I have a very rare gunstock from WWI that I am refinishing. It was coated with a heavy coat of shellac at one point in its history. The dents appear dark, likely from lubricating oil seeping into the wood.
I want to strip the shellac and then remove the darkened oil from the dents. In the past I have used a very light alkalide called Oil Eater that doesn’t darken walnut so I am not sure exactly what is in it. However, this wood appears to be Elm ( I don’t think it is oak) of some sort.
Couple of questions
Since it is very hot here in Sacramento, alcohol evaporates too fast to soften the shellac much. So, should I just keep at it or is there a better stripper that won’t affect the color of the elm?
I am going to steam out the dents and then sand very lightly as there are stampings in the wood I want to preserve. Since the elm is very pourous, I figure I won’t be able to get it out of some pores and a few of the tears/dents. Will steaming the wood after stripping most of the shellac cause any sort of problems?
Lastly, I plan on putting an oil finish on the piece once I am done, any compatability issues? Same with staining, as I might stain it.
Thanks for any and all imput. This is a very valuable peice from an important client and I don’t want to make a mess of it.