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Thread: To Blue or Not to Blue

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  1. #11
    Really Senior Member Mk VII's Avatar
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    Most well-used No.1 forends have developed a crack at the rear, probably why India added a strap there to the late ones, and why the No.4 forend got one.

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  3. #12
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk VII View Post
    Most well-used No.1 forends have developed a crack at the rear
    Not what he said...not the forend...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    " I would like to have a non-permanent solution in which I can blue it, but the bluing could easily be taken off for it to retain its original collectible"
    Why would you want to put a finish on a rifle just to take it off again what would be the point of the exercise, to see what it would look like with blue or rust blue finish thing is once you start playing doing this stuff your going to end up with variations in the metal colour.
    Also you are removing the rifles patina that it has accumulated on its journey to date which is what most of us here regard as the correct thing, the original finish has worn off through perhaps usage and thats what gives all the milsurp rifles their character.

    Seen allot of Lee Enfields have a few myself and shoot military matches with them where there are more Lee's to see I have yet to see the "Cracked at the Wrist like most enfields" as per your post, yes the bottom fore wood splits removing the butt first your statement holds no value unless twats were trying to stamp out invading fire ants with the butt.
    To keep its value do not do anything with it just use RLO/Turps on the stock 50/50 mix with gun oil or Balistol on the metal work.
    Pictures of the said rifle would go along way for the forumer's advising on the best course of action as no opinions of what to do can be formed by reading words.
    If you think about how many wars these things have been through and the places they have been of course there is going to be variance between them.
    I am all for leaving a weapon as is providing it is not a rusted hulk then obviously something has to be done, in these cases its not to improve the value but the value the restorer gets from bringing the said piece back to its former glory rather than re-sale....
    Last edited by CINDERS; 04-13-2018 at 09:12 PM.

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Depends on many variables:
    1. are you doing the work yourself or paying someone to do it?
    2. does the mechanical condition (rifling particularly) justify the expense?
    3. will such work harm the resale value?
    4. what condition is the woodwork in?

    If the woodwork is original and not refinished, refinishing the metalwork will unavoidably produce a sort of freak that will be immediately obvious as a non-ordnance rework. Refinishing the woodwork is even worse and will ruin the originality, collectability and value to a large extent.

    That said, it's yours and you can do whatever you want with it. Worth taking a little time to consider though.

    Angier's book on refinishing remains the definitive source AFAIK. Originally the trigger, cocking piece, safety lever etc. would have been oil-blacked and lacquered and barreled-action etc. blued, but the blue used between the wars at least, appears to have been a surface deposit rather than a simple hot tank blue as we are used to today.
    "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Surpmil View Post
    Angier's book on refinishing remains the definitive source AFAIK.
    Worth every penny.....

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk VII View Post
    Most well-used No.1 forends have developed a crack at the rear.
    Only happens when the great unwashed take the Butt off before the forend.

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...preserve the metal by cold-bluing..." Cold bluing does very little protecting. It's the oil required after putting it on that does that.
    "...a non-permanent solution..." Get some great, big, plastic, storage bags(not garbage), oil the thing heavily inside and out, then vacuum seal it in the bags.
    "...retain its original collectible value..." That one has no collector value. It's worth the sum of its parts.
    "...cracked at the wrist like most Enfields are..." Most are not and if that one is cracked anywhere it's worthless. The only value it'll ever have is as a non-operational display piece. Making it into one of those will likely cost far more than $500(absolutely not worth $500 anywhere) too. There are no more 'stock sets', but it's most all the wee metal bits and screws that add way up. Two or 3 bucks each for a sling swivel screw for example. Bolt heads at $14.90 each. $5.75 for an extractor screw.
    Spelling and Grammar count!

  10. #18
    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    I'm just today in the process of fitting a nos Enfield SMLE forend and have my trusty and very greasy copy of the Canadianicon Ordnance Corps 1943 "Extracts from Instructions to Armourers" open on my bench for ready reference. Under examination of the butt, fore-end and handguards, here's what it says.

    " Examine for damage, splits, warping, excessive dryness or rot, and especially at seacoast stations, for salt deposit; evidence of the latter will usually be indicated by rust on the barrel. Where salt deposit is distinctly in evidence, the fore-end and handguards should be replaced. See that the butt is firmly held in the body, and that the correct stocking conditions are maintained; where the parts are patched see that the patches are secure.

    NOTE. - A split at the rear end of the fore-end, at the junction portion under the stock bolt plate, may be ignored, provided the screwed wire has a firm hold. If the stocking is satisfactory, lubricate, as required, with red mineral jelly to one part beeswax."

    Many SMLE forends exhibit this split. I've had nos forends that were split before they were ever fitted. It doesn't hurt to work some good glue into the crack if possible and clamp it up for 24 hours before installation but as the book says, it can be ignored.

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  12. #19
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    You beat me to it Brian. I was about to say just how many No1 forends I've had (& still have) that have this split, which show no evidence whatsoever of it being caused by abuse. I think the wood just dries out with age, & this little vertical splitting down from the keeper plate area is what occurs. Of course, abuse, like trying to undo the stock bolt & remove the butt before the forend, will do it too, but I don't believe it accounts for all cases.


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