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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a couple WW2 dated ammo crates that have been weathered to grey, while they look good as art they don't look right for a WW2 display, I found a really nice RIA handcart and want to fill it with the wooden crates to display with the half-track next month, I don't want to sand them because the all the original lettering is still intact and I'm hoping there is some kind of bleaching method that will lighten the wood and not ruin the lettering, any ideas are always welcome!
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
wood bleaching

Is this a common cleaner? I don't have access to very much out here, not sure if my little Ace Hardware will carry it. Thanks.
 

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There are several commercial wood "cleaners" available, but I have found that ordinary household bleach, mixed 3 parts water to 1 part bleach, will restore most weathered wood to an almost new look. Wet the wood with the mix for 15 mins. or so, then rinse off. I'm not sure what affect it will have on the markings though.....hth
 

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Oxalic acid will remove some paint and all stains so I would start with a mild bleach solution first as ABCB described and don't for get to post pictures of the results.
 

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Plain old house bleach will break down the fibers and make the wood soft. Home Depot sells a product called 'wood bleach'...I dont remember what in it, but it starts to foam up a bit like hydrogen peroxide on a cut. Its good stuff. Lightens the wood by about three or four shades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
bleach

I tried a little bleach on a damaged end tonight and it took the lettering off! I'm afraid this is going to happen no matter what method or product I use!
 

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ScottD SEZ: ....a product called 'wood bleach'.... is oxalic acid. Also known as concrete cleaner, really gets stains out. Mix 9:1 for a 10% solution for most uses. Home Depot, Lowe's, most hardware stores, paint shops, swimming pool supplies stores.

Oxalic acid in its pure form is very dangerous, toxic, corrosive and should be carefully handled. When mixing powdered oxalic acid with water, wear latex gloves, use protective glasses and a dust mask. Mix in a well-ventilated area – preferably outdoors. In case of swallowing oxalic acid, never induce vomiting; drink a lot of milk or water and contact your physician or poison control center immediately.

Carry On!
Gary
><>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
bleaching

I didn't get very good results with just the bleach, so while I was in town this afternoon I picked up a bottle of Woodsman wood cleaner, it has the oxalic acid, I paid $10 at my local store so I paid at least 20% more then you would at a chain store, but the results were worth it,I only did a small portion to see how well it worked and I'm very impressed,I was careful around the lettering but so far I'm very happy!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
bleaching wood

I'm sure if I read the caution label it would tell me to wear rubber gloves while working with this stuff, but I didn't read it and didn't wear gloves, and now I'm regretting it,last night my fingers felt dry and rough, this morning they felt like I had been using carb cleaner, so if you try this be sure to wear gloves! I used a piece of red shop rag,I dipped it in the fluid and rubbed it around, then while it was still wet I wiped it down with gas station paper towel, that brown stuff that comes on the big rolls,I let it dry over night then touch up and spots I missed.
 

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If that stuff doesn't work, I had some old comp-B crates, and had good luck using stock whiting, Brownells sells it. Make a paste, spread it on (using gloves) and it helps pull the oil out. Mix with acetone for greater effect.

That should pull any old oils out of the wood. Minwax Golden Oak stain brings them back to a nice color.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
crates

These crate were dry, all the stains were just from being left out in the weather, in our area the wood doesn't rot it turns grey and drys up, this stuff removed that grey very well. I just hope I can get my finger tips to rehydrate!
 

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These crate were dry, all the stains were just from being left out in the weather, in our area the wood doesn't rot it turns grey and drys up, this stuff removed that grey very well. I just hope I can get my finger tips to rehydrate!
Lanolin will help with that. I threw a crapload of partially burned wood back onto the burning pile a week ago, barehanded. That stuff kills and cracks skin fast, it seems. My therapy was to size a couple K .223's that got lubed with lanolin.:rofl:
Hey, it's working good!:):)

Maybe gross, but avoid washing them with soap for a while.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
hands

I was thinking of pulling out all my leather gear and giving it a good lubing, that always helps moisten things!
 
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