Author Topic: Cleaning Original Longrifle?  (Read 35536 times)

Offline vtbuck223

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Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« on: May 28, 2015, 07:56:03 PM »
I know that opinions vary on this in terms of whether or not to clean brass and silver on originals. However, decided to clean up an original that is very "in the black". I like it the way that it is....but I want to see it in it's best light....and I think this will  be an improvement and add to my enjoyment of it. I have read about using 0000 steel wool and I wanted to see if that is the best way to go? Simply using a rough cloth...doesn't do it in this case. I would be grateful if you would share with me what you use.

Offline aka california eddillon

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2015, 09:06:50 PM »
Brass: 50/50 Brasso and mineral oil.  Soft flannel.
Silver: 50/50 Wright's Silver polish and mineral oil.  Soft flannel.
Take your time.
In memory of Capt. Frederick H. Dillon, Commander 235th Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company.  MIA October 10, 1943.  His brother, Private Daniel B. Dillon, 85th Division, KIA northern Italy September 23, 1944.

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2015, 02:15:17 AM »
Thank you.....much appreciated!

Offline JTR

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2015, 02:53:21 AM »
Hey vt, Let's see a picture of it before you ruin it!  ;D

You're not the first guy to shine one up, and I'm sure you won't be the last. Given time. it'll go back to black again if need be.

John
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Offline aka california eddillon

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2015, 02:57:59 AM »
I forgot to add a very important part in post above: Only clean as a last resort.
In memory of Capt. Frederick H. Dillon, Commander 235th Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company.  MIA October 10, 1943.  His brother, Private Daniel B. Dillon, 85th Division, KIA northern Italy September 23, 1944.

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2015, 02:08:03 PM »
LOL.  I've been married 25 years....I know how to go slow when I have too. I'm definitely not looking to make it glow...just want to bring some of the brass through. I will post some before and after pictures.....but only if it turns out as awesome as I'm believing it will!

Offline Nate McKenzie

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2015, 12:15:55 AM »
Flitzs  or simi-chrome polish will not leave a residue like brasso.

Offline smokinbuck

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2015, 02:16:43 AM »
I try not to use any of the above unless I am going to polish any brass or silver that may be on the rifle, or pistol. I use a good lanolin hand cleaner on a soft rag. Wipe it on liberally and "gently" wipe it off. It will take most of the grime off but leave the patina and any original finish that may be there and the lanolin will help put some life back into the dried wood.
Mark
Mark

Offline WadePatton

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2015, 04:50:05 AM »
Hey vt, Let's see a picture of it before you ruin it!  ;D ...

I think a pic beforehand would help with the recommendations for tools and techniques to accomplish your objective.
Hold to the Wind

Offline aka california eddillon

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2015, 09:02:42 AM »
Totally ruined a nickel plated Colt single action with simi-chrome.  Too aggressive.
In memory of Capt. Frederick H. Dillon, Commander 235th Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company.  MIA October 10, 1943.  His brother, Private Daniel B. Dillon, 85th Division, KIA northern Italy September 23, 1944.

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2015, 03:29:52 PM »
Thanks all for your responses. Kind of surprised that there isn't one or two preferred methods...but then again...I shouldn't be. It sounds like I may need to do some experimentation using what has been shared here. It might make sense to combine methods depending upon what is needed in any area.  There are brass and silver parts on this rifle that are literally "black".....I will post a couple pics when I get a chance. Like I said....I don't want to make it glow in the dark....just take off some of the crud and bring that color through a bit.

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2015, 08:06:41 PM »
Here are a few pics just to give you an idea of what I am working on. Many of the brass parts like the ramrod thimbles and the nose cap are so black you can't even tell they are brass. I have posted full  pictures of this rifle previously. Thanks again for sharing your methods. I will post before and after pictures when I am done....if anyone is interested in seeing them.




Offline E.vonAschwege

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2015, 08:20:31 PM »
It's your rifle, but please don't shine the thing up too much, if at all.  The sideplate has great patina and color, and if you want to bring the muzzlecap and ramrod pipes to the same shade, I think that would be appropriate.  Anything more and you start getting into the gray area of potentially decreasing the value and interest for future collectors.  I would recommend carefully repairing the major cracks in the wood before worrying about the cleaning anything.  Just my opinion.

JTR's right, they'll all go dark again eventually, so some light polishing isn't too dangerous in the grand scheme of things. 

I don't believe this relates to you, but I've seen a few old guns where the new owner went to town with brasso and says "I spent all day polishing this!", to which I think in my head "and probably lost half of your investment in doing so".  I'll get off my soapbox now  ;D
-Eric

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Offline smart dog

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2015, 09:18:33 PM »
Thanks all for your responses. Kind of surprised that there isn't one or two preferred methods...but then again...I shouldn't be. It sounds like I may need to do some experimentation using what has been shared here. It might make sense to combine methods depending upon what is needed in any area.  There are brass and silver parts on this rifle that are literally "black".....I will post a couple pics when I get a chance. Like I said....I don't want to make it glow in the dark....just take off some of the crud and bring that color through a bit.
Hi,
I agree completely with your goal.  I personally do not understand the value of crud that completely obscures the metal or wood.  However, there is a difference between polishing and cleaning.  Cleaning should just remove the mass of obscuring crud, polishing actually finely abrades the metal.  Inevitably, the latter will eventually wipe out important marks and engraving.  In your case, you have a mix of crud and patina and the trick will be to remove the crud leaving the patina.  Go slow and gentle and I urge you not to use any polishing compounds. A soft toothbrush, a soft rag, mild hand soap, and either mineral or raw linseed oil water are your best friends. 

dave
"Flick Lives!"

Offline vtbuck223

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2015, 10:22:33 PM »
Thanks again....it is not my intention to shine it up....just bring out some of the beauty that I know is underneath. I will go slow ....do some experimenting with the shared methods.....and start with  the "milder" options.  The question as I go....will be...when to stop....and I will post some pictures when I think that that I'm getting close to that point.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #15 on: June 01, 2015, 06:09:23 AM »
I would avoid abrasives. If a damp cloth will not remove it it probably does not need to be removed.

Dan
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Offline whitebear

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #16 on: June 01, 2015, 08:47:46 PM »
Smart dog is on the right sent remove the dirt only.
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Offline Dr. Tim-Boone

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« Last Edit: June 04, 2015, 04:04:27 AM by Dr. Tim-Boone »
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Offline vtbuck223

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #18 on: June 05, 2015, 04:20:36 PM »
Thanks for the tip on Kramer's.....it looks like good stuff.  My question is....I have been using Howard's Feed N Wax....is this a similar product...does it largely do the same thing...or is it something different altogether?

Offline aka california eddillon

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #19 on: June 05, 2015, 06:43:34 PM »
I like that stepped wrist.  How are chances that you have more photos of this rifle?  Would really like to see more of it.   Lock, both sides of the butt stock and etc.
In memory of Capt. Frederick H. Dillon, Commander 235th Ordnance Bomb Disposal Company.  MIA October 10, 1943.  His brother, Private Daniel B. Dillon, 85th Division, KIA northern Italy September 23, 1944.

kaintuck

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #20 on: June 05, 2015, 07:08:55 PM »
please save all that you removed....as I work hard to get that aged look of years and years on my rifles..... ;D
just remove it and mail it to me.......then I will put it on my builds to make them look really old and cool!!!!!!!!!!!

marc n tomtom ;D

Offline JTR

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #21 on: June 05, 2015, 08:34:20 PM »
vt, You seem bound and determined to go ahead cleaning it up, but just a word of caution, from my personal experience. Many years back, about 1980, I bought my first Nice Kentucky. It had some carving on it, looked good, but was a bit grimy so I thought I'd just give it a light cleaning.
A friend recommended something named Murphy's wood oil soap, or something like that. I followed the directions and put a bit on the wood, rubbed it gently around with a soft rag, and yep, I could see the dirt coming off. But when I took a clean rag and wiped the stock off my eyes about popped out of my head, because all the old original shellac finish was gone too!

And try as I might, I was never able to reproduce that finish.....

End of sermon,
John
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Offline louieparker

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #22 on: June 05, 2015, 08:49:47 PM »
There are a lot of collectors love the untouched look your rifle has.  Personally I would never clean it..Guns with that look are difficult to find..  It easy to remove but impassable to replace. At least to anyone who know what they are looking at. Louie

Offline Howard

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2015, 10:09:40 PM »
Years ago I made friends with a great picker , Don Newcomer. He gave me advice ,"Buy them in the black & leave them in the black unless they have been booger-ed with to the point you can't stand to look at it. Only fix the gun to the extent that it will keep from further damage". I'm sure Louie & all the old time collectors got the same advice from him or someone who has just as much knowledge as Don. I would take Louie's advice myself.

Offline Hurricane ( of Virginia)

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Re: Cleaning Original Longrifle?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2015, 10:46:50 PM »
Not to be arrogant, but with more pictures, ( mentioned it was posted somehwere??) perhaps someone will trade you a similar "cleaned one" for yours in the "black"? As mentioned many times, "in the black" is hard to find. Seriously, but just another idea.
Hurricane