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Lefever Embellishments

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by Johnm1, Jun 2, 2019.

  1. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    In my previous post Ring Double Barrel Shotgun Barrels I suggested I would start a new thread on some planned Embellishments.

    The subject gun is a Lefever Nitro Special manufactured in 1923. Choked full, cylinder. Solid gun slight scratching in both 16 gauge bores but I don’t see those as a problem. They are very minor. Latch is almost at center but there is no movement and the barrels are solidly attached. It rings true. Barrel blue is in great shape and wood dark but otherwise near perfect with 1 small gouge. Color case hardening on the receiver is nearly completely gone.

    The plan is to remove the roll stamp duck scene and replace them with custom scenes of specific dogs. Engraving will be farmed out to a laser engraver. 4 specific dogs and the level of detail will be made based on value of finished product. So I don’t have a budget on that as I haven’t done the research on cost/value.

    I have never done something like this before so I know what I read on the internet. So it has to be true happy_small.gif I suspect the removal of the roll stamp would be done with a draw file.

    Is is that correct? if so what do I need and any tips on technique would be appreciated.

    The roll stamp is pretty shallow as some/most has been worn off from use. I don’t have a depth gauge to tell how deep though. If it is important to know the depth let me know and I’ll follow that trail to where it leads.

    Here are are some pictures in no particular order.


    C65C6477-F63C-4245-877F-9249D1BC0677.jpeg 53725E7B-936E-4361-88A4-DA021290A171.jpeg 554176A4-F881-46A5-9579-70FDA7A641FF.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2019
  2. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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    Let your engraver examine it before you do anything. Sometimes the engraving will cover the old if it is shallow enough. A friend had a Browning Superposed that had some areas of pitting he was going to draw file off. The engraver was able to created a design that eliminated the pitting during the engraving process.
     
  3. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Interesting concept I had not considered. I haven't researched engravers yet. There are some locally. And of course the known national engravers. I'm open for suggestions on engravers both locally and nationally.
     
  4. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

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    Some of the horizontal lines look fairly deep plus the fact that the underlying metal is compressed under the roll stamped "engraving". Under certain circumstances this can come back as ghost images after the piece is finished. Research raising filed serial numbers.
     
  5. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Oooh. I hope that isn’t an issue. I’ll read what I can and discuss with the engraver. This was to be a relatively low budget proposition. The actual engraving being the highest dollar item. I had no intention of upgrading the receiver other than the engraving. But, thanks for the heads up.
     
  6. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Why is it that all three of the doubles I have/had that started life with a case colored receiver all have the same wire brush marks on the receiver. it just drives me mad that someone tried to take off the remains of that finish. Even when the colors are so faded as to not be visible, the patina gained getting that way are usually so nice. Arghhh:fire::cuss:
     
  7. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I made made contact with a local gunsmith/engraver. Hopefully I can get some answers if this project is dead on arrival or not. Not that it can't be done, but if it can be done for a reasonable cost. I'll know more later this week. The receiver probably doesn't need to be annealed for the engraving but may need to be annealed to remove the stamping. If that's true this project may be dead.
     
  8. WestKentucky

    WestKentucky Member

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    I suppose draw filing is a likely way to remove the engraving, but I also see some potential to face it off with a small fly cutter and polish up the sides to a high gloss before engraving. There are some relatively cheap ways to acid etch a design, and some of those put out a nice product, but likely not a durable product.
     
  9. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Can you explain a small fly cutter please? Remember I'm not a gunsmith.

    My oldest is working on some line drawings from photographs. So far they are too 'cartoonish' to be used. I'm ok with silhouettes if I can find some line art that looks like these dogs silhouettes.
     
  10. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Actually, fly cutter was pretty easy to find on the internet. A machine process like an end mill.

    I'll research the acid etch process.
     
  11. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Acid ething is a simple process, the part is coated with a thin coving of wax, the design is cut out of the covering and a weak acid solution is brushed on. After the acid works for a time the part is rinsed off and the wax is removed.
     
  12. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I have an appointment to meet the gunsmith/engraver tomorrow. We will see if this project can be done economically or not. Keep in mind that the intent was to add some pretty simple laser engraved dog scenes on the side of the receiver without doing much to the receiver itself other than removing the roll stamped duck scene. The basic intent was to leave the receiver in the white though a final decision on that would wait until I could see the effect on this particular shotgun. I have no plans to color case harden it or blue it. There are things that can kill this project that I'll discuss with the gunsmith/engraver (father/son). Things we will discuss:

    - We already know from the pictures that the roll stamped engraving will have to be removed to place a laser engraving.
    - Will the receiver need to be annealed/re-hardened to remove the roll stamp. This alone would almost certainly kill this project.
    - If annealing/re-hardening isn't a concern, what is the best method of removing the existing roll stamp? Draw file, machining, 10 years worth of sanding?
    - We will discuss how much of the finish work I can or will do. I have patience and can work on very small details for countless hours that I just couldn't afford to pay a true craftsman for.

    - If this project hasn't been killed after the above discussions, how to get the scenes we want. They don't need to be terribly detailed. A silhouette of each of the 4 dogs, as long as they were the same shape as the subject dogs would suffice. It doesn't have to be super detailed. Is there a library of dog scenes to choose from? Can I pull line art from the internet that can be used to program the laser engraver. Can a simple engraving be derived from a photograph and a line drawing developed?

    The final decision won't be totally based on cost. Though $1,500 to do the work would essentially kill this project. It also will be based on the complexity of the work. Anything can be done with the appropriate amount of money and time. But that doesn't mean it should be done on a $300 shotgun.
     
  13. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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  14. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Interesting Jim

    Two questions.

    Would the surface grinder remove the surface hardness and would the hardness need to be replaced? The gun was manufactured in 1923 by Ithica. That question is applicable no matter how the stamp is removed.

    Are the fences you mention on the surface grinder?
     
  15. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    "Fences" are the flanges on the receiver backing up the chambers, the only thing on the side of the receiver not flat.

    Surface grinding removes metal, if the old stamps are deeper than the case, it will be gone. I doubt it matters, the exterior is not a strength or wear area to need case hardening. It would take a lot of hunting trips to wear the new images.

    Ask the vendor, Accubeam is not the only place. A friend had the New Wonder Woman logo applied to her pistol by a jeweler.
     
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  16. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Thanks Jim

    That explains a lot. I had read that color case hardening was done cor the color effect. But I wasn't sure if that was always true.
     
  17. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    It was wear resistant on the working surfaces.
     
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  18. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Thank you for your help.
     
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Take it all with a grain of powder and plan out the job with an actual engraver.
     
  20. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    That happens tomorrow at 1:00PM.

    Thanks again.
     
  21. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    The project isn’t dead. I’ll be doing the finish work including the removal. The engraving will be simple silhouettes. The Smith is on board with the concept. Now I need figure out how I'm going to remove the roll stamp. I have a machine shop that has done some small work for me before. The Smith gave me crash course in draw filing if I go that way.
     
  22. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Question answered. It was slow but draw filling followed by sand paper (50-1000 grit) did nicely. I learned along the way to use as long of a stroke as possible on the file. I masked the receiver with marker between grits of sand paper. I haven't brought it to a mirror finish and not sure I want to. I'm not certain what the final finish will be.

    One side, one day. Not very efficient but it's only this one time.
     
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  23. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Great, sometimes the old way is the best way.
     
  24. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Another thing I learned was to keep the work clean while sanding. That way you dont have to wait until you get to 220 grit or higher before you find a flaw.

    IMG_16062019_060832_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_16062019_060739_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg
     
  25. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    A couple of things to add to this story. First, I got lucky on chamber size. The Nitro specials were all made with 2 9/16" chambers up until 1930 or so. This is a 1923 issue. So somebody along the lines extended the chambers to 2 3/4". So that's nice. Except for the 100 rounds of 2 1/2" shells that have already shipped. The cost of the shells wasn't too bad. Shipping was $25 though. Oh well.

    Final wood finish will impact what finish goes on the receiver. I absolutely love the patina on the wood and want to keep it. That would probably entail aging the receiver to look correct. I suspect with enough experimentation I can figure out how to do that. The receiver had aged to a uniform gray patina with very little sign of case color. Of course there was the tell tell signs of someone with a wire brush trying to 'improve' the appearance. Doesn't really matter as the sides are bright and shiny after the removal. The challange is how to maintain the existing wood finish. Whoever fit the recoil pad didn't protect the end of the stock from the sand paper/file (see photos below) I'm not a specialist but I have had success repairing damaged stocks to where one couldn't see the repair unless you knew it was there. It's a matter of blending in what is there and sometimes requires thinking outside of the box mixing small amounts of finish to match. This is never a guarantee though. So here are some photos of what I have to work with. Keep in mind that I take terrible photos and the overall appearance of the stock is wonderful in person.

    IMG_16062019_082428_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_16062019_082311_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_16062019_082447_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_16062019_082359_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg
     
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