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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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    Well one side took all day. A lot of that time was spent fixing things I messed up. Today the other side took less than half that. I did have to fix things today as well. One flaw that isn't correctable on the second side. I brought them to a 600 grit finish and I'll have the engraver review what needs to be done to finish. Here it is as of now.

    IMG_16062019_184848_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_16062019_184926_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_16062019_185001_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_16062019_185033_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg
     
  2. Jackrabbit1957

    Jackrabbit1957 Member

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    Reminds me of my time spent at Colorado School of Trades, did lots of hand polishing work. Had take things to a mirror polish. Your project is looking good.
     
  3. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    The things I liked about this shotgun was the patina on both the receiver and the wood and the bluing was appropriate for the age and condition of the shotgun. Now that the gray patina is gone on the sides of the receiver the blue doesn't look as 'appropriate' for the shotgun. I need to figure out if I can somehow replicate that gray patina on the newly polished surfaces. There is always leaving it in the white and unprotected to allow it to age naturally though.
     
  4. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    I guess if we want this thread to be of any value to others I should explain what I learned so far. Or should I say, I think I learned so far. First off, I am not a gunsmith. Removing the roll stamp was very scary for me. I knew that I could ruin this shotgun forever. I purchased Nicholson medium bastard file. It had lines in a single direction and I learned that it didn't remove a lot of material in a single pass. I used common blackboard chalk to prevent metal chips from blinding the file surface. One thing I noticed right off the bat was how 'un-flat' the side of the receiver was to begin with. Also, the roll stamp was deeper at both the beginning and the end of the design. That meant that these were the last piece of the design to be removed. And that is where inexperience played a role in the final product on the second side.

    I don’t know if this is correct but I found I could remove material more evenly if I cross filed where I could. It also helped me see what needed to be filed. That means filing in one direction for a little bit and then filing 90 degrees from that for a little bit. 90 degrees wasn’t’ always possible due to the fence (recoil shields) so I got as close as I could to 90 degrees. I used my thumb to protect the fence and I have the raw marks on my thumb to prove it. I worked slow on the first side and I learned to clean the work after filing as this allowed me to see what was left better. How much pressure to use on the file as well as using even pressure so the file was cutting on the entire flat surface was also a learning experience. I spent several hours removing file marks from either too much pressure or uneven pressure on the file. Getting those last two spots where the roll stamp was the deepest seemed to take forever with the file. I did try to use 50 grit sandpaper to remove those last little bits but that didn’t work real well until they were very shallow. Once the file work was done, or so I thought, I began with 50 grit sand paper to remove the file lines and moved up in grit. Again I learned after a bit of trial and error I had to clean after every step up in grit or I would miss gouges/scratches and would eventually have to go back down several grits to remove them. I ended up using magic marker over the entire surface to make sure I hit every square inch of surface with each grit of sand paper. The marker didn’t last long on the surface but it helped me on the initial pass and if I saw places that needed more work with that grit I was able to focus on those areas knowing the entire surface had been touched by that grit. I found a very small sanding pad that was just slightly larger than the widest part of the receiver that seemed to work really well. I did try using the sandpaper wrapped around the file, but my file was pretty big and I was afraid of the sandpaper slipping and gouging with the file.

    The second side went much quicker. Not because I was comfortable with the process but because I learned a lot on the first side. Filing progressed well but I again was left with the two spots at the beginning and end of the roll stamp that were deeper and just seemed to take forever to remove with the file. The lesson learned here was that you can’t focus on one spot with a file. And even if the one spot is on the left side of the file you can’t put more pressure on the left side of the file to ‘get it quicker’. The last spot I had to remove was in a position where I couldn’t get 90 degrees to cross file and I thought I could file out that last little bit in one direction. I focused on the last spot and must have put too much pressure on that side of the file and ended up with a shallow groove for a ¼” above the spot extending to the water table. It wasn’t but a couple of thousandths but I could see it. Because this ‘shallow groove’ at the water table was close to the fence on that side I was unwilling to remove the material below the fence to flatten the groove for fear of weakening the strength of the shotgun. In the end I polished the shallow groove to the same 600 grit finish as the rest of the receiver and it remains. I didn’t want to aggravate a mistake by making another mistake. I’m new and if this is the worst error on my first try, I figure I’ll just have to live with it.

    I hope people with experience will chime in on what I think I know and clarify what maybe I should have done.
     
  5. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    It takes more skill to run a file correctly than most realize. It's best not to force them, let the file do the work. I've switched over to mostly the swiss made files. They seam to cut smoother and last longer.

    Did you take any thickness measurements to confirm you were keeping it even?

    When it comes to polishing, you did it right. Using a cross pattern allows you make sure you remove the previous grit as you work down. I use to have to polish samples for microscopes, so I've had a lot of practice at doing odd and large size samples. I prefer to wet sand if I have the option. It makes the sandpaper last a lot longer carrying the fine particles away. You have to be careful with some sandpaper. There quality is not where it should be you end up putting scratches on you part.
     
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  6. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    How much pressure to use on the file was a guess on my part. I started really light and increased until I could see some type of impact on the work. But in reality, I don't know if I ended up using too much pressure. Keeping the file flat was more difficult than I thought it would be on this odd shaped piece and my attention was on that more than pressure. I'm assuming I wasn't using too much pressure as I seemed to have control over what I was doing until the brain fart on the second side.

    I didn't think to take measurements before or after. I suppose I could measure the finished product to see what I have. Keep in mind that the first file strokes showed that the area where the roll stamp was located was lower than the edges. Not by a lot, but the file definitely worked on the top and bottom edges of the piece before it got to the middle by just a couple of strokes.

    In hind sight I should have practiced on a scrap piece of metal. Didn't think of that until just now. Cerebral flatulence on my part.
     
  7. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    I have a similar-condition 16 ga Lefever that I had to have cut down to a 20" coach gun length due to massive rust pitting at the end of the barrels. It's still in the "brown" so to speak, I haven't messed with the finish.

    Your work looks very good, as you can now attest it's patience, patience, patience! when working at polishing metal forms like a shotgun receiver. Hopefully the engraving turns out to your satisfaction, keep sending us pics of the progress. :thumbup:

    Stay safe!
     
  8. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Blue 68f150 - should I have been "cross filing"?
     
  9. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Your receiver might look nice with a “French Grey” finish.

    Kevin
     
  10. Blue68f100

    Blue68f100 Member

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    Don't own a F150. they were not made in the 60's only F100's

    The main thing is to have the different grits running at different directions, preferred 90 deg to each other. And I should add only go in 1 direction. Meaning that you start and finish at the same point. Doing a push/pull action normally gives you a rounded surface. Too hard for most to keep the same even pressure going 2 directions, easier to rotate the part. With filing you have a tendency to use more pressure at start than finish. The use of a marking/layout fluid helps in indicating this so it can be corrected as you go.
     
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  11. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Sorry about that Blue. Getting old sucks. And thanks.

    StrawHat - French grey. That is a distinct option. I will have to practice on some scrap. Thanks!
     
  12. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Artwork

    Artwork is proving to be a problem. I can afford black and white single line drawings with no shading. I have contacted a company that will take my photo and redraw it in the above format in the correct vector file that the engraver can use. But my photos are proving to be inadequate. There just isn't a way to arrange them on the receiver that looks right. I have my oldest drawing some one lines over photographs and modifying them to different positions to fit the space available. I have also contacted a local artist who may be able to help. It may turn out that developing the artwork is the most difficult part of this project.

    I'll be practicing a French grey this weekend. Let's see how that works.
     
  13. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Well. You cant create French Grey with just anything laying around the shop. Although I did find I could blue an old barrel with Perma Blue, the Birchwood Casey Rust Remover did what it was intended to do. Remove bluing. I'll try again with what I think are the right materials. Oxpho Blue and Phosphoric Acid (diluted)
     
  14. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    FYI- I re-read my post above and don’t want anyone thinking I’m a complete dummy. I did dilute the rust remover to 10/1. I found a source for phosphoric acid and will try again next weekend. I’ll keep diluting until I get the results I want.

    I may get the finish I desire without the faded blue by using the HP304 directly on the polished surface. It wouldn’t be a French Grey but could be what I was thinking before the French Grey was mentioned.
     
  15. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Artwork remains in the issue. We have the lay out figure it out as well as the basic outlines. Making a simple black-and-white line drawing appear like specific dogs is very difficult. I am not an artist. But, we will get there.

    In the meantime I have been working on producing a French gray finish. Subject revolver was purchased for $79 in non-working condition many years ago for the sole purpose of practicing a rust blue. Unfortunately, or fortunately, I tinkered with it and was able to make it functional. It is actually a fun gun to shoot. In the end this one will receive a rust blue on the barrel. I believe I'm going to leave the French gray on the cylinder as a highlight for the Engraving. It started with no finish whatsoever.

    There are three different attempts, one on each side of the barrel plus the cylinder. The left side of the barrel was de-colored using the rust remover diluted 10 to 1. It removed far too much material too quickly . The right side was done using phosphoric acid diluted closer to 20 or 30 to 1. I like this much better. Neither side is terribly consistent. That is because I only gave the revolver a cursory prep. Had I spent the time to prepare the surfaces better I believe it would have come out more consistent.

    This is all practice is subject to be removed and retry. Here are some before pictures. I'll post after pictures in a separate post.

    IMG_22062019_155123_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg
    IMG_22062019_154857_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg
    IMG_22062019_155123_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg
     

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  16. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Left side. Too much color removed.
     

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  17. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Right side

    IMG_28062019_174854_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_28062019_174841_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg IMG_28062019_174830_(640_x_480_pixel).jpg
     
  18. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    The pictures don't really show the color well. I still take terrible pictures.
     
  19. BBBBill

    BBBBill Member

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  20. Johnm1

    Johnm1 Member

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    Laser engraving is not only acceptable it is the plan. I have an laser engraver/Smith here in Arizona already on board. If I could settle on the artwork this project would be almost complete.

    Thanks for the link.
     
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