- July 19, 2017 at 7:55 am #46262GoodsteelKeymaster
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It is commonly held that rebluing a rifle strips half the value off of it. This is not necessarily true.
It’s also commonly held that cold bluing is a substandard finish. I agree with this to a point, but this also is not necessarily true.
The trick to making truly beutifull finishes and preserving the value of your firearms is PREP WORK!!! You just cannot be lazy with this.
This is why things take so very long here, and why when the things I make are finished, they are above reproach (of course, I hedge my bet by using premium tools, processes and materials to make it happen which certainly doesn’t hurt, but it’s all part of PREP).
Prep starts between your ear plugs. It’s imperative to use your imagination and run through what you are going to do in your mind many many times. A properly executed project must be planned to the last detail. If you miss a single thing, it’s a catastrophe that drops you into the “gun hack” status.
With wood, this boils down to running through all the grades of sandpaper to get to the finish you want to end up with. Don’t skip grits. Don’t neglect to directionalize your strokes to match the wood grain. Hit a tough place? Don’t look over it. Set up shop right there till it is no longer a problem, then pick up where you paused and continue like nothing happened. This is about patience, and not compromising. When a mistake is made, stop and repair it. Did you run your sandpaper over the sharp edge of the buttstock? You will stop and sand down the entire middle of the stock till it is repaired. If one missed stroke requires 150 perfect ones to correct it, then humble yourself and pay the piper.
This goes for the wood finish as well. No compromise.
With Metal finishing, prep is more daunting because metal can take hours of your time like it’s free. This is why so many gun hacks will take a rusty rifle or shotgun and go straight to the buffer and start ripping off metal which smears the sharp corners and lettering horribly, leaving the gun’s value on the floor with the swarf. There’s a very good reason they do this though. It simply takes too long to do it right, and they figure most folks will never notice nor care. That’s not how we do things here because people DO notice. They may not know what they are noticing, but they certainly know a jaw dropping finish when they see one. The person eating the gourmet entree doesn’t need to know how it was prepared to appreciate the flavor!!!
Metal prep comes down to drawfiling properly, then block sanding correctly. The finish is almost completely established with block and sandpaper. The buffing wheel is a finial finish with jewelers rouge only. When metal is prepared in this way, I don’t care what method you use to finish it, it will be spectacular.
Understand, this isnt a matter of just burning time to burn time. It’s about knowing what you want to happen and using the best method to get there and taking the time it needs to be perfect.
Wood will glow, lettering will be crisp and sharp, and the result will be next level quality that people will love to look at, and you will love to own.
After all, life is just too short to do a slipshod job on anything we set our hands to accomplish. Also, remember that in all labor there is profit. It might not be monetary gain, but there are vast diversities in currency that do not have anything to do with money. Doing a job right on the basic level and being sure to look closer when you are doing prep than you (or anyone else) will ever look again in the future is a noble thing and very worth while.
Just like lining up aperture sights, the human eye is able to distinguish the overall effect of this attention to detail. Even if it’s on the other side of a room. Properly executed prep absolutely glows, and no one has to point out the microscopic details that make it better than the next one. It just IS BETTER and it’s obvious. The difference between a collector/appraiser and the average Joe, is whether they know WHY its better, but the inherent value of the object you lavished with your attention to detail will be obvious to ALL.
- July 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm #46267kensParticipant
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A lot of what you say here reminds me my former experiences in auto body painting.
The beauty in a paint job is in the prep work. You can use lacquer paint, enamel, polyurethane, or cheap paint, but if the prep work is inferior, then the most expensive top coat will also be inferior.
Likewise, if you do a quality prep work, the cheapest top coat will look good.
And this brings me to another similar topic……….blueing.
I am bubba-izing a small ring M95. I remember as a kid messing around with cold blue from a bottle, it was horrible. With this current M95, I decided to try cold blue to see if it has improved over the years. It certainly has!!!
All of us have read about Cold blue, Belgian blue, Rust blue, Damascus blue, etc., etc. I now believe the current crop of cold blue in a bottle is good as the afformentioned.
I have read the directions on the various forms of cold blue, rust blue, belgian blue, they are all similar. you prep it, apply it, buff it (card it off), and move on to next coat. This current cold blue does in fact rust if left on its own. It does in fact go blue if you card it off. (directions not necessarily followed). However, if you follow the directions, you get an astonishing nice blue. albeit it takes 5 or 6 coats (just like directions on belgian blue, rust blue). So, to close my post and analogy to the OP,
If you do good prep work, even a cold blue in a bottle will look good !!!!!
- July 20, 2017 at 10:51 am #46269GoodsteelKeymaster
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That’s exactly what I’m saying Ken. Prep is the secret to getting good checkering as well.
Prep is not natural to a human being. We want to jump in and “just do it” but that will never give the same results as a man who humbles himself and prepares for success.
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