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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Gents,

Your thoughts please on an 1893 that is not in the best shape but seems solid mechanically and has needed some substantial work.

Have not fired it yet, but figure it is close to being ready to take to the range.

It has had all bluing removed, probably for planned restoration that was never completed. And the stock turned out to be very lose between the tangs. The rifle is chambered in .30-30 and has a nice bore which cleaned up very brightly with a couple of patches and copper brush.

It has a patch to the forend (well-done, but obvious) and has all matching serial numbers including the stock, which I discovered while inspecting for internal damage.

The stock was so lose, someone had duct taped around both tangs. That made it very sturdy but hid the internal damage. After I stripped the tape away, I realized how badly the stock was messed up. I cleaned the stock and the tangs almost perfectly clean of the adhesive and fabric. But the stock was very lose, twisting on the pivot of the single tang screw.

So, over the weekend, I also removed the stock and put some wood filler in strategic internal areas where the stock had deteriorated and glued the internal wood stock flange on the left that fits into the receiver and was split but still attached.

That restored much needed stability, but the right side wooden flange is completely gone and would probably benefit from some additional work.

So, any thoughts on if, and how, I might further stabilize that side of the stock. I was thinking about getting a piece of hard wood the same shape as the other flange and gluing it in there. Anybody had to do this? Any specifics would be most appreciated.

Also, should I re-blue it, and possibly case-color it or leave it alone. It's down to bare metal so I probably should do something other than just coat with a light coat of gun oil.

Any and all suggestions welcome. Thanks,
lazer
 

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Just did a flange repair for a friend on his vintage 1894 Marlin. These are really not that hard to do, since the area is hidden when the stock is in place.
I usually use a gouge or carving chisels to undercut the stock inside, so it will accept a similar size piece of walnut, or other hardwood in place of the missing wood. I then use Microbed to epoxy the piece into the old stock, and leave the area outside the stock oversized. When it has set for 24 hrs, I shape the external piece to fit the receiver by trial fit, working it down gradually until it fits right.
At this point, if the entire stock is a poor fit to the tangs, I bed the tangs with Microbed also. By painting the tangs with a thin coat of rubber cement, everywhere they might come in contact with wood, it creats a relaese agent. Rubber cement is soft when dry, and easilym comes off afterwards. I then coat the wood around the tang areas with the Microbed, and push the stock onto the receiver. Remove most of the excess compound at this time with a rag. Be sure you have coated the external surfaces of the receiver also, so the Microbed wont get on them. Masking tape also helps protect the exposed surfaces, and can be cut to fit these areas.
Installthe tang screw, (with plenty of grease on it) and set the stock aside for a few hours. After a few hours the compound wont be fully set, but firm enough to pull the wood without damaging the fit. If there is any problem areas that you missed with release agent the compound will also let go, and it wont be stuck, as it might if you wait 24 hours to remove. I learned the hard way when bedding a Garand, and nearly ended up with a stock forever stuck on the action!
Set the parts aside for 24 hours, and then you can finish the sanding or filing the excess compound off. Since your action is bare, do the final sanding with the stock in place, and the fit will be fantastic!
As for the rest of the gun, it depends on your abilities and talents, plus what you want to invest. If you go for a full restoration, forget all the above, as new wood is the only thing suitable for a full resto. If it were mine, I would do the rust blue on all the parts, and send the receiver out to be cased. Or even rust blue it also. If there was any remaining finish I wouldn't reccommend any of this, but since it's bare, and not in collectable condition, you can go pretty much wherever your heart takes you. (and your pocket book can afford)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Vall,

Thanks much. Some very good suggestions and appreciate all the detail.

I was thinking along those lines, but you've offered a lot more to contemplate before I resume. I was thinking of tiny pins or very smallish set screws inside the the stock to fully secure the hardwood flange, but since it already seems really sturdy with the work I have done, I will probably follow your advise and just secure it with the epoxy.

Since there is a bit of case left on the receiver (very little), I may opt to leave it but reblue the barrel and magazine. Have never done such a project. Any idea on what it would cost. Also considering my limited experience should I attempt it on my own or have it professionally done?

Also, when I was cleaning it, I tried to remover the lever, but the attaching screw would not budge, even with perfect fit screwdrivers. I was afraid to bugger so I did not pres it and not try a power drill and appropriate bit. I suspect somebody must have put it in with lock-tight. Have tried WD-40. Any suggestions? Would prefer not to clean it from the muzzle, but didn't have much option. Was real careful. Bore came out very bright. May take her shooting this weekend if I can spin the time.

Thanks again for all your great advise,
lazer
 

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Since you've already given it the WD40 try, no need to use any other solvents. There are a couple things that you can try. If you have a screwdriver with removable tips, insert a tip that is the closest match to the slot. With the gun on a solid surface, give the back of the screwdriver tip a hard rap with a hammer. Then use the tip that fits correctly, and try to budge it. If that doesn't work, get a small propane or butane torch, (I use one that works with a butane lighter) and apply heat to the head of the screw, and immediately try to loosen it. One of these should work, but if they don't then it's down to careful drilling. I always drill from the opposite side, so if the drill bit catches, it will usually back the screw out on it's own.
As for the refinishing. I would not attempt to refinish a fairly valuable gun, unless I had practiced on several inexpensive guns first. The best process to reblue the blued parts, is rust bluing, and this takes lots of experience, and the right humidity cabinet, plus proper carding wheels, etc. Likewise, casehardening is even tougher, and most gunsmiths wont try it, as only experienced smiths do this work. I'd never even think of trying it, becaues bad casehardening is a catastrophe! It can warp, or ruin your gunm, with no recourse, but to toss it. At the least, it could turn out poorly, and look bad.
An expert remodel of your gun to full original condition will generally run from at least $600, to as high as $800, depending on how much is needed, and how much prep work you can do yourself. Prep is where you can really save yourself money, and it's something most amateur gunsmiths can do. Hand polishing all the parts with 600 grit, so they are ready to blue or caeharden, will save you nearly half on your restoration. You'll need very few specialty tools, and with care, you can do anything a smith would do. The barrel will be easier to work, if you remove it, but that takes a barrel wrench, so you might take it to a local smith to remove. If you have the action stripped, they usually will remove the barrel for free, or no more than $10. While you're there, you can ask him what he'll charge to reinstall it after the project is done.
I generally use a plate of flat steel slightly smaller than a sheet of sandpaper. Rather than polish the flats of the barrel with a block, I hold the barrel, and work each flat across the paper, which I spray glue to the plate. I work one half of each flat starting at the muzzle, then turn it around and work the other half of each flat. Change paper as needed when it doesn't polish any more.
I work the other parts, like the lever, forend cap, and buttplate by hand. I use a small wooden block for the receiver sides, and the rest of the receiver I hand polish. You'll have sore fingers, and an aching back when you're done! Expect to use up a week's worth of evenings to get it all highly polished. It should look like a mirror, even though the smith who does my rust bluing usually has to scuff mine up with Scotch Brite, before he rust blues, because he says it's too shiny for the bluing to take. That's better than having him spend expensive time polishing your gun.
My smith charges me $100 to rust blue the barrel, mag tube, and various parts. The casehardening will run anywhere from as little as $200 to as much as $450. If you have nice fitting wood, then it just needs refinishing, but if it's not really nice, you'll sure see it when the gun is done, so plan on new wood, if it's not in good shspe. Wood can run from $125 for 90% inletted plain, to several hundred dollars (or more) if you want something special. If you have it fitted and finished, it will cost 3-4 times that.
I hope I helped some, and didn't scare you off. It's not cheap, and some folks don't feel refinishing a gun is a nice thing to do, but I think bringing a poor gun back to it's original glory is fine, as long as it looks like it used to look. If it's done wrong, then it's best to leave it alone.
Hope this long winded reply helps.
PS-Try Classic Guns for casehardening. They have a good rep.
Classic Guns
PO Box 367
606 Gould St.
Beecher, Il 60401
708-946-6141
 

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Lazer -

I just got my 1893 back from a complete restoration......I prepped all the metal, and sent it off to Doug Turnbull (www.turnbullrestoration.com) for him to refinish the whole shootin match - color case-hardening, rust blueing, and charcoal bluing. I restocked it in fancy black walnut, and it really turned out nice. As for costs, he charged 685 for everything, and that included return shipping. After seeing it finished, I highly recommend it.....

Shum8
 

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I was lucky enough to see pictures of Shum8's rifle, and it is gorgeous! Turnbull's did a great job!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hey Shum8:

Thanks much. I would love to see it, if you can post a photo.

Not sure what to do exactly. Would like to preserve the original stock if at possible. It looks pretty good, but needs to be strengthened to be shootable. And, I definitely am going to have to blue and/or case color it, since its been completely stripped, presumably to prep for restoration. Did Turnball give you an itemized price or the whole deal.

Thanks again, Vall, for excellent suggestions. I'll ponder.

I'm a bit bogged down these days, but after the election I do hope to get into this project seriously. Of course then there will be the holidays. Bummer.

Thanks,
lazer
 

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As soon as I figure out how to link to pics through an FTP, I'll post a few....Otherwise, I can email you a few...

Shum8
 

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Alrighty then - here goes.......
 

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Great pictures! I sure would love to go back in time, and see a rack of those in the local hardware store! There's just nothing like that made today. Can you imagine how they would sell, if they actually made a run of Marlins that were just like these old ones?
 

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marlinman93 said:
Can you imagine how they would sell, if they actually made a run of Marlins that were just like these old ones?
Well, I'd say they wouldn't be able to make enough of them, but seeing how they would have that stupid cross-bolt safety on them, that would kill it for me. I'll just stick with the older ones that weren't idiot proof.

Shum8
 

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Shum, That gun is flat out gorgeous! If that's what mine looked like new, I'd love to see a rack of them. mm93's right, they just don't make them like that, but I bet they'd be really expensive.........Buck 8) :roll: :?
 

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Thanks, Buck - The only problem I have encountered with this project is I'm now infected with the antique Marlin bug, and I find myself looking for the next victim. I should have taken more "before" pics, but I really didn't expect that big of a difference. I mean, I had to weld up rust pits and wrench marks on the bbl. I almost returned the gun to the seller thinking it would need too much work. Glad I kept it.

Shum8
 

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WOW!

that is a beauty! but i want to buy the "anti-gravity" machine you used to suspend in the air!!!! :shock:
i called doug once to talk about a restore project~ nice fellow! butit's outta my tax bracket! my rifles look aged like me...... :lol:
 

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You know what's really great about your gun? Now we can truly see what 100% case colors REALLY looked like! It's fun to see your gun's colors, and then look at the auction sites, and see someone list a Marlin as "50-60% case colors remaining". Or better yet, "75% case colors in hidden areas". Where the heck are these colors hiding on these auctions? I sure don't see them most the time!
 

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marlinman93 said:
You know what's really great about your gun? Now we can truly see what 100% case colors REALLY looked like! It's fun to see your gun's colors, and then look at the auction sites, and see someone list a Marlin as "50-60% case colors remaining". Or better yet, "75% case colors in hidden areas". Where the heck are these colors hiding on these auctions? I sure don't see them most the time!
Ooohhh Ooohhh - I finally get to enlighten the master.....I know where the colors are. After a reveiver fades to patina, the colors don't go away, they migrate. Because the receivers were forged, the grain is aligned longitudinally. As ultraviolet light washes over the exterior, it loosens the colors, almost as if they were a "thick liquid". They travel along the grain of the steel, eventually coming to rest in the depths of the the tangs and in the barrel threads in the front of the receiver - the "hidden areas". In extreme cases, the colors will actually bleed out of the receiver, and soak into the stock and forearm, resulting in the dark stains along the steel/wood junction evident in the older guns. You know, I saw one a while back that had so much "color travel", the steel buttplate had turned black!

Is that close??? :wink:
 

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Re: WOW!

kaintuck said:
that is a beauty! but i want to buy the "anti-gravity" machine you used to suspend in the air!!!! :shock:
i called doug once to talk about a restore project~ nice fellow! butit's outta my tax bracket! my rifles look aged like me...... :lol:
I hear you on the money, but I figured I may only do that once and wanted it done right.

As for the anti-gravity machine - I did that just to bug a buddy of mine in Atlanta - I wanted to see if he'd notice - and he did immediately. Actually, I just cloned grass over the string using Adobe graphics.
Shum8
 
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