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Springfield 1863 restoration

Discussion in 'Mil Surp Collectors' started by Kevin 103, Feb 4, 2017.

  1. Kevin 103

    Kevin 103 NES Member

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    I'm starting to think about restoring a 1863 springfield rifle that was nailed to a board and slathered with polyurethane. The worst part was someone tried to de-mill it by hitting the barrel about 2'' from the muzzle with an ax.
    Im looking for suggestions on the following;

    *What method and what to use to strip the poly off.

    *What's the best finish to use once I get it down to bare wood.

    *I intend to cut the barrel and re-crown it, any alternate suggestions?

    *I do intend to shoot it once I restore it, or at least make some noise and smoke. This will be pending inspection of the condition of the barrel.

    * Does anyone know what method is used to attach the original front site to the barrel? I'm probably going to silver solder a new site on to the barrel.



    IMG_4016.JPG IMG_4017.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  2. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    Just about any chemical stripper will work. It looks like old poly so it's probably oil based if so alcohol should break it down.
    As for what to use on the wood when you get it down to clean wood..I would use something simple like.
    Tung oil, linseed oil, Tru Oil or some similar wipe on oils. Danish oil is another that works well.
    I like tung oil...
    Front sight is probably soldered on ?
    I can't tell in the picture how the metal is. They put poly on that also? The side screws look to be a pretty good shape. The precision cap nipple looks stripped.
    If the gun proves out to have little value a trip into a electrolysis tank will clean it right up...
    Looking forward to the progress.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2017
  3. Mountain

    Mountain NES Member

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    Nice project! Hope it can be saved. Looking forward to a future progress report.

    Even if the bore looks a little rough, it might shoot ok. You'll know more once it's stripped down.
     
  4. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    Crusty bores are fine. It's deep pitting that is the issue .
    My dad had a old musket it was in pretty rough shape.
    We would shoot 30 grains of black powder and wooden balls at milk cartons at 25 yards....still fun.
    I would like to see the bore also.
     
  5. Kevin 103

    Kevin 103 NES Member

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    The correct finish for the gun is bright metal, I'm thinking the best I can do is brown. Does anyone know of a product to even out the brown finish. Still just speculating on the final color.

    I'm going to soak the metal parts in odorless mineral spirits to break up the poly, I'm a little worried stripper might discolor the metal.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2017
  6. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    You could get a section of gutter and make a trough and try some solvents?
    I'm not sure if the finish will survive any chemical stripping. Depends on the reaction of the stripper with the oxides on the finish. I would strip it...electrolysis tank it and see what happens. You could always brown "blue" or rust blue it after?
    I wanted to try this on a old side by side I had but never did.
    https://www.birchwoodcasey.com/Refinishing/Metal-Finishing/Plum-Brown™-Barrel-Finish.aspx
     
  7. majspud

    majspud NES Member

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    Whatever you do, remember: the less, the better.

    T
     
  8. 413dan

    413dan NES Member

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    good luck, interested to see how this unfolds.
     
  9. Kevin 103

    Kevin 103 NES Member

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    Separated all the metal from the stock, lots of time and care not stripping the polyurethane covered screws. The small parts are soaking in odorless mineral spirits, i'm hoping thats the most gentle way of stripping off the poly.
    I used Citrastrip to strip the polyurethane off barrel, seemed very effective. Heavy surface rust under the poly. I have to cut about 2'' off the muzzle because off the crushing damage, because of that drastic a modification has to be made I am not worried about giving it a electrolysis bath, i'll start slow. I used the electrolysis method on a heavily rusted Type 53 Mosin and was happy with the results.

    I'm going to tackle the stock after I finish the metal parts,its going to be a challenge because only half of it was covered with polyurethane. I have no idea how i'm going to strip one half and then even out the finish.

    Breaking the gun down was not as bad as I thought it was going to be,I'm hoping that it continues to go well.

    Keep the suggestions coming. Pictures coming soon.
     
  10. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    Nice...
     
  11. Kevin 103

    Kevin 103 NES Member

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    Metal parts look pretty good after electrolysis . The next big problem is what to do about the crushed muzzle end. I have seen how they use arbours on shotgun barrels to remove dents,I think this is way beyond that. If I cut it down and reattach the front site the barrel will still be about 1'' past the stock, i'm afraid that will look strange. Unfortunately I don't think this project will be a shooter,but I will load it with some black powder and make some noise.
    I am also looking for suggestions on removing the nipple, it's been soaking in Kroil on and off for a week and shows no sign of moving. It was rounded off long before I got to it. Drill it and ez out? or leave it as is? It will still take a muzzle cap.

    Any suggestions? Thanks.

    IMG_4048.JPG
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2017
  12. Kevin 103

    Kevin 103 NES Member

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    I thought I would document the electrolysis process for my son to share with a chemistry class he is in. We talked about it and we both came to the conclusion that restoring a "gun" would not go over well in the class.
    We are turning into a nation of pussies.




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  13. mac1911

    mac1911 NES Member

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    document here..... some of us like to see this stuff. Maybe post it in the "build it yourself" section.

    I dont think it will look to funny with the barrel cut close. many guns over the years have had that look.

    as for the nipple if the hole is not completely clogged leave it be.
     
  14. Kevin 103

    Kevin 103 NES Member

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    The Nipple is clear. I chased it with a 1/16" drill bit.

    I will put together something on the electrolysis and post it. Very simple and effective. I wish I took more pictures.
     
  15. 1919FAN

    1919FAN NES Member

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    Rustoleum rust remover comes in 1 gal cost is about $22.00 take a 4 foot piece of 2-3 diameter pvc pipe put a cap on one end for a dip tank this stuff is amazing. Ive done quite a few restorations this way you wont be sorry.
     
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