Ethnographic Arms & Armour
 

Go Back   Ethnographic Arms & Armour > Discussion Forums > Ethnographic Weapons

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
Old 22nd August 2015, 06:24 PM   #1
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default Pistol Restoration - How NOT To

Hello all.
Well, this is the last Ethno gun in my collection, I think.
This is a great example of how NOT to restore an antique. It's obvious someone wanted this pistol for decoration, but had no idea what they were doing.
Here is what is wrong:
-The lock, barrel, and other iron mounts have been blued.
- The butt cap, which I believe is brass (a magnet won't stick to it) and the iron thimbles for the false ramrod, the brass wrist inlay (a poor replacement) all have this strange, brass colored paint-like substance on the parts. It's not plating. Don't know exactly what it is.
- Somehow, the silver wire inlay (99%there) has this same color added to it, with the stock refinished adding a coat of shinny shelac over all the wood.
-The lock is missing it's mainspring and hold down screw, and has a crude tumbler. As well, one of the lock plate screws is missing.
- There is a replacement piece of wood on the left side of the barrel tang. And a large gap in the wood at the rear of the lock mortice, that looks like it originally had some wood putty in it that fell out.

Don't know why whoever did this din't search out someone locally with a little knowledge in this area. But I guess we've all seen this before. Too bad.
Fortunately, I bought this gun VERY cheap. Now, what to do with it? I could easily remove the bluing off the iron parts. But hat would make it look even worse. LOL If I start to remove that shelac/finish it might turn into a gooy mess and risk damage to the wire inlay. I don't know how they got that color on the wire inlay without it bleeding over into the stock stain and vise versa. So I think I will just leave it alone and do the following fixes:

Lock: Install a new mainspring and screw. I'm hoping a pistol size mainspring from one of the contemporary lock makers can be made to fit. Otherwise, one will have to be made from scratch, which is more time consuming. I think the tumbler can be polished out and made to work (?) Otherwise, we'll have to try to find one that will work - or make a new one from scratch A new side plate screw, or pair to match will be easy to make.
Stock: I'll have to have that open gap in the rear of the lock mortise area restored. It would drive me crazy not having it done.

As long as I'm at it, I'll have the gunsmith remove the breech plug and inspect it. The bore actually appears in decent shape. This pistol would be a good candadite to make into a shooter since most of the collector value has already been diminished. I'll update here on the Forum after the work is done. Picture heavy so you get a full length horror film here. LOL
Rick.
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2015, 06:25 PM   #2
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default

MORE PICS.....
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2015, 06:27 PM   #3
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default

MORE PICS.........
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2015, 06:29 PM   #4
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default

STILL MORE.......
Attached Images
      
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2015, 06:29 PM   #5
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default

LAST ONE.........
Attached Images
 
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2015, 08:02 PM   #6
David R
Member
 
David R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 750
Default

I think they just varnished the whole thing, that's why the wire inlay and the but-cap are yellow.
David R is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2015, 09:05 PM   #7
Shakethetrees
Member
 
Shakethetrees's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2014
Location: Louisiana
Posts: 364
Default

Or possibly Amber shellac over everything. See if it's soluble on alcohol. Is so, it's shellac. I would remove the lock and barrel and remove the bluing. Then re-rust it to whatever degree you're happy with. However, I would rust it several stages more than what's apparently necessary, to the point of fresh, crusty raised rust. It has to take hold of the iron for my treatment to work.

As I posted somewhere earlier, when he rust is heavy enough, completely immerse in boiling water. This will convert the red bad rust into a stable iron oxide, which is black. It will improve the looks immensely if you do it right.
Shakethetrees is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2015, 10:09 PM   #8
Pukka Bundook
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 802
Default

Rick,

I'm pretty sure David is right about the all-over varnish/shellac.
If stripped off it won't look yellow anymore.

Not kidding about a crude tumbler, were you!?
Been a nice looking pistol and can look nice again.

Keep us posted!

Richard.
Pukka Bundook is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 22nd August 2015, 11:02 PM   #9
ward
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 637
Default

clean the shellac off and send it out the door. By the time you replace parts and do much else, you could have invested in a better piece. It is a relatively common pistol that is worn. Some pieces are worth putting money into some are not.
ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2015, 09:35 AM   #10
Ken Maddock
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Ireland
Posts: 104
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ward
clean the shellac off and send it out the door. By the time you replace parts and do much else, you could have invested in a better piece. It is a relatively common pistol that is worn. Some pieces are worth putting money into some are not.
For me the hobby is bringing these items back to life, enjoying the fun of saving something from the bin.
I also do a lot of the work with my elderly dad so there is a social aspect to doing the work. I know this is a v personal approach but to each their own.

At present I have put 20 hours into a percussion pistol, no money spent but I do not expect to have a 600 euro gun at the end of the process, will I be happy if the work is completed successfully, yes it will be valueable to me
I would welcome such a project gun to my workshop
However I would question the tumbler as it looks very soft metal compared to the sear.
Best of luck with the job, I use di chloro methane as varnish remover, not the nicest of chemicals but v effective and harmless to wood, I am a chemist by trade so have most chemicals readily available along with waste disposal and protective measures at hand
Regards
Ken
Ken Maddock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2015, 12:39 PM   #11
mrcjgscott
Member
 
mrcjgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 189
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Maddock
For me the hobby is bringing these items back to life, enjoying the fun of saving something from the bin.
I also do a lot of the work with my elderly dad so there is a social aspect to doing the work. I know this is a v personal approach but to each their own.
Hello Ken,

I can see merit in both sides of this particular coin, but my vote has to land on your side this time.

I think objects all have value, but memories of time spent with loved ones working together are priceless.

Rick,

If you are willing and able, and as you say the gun came cheap, why not improve it? My collections have had high and low end pieces, some came cheaply, others too expensive, but both types are some of my favourites, especially the ones I have helped to bring back from the brink...

More power to your elbows gentlemen!
mrcjgscott is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 23rd August 2015, 02:06 PM   #12
ward
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 637
Default

ken that is a different story. If you enjoy doing the work yourself and it is a fun project with others goodluck. In this instance he was talking about bringing it to a gunsmith. I have restored some lower end pieces and by the time I added up my cost I am in it well more than it is worth.
ward is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 24th August 2015, 06:26 PM   #13
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions. Much appreciated.
Viewed from both perspectives, collector or shooter, I might have been better off not purchasing the gun at all. LOL I don't need it for my collection. And I have two other Kubur pistols in shooting order, that are both nice pieces. I just bought it as a possible project gun since it was so cheap. So here's what I'm going to do to start:
1. Put the lock in working order. I can do certain repairs and replacement work. But I can't make new springs, if needed. Forging new springs and making replacement lock parts is a specialty with this gunsmith. And my experience has shown me this won't be nearly as expensive as you would first imagine. At least not with him. And it's likely he has or can locate the ready made parts and fit them to the lock and tune it. Which will cost even less. But he will let me know. A new lockplate screw(s) will be easy.
2. I can restore the wood around the rear of the lock mortise area. But it would be much faster, and look much better if the gunsmith does it.
3. As long as the gun's there, have him remove the breech plug and give me his opinion of the inside of the barrel. If that checks out OK, and doesn't require a liner, than all is well. I'll fire it a few times, and keep it as just a shooter or have something to trade for a lower end Ethno blade or something. LOL
I can always decide to remove that ugly varnish later on myself.
But as Ward says, in either case, collector or shooter, there is eventually a diminishing return. Adding $200-300.00 is one thing. Adding $500.00++ is something different. At least in my view.
Rick.
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 26th August 2015, 06:40 PM   #14
Richard G
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Posts: 316
Default

i have similar problems with old pieces that are cheap because of poor condition. I buy them, thnking I can clean them up, and possibly move them on for somehing better; but after few hours work, I somehow get fond of them, and hence reluctant to sell.
My advice; don't invest too much time and effort in something you don't really want, sentiment will get in the way of sense!
Regards
Richard
Richard G is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 29th August 2015, 05:57 PM   #15
rickystl
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: St. Louis, MO area.
Posts: 1,590
Default

Hi Richard.
That is really good advice. And that's my problem also. I can't seem to part with anything. LOL I've always viewed my collecting/shooting interest as a hobby, not really to realize a future profit. But, as you say, even my sentiment will carry only so far LOL
I probably won't go any more than repairing the lock and mortise area. That way I'll have an original shooter for the cost of an inexpensive Indian made replica. The bore is in surprisingly good shape. But I'll remove the breech plug and make sure, and get one other opinion besides mine on it's shootability.
Again, thank you all for your comments. I'll report back with pics of the repairs, etc.
Rick.
rickystl is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT +1. The time now is 07:46 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Posts are regarded as being copyrighted by their authors and the act of posting material is deemed to be a granting of an irrevocable nonexclusive license for display here.