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Old 08-16-2013, 11:06 PM
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Default Gunsmith Advice Needed: Stock refinishing and home barrel bluing



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So I was given a .410 break action shotgun by a friend because it was in such bad shape that it was worthless. There was raised pitting on the barrel and the stock's finish had bubbled up in places. It basically looked like it sat outside for a couple of months in the weather. Since I always wanted to refinish a firearm this looked like the perfect opportunity to try my hand at it. So far I have sanded off the finish of the stock and forearm. I used a file to get off the rust scale from the outside of the barrel and receiver but there is still pitting left. Then I ran a hone by hand down the last 7-8 inches of the barrel to loosen up some rust and pitting that was there.

Here are my questions at this point in the project:

1. If I leave the current pitting in the outside of the barrel will it still refinish decent without wrecking the new bluing? I don't care about the pits if it will finish out ok. I'm worried about taking too much material from the barrel in the areas where the rusting was (right at the end of the chamber/end of where the shotshell is).

2. Is the Birchwood Casey Perma Blue home kit a decent one to use on a project like this?


Please give me any other hints/tips to make this look as good as possible. I will post pics on the thread of before and afters once I get it done. Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:25 PM
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I just completely re-furbished an old Rem 1100 for my wife to shoot skeet and trap with.
I also re-finished my first rifle as well.

I stripped the stock all the way down to bare wood using a chemical stripper (which many say is a no-no but worked just fine for me) then sanded lightly to smooth the surface, then with a very damp rag and an Iron I proceeded to steam the entire stock wherever it had dents. 9afterwards let the stock sit for at least 24 hrs to dry out or the stain will not take properly)

Mt wife wanted the wood darker than original so I used a mohagany stain then 5x coats of tung oil (took about 2 weeks total on the wood)

This bluing that I used was AMAZING and easy

http://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-to...-prod1072.aspx

I used less than 1/3 of the bottle to completely do 2 firearms minus the barrel on one.

TAKE YOUR TIME! that is the biggest piece of advice that I can give. I am very impatient by nature and this is not a good line of work for me lemme tell ya. I love doing it but I want results NOW DAMMIT!
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Old 08-16-2013, 11:43 PM
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Flitz and cheesecloth, and elbow grease. Rub for a while, move to a clean section of cloth and keep rubbing. Stop when you no longer see rust coming off on the cheesecloth.

Then, clean thoroughly, and apply bluing touch-up as needed. You may not need any, depending how it comes out.

If the bluing still has serious issues, you can consider rebluing the whole thing, or large areas of it. Naval jelly will remove the old bluing. Oxpho-Blue is a good cold blue you can do yourself.

For the stock ...

I would have used either Krud Cutter or brake part cleaner to remove the original finish, depending what type it was. Krud Cutter is good for oil finishes, brake part cleaner is good for varnish. Get a big container of hot water. Wash the stock with a cloth (I use cheesecloth). Spray liberally with Krud Cutter. Wash it again. Spray again etc. The finish will gradually come off. Then, sand what's left. Since in your case, you've already sanded the finish, moving on to the next step.

If you have any dents, you can use the ironing technique above. Use a regular household iron. Soak a cloth, like a cheesecloth or towel. Put the wet cloth on top of the dent, and then press the steam onto that area. The idea is that you are pushing hot water into the wood fibers, making it pop back up. It may take several treatments. Stop every now and then to wet the towel again to protect the wood and keep water available to force into the wood. This will not work on cuts or gouges, only dents.

Lightly sand when you're done with all of this, then wash it off. Let it dry thoroughly.

There are many finishes you can choose among. Most often, I use Minwax oil-based finishes. Apply the finish following the directions on the can, allowing time for each coat to soak in before wiping the stock down and applying the next coat. I usually use two or three coats.

I like Helmsman spar urethane as a protective outer coat. It gives greater protection against weather and UV as well as some additional protection against dents and scratches. It comes in gloss, semi-gloss and satin; I usually use satin. Again, follow the directions on the can, allowing it time to dry between layers.
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Old 08-17-2013, 07:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jknova View Post
Flitz and cheesecloth, and elbow grease.
That reminds me of one of the younger guys where I work........

I told him to use some elbow grease.........he gave me a strange look and said "what's that"

JK.......we're obviously old farts. These younger guys on the forum might not know what that elbow grease is or where to buy it.....LOL
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:08 AM
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Yeah the hardest part is being patient and doing all the monotonous sanding and finishing. The whole barrel will need to be reblued because of the amount of rust and I have it stripped. I'm currently working on just getting the rust scale down to even with the barrel. At that point there is still some black pitting and I'm wondering if it is ok to just finish over that or if I need to remove it somehow? Is that what the cheescloth does?

I sanded off the finish because there were scratches and water marks on the wood so I figured I might as well just sand it off. Is there a way to remove the deeper water marks other than sanding? It looks like the shotgun sat upright and the front of the forearm is discolored due to the rain soaking in.
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Old 08-17-2013, 09:19 AM
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The cheesecloth and Flitz are to remove surface rust. For deep pitting, you would probably need to resort to sandpaper or steel wool. You do need all of the rust gone before resurfacing or it won't be durable.

For the stock, I'd try cycles of soaking in hot water, steaming, soaking with Krud Cutter, rinsing and repeating.
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Old 08-17-2013, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by jknova View Post
For deep pitting, you would probably need to resort to sandpaper or steel wool. You do need all of the rust gone before resurfacing or it won't be durable.
I'm worried about taking too much material off and making the barrel unusable or dangerous after repeated use if I were to go much further down. I may try to blue it once and see how it goes and if it does not look up to what I want it to work on it some more. I'm just not sure at what point it becomes unsafe to take off any more material because I want to use this gun after it's done.
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Old 08-17-2013, 12:31 PM
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I can't advise on the bluing aspect (which sounds already properly covered,anyway), but for the stock re-finishing, I highly recommend Birchwood Casey's Tru-oil. It's marketed specifically as a gun stock oil, but is also highly popular with guitar builders and refinishers.
It's basically just a linseed oil with some other secret ingredients, so it's completely non-toxic, with no nasty fumes. It dries pretty quickly, and additional coats can be rubbed in repeatedly, and give a very nice semi-and even high-gloss lustre, but isn't "plasticky" feeling like polyurethane.
I've most often used it on necks on guitar builds, and it's feels very natural, while providing protection, and looking great.
It's also famous for being VERY user-freindly. You just about can't screw it up, and it's easy to strip and start over should you want to.
I get it at my LGS for about $6 a bottle ( which will still be WAY more than you'd ever need for a single gun.)
Also, when sanding the wood and going to finer grits, don't use any steel wool, it leaves particles in the grain. The 3M scratch pads are much better for this, the white ones are the finest, and work great for light polishing between coats.
One more thing, when wiping off the wood between or after sanding, use denatured alcohol. No matter how well you think you've wiped it down after sanding, wiping it down with a clean white cloth and denatured alcohol will show you how much dust you still missed.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:25 PM
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you want the rust off use electrolysis it will re-bond to the mettle what it can and the rest will just wipe off with a washcloth and its cheap

i use the traditional bluing method of gas blueing gives the best results but i wouldn't recommend it to a person who doesn't know what there doing
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:28 PM
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Going to try electrolysis this weekend on the barrel and receiver. I also just ordered some Oxpho-Blue today to reblue them both. Will update after the weekend. Thanks for all of the great tips!
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Old 08-24-2013, 01:46 AM
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I refinished my stock on my Rem 788 .243 and it turned out great. Smooth as glass.

To get the old finish and oils off the wood I bought some stuff recommended from another site. Got it at home depot and I think was made by Jasco (sp). Basically a furniture stripper and worked wonders. Did several coats. Still had some oils left in the wood and dents in the wood. I then took the stock and shoved it in our dishwasher with a little detergent and let it cycle through. The hot water and soap did an excellent job of ridding the last of the oils and swelling the wood fibers enough to push all the dents back out to normal. Let it dry for about a week. I was very surprised at how well this worked. The wife was a little irritated though.

Then sanded with automotive wet/dry sandpaper but used it dry. Used 100 grit to 1000 grit or so until it was really smooth.

To get a darker stock with a hint of reddish color I used Herters French Red and applied 4-5 coats. Then used about 10 coats of Tru-Oil while sanding with 0000 steel wool in between coats. Worked well with the steelmwool but wish would have known of Mil-Dots advice on the 3M pads. I used cheese cloth between the sanding and oil coats.

The biggest thing I learned was app ing the Tru-Oil. The first 4-5 coats I used what was recommended for applicator cloths. I kept getting little cloth fibers in the finish which really ****ed me off. Drove me freaking crazy. What ended up working great was cutting up an old synthetic Under Armor type workout shirt and applicator rags. Made a huge difference.
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Old 08-24-2013, 07:10 PM
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I recently finished a Ranger 36A .22 .The outside of barrel was very rusty.I used different grits of emery cloth then followed up with wire wheel on my bench grinder.It looks like new.
I did this just to see how it would turn out.I like it.Anyone have a bolt for this gun?Its a single shot.
Almost forgot I used Birchwood Casey Perma Blue.
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Old 09-25-2013, 11:13 PM
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Here is the final product guys: https://www.survivalistboards.com/sho...d.php?t=319613

Thanks for all of the advice!
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Old 09-26-2013, 10:49 PM
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I like the plum brown finish, either out of a bottle or the old fashioned way, using a live oak tree, lard (or beef tallow) a nail and cotton twine. have a barrel workin right now, don more than one reenactor gun make for a deep plum brown finish also did my old Belgian A5 I picked up cheap, because its finish was shot
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Old 11-04-2019, 01:25 PM
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anybody know the procedure of "bluing method" ?
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Old 11-05-2019, 07:02 AM
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Originally Posted by william dolby View Post
anybody know the procedure of "bluing method" ?
I can't quote it verbatim, so get on YouTube and have a look. There are several videos that give good instruction, in particular one where a guy is doing his slide tube on his pump shotgun. Get yourself the Birchwood Casey bluing kit. My kit also contains Super Blue, which is what I use. After doing the YouTube search, I did several parts on my Yugo and they came out beautiful and matched the rest of the rifle. If you're wanting to do a barrel, you might want to let a professional do that. Don't want to mess up the bore. If you're just wanting to touch up a small spot, look at the birchwood Casey bluing pin. Again do a YouTube search on the pin.

Hint: When you do the rinse, rinse over and over to stop the reaction. You can't rinse too much. And SMOOTH, SHINY, CLEAN parts deliver the best results. Then use Barricade protectant to put the final touch on it.

Edit: Here ya go. Pay close attention to what he's doing..



Edit again: This guy is kind of a clown, but I use his method (apply and wipe off) when doing touchup using the pen. It's best to stay within the confines of the area in question with as little overlap onto good areas as possible. If you're working on a barrel or large surface, give it a light rub with 0000 steel wool to blend. I neutralize it using a very wet rag followed by a dry rag. Do it several times..



Edit for a third time: I've never used this stuff, but it looks like it's worth investigating..

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Old 11-05-2019, 10:35 AM
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I have used brownells ortho blue several times.
I sand, clean, and degrease the surface, and heat it slightly.

Then apply the bluing solution with a brush, then rub it with fine steel wool.
I repeat applying the solution, then rub it with steel wool several times.

Cold bluing starts out a deep dark color, then fades to a bluish grey color.
After several yrs the cold blue resembles an antique factory blue surface.
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Old 11-05-2019, 01:14 PM
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I am another Oxpho-blue user.

However, I find the paste to be far easier to use and more uniform in the finish over the liquid version.

There was a period where I bought small batches of K98k Russian capture Mausers. I took them apart, sanded off the electro pencil switched all the mismatch parts around so the receiver year had the correct type stock bands etc etc and I removed the Russian black finish and Oxpho-blued them.
Wither the past I could put some on a tooth brush use a small torch to heat up the metal and do the barreled receiver in 2 quick wipes.
I have done maybe 100 Mauser this way and the Oxpho is very close to the aged original bluing. I often steel wool the edges to give it a used look as these are obviously old rifles.
Note, the 1937 K98k below I rebarreled with a Norwegian K98k 308 barrel I bought that came in the white.

With the paste version the trick is heating it up and getting it on when hot. I then wiped Mobile One oil on it.
I have rifles that are 10 years old that still have not rusted at all.

Now, that all said if one has a deep pitting type rust here is what a police armorer does for LE pistols that have been abused.
He removes the rust (jelly) then bakes them. Jelly again and bakes them again.
Then he spray paints them with Rustoleum and bakes them a third time before spraying a second coat of Rustoleum and baking them a fourth time.
No experience on this, never had one that bad but he claims it is the only way to do a badly rusted firearm and the OP may consider this if the bluing route does not take



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Old 11-05-2019, 09:00 PM
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Before I retired for the last time, I owned and operated a firearms refinishing business. We restored firearms mostly for law enforcement, a few governmental agencies and some private persons. We used a thermally setting Molybdenum Disulfide based resin on the metal parts, Manganese Parkerizing and a combination of both. We also did some Nickel plating and a small amount of cold Bluing.

It is extremely difficult to get all of the contaminants out of rust pits and anything at all will contaminate your new finish, making it look like [email protected] I had some success with an agitation tank filled with almost boiling degreaser. It pumped it thru and worked most of the time. Truthfully, it's not worth trying to apply a "Surface Conversion" type finish over rust pits.

A better solution is to use one of the spray on finishes, a "Surface Coating" type finish. There's a few different ones around so take your pick. KG Gun Coat is the oldest and is approved for use on many military weapons systems. Either abrasive blast the surface first or roughen it up with sand paper.

If you want to make the pits vanish under the new finish, here's one of my secret tips. (Don't tell anybody, ok?!) Clean up the barrel and other large pitted parts with sand paper or abrasive blast it. Then degrease it with Acetone. Fill the pits with JB Weld. Smear it around. Then sand off the excess using the wrap method. Wrap the sand paper around the barrel and buff it like you're shining your boots. That will remove the excess JB Weld without digging it out of the pits. Then apply the new finish right over top of it. Curing heat won't affect the JB Weld. It'll look beautiful when it's done!
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Old 11-05-2019, 09:03 PM
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I find sand paper or easy off oven cleaner to work well. For metal I use easy off and wash it down. Navel jelly works just fine. If I an not going to just paint the barrel with BBQ paint, I clean and degrease it several time. I use a Belgian blue from Brownell's. It is a slow process but produces a great product. Mostly I just us BBQ paint
I tried the rub on blues, I don't like the smell
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