Not an expert of these- but since you are woodworking, try a woodworking product - Formby's Refinisher. Many of the Warsaw pact weapons had a varish or shellac as finish. Formby's (Home Depot, ACE, Lowe's. etc) is not a stripper (methyl chloride) but a buch of solvents (acetone, tolulene, xylene, isobutyl badstuff) that dissolve and spread those finishes. Flammable as hell, use in well ventilated area (outdoors is my preference) Worth a try.
What we have here is... failure- to communicate.