Need ideas - removing foam residue from a shotgun

Need ideas - removing foam residue from a shotgun

This is a discussion on Need ideas - removing foam residue from a shotgun within the Firearm Cleaning & Maintenance forums, part of the General Firearm Discussion category; I've been working part time cleaning guns at a local gun store. A customer brought in an old Browning A5 shotgun that had been left ...

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Thread: Need ideas - removing foam residue from a shotgun

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Need ideas - removing foam residue from a shotgun

    I've been working part time cleaning guns at a local gun store. A customer brought in an old Browning A5 shotgun that had been left in a gun case for a very, very long time. The foam in the case disintegrated, and now this beautiful shotgun is covered in green foam!

    It's on the wood, on the metal, even inside the action. The gun is a mess.

    Any idea on what to use to remove the foam residue, preferably without damaging the finish?

    Thanks!
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

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    I would start with WD-40. That stuff is great for removing all sorts of sticky residue (like from adhesive tags), and it wouldn't surprise me if it worked on ancient foam.
    Smitty
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    Interesting problem.

    Follow the restoration Golden Rule. Whatever you ultimately decide to use....do a small test area first and preferably in the most inconspicuous location.

    Usually starting with the lower solvents and/or cleaners first is the next most important rule.

    Naturally all the metal parts can easily handle....mineral spirits, lacquer thinner, acetone, MEK etc.

    Your wood and wood finish would require much more extreme caution.

    Firstly you should probably invest in a package of those hardware store cotton washcloth type rags.

    I would try a hard rub on the wood with those rags starting with linseed oil.

    That might very well break the bond of the foam to your wood by migrating under the foam.

    Next and if no luck with that then you should also be safe with mineral spirits.

    I would not go any higher up on the solvents than mineral spirits. Naptha might be another one that would be very unlikely to result in finish damage.

    Another alternative (which would be a non-solvent type route) for your wood might be a Turtle Wax automotive polishing compound.

    If you were my neighbor I would say...."bring it over" because I probably have every solvent and everything else restoration/conservation product on planet Earth right here.

    It is just tough to give advice over the Web on how to handle such things without actually having the item here.

    The wooden Q-Tips are great for doing a small test area on nearly everything. Some places don't carry them anymore.

    I usually buy them out at CVS when I see them on the shelf.

    Good Luck. Just start slow and small.
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    You could try Goo Gone Goo Gone It works most of the time but I have had better success removing gummy stuff with lacquer thinner.
    Freedz and 10thmtn like this.
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    You certainly would be safe with the WD40 on all metal parts....barrel etc.
    I would keep it off of your wood.
    It would seep into any micro cracking in the finish and would cause some problems.

    Much on the proper handling of your wood depends on what finish is on there right now and the exact condition of it.
    Is it an intact factory finish, is the factory finish worn through in high wear areas etc??
    AKA Lacquer, Tung Oil, has it been refinished?
    If the wood has been later waxed that should make your job much easier because the foam residue would come off with the wax. Usually.
    Rock and Glock likes this.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Also safe for your barrel would be a product like OOPS!
    Basically just a "Top Secret" solvent mixture intended for general Boo-Boo removal.

    That is a product that is SAFE (Usually) Shellac, varnish, lacquer and other polymerised oil type paints and finishes.

    But, on your wood DO satisfy yourself in a small test area before having at it.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    I have a feeling that you are going to get this done....save this gun...and look pretty doggone good at work.
    Liberty Over Tyranny Μολὼν λαβέ

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    Senior Member Array halem1's Avatar
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    Post a before and after pics when you finish the project!
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    I've heard that Ballistol is good for cleaning firearms doesn't hurt leather or wood, just hose it down go have lunch and when you get back wipe it down.

    Firearm Cleaning Oil & Lubricant - Ballistol
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Thanks all

    It looks ike factory finish on the wood, but the gun is so covered up it's hard to tell. Never seen anything like it. Will have to take some pics when I go back to the store. Unreal.
    Rock and Glock likes this.
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    I think I'll start with Ballistol, as it's safe for the whole gun...and I have it. Fingers crossed!

    I did put a light coat of Hoppes on it before leaving the store yesterday. Hopefully it loosens things up without hurting the finish on the wood. Have never had any issues with Hoppes before, so...
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    My first choice would be Ballistol as well. And the immediately identifiable aroma, on a Browning A5, would (IMHO) be a really good (*pun intended)... "aftershave".
    10thmtn likes this.
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    VIP Member Array 10thmtn's Avatar
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    Well I ran by the gun store for a few minutes today. Just wanted to see if the Ballistol would work.

    It did seem to loosen the stuck on foam. Scrubbing it off, however, just left behind a green tint on the wooden stock. Better seemed to be letting the Ballistol soak in, and then just scraping it off with my thumb nail.

    I'm going to have to find a safe plastic scraper to use. Maybe a soft wood popsicle stick, that I can break in half. Plan will be to soak in Ballistol, and then gently scrape off.
    The number of people killed because they didn't have "enough gun" is dwarfed by those who had none at all.

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    VIP Member Array ghost tracker's Avatar
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    Guitar picks are synthetic...finger nails. And they come in different thicknesses (flex). Not only are they in my guitar case(s), there's a jar of them in my workshop.
    10thmtn likes this.
    There are only TWO kinds of people in this world; those who describe the world as filled with two kinds of people...and those who don't.

  16. #15
    Distinguished Member Array kukla's Avatar
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    home depot sells plastic putty knives
    you can trim them into any size or shape you need
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