you break out the sandpaper. Apply the alcohol with some 0000 steel wool.
 

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AH! Luthiers use heat. Wave a hair dryer over the hard glue and see if it softens and rolls up with finger friction.
 
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now that we know the adhesive dried hard..

best option is post #3

place rifle on a pad. towel, carpeted floor

freeze glue with dry ice

give a sharp wrap with a light (1 lb) plastic/rubber mallet

problem should pop off like broken glass

no guarantees :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Well, hardly any effect with alcohol and steel wool. The hair dryer didn't do much other than cook a couple of my fingers. I managed to chip off a few little pieces with a plastic scraper but at that rate I might have it done around winter 2020. So, I guess I'm going to run to town to find some dry ice. I'll let you know how that works out.
 

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Sounds like epoxy, and the heat it would take to loosen the epoxy will ruin your stock finish. Epoxies that are bonded to things unaffected by heat, like steel, can be removed with heat. On a wood rifle stock? I surely wouldn't.

Luthiers use hide glue which can be removed with heat like a heat gun or maybe a hair dryer. Whoever put that pad on there wouldn't be using animal hide glue - it's specialized in its application.

Try what xjsdvr is recommending - ice or dry ice on a towel. Then, with a very sharp (woodworking!) chisel and extreme care, you might be able to pop it off a little at a time.

Anyway, sure sounds like epoxy. DON'T sand it. Better, if you don't have razor sharp wood chisels and experience using them, take it to a woodworker or cabinet shop. They'll shave it off, THEN you can sand it. You'll have to refinish it sure sounds like.

EDITED TO ADD: Well, almost certainly it isn't "hot glue" unless you were very tentative with your hair dryer heat. If you suspect it might be, you might try heating a tad more aggressively a second time. Caution still, as you know, because even though it looks like you'll have to refinish, you just don't need the mess. See, imagine you get the glue off, but it isn't shaved right down flush with the stock...right down flush! What you have left is a slight running mound - imagine a worm underneath the surface of your stock with a portion of his back exposed. When you try to sand that, even with a block, you will over-sand the other areas of the stock because the wood will yield well before the glue does.
 

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The OP said he wanted to save...

the old finish-- if the wood grain wasn't exposed to the adhesive, breaking the bond by taking advantage of the difference in the coefficient of expansions of the problem and the finish on the stock would be best. If removing the gunk before refinishing is all that's wanted, benzene should work if it can be found. (carburetor cleaner)
 
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