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  1. #91
    Contributing Member Doco overboard's Avatar
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    I had my Kragicon out today that has had an express finish applied to it. It looks kind of black more so than blue to me. (poor picture) It is however a product that is very easy to work with and durable.
    Depending on what sort of technique is used to prepare the metal, more than one sort of final appearance can be had. Just like any type of finish the more effort in preparation and patience better results can be obtained.
    Attachment 118899
    Sporter Krag with express finish for comparison,
    Attachment 118900

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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

  3. #92
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doco overboard View Post
    Depending on what sort of technique is used to prepare the metal, more than one sort of final appearance can be had
    Did you experiment at all? One thought is there may be more carbon in the receiver than in the loading gate and side plate. I also think the depth of color has a lot to do with how deep the initial coat etches the metal...deeper reflects less light and comes out darker. If the receiver is much harder, than the same 320 grit would not bite as hard as the other parts, so maybe if I use 240 grit on the receiver I can get darker results?

    Doco, I think I'll drive out and hand deliver your tools when I'm done. Thanks again for your help, and patience in letting me hold on to them all summer.
    Last edited by ssgross; 07-26-2021 at 12:30 AM.

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  5. #93
    Contributing Member Doco overboard's Avatar
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    Yes, I have found that when the metal is pocked/cleaned with an abrasive like glass beading, and then the finish is applied real heavy in say about 3 coats, it will come out flat black and non translucent.
    When the metal is polished and more evenly applied that first application will wet out and allow some reflection to pass through giving a more even and better finish for appearance.
    I think the water used for boiling has an effect too, metal parts polished on a buffer and then warmed in distilled water at least in my mind would be the best combination.
    I just use the water drawn from our well,probably not the best for where I'm at. I should collect clean rain water for doing projects like this but things never seem to come together just right when you want them too.
    Its too easy to get in a hurry.
    Humidity is the other thing, once you get the parts prepped, have the rigging for the coloring ready to go so the parts aren't left to a lot of air circulation. If it's going to be a while, protect them in a poly bag to keep them dry.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I got an email back from Bob Veasey at rustblue.com very fast. He suggested a higher humidity. I don't think I can get much higher than 85% in my sweat pot. He also suggested to pre-etch the metal in 10% muriatic acid. Without a blast cabinet, and reading the more detailed instructions on Mark Lee's site, this would make sense. The hardware store muriatic is 20%, so adding it to equal amount of water (remembering my high school chemistry). From what I read, a 30 second dip will remove all the current bluing, and lightly etch the surface.
    I'm thinking of an experiment first. I blued an 03 floor plate after polishing to 320 at the same time as this receiver. It seemed a little light in color too. I'll doing a second floor plate polished to 240. If I don't like it, I'll try the express blue next, then try the pre-etching - pick the best method and do the receiver.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Here we are, before trying any of the methods above to to get a darker finish on the receiver.
    Attachment 118956
    I've been searching for pics of pristine originals. Many show the receiver being a lighter color than the barrel, but with the case-hardened side plate and loading gate either matching, or even lighter.
    I'm tempted to leave it as is. It's done and won't rust anymore unless I do something different. Then again, Bob Veasey emailed me again and said to wipe on the muriatic with a cotton ball until the metal starts to turn grey, then quickly rinse, dry, and proceed bluing as before. I have a lot of work yet to do, so I don't think there is any loss in trying again.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    That looks great now...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    got my boil tube set up and leak tested, then fired it up. Takes 30 minutes to boil 2 gallons.
    Attachment 118971
    I practice pre-etching another '03 part...turned out no darker than the other one. So I gave up on getting my receiver any darker. One last long boil and fine carding, then soaked in boiled linseed oilicon for a few hours I wiped off all the excess and here she is in less direct lighting.
    Attachment 118972Attachment 118973Attachment 118974Attachment 118975
    tommorow I'll blue the barrel.

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    Goodness that’s pretty!

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I've certainly learned a lot. I'm debating whether to use the express blue or the slow blue on the barrel tomorrow. I just re-did the buttplate a few times with express blue to get the hang of it. I think the key is pretty thick coats for at least the first 2 iterations, being careful the metal is hot enough that there isn't any puddling or running.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Went ahead and assembled the receiver. Loading gate and follower took some time to get right. Once I had it, and pushed the pin through a whole bunch of sludge pushed out with it...obvoius it was jellied linseed oilicon. Guess I forgot to clean it out when I pulled the gate out of the oil. Even after cleaning it all out, the gate is still pretty hard to open...and I need to blue the hinge of the follow arm and the long gate pin. they look ugly showing through the pristine receiver.

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