• Friends, our 2nd Amendment rights are always under attack and the NRA has been a constant for decades in helping fight that fight.

    We have partnered with the NRA to offer you a discount on membership and Muzzleloading Forum gets a small percentage too of each membership, so you are supporting both the NRA and us.

    Use this link to sign up please; https://membership.nra.org/recruiters/join/XR045103

Colonial on its way...

Muzzleloading Forum

Help Support Muzzleloading Forum:

This site may earn a commission from merchant affiliate links, including eBay, Amazon, and others.
Well, I took it down to 180 grit tonight and spent far too much time on those imperfections. I think I have them to the point that they will all but vanish in the final polishing. I'll give it a going over with 220 and then 320 grit, and then likely go to the Brasso. I don't need full on mirror (it's going to patina and get banged around), but I do want it reasonably well done...the ex-Cadet, ex-Reserves and name-has-changed-but-still-Brigade-at-heart volunteering I do won't let me slack off much with it ;)
Tonight I took it to "passable." No, not full parade mirror, but likely better than an original would have been. I might tweak it a bit more in the future, but it's good enough to mount it for now.


  • 20240220_210013.jpg
    2.5 MB · Views: 0
  • 20240220_210028.jpg
    2.5 MB · Views: 0
  • 20240220_210041.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 0
Buttplate is mounted (minor tweaking of the polishing will be required, but not much) and patchbox lid number one is fitted and usable. The second patchbox lid I ordered I'm going to try to add the brass plate and some carving to. Everything is marked out and the carving stuff has had a first/guide cut with an exacto. It'll be interesting to see how it goes and if I can do something reasonable with it.
First attempt at carving incised lines and a pattern tonight. I'm feeling better about my plans for the stock (just lines and a round inlet).

This curly maple has shown me why it can be a challenge to carve, though...front part of this lid has curl right where my curve is. Royal PITA trying to follow my guide line as I tried to do the actual carving...thankful I had the guide or I would have killed this for sure!

Now to figure out the brass plate ;)


  • 20240221_193813.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 0
  • 20240221_193828.jpg
    3.5 MB · Views: 0
I think I am going to mix up some dyes this weekend and work out my finish on one of the scrap pieces included in my box. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to try....but now I need to add a "non-dyed, tung-finished raw wood" area on the piece to see if that will keep my Maltese cross lighter on that lid. Should probably try to sand the cross arms too....they definitely look rough hewn right now.

While I wait for things to dry, I can try to come up with a block that will let me sand that 1/16" off the end of the patchbox to attach the brass plate. I'll have to see if Jim included a screw or two for it in the kit....if not, I have a couple I could use, but they won't be historically accurate as they have modern era, Philips heads on them. :(

Always stuff to do when working on a kit ;)
So, first color test didn't go as planned...too orange/red and a bit dark. Still the chatoyance is amazing...

Here's the test block from either end....figure overload to ghost figure...just amazing. When I get the color figured out this will be quite something!


  • 20240224_220047.jpg
    2.2 MB · Views: 0
  • 20240224_220036.jpg
    2.5 MB · Views: 0
Ok, trying test block #2 for color, got the lock disassembled (other than getting the tumbler free of the cock....I need to find a square punch) and got the brass plate on to my "fancy" lid.

My lids don't mate as nicely as I'd hoped....took a bit too much off the back when making sure things wouldn't bind....but live and learn, I guess. Still need to polish it and see about matching things up a bit when I do the final fitting of the buttplate, but not too bad for a first attempt.

Here's what the box lid looks like...


  • 20240225_171243~2.jpg
    812.8 KB · Views: 0
  • 20240225_171254~2.jpg
    1,015.4 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:
Some progress tonight... got the lock fully disassembled and am now ready for polishing. Just doing the "externals"...cock, top jaw, screw, plate and back side of frizzen. I may get out a small bit of compound and hand rub the pan...we'll see.

I also started trying out my new finishing method thought... finishing hardwood floors is a far different beast than finishing curly maple! I'm so used to going to "flood" mode with the oil that I accidentally tried flooding my dye! Oops. Well, the slightly different sanding set-up and cloth dye wiping version is showing much more promise and I have a 1 coat / 2 coat test board for my final color drying now. I know the oil finish will make it even more spectacular, but man alive, just the black and red dyes to "pop" the curl have brought up the chatoyance amazingly.

Hopefully by the end of the weekend I will know what I am doing for finish and will be at the point of re-assembling / fitting the lock and getting my barrel pinned. This week has been crazy and I haven't had much time to put toward the rifle.... but that helps with the "take it slow" thing. I will say, even though it isn't perfect, the "fancy" patchbox lid still blows my mind that "I did that" with the carving and brass end plate in place.
I’ve been away from the forum for a while, just got back and started reading your thread. Sounds like your having a good time building your new gun. Was wondering where you ordered it from and what kind of hassle was it getting it here. Can’t wait to see how she turns out.
I’ve been away from the forum for a while, just got back and started reading your thread. Sounds like your having a good time building your new gun. Was wondering where you ordered it from and what kind of hassle was it getting it here. Can’t wait to see how she turns out.

Here is a video playlist from the company showing the necessary work to complete:

They're about as close to Legos as you can get it's really something.
I’ve been away from the forum for a while, just got back and started reading your thread. Sounds like your having a good time building your new gun. Was wondering where you ordered it from and what kind of hassle was it getting it here. Can’t wait to see how she turns out.
It's a Kibler Colonial that I ordered from Jim Kibler (kiblerlongrifles.com). Actually, the firearms folks and Canadian Border Security call flintlocks "antiques" (i.e. not a "real" gun...don't even need a PAL) so no hassle other than the usual duties / tax getting the kit across the boarder.
As for today's stuff.....well, I slapped a first coat of Tung oil on my latest finish test block. It's far, far less orange than the last one, but I'm still not 100% sure on the color.

The base color is fairly nice and not dark, like I've been trying to avoid. The chatoyance is pretty fantastic, but the red is still pretty strong in there. Honestly, if I wanted a cherry look with fantastic curl, I would be happy doing the black curl highlight with just the red dye...part way through my first sample block I was thinking that was a possibility if I decided to give in and not stay on the light side. It was actually a pretty darn fantastic color, if atypical for a maple rifle. Think moderately dark red velvet with black swirls from the curl.

After I see what this looks like with a couple more coats of oil, I might try one with just the black dye to highlight the curl and then my yellow-brown, and possibly even one with just the yellow-brown dye itself. In the latter case, I don't think that the curl will show the same (i.e. no "tiger striping"...it'll just get me the base color...but I'd likely have a lot of chatoyance to it (holographic tiger striping, rather than colored). If nothing sparks "that's it!!" I might just revisit the black and red :D
Today I got my lock finished up ad reassembled. The back (non-battery) side of the frizzen is hard too...polishing that by hand is hard work! I got most of the "pebbling" out and it is bright enough to match the rest of the lock, but I'm absolutely not going to try to take that down to 600 grit!

Managed to get everything back together and she's a sparky again :)

Obligatory pics...the second one shows where I got to on the back of the frizzen.


  • 20240302_151941~2.jpg
    1.7 MB · Views: 0
  • 20240302_152003~2.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 0
Well, the lock, trigger and side plate are fitted...need to get my hands on a couple clamps ad finish pinning the barrel. Then it's "off to the races" with trigger guard, pipes, ramrod and nose cap.

Also, I am working on the next wood finish test squares. I'm starting to wonder if my original final color isn't quite what I hoped. I'll know soon enough, I'm sure. My red is pretty stunning with the black underneath...almost a curly cherry ;) We'll see where I end up.
Borrowed a set of clamps....will pin the barrel tomorrow and try to mix up and test a batch of the new dye color I picked up today.

The Lee Valley dark oak aniline dye isn't working with the maple for the final color I have been aiming for. I'm going to try the oak as a second color sweep and something a little more yellow (and hope the oil mellows it....I don't want a happy face colored stock :) )

If not, I may have found two other alternative finishes to consider. One makes my curly maple look like curly cherry that's been curl raised and hit with alkanet root or lye....medium-dark red with strong curl, good chatoyance and you can still see the grain of the wood a fair bit.

For the other, I was a little disappointed in the color intially, but it has grown on me a fair bit. The maple has darkened and warmed a bit, but kind of says "it's just wood"...nothing too stunning or pretentious in the color itself. What does catch the attention is the curl (color shifts from black to redish-orange depending on the light) and the grain of the wood is stil quite visible...but the chatoyance that is mind blowing.

I'll have to see how the new dye does....have a test block with curl popping done, we'll have to see what this color does in terms of being a "final color" before the tung oil comes out.

Fortunately, it looks like I'll have some better weather this week, so I can get things done and actually get my test pieces out to some decent natural light to see what they really look like ;)
The last 24 hrs have been busy for me. I have a bunch of the pins done now, so other than the nose cap, my Colonial is really starting to look like it is supposed to. I did have a hiccup in pinning the ramrod (I need a wider range drill bit card for the next one...my next size up was a bit big for the nail), but it's not insurmountable.

The new dye is very yellow...not even the oil on top mutes it to anywhere near acceptable. That said, though, we finally have sunshine and warmer temperatures and a time where I was home when the sun was out, so I took my various test boards out for some natural light. My original three part combo wasn't bad...good curl and chatoyance, but the base color was kinda "meh" and just looked like a slightly darker "everyday" wood.

The red, on the other hand, isn't quite as dark as it seemed and does have some significant orange-ish tone. With the likely back remaining in my incised lines, and bronze of what I'm insetting into the comb, it has steadily grown on me...shows the curl and chatoyance well, plays well with the black and remains a lot lighter than an aqua fortis treatment, which is what I wanted.

Not that my camera can do them justice...


Another block with the red /orange (left) and waaaay over the top yellow. I have a carved line between them to see how my lines would do with the black...


Unfortunately, the amount of chatoyance in both is hard to show with one shot. The original has black and red curl stripes that vanish or go to black, depending on the angle. The red goes from what you see in the middle to almost like a tiger as the black undertone shows more and less.
My final test board (adjusted the red a bit, trying something different in my undertone) is coming along...first coat of Tung oil on it....going to give it 3-4 overall (until it stops drinking like the stereotypical Irishman) and then hit it with some Renaissance wax...if I like what I see at the end, that's my process.

I'll likely give the ramrod a little more work (it's a little tight on one axis....spin it a bit and it pops right out, otherwise it's in there pretty good), but then I can look at finishing it too.

I still need to put my nose cap on (and I found a couple more brass nails to make up for the couple I used on the patch box lid), but realistically, after that, I'm into the decorative and finishing stages for my stock. I'll likely mount my "medallion" that I'm planing to inset onto a hot melt rod for the time being (just so I can work to inlet it before I finally mount it). I'll be putting it in so "up" is vertical when the barrel is level

For lines, I'll be going along the pin holes of the forestock from the first ramrod pipe until just past the entry pipe (still deciding what I'm doing there to end it off), from the butt plate to the trigger guard on both sides and one on the ridge of the back side of the butt. For the two along the bottom of the butt, I'll extend the lines through the butt plate.

Still debating if I'll do anything with the side plate.... Initials or name seem to be the natural things to go on there if I decide on engraving...we'll see.

Latest posts