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Getting rid of smoke odor from wood stock

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  • Getting rid of smoke odor from wood stock

    Back on October 10 my dad lost his home to a fire. Everyone is fine and my dad is staying with me. Everything is good as can be expected. Onto the topic. We have recovered most of his firearms. Some were not recovered and were taken where they take the home when its hauled away in dumpsters. Some that were recovered are beyond repair. Some I think can be repaired but my dad doesn't think so. So for the past two weeks I have been cleaning the firearms that were recovered. Some received a little rust that was easily removed and shouldn't be a problem any longer. Some were a little more in depth. It is amazing where insulation and crap can get into. Some of them have wood stocks. Is there any tips or tricks to remove the smoke smell? Will it fade over time? Or are we looking at stripping and refinishing the wood? During the cleaning process when I had the stocks separated from the receivers/barrels, I cleaned the wood with Murphys Oil Soap.

  • #2
    I wouldn't worry so much about the smoke smell but would worry if the temper of the metal in the guns might be affected. I've heard that if the wood is even slightly charred the gun is most likely ruined. Might be a good idea to research that potential problem a bit deeper. Might not be much fun if you took dad's 06 to the range to see how it shoots and it comes unglued in your hands on the first shot. Better safe than sorry.
    Paul B.

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    • #3
      First, glad everyone is safe.

      I have had the opportunity to purchase wood furniture with house fire smoke damage so I will put in my 2 cents on the smoke smell. You want to remove the oil to let it vent - the smell will fade over time (long time). You can try the baking soda rub down, but with a house fire the smoke is likely pretty deep in the wood so it may not work, and you will pull the finish off (possibly scratching the stock) if you go that route. The problem with letting open wood (no oil) vent is you need to keep it from drying out. If you are in a humid climate then leave the stocks in a well vented area for a long time (likely months). I put a couple of tables in a basement that has about 40% humidity after opening up the wood grain with alcohol and the smell eventually went away. If you are in a dry climate, your going to be challenged unless you are very patient. Dry climates require creating a bit of a humidor -- closets with a pot of water work well (people store guitars this way) -- but you are not going to have any ventilation to remove the smoke. Not sure how I would handle that one short of venting the closet from time to time, or moving the wood to different closets?
      Continuous effort - not strength or intelligence - is the key to unlocking our potential.
      -Winston Churchill

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      • #4
        Thanks guys. He had few that did see high heat and those went into the box for insurance. For the most part, most of the guns were in an area that was not burned. Not saying it didn't get hot in there. So I will research the metal issue as well. Thanks for the heads up on that. It is something I never thought of. My thought if the barrel was straight and the bore was in good shape, everything will be ok. Ive got a few I cannot get the soot off the metal. I will look into those deeper before testing them at the range. I guess we will have to let the smoke fade over time.

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        • #5
          I smoked cigars for years in my Ham Radio room
          As I eventually up graded my radios and other equipment, I found many potential buys were very sensitive to anything with the cigar smell and had to drop prices significantly

          A friend who bought and sold radio equipment told me to seal the item in a large plastic bag with descant and a LOT of dryer sheets for a few weeks

          There is wood smoke smell--- and then there is acrid plastic electrical or other smoke smells that are very annoying....so I get it

          I would find long plastic sleeves...try U-line or similar and after cleaning and de -rusting try the descant and dryer sheets... hell clean the weapon, lay on long roll of Lowe's painting plastic sheet....put several descant and dryer sheets , wrap and tape

          Costly high tech... get a box big enough and buy/rent a Ozone emitter...used for cleaning and sanitizing hotel rooms or rental cars from smokers violating the policy....costly gadget BUT I know they work to remove any odors

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