Restoring the finish on a rusted gun

Discussion in 'Engraving & Refinishing' started by TINCANBANDIT, Jan 2, 2014.

  1. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    Recently a guy brought me a Marlin 1894 Cowboy rifle that had been left in its original Styrofoam container (please do not do this, I have seen more than a few guns rust in styrofoam). He tried to fix the rust, but the cancer had caused some pretty deep pitting. Keep in mind this gun was new, never fired....

    here are the before shots

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  2. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    Hell if he were a real cowboy it would not matter. A carbine carried in a saddle scabbard all winter looks much worse. But then the Urban Cowboy Shooters are "All Hats and no Cows',. :D
     

  3. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    well, that may be true, but there is nothing wrong about the love of a beautiful gun

    I removed the rust and pits using a file, then moved to sand paper, then a bit of buffing (mainly on the receiver). The barrel received a 600 grit finish, while the receiver is closer to 1200 grit.

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  4. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    here is the receiver ready for re-blue[​IMG]

    I then readied my bluing tank, I use a formula involving Sodium Hydroxide, Sodium Nitrate and Distilled water[​IMG]

    once removed from the bluing tank, I rinsed with clean water, then soaked in oil for 24 hrs
    [​IMG]
     
  5. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    Last edited: Jan 3, 2014
  6. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    very nice looking!

    looks a little more black than blue now.
     
  7. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    next project, a very un-loved Ruger Standard (pre-Mark I) from 1951

    here is what it looked like when I got it
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  8. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    after dis-assembly, I de-greased the gun and used Naval Jelly to remove the rust
    [​IMG]


    I then used the wire wheel to remove the scale to see what we have to deal with.....it is worse than I thought

    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  9. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    Here is the barrel after some sanding, I think I may need to enlist my dremel on some of this metal, normally I advise not to use power tools, but there is a lot of metal to be removed....
    [​IMG]

    some more progress
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  10. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    more updates, I have the pits removed

    This is a 600 grit finish
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  11. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    Here it is after the 1st pass on the buffer, some of the pits will remain (they are too close to the roll marks to remove). Also I plan on sand blasting the top of the barrel/receiver as well as the ring at the front site

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  12. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    Here is a comparison shot, showing the progress on the barrel
    [​IMG]
     
  13. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    here is the frame after sanding and a 1st pass on the buffer. The buffing will show all the flaws, I found a few spots where I need to go back and sand out the scratches
    [​IMG][​IMG][​IMG][​IMG]
     
  14. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    the parts are ready for bluing
    [​IMG]
     
  15. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Oh, the humanity! :D

    Very nice work on the prep on those two. FWIW, am NOT a smith, have done a little hot bluing to see if I could- used sodium hydroxide and ammonium nitrate. After bluing, boiled the pieces in distilled water for 15 minutes. Does a good job of removing all bluing salts, and seems to "set" the new bluing. Only time I use WD40 is after taking out of the water bath- actually does a good job of displacing the water.
     
  16. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    Yep, I use WD-40 for that as well. That is after all what it was designed for (WD stands for Water Displacing, but I'm sure you knew that :) )

    I use Sodium Nitrate rather than Ammonium Nitrate, it is easier to get. Although many people do not know the difference and they give you funny looks when you ask for it at the hardware store:eek:

    I wrote about my learning process on my blog (if you are interested....)

    http://tincanbandit.blogspot.com/2013/05/a-lesson-in-refinishing.html
     
  17. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    A re-blued Ruger standard .22 would bring $125 dollars in my market area. I can make more from these "Junk" guns selling them for parts. :)
     
  18. TINCANBANDIT

    TINCANBANDIT Member

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    I'd like to pick up some more of these if I could get them for $125!

    The whole reason I got into fixing old guns is so I could buy the unloved ones and restore them for myself. There is no money in doing this for a business, just as you stated, the money put into it would not increase its value enough to make it worth the effort.