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Old 11-17-2021, 01:58 PM
Krfoote Krfoote is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: ME
Posts: 24
Default Restoration question... maybe a stupid one but ill ask anyway before I do something even stupider

I was wondering if anyone had any experience getting a coat of rust off the metal of a rifle that did not involve sanding or power tools.
Specifically if anyone knew what would happen if a barrel or receiver was soaked in Iron out or CLR or something.
Of course this rifle will never be fired, simply asking for research and restoration purposes.

Explanation for question.

I was visiting one of my favorite military antique dealers today and he has an old krag that was dug up somewhere in New Hampshire, And I mean that literally it was DUG UP, like with a shovel. It was missing the entire stock, the middle band, trigger guard and possibly the bottom of the receiver (there may be a few other things).

It appeared to be the original front sight and the rear sight was definitely period but I think was post 1903. The entire trigger assembly and the bolt carrier and assembly were rusted into place. The receiver and cover there attached but the lower part of the receiver I am not sure about. A coat of rust was covering the entire thing so I couldn't make out any markings anywhere including the serial number.

I am considering getting it just as a show piece but if I can clear off some rust to get a serial # it might be cool to restore. Especially since it was carbine length.

Thoughts or suggestions?

Also on another note I found a couple of beautifull 1870's(I think) Henry rifles in perfect working order, but I don't have $5000. Dammit!
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2021, 02:08 PM
JimF JimF is offline
 
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There is NO “lower” receiver, per sey. Only the trigger guard and it’s two screws.

I’d NOT invest ANY money into it . . . .it’s TOAST!

Put your money toward the $5000 Henry’s!
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Last edited by JimF; 11-17-2021 at 02:17 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2021, 02:14 PM
BSAGuy BSAGuy is offline
 
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Location: Piedmont NC
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It sounds as if a full restoration is not feasible. For non-kinetic rust removal, use either electrolysis (just search for that on the internet), Evaporust, or a soak in diluted molasses (search for this method also). The rust will come off, but the pitting it causes will remain.
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Old 11-17-2021, 02:17 PM
RandyP RandyP is offline
 
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I watch the WWII History Hunter YouTube vids often. He's in Germany and does a LOT of metal detecting and digging up relics from the past. I've seen him use a DIY electrolysis method of removing some of the 70 years of corrosion on some of his finds.

Worth checking out the DIY videos. here's a quick sample -

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...+electrolysis+
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Old 11-17-2021, 02:22 PM
Nodakdad Nodakdad is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSAGuy View Post
Evaporust, or a soak in diluted molasses (search for this method also). The rust will come off, but the pitting it causes will remain.

+1 , I have used both these methods and they work with little invested dollar wise. And honestly I'm sure I'd do the same as you, I'd have to see what it looks like under the rust. Granted being a functional rifle is probably out of question but fun project none the less.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2021, 03:15 PM
Krfoote Krfoote is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: ME
Posts: 24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimF View Post
There is NO “lower” receiver, per sey. Only the trigger guard and it’s two screws.

I’d NOT invest ANY money into it . . . .it’s TOAST!

Put your money toward the $5000 Henry’s!
Thanks, I couldn't remember if the receiver was a solid piece or not, I wasn't paying close attention to that part. I was mostly looking for a display diece if I could find the missing pieces, not a FULL rebuild I guess.

I am actually considering options on the Henry! And how to hide it from the Mrs.!
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2021, 03:24 PM
navyrifleman navyrifleman is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 1,389
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There are different levels and considerations regarding how to deal with rust and corrosion on firearms. Depending on whether you intend to return the artifact to a workable or shootable condition or simply keep it in the "found" condition and prevent further deterioration due to rust.

From the description of what you have, I suspect that it is beyond restoration, but could be preserved as an interesting historical artifact.

Here is a link to an article concerning preservation techniques of iron/steel historical artifacts...

https://www.thehenryford.org/docs/de...n.pdf?sfvrsn=2
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2021, 03:29 PM
Krfoote Krfoote is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2021
Location: ME
Posts: 24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BSAGuy View Post
It sounds as if a full restoration is not feasible. For non-kinetic rust removal, use either electrolysis (just search for that on the internet), Evaporust, or a soak in diluted molasses (search for this method also). The rust will come off, but the pitting it causes will remain.
Thanks for the info. I'll look into those options.

I guess I shouldn't have said rebuild, I know its way beyond that. It will never be in working condition and its not worth the effort. However the rust wasn't nearly as bad as I would have expected from a rifle that was literally DUG up. I simply wanted to see if there were any markings on it that might be able to be seen. If there were and it had a story, or if it could be an original carbine configuration it might be interesting just to get an old stock, band and trigger guard just as a display piece.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RandyP View Post
I watch the WWII History Hunter YouTube vids often. He's in Germany and does a LOT of metal detecting and digging up relics from the past. I've seen him use a DIY electrolysis method of removing some of the 70 years of corrosion on some of his finds.

Worth checking out the DIY videos. here's a quick sample -

https://www.youtube.com/results?sear...+electrolysis+
Love that show! I'll check out your video and hit you tube hard. Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by navyrifleman View Post
There are different levels and considerations regarding how to deal with rust and corrosion on firearms. Depending on whether you intend to return the artifact to a workable or shootable condition or simply keep it in the "found" condition and prevent further deterioration due to rust.

From the description of what you have, I suspect that it is beyond restoration, but could be preserved as an interesting historical artifact.

Here is a link to an article concerning preservation techniques of iron/steel historical artifacts...

https://www.thehenryford.org/docs/de...n.pdf?sfvrsn=2
Preservation is mostly my intent, but I did want to get through the rust and see if there were any markings available. Based on that I might be interested in displaying it in whatever condition i could. It will never be functional and wouldn't be worth trying, but I love the story and if its a good one a display piece would be perfect for me.

I'll check out the link, thank you very much!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nodakdad View Post
+1 , I have used both these methods and they work with little invested dollar wise. And honestly I'm sure I'd do the same as you, I'd have to see what it looks like under the rust. Granted being a functional rifle is probably out of question but fun project none the less.
Thats exactly my thought! You never know if you don't try, and I can't possibly screw it up worse.... ok maybe I could but who cares.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2021, 03:34 PM
DP68 DP68 is offline
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
Location: Atlanta, GA metro
Posts: 239
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Depending on severity of the amount of rust and general grime buildup, if not overly severe you may want to try boiling the metal parts in plain water and using a SOFT carding wheel, like the one linked below from Brownells. There are YouTube videos for this method you can find with a quick search.

https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-t...-prod6762.aspx
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2021, 03:39 PM
ZvenoMan ZvenoMan is offline
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: BHM AL
Posts: 4,936
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Many people restore items like this. I've seen some youtube videos showing tom extensive restorations.

If it is just rust covered that doesn't mean it can't be restored to a safe firing condition, but obviously a detailed inspection would be needed.
Assuming you plan to not fire it then you are free to use any rust removal technique you want.
One method is to give it a basic cleaning and scrubbing then spray it with silver spray paint, heavy, so it fills every pit and gap (metal parts only). This will prevent future rust; then you can leave it silver or point over it with another color. If you don't know the value or if it can be safely restored this is a safe method to preserve it.

To actually remove rust there are a few common methods:
1. Electrolysis: Youtube is your friend. Easy to make a setup at home from stuff you probably already have. Maybe get a $10-$20 batter charger.
2. Rust remover chemical: Evaporust is easy to find (Harbor Freight....) and very effective. Probably some other chemicals that will work as well.

Once rust is removed you can use a wire Brush to remove any loose buildup. From here you can leave it as-is, apply a new finish (bluing, rust bluing), or get fancy and fill the rust pitting (epoxy, bondo, spot putty) then apply a finish (duracoat/brownells/cerakote) as you like. This can make it "look new", if that is your goal.

Some of us collectors enjoy making things like this into something better.
I can't imagine any of what I described bringing a profit, but of you like that sort of work it can be rewarding.
JH
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