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Joined: Feb 2006
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Very informative thread, thanks to all that added to it.
As I stated in the General Discussion, I learned mostly from what Dr. Gaddy had posted many years ago and have used his technique. What I haven't read on here was when leaving the barrels in for rusting and then when ready for etching, what do you put in your barrels for protection? For rusting, I use rubber plugs with 1/4" copper tubing bent 90 degrees so the ends are out of the water, for etching I just use rubber plugs. I tried one time using a shellac coat on the inside of the barrels but too much time getting it out. Like Kutter stated, a weep hole is indispensable and most if not all L.C. Smith's have a weep hole near the loop for drainage.
As for bottom ribs not fully soldered, I don't think I have seen one that was soldered fully. I have taken a .001 narrow feeler gage along the bottom ribs and have had it go under the ribs on both sides in a few places. Rust blueing them doesn't hurt anything but when you etch Damascus barrels I always take them out of the solution the bottom rib is facing up when I rinse them under running water. Learned that the hard way.
I hang them to dry and use a propane torch and get it warm to the touch and then spray Kroil oil in the weep hole and hang the breech end up.

Like I stated in the General Discussion, I only do this for myself, no one to answer to except me.

The one thing that I have to say is that I have seen L.C. Smith's refurbished along with refinished barrels and even some of the top notch people doing the work put a high finish on the barrels, From Field Grade to Deluxe they all had a matte finish. So beware of someone selling one that way that states 90% condition as it is not.


David


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bushveld,
Sorry it took so long to get back to you. The rust bluing solution( Streichbruenierbeize) I use doesn't have any of the chemicals listed. The solution is DEWE BRUENOFIX, 8540Rednitzhembach, Industrgebiet, Telefon (09122) 3760 + 4383. The address and telephone number are from 1981, so they may not be current.
Mike

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Do you all remove old bluing with a chemical remover (e.g Brownells steel white) or just with the abrasives used for polishing?


Jim
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Abrasives myself, I polish with the finest grit I can to get the job done efficiently. I use quite a bit of 240 grit Norton emery cloth to remove bluing and find the 1&1/2" wide to be about right for my needs. Good deals on Ebay at times.


http://www.bertramandco.com/
Booking African hunts, firearms import services

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Jim,
I don't remove the old bluing with chemical remover prior to polishing but toyed with the idea of using brick cleaner to do it. However, I decided it would save time to clean it with acetone to remove the oil before polishing as oil residue clogs the abrasive cloth. This is in addition to my post polishing acetone cleaning. I am interested others experience, especially if only "spot polishing" might be enough before bluing.
Mike

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Just curious, anybody built and used a vacuum chamber to remove moisture?
Chief

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No, I usually just use a torch but I am right now bluing a very special set of Purdey barrels which contain wiring for night sights, no torch on those so I will try Mike hunters alcohol method.


http://www.bertramandco.com/
Booking African hunts, firearms import services

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Let me start by stating that I fully respect Mike Hunters knowledge, skills and abilities, but I’ve also experimented with alcohols as a desiccant and have found that water , etc will still remain in a rib space flushed with alcohol. I’ve used good quality denatured for my experiments. I’ve found the following statement (not mine) to be true:

“When alcohol is mixed with water, it forms an azeotropic mixture, meaning it has a boiling point lower than either pure alcohol or water. This means that some water will always remain in the mixture, even after the alcohol has evaporated”.

One thing I did notice when flushing the rib space with denatured is the amount of rosin flux that breaks away and is subsequently flushed out….its a good way to clean in between the rib space for sure.

I’ve come to the conclusion that if the ribs are leaking and water is entering the space….and a full rib relay isn’t practical, needed, or cost effective…..drilling weep holes and using dry compressed air is the way to go. I used to be totally against this, but I’ve wisened up. I was convinced this was the way to go after having several conversations with a couple of highly respected craftsman (an Austrian, a Swiss, and a couple of Americans). Drilling tiny weep holes, drying with dry compressed air, and using a high quality water displacing oil, making tiny plugs to finish off the job looks pretty good and most people wouldn’t even notice.

I also strictly use abrasives for polishing. My mantra is if the barrels don’t look chrome plated before blacking-finishing they aren’t ready yet. When I look down the side of the tubes and see any light breaking along the surface, that needs to be corrected. Some will say polishing to that level is detrimental, I’ve found that be false as well.

This is how they should look before finishing:
[Linked Image from i.ibb.co]

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In regard to polishing the barrels as shown by LeFusil and his comments above.

Desmond Mills, the former Purdey gunmaker supports and reinforces LeFusil's assessment stating in his book on Gunsmithing: ......"exterior of the barrels.....must be so highly polished that they look as if they are chrome plated. This forms the foundation of the quality and appearance of the barrel finish.''

Kind regards

Stephen Howell

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I have been told many times that I overpolish barrels for rust bluing. Supposedly, only 400 or even 320 is all that should be done. I never agreed. I do not think it is possible to overpolish.

Those barrels look perfect.


_________
BrentD, (Professor - just for Stan)

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


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