Have any of you ever stripped the factory finish from a CZ 452 AMERICAN? - RimfireCentral.com Forums

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Old 10-04-2019, 12:28 AM
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Have any of you ever stripped the factory finish from a CZ 452 AMERICAN?



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I've refinished several walnut-stocked CZ rifles and have had pretty good success at getting most of the factory finish off using gelled Methylene Chloride. But, I've never stripped a CZ American, only the FS, Lux, and Varmint models. The MC works pretty well on these models, but they seem to have a different factory finish than the Americans. So, I'm wondering if anyone here has stripped an American stock with a chemical stripper, and if so, how did it go?

I've seen a few posts over the years where people tried to strip one of the Beech stocked guns like the 452 Trainer, and had an extremely difficult time of it. Basically, the chemical stripper barely touched the factory finish, so they had to scrape and sand the finish off, and it was a major PITA. The Trainer finish is smooth and glossy (at least mine is) in a similar manner to the American, so I'm wondering if the American finish might be as tenacious as some have found the Trainer's to be.
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Old 10-04-2019, 02:00 PM
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Removing 452 American finish

I've done one 452 American. I used Citri Strip with good luck. Give it time to do its work.
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  #3  
Old 10-04-2019, 08:47 PM
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Originally Posted by jayhawker View Post
I've done one 452 American. I used Citri Strip with good luck. Give it time to do its work.
Thanks for that info. Encouraging! Did it remove the factory finish down to the bare wood, or did you still have to sand it a good bit just to remove the factory stain and reveal unstained wood?
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Old 10-05-2019, 06:30 PM
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I have re-finished my CZ 452 Varmint stock and used Zip strip.
worked very good, the is no stain in the stock CZ used the stain in the finish



Came out very well.

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Old 10-05-2019, 08:13 PM
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I am not sure if the finish is the same on the 452 . Just stripped a 455 American yesterday . Had called CZ USA and verified the factory finish as being Lacquer . Started out buy using stripper, Kleenstrip , unfortunatly M.C. is not available in my area but the product worked well . Took couple of applications over an hour or so . Used a sharp plastic scraper that didn't damage the wood ,The checkering didn't have the lacquer finish at all . There didn't seem to be a stain but penetration factor of the lacquer was evident especially at any end grain sections. I used 320 wet or dry and a mixture of 50 -50 lacquer thinner and denatured alcohol to further the process . All said and done the finish came off completely . I didn't photo document and have the first dust sanding done with B.L.O. its in the drying rack now . Good luck with the project ! I do have a question for others that have refinished the CZ rimfires . What angle single line cutter worked best for redo on the checkering after refinish my stock has been used in the field heavily and needs to be recut . I have heard that some European Mfg's use 60 degree only some 90 degree . WJR

Last edited by wjritchie; 10-05-2019 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 08:51 PM
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midwest swiss, that does look good! What is the finish that you applied?

I have refinished 9 CZs that I can think of at the moment, and the stripper worked pretty well on all of them. A couple of them, the 527 Varmint and I believe one of the 550 FS, took quite a bit of sanding after removing all of the finish that I could with the MC stripper. But as you pointed out, the stain that is in the factory finish didn't really penetrate the wood, so that's fortunate.

Here's my refinished 453 Varmint...


wjritchie, your experience with the 455 American is also encouraging. The factory finish on the 455 American looks pretty much the same as that on the 452 to my eyes, but who knows... I think I'm getting bold enough to give the MC a try and see what happens. I just hope I don't get into what Oldblades did with the Trainer...
https://www.rimfirecentral.com/forum....php?t=1095010
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Old 10-05-2019, 09:51 PM
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Here is the finished that I used.



Did not use any stain on the bare wood.
I sanded with a slurry mix too fill in the pores.
The finish has a honey amber color now & wasn't like that the first year ??
But that's ok with me

Last edited by midwest swiss; 10-05-2019 at 10:28 PM.
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Old 10-05-2019, 10:23 PM
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Looks very Nice , Pretty much the same grain configuration as My American . Forby's makes some pretty good stuff , a few years ago I came into possession of an old Remington model 8, F grade in .32 Rem , the stock was weather checked from being neglected . the Forby,s Finish restorer melted a near 80 year old varnish like it was just dirty . I was amazed ! Good to know some products just work . Of course hear in California all the good stuff is gone in the name of VOC reduction Cheers ! WJR
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  #9  
Old 10-11-2019, 02:13 AM
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I was preparing to strip the finish from a CZ 452 American with the walnut stained beechwood stock. I tested an area in the barrel channel and under the trigger guard using Klean-Strip Premium Stripper (MC) and it wasn't very effective at removing the finish.

Also, I discovered that on these stocks, CZ appears to have used a dye stain on the wood before applying the finish. That meant sanding and/or bleaching to remove the stain from the outer layer of wood.

I haven't worked on other CZ stocks yet, but understand that some of the other styles use a pigment stain in the lacquer to create a uniform color, as opposed to dying the wood - just as I6turbo stated. That would have been nice.

Anyway, it didn't go easy, and that dissuaded me from continuing as I didn't quite know what I was getting into. I'll get back to it eventually, as I still think that stock would look better in a more natural finish.

I have some Citristrip that I may try; any other suggestions are appreciated.

In regards to checkering, the later rifles were all laser checkered. In that case I imagine one could use whatever angle checkering tool they wish and just follow the pattern.

JMK

Last edited by JMK; 10-11-2019 at 02:18 AM.
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Old 10-11-2019, 11:03 AM
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After I tried Formby's stripper and tung oil on stocks I stopped using anything else. Like already posted, the stripper melts off finishes with ease (compared to others). It's an eco friendly product that actually works better than the hazardous types. I use their tung oil on stocks but see little difference in the finish compared to other brands. The thing about Formby's is it's a high quality product you can pretty much rely on.
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Old 10-11-2019, 02:53 PM
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If you can find it in your local hardware stores or Home Depot, where I find it, the strippers labeled as epoxy removers will take off just about anything you can put on a piece of wood.

This stuff is nasty, so use good rubber gloves when working with it and a face mask wouldn't be a bad idea. I've used it a couple times on Remington stocks and a few others and it worked like magic to remove all the finish.

Bob
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Old 10-11-2019, 04:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMK View Post
I was preparing to strip the finish from a CZ 452 American with the walnut stained beechwood stock. I tested an area in the barrel channel and under the trigger guard using Klean-Strip Premium Stripper (MC) and it wasn't very effective at removing the finish.

Also, I discovered that on these stocks, CZ appears to have used a dye stain on the wood before applying the finish. That meant sanding and/or bleaching to remove the stain from the outer layer of wood.

I haven't worked on other CZ stocks yet, but understand that some of the other styles use a pigment stain in the lacquer to create a uniform color, as opposed to dying the wood - just as I6turbo stated. That would have been nice.

Anyway, it didn't go easy, and that dissuaded me from continuing as I didn't quite know what I was getting into. I'll get back to it eventually, as I still think that stock would look better in a more natural finish.

I have some Citristrip that I may try; any other suggestions are appreciated.

In regards to checkering, the later rifles were all laser checkered. In that case I imagine one could use whatever angle checkering tool they wish and just follow the pattern.

JMK
Sounds like a good choice after the test in the barrel channel. The Beech-stocked Americans may have the same finish as the Trainers, which seems to be the most tenacious of the CZ finishes, as Oldblades encountered in the thread linked in Post #7 above. I do not want to get into that scenario.
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  #13  
Old 10-11-2019, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plinkhead View Post
After I tried Formby's stripper and tung oil on stocks I stopped using anything else. Like already posted, the stripper melts off finishes with ease (compared to others). It's an eco friendly product that actually works better than the hazardous types. I use their tung oil on stocks but see little difference in the finish compared to other brands. The thing about Formby's is it's a high quality product you can pretty much rely on.
Formby's has merged into Minwax now. I don't think they make a true stripper anymore, only a product with some alcohols and weak chemicals that may remove very easy-to-remove finishes or soil/surface deposits. They used to have a Formby's Paint and Poly Remover which, like pretty much everything else that will work against the tougher coatings, was powered by Methylene Chloride (81%), plus had a few other alcohols and things that aren't really very effective against tough finishes. If you still have some of the Formby's stuff, it may be a collector's item soon.


Quote:
Originally Posted by BobSc View Post
If you can find it in your local hardware stores or Home Depot, where I find it, the strippers labeled as epoxy removers will take off just about anything you can put on a piece of wood.

This stuff is nasty, so use good rubber gloves when working with it and a face mask wouldn't be a bad idea. I've used it a couple times on Remington stocks and a few others and it worked like magic to remove all the finish.

Bob
Those types of products are almost certainly metyhlene chloride-powered. That is, the MC is what makes them effective, and the higher concentration of MC, the more effective they'll be. As I mentioned in a different thread, it's a bit surprising that MC is still on the market, but there is simply nothing else that will do the job in many cases when finishes need to be removed chemically, and there are industrial applications where there just isn't a decent alternative -- where physical (non-chemical) stripping isn't feasible, etc.

Better stock up.

All that said, there are finishes that even methylene chloride won't remove effectively.

Last edited by I6turbo; 10-11-2019 at 05:24 PM.
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Old 10-11-2019, 05:21 PM
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