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Discussion Starter #1
I have the flinter torn down for cleaning right now. Took a bit to much lock apart and now have a repair / reassemble job for Fort Chambers..
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A man has to understand his limitations....



But, it got me to thinking. My rifle is older. Looks nice, but while apart this far, I could remove the barrel, redo the stock and..... maybe rebrown everything.

My assumption is that all the existing browning would have to be removed.

Correct?

But what then? I can do a rust blue or more likely have it done. Or use the kit and do it.

I never did any of this before. Is it something I want to take on.. or let well enough alone?

How bad would it be to remove what looks like a kit browning on the rifle now?

What are the costs of each browning method and what results can be had with the kits? Talking total gun - barrel, lock plate, trigger guard and trigger assembly.


I came to the experts -
 

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Did you break something taking the lock apart?

As far as browning.. I can tell you how to do it but I don't know if your heart could take it...LOL.

All it takes is allowing the parts to rust. Humid area..bath room ect. To quick start it, Laurel Mountain Forge cold brown solution will get it going over night. You let it get ugly...it'll scare you...but in time and the occasional rubbing it down with oooo steel wool, a rich deep brown will result.

Others may have different ways, but you really don't need a kit..just guts.
 

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you can brown it yourself very easy. found my OLD bottle and the label is long gone. i think i got it at dixie a long time ago. i did my trade gun and my old krag with it and there is still half a bottle left. if i remember right, it was pretty easy and they look really good.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
How hard will the old finish be to remove. Looks like a kit job or whatever they used in the 80's.

On the lock - just not having the know how. Rather be sure it is right. If I am lucky - will get a lesson I the process. Not many parts, but seeing is the key to doing.
 

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Without seeing what you have as far as an even brown, I would recommend evening it out with fine steel wool. It dosn't have to be completely absent of the current brown. You're just adding rust to it..which adds to what you already have. I like Laurel Mountain cold brown to get it started, and let it go for a week or better. Then gently rub the scale off with oooo. Repeat until it looks good. I'll look ugly as it's rusting but that's what it takes.

Plug the bore ect. You don't want rust in there. It needs humidity to work. Those hot humid days of summer are prime time for browning jobs. Some people build a sweat box..or use the the humidity in a shower area.

Does you lock have a coil mainspring?
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Yes, it is a Dixie lock. Considering buying another one, but this one is fast and strong yet. Sooo another reason for me not to attempt a put together - parts are not available.

But if I decide to try this gussy up - will wait for all that as I will do the lock plate as well.
 

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I've found doing the barrel to be easier than the lock. My guess would be to remove the old browning surface of the barrel down to bare metal. It sounds like quite a project, but with good emory paper of a few grades wrapped around a block of wood, you can get down to bare metal quickly, and actually you only have to do five flats. Keep the edges of the flats sharp. Do not round them off.

The lock plate is an easy brown, but to do the job correctly, you should do the hammer, the back of the frizzen, and screw heads. You can do the job in the winter time, but dry, cold days will stretch out the rusting process.

Good luck, and don't be too surprised if you get to wondering if you might try a kit build down the road.
 

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Our modern minds have us programed to shake and shiver at the sight of rust..especially on a firearm part. With a muzzleoader? It's opportunity to add to the patina! So much of a muzzleloader is art. As they say, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and we are all different in what we gravitate to. Myself, I like them to look like they've spent more time around a campfire than they have hanging above a fireplace. A little pitting here and there..a chip of wood missing. It's all good.

I once talked with David Dodds about never being happy and always trying new approches to finishes ect. He just laughed. He said that even then, if someone asked him about the finish ect on a particular piece, he couldn't remember exactly what he did. Above any individual I've ever talked to, he made me feel good. I'll never forget him.

When you look at the work of masters like Allen Martin..or Eric Kettenburg..ect, you see art. It jumps out at you. All apply the artististic endeavor in every piece. All a little different which is the way it should be.

We'll be looking forward to seeing yours. Be carefull. It can suck you in. LOL.
 

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I just finished browning the parts for a rifle I`m building.
I hung the parts in the shower & used Laurel Mtn. barrel brown. Just follow the directions & it`s not hard at all. I think you can find pictures of a lock on the web. With a picture or diagram, locks aren`t hard to take apart or assemble. If I can do this stuff, anybody can !!!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Stopped up at Fort Chambers this evening. Took the rifle with me and talked to Jim.

Going for broke on it. Total re-build of existing rifle.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Side note - or question.

While at Dixons last summer, I heard over and ovber about one book on carving to get. A PA guy that seemed everyone was mentioning.

Any one have the name of the book and the author / craftsmen?
 

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Can't help you this time but next time you take something apart grab your digital camera first and after removing each part take a picture. You will then have the best diagram to reassemble.
 

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You're talking about the incise and relief carving on the stock? That has me stumped. I can't think of a recent book on carving. Peter Alexander's extensive book, "The Gunsmith of Grenville County", offers a chapter on carving, but Alexander is from Ontario.

Keep us posted on your progress, it sounds like a great project.
 

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I don't know of a book either. All I can say is....practice on a block of similar wood before the stock. Be careful not to over engineer the carving's design.

To get deeper into how....I'd have to write a book. I've never achieved anything of excellence..so I couldn't include any pictures.
 

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I have a book, "GUNSMITHING TIPS and PROJECTS" in which the author, Dave Wolfe, compiled articles from 20 years worth of " Rifle " magazine from the late 60's to late 80's. The only reason I bought it was because there are three articles by John Bivins on carving the butt stocks of flintlocks. John Bivins is still considered a master carver, and his articles were well beyond my skill level. If I thought it would help, you'd be more than welcome to borrow it for a spell.

As Curly Maple points out, carving on a butt stock requires some practice, and mistakes are often permanent and unpleasant reminders of chisel slips.
Don't inquire as to how I know this fact.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Bought some inlays yesterday. Plan on practicing a long time before even looking at the stock.

Inlays being one thing - carving another. But I have lots of scrape wood to determine if I should even consider attempting working on the stock.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Seemed to have lost a week on this project. No idea where my time went......



Got back to it last night. The barrel was sanded, but had the wild idea to hit it again with some very fine wet sandpaper. It shines now.

Hope to get the laurel Mt Browning this weekend. Also plan on getting a scrape piece of metal to do a trail run on the process - even as straight forward as it sounds and is explained on their site.

The stock still needs stripped and readied for refinishing. Need for a bit of warmer weather for that though. No way I am doing that process in the basement.


In talking to Jim at Ft Chambers last week, he told me the stock was finished with acid before the finish. Turned the walnut a greenish tint brown. My assumption is sanding will resolve that issue.
 

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Bluetick said:
Seemed to have lost a week on this project. No idea where my time went......



Got back to it last night. The barrel was sanded, but had the wild idea to hit it again with some very fine wet sandpaper. It shines now.

Hope to get the laurel Mt Browning this weekend. Also plan on getting a scrape piece of metal to do a trail run on the process - even as straight forward as it sounds and is explained on their site.

The stock still needs stripped and readied for refinishing. Need for a bit of warmer weather for that though. No way I am doing that process in the basement.


In talking to Jim at Ft Chambers last week, he told me the stock was finished with acid before the finish. Turned the walnut a greenish tint brown. My assumption is sanding will resolve that issue.
Aqua fortis (I assume was used) colors the wood green. When dry, it's "roasted' over a heat source. That turns it brown. An oil finish will bring out the final desired color. If you can't get the old color completely out, it's OK. Roast anything green over a heater. You can use a heat gun but be careful not to scorch. If dull brown, put your stain over it...it never affected anything I ever refinished.

Others may have their experience/advice to add.
 

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For a re-browning job, I think that the process you would use depends on what type of browning is on the metal now. Depending on that you may need to do acomplete stripping of he metal parts down to bare metal and start form scratch. In any case, this sounds like a real neat project.
 
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