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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm in the middle of restoring my 26 year old marlin 30-30. Honestly, I haven't taken very good care of it and never even knew how to pull the bolt out, so it's never even been thoroughly cleaned properly...just a few patches and maybe a light oil wipe down every year for all these years. Finish was worn off in a few spots of the stock and forearm, and I've had some light rust spots on the barrel and receiver over the years (removed pretty well when Ive seen it). But all told, it wasn't in too bad of shape, considering.

My recent delve into the flintlock world has me addicted to disassembling, cleaning, and thoroughly understanding my firearms. So, I've researched a lot, completely disassembled my rifle, and beautifully refinished the stock and forearm (7th thin coat of tru oil drying right now).

The metal doesn't appear all that bad. I've cleaned every part thoroughly and removed any rust. The barrel has some character scratches in the bluing and one that probably needs a few runs of a file. The bluing on the bottom edges of the receiver and a few other high contact areas have worn to white steel. I tested out cold bluing on the receiver, and it worked and looks good from 3-4 feet away...but it's cold blue, so you can definitely see it close up...and I expect it to wear away.

Hot bluing is too hazardous for me to try at home and paying a gunsmith to do it takes all the fun away. After lots of research I've decided to express rust blue with mark lee's solution #1. I'll polish up a small piece and test it out first. If all goes well, I'll remove the blue and polish the barrel, magazine tube, receiver, and the small pieces and screws. Then then plan is degrease, degrease again, torch, rust, boil, card, repeat...until it won't rust anymore. Oil it up and cure it.

Any advice? Tricks for thoroughly degreasing and polishing are welcome...that seems to be the hard part. Recommendation is to polish to 400 grit, but I'm thinking about trying to mirror it up to 1200 before rusting. Stop me if that's a mistake (other than glaring in the woods).
 

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Discussion Starter #2
So, it seems that anything over 400 is probably a waste of time with rust bluing...maybe up to 800, but certainly no need for anything finer. The solution needs something to "bite" into and it would etch the surface anyway. :)
 

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Never used the blueing you speak of as I have always had good results with Oxpho-Blue from Brownells. Post up a pic when your done as I would be interested in how it turns out. For polishing pits out I go with a needle file then fine Emery paper. A while back I picked up some rubber impregnated polishing tips for the Dremel. Kit came with thee grits (80, 240,600) and six different shapes. Steel wool after this and ready to blue.

For the stock I like Tru-Oil to fill with and cut it down with 320 finish paper between coats till grain is filled. At seven coats you should be about their. When grain is filled I have started to use Minwax Helmsman spar urethane satin for a final finish. Two coats holds up better than Tu-Oil ever could.

If I get chance will post up a pic of last restoration.

Have fun with your project!
 

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Thanks! It's been a ton of fun so far! I've never worked with wood before so I've learned a lot. It won't be perfect and might be laughable to someone more experienced, but to my untrained eye it looks very nice. 8th coat is drying...I might take it to 10 or so. I'm using Eezox so I know it won't play well with polyurethane....not sure about how it is with tru oil.

The rust bluing should come out looking very nice if I can do it right, and should be about as durable as a hot blue. I don't expect it to be much more difficult than cold bluing. My solution arrives from brownells in a few days. I've only polished one small piece so far. I want to test it first before I strip the factory blue off of everything else. The metal isn't too bad and I know I can get away with just spot cold blue or nothing at all, if this proves too big for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Does anyone know if it's okay to reblue the barrel and receiver together while they're still attached? I have everything completely gutted, except I don't have a barrel vice to separate those two.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Nice! My bluing solution just arrived today...finally! Is yours rust blued?

Looks like snow day tomorrow...hoping to get it all done.
 

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Your blue job came out very nice. Are you happy with how it turned out and was the Express blue easy to use?

Your last pic of the stock is why I don't like tru-oil for a final finish. It's very hard to get that last coat perfect with no imperfections using your finger and is why I spray the final two coats.

Here is a pic of a Marlin I did in 444 which looked much like yours. Did a refinish as described above and checkered with the Marlin diamond pattern.
The poly spray is the way to go.

Also a pic of the Stevens pattern getting spaced.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Wow, the checkering is impressive! Overall, I am very pleased with how it all turned out...especially considering I didn't even know how to properly disassemble and clean my rifle a month ago!

I did make a handful of mistakes with the stock, that I won't make next time. I got those drip marks on about the 7th coat and I was afraid of sanding too much off before applying the next coat. I stopped at 9 coats. Also, I had an old towel covering my workbench. I'm not positive, but I think I must've rubbed off some stain at the very base of the butt...probably as I was rotating it during application. I've never stained or finished wood before, so I'm not sure but that's my guess. Some other things too...I didn't use a filler or 'slurry sand'...I think the raised grain should've been handled first. But, I am still very pleased with how the stock came out!

I love how the bluing came out! It is a beautiful deep blue/charcoal/pewter/black that is hard to capture on camera (at least in the basement light, lol). It has permanent durability and provides real rust protection, which is why I chose this method over cold bluing. And it's just as easy to do, though more time consuming than cold bluing. It took me about 6 hours to prep all the steel. And it took two 6-8 hour sessions to do the bluing (I did the small parts one day and the barrel/mag tube the next day).

Basically just prep the steel the same as any other method, and be absolutely positive to degrease thoroughly and wear cotton gloves when handling. Use a blow torch to heat the metal a bit (150-200F). Wipe the solution on with cotton balls...solution should dry immediately and red/brown rust should immediately form. Wait 30 seconds and boil it in distilled water for 5-10 minutes (converts the red iron oxide to black ferro-ferric oxide). Take it out and dry it, then card with 0000 steel wool that's been degreased. Repeat until you reach the color you want...I did 7 cycles. Coat in thick layer of oil to cure for 24 hours.

I just boiled the small parts in an old pot on a camping stove. I don't have a tank large enough to boil my barrel so I capped one end of a 4" PVC pipe, filled it with boiling water, and hung the barrel from a coat hanger. It's important to use distilled water.
 
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