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gallen85 02-25-2011 09:46 PM

Hand polishing a barrel for bluing.
I am in the process of hand polishing a barrel for bluing. I began by sanding lengthwise with 100 grit. I will then go to a shoeshine method with finer grit and continue this process until I have a high polish. I ran into a problem though. While sanding with the 100 grit some spots showed up that appear to be some shallow pitting. Can I go to a coarser grit to remove the pitting quicker and then progress to finer grits? Is there a better method to remove this pitting? Any help is appreciated.

c3shooter 02-25-2011 11:28 PM

Yes, you can go back to a coaser grit, and once shallow pits are gone, switch to finer grit. Pits tend to show up as black spots as the abrasive collects in the divots. You can also drawfile the metal- but please remember the old gunsmith's adage- it is MUCH easier to remove metal than it is to put it back.

50of4064 02-26-2011 02:15 AM

Start sanding in one direction with one grit, then sand in the other direction with a finer grit. IE: long ways then radius. this will help mask and flatten the lines on the surface and reduce the long lines that can occur.
Start with your 100 wet/dry, then 250, 400, 800, 1000 then 0000 steelwool.
I like to polish between grits on the polishing wheel and inspect the barrel against the light for non-polished ares and for scratches that the sandpaper and polish would not remove and re hit those ares before moving on to the next grit.
For shallow pitting the polisher can do wonders, deep pitting requires the file to be drawn and a light touch needs to be taken. If you do not have the right files get a set, just as sand paper comes in grits, files come in grades and profiles, shapes and sizes. The smaller the area the smaller the file, don't go to big of a file for a small area. If your unsure as to the filing part, go down to the hardware store and pick up a piece of bar stock or tube, about 3/4" round, scratch and ding it, and test your touch and technique on it before you work on the barrel, this way you gain some experience and gain some confidence.

Polishing the barrel in both directions also.

gallen85 02-26-2011 04:08 AM

Thanks for the help. I have heard of draw filing but I was a little scared of it. This is the first barrel I have attempted and would like to take it a little slower and use sandpaper.

TheOldMan 03-04-2011 01:44 PM

A word on draw-filing... Remember that you are filing a "round" barrel so you need to make sure you draw the file to you but also follow the contoure of the barrel to prevent flat spots.. I've used draw filing with great success on barrels and reciever tubes. Also remember to clean out the metal shavings that accumulate in the files grooves from time to time. Sanding works great but filing seems to work quicker for me...

50of4064 02-27-2012 11:49 PM did it turn out!!!!
best post some photos, hope it was fun.

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