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#615667 06/10/22 10:20 AM
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Sidelock
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How did the Brits and European makers achieve the mirror finishes on the internals of their actions? I have tried burnishing tools with little success.


It ain't whether you hit a bird that matters, it's the fun you have even if you don't.
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I would think very fine paper followed by polishing compound on stropping leather or a buffing wheel. Will be interested to hear what answers you get.


Jim
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Stones

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I am nearly certain they accomplished it by burnishing, which closed the pores and scratches from manufacturing. I have a 200 year old London double flint shotgun whose internals still shine like a newborn baby’s butt. And no rust! But how?

I have successfully burnished brass to that degree of finish but brass will flow with enough pressure. I just cannot imagine hand labor exerting enough force to flow iron or steel.


It ain't whether you hit a bird that matters, it's the fun you have even if you don't.
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Originally Posted by Joe Wood
I am nearly certain they accomplished it by burnishing .... I just cannot imagine hand labor exerting enough force to flow iron or steel.

These seem like directly opposing ideas. What makes you think they burnished the steel instead of polishing it?


Jim
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When fitting barrel sets, I watched my old friend Gerold Pheffer polish the flats with a very fine cut file, loaded with chalk, dabbed with oil. This is a possibility, anyway.
Mike

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Yes der ami to start then you met to eliminate file marks a guy from purdey came to school and showed finishing parts with stones I use a series of stone to polish gravers I use a ruby stone to to a very high finish.

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Fine files, oil, and fine grit paper/cloth mixed with some elbow grease. I’ve seen stones used for other types of work, but not for polishing up internals to a final finish, at least not by the guys I’ve seen work. I personally only use files and cloth. I like to polish internals up to about a “chrome” appearance. It definitely aids in corrosion control and smooths out how the action works. If a piece has alot of tooling or file marks on it, I’ll draw them out using fine files. If the parts being polished up have to maintain some critical geometry (certain trigger parts), obviously you only do what you can to clean up the surfaces and not change any of the final fit unless you absolutely need to. I was taught to polish in the direction the parts will move too, I believe that’s fairly critical in maintaining that fine, hand finished appearance.

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From the above remarks, it seems different people use whichever method works best for them.
Mike

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Mirror polishing of small internal lock parts n days past was a profession and a skill that is hardly done today. The only trade where it is still done regularly is in high quality mechanical watch and clock making. Some of the older products used are still available but at a cost. Abrasive stones are just one of many abrasives though the problem is what type is used for finishing "Water of Ayr" stones are available in many grades for producing a high finish on hardened steels the finest polish is obtained with Dimond dust in olive oil, Jewellers Rouge in
any oil. To bring the metal surface up to a level where you can consider working it to a mirror finish the following items are of a great help "Engineers Emery sticks" of various shapes and abrasive sizes, mechanical buffing wheels using various paste polishes "Tripoli" polishing soap is a good all rounder to get a high polish on softer metals though using polishing wheels does have a tendency yo remove sharp edges killing that sharp overall effect. Dont forget to use finger protection when using mechanical polishers it will be a painful lesson if you dont.


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