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  1. #11
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    If looks like a spotted cat, I'll re-blue over top
    I'd probably derust with fine steel wool and oil and just leave it. I'll bet the wear patterns will be evident, once you start there's no hiding the work. It won't matter once it's coming out of your estate.
    Regards, Jim

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  3. #12
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    So here is what was under all the varnish or whatever it was. I kept scrubbing until a clean white picked up minimal stain. Of course I didn't try to get it all, just what would leech out without any more aggressive efforts. Lacquer thinner and gently rubbing with steel wool.

    Next, I used my alkanet+alcohol stain to bring back the original color, add depth to any "newer" scratches or bruises, and create contrast in what is left of the cartouche and proof stamps.


    first 3 coats of red oil went on this weekend.

    Here we are now.


    I scrubbed off the surface rust from the barreled action with fine steel wool and thin oil. What's left is just a cleaner version of the original condition.

    I'm thinking of eventually rebelling it, but not now. I'll finish getting the lock cleaned up, then assemble and shoot. I haven't de-soldered that front sight yet either. I'm not in any hurry, accept to just enjoy it!

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  5. #13
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    Looks better for sure.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I finished the stock a few weeks ago, and turned to the lock and parts today. Got it all put together, then turned to the bore.
    The good news is there was a glazing of old soft lead, and no signs that anyone shot it with copper jacketed bullets. After scrubbing with pure copper wool to get the lead out, here is what I found...

    chamber, end of the chamber, midway down the bore.

    There is some light pitting in the back of the chamber, and the last 2 inches before the muzzle. The crown shows 134 years of cleaning rod wear. Here are the worst and best spots around the crown.


    Almost getting everything cleaned and put back together. Then we'll see how it shoots before we do anything else. I'm considering setting back the crown...~1/8 inch should remove the cleaning rod damage.
    I'll slug the bore and get everything re-assembled for some final pics.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    The bore slugged a perfect 0.458 from land to groove, with very consistent pressure required the entire length to push the slug through once it was started. Exciting!!!
    Last edited by ssgross; 05-30-2022 at 10:34 PM.

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  10. #16
    Contributing Member Singer B's Avatar
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    That is looking pretty good! I just picked up a M1868 50-70 as a project. I was wondering about the wood. Was the original finish from the Springfield factory inseed oil? Thank you!

  11. #17
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Thanks Singer. I wish I had more time. It's going very slow. I was able to melt the solder to get the front sight blade out (I think I mentioned a large, long and tall front sight was installed...too thin for the notch in the base so it was soldered in place), but I still need to clean the remaining solder out and pin in my replacement.

    Poyer and Riesch's .45-70 book, which I have, says nothing about the finish. I believe I read somewhere reliable (maybe the trapdoor collectors site?) that they originally stained earlier stocks with something - maybe logwood? before being oiled with raw linseed.

    This stock had been refinished sometime before me with a hard lacquer of some sort that was coming up in places. I scrubbed it off with lacquer thinner and steel wool, which then proudly revealed the hidden but still well defined cartouche and proof stamp. I could tell that the stock was likely lightly sanded before me, as I did not see any real color in the wood under the hard outer shell. I used my home-made alkanet+raw linseed to bring the original color back. Worked marvelous. I can't tell the difference between this stock's finish and my 1873's original finish. I'll try to get some pictures this week.

  12. #18
    Contributing Member Singer B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ssgross View Post
    Thanks Singer. I wish I had more time. It's going very slow. I was able to melt the solder to get the front sight blade out (I think I mentioned a large, long and tall front sight was installed...too thin for the notch in the base so it was soldered in place), but I still need to clean the remaining solder out and pin in my replacement.

    Poyer and Riesch's .45-70 book, which I have, says nothing about the finish. I believe I read somewhere reliable (maybe the trapdoor collectors site?) that they originally stained earlier stocks with something - maybe logwood? before being oiled with raw linseed.

    This stock had been refinished sometime before me with a hard lacquer of some sort that was coming up in places. I scrubbed it off with lacquer thinner and steel wool, which then proudly revealed the hidden but still well defined cartouche and proof stamp. I could tell that the stock was likely lightly sanded before me, as I did not see any real color in the wood under the hard outer shell. I used my home-made alkanet+raw linseed to bring the original color back. Worked marvelous. I can't tell the difference between this stock's finish and my 1873's original finish. I'll try to get some pictures this week.
    Thank you sir!

  13. #19
    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    I think the process of staining first was halted in either early Kragicon production, or early '03. I can't remember. Someone will be along shortly with a definitive answer. It has been discussed on this forum in great archival detail before, with plenty of references, but I can't seem to find the thread.

  14. #20
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    Lower swivel finally installed. I had found a repro one right after I bought the rifle...but when it came in the mail it looked nothing like the picture - rings were seem installed with bubble gum then painted to look like a weld
    Last week I was able to source an original. Judging by the hole in the trigger guard being 15 thous. too narrow for the screw, I think my rifle originally wore the riveted swivel, and bumped me out. But, after checking my references, it seems the model 1888 left the factory with a coin toss of either riveted or screwed rear swivel, so I think I was ok slightly reaming open the hole and screwing on the new swivel. Ok, Ok. Pictures coming, I promise. Still need to de-solder the sight base and install a new front sight.

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