Kibler Colonial Kit Assembled

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davec2

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I wanted to try out one of Jim Kibler's new kits last year. The kit sat around for a fair amount of time before I started in. It has been done for several months now but here are the posts I was intending to put up as I went along. Even thought these posts are late, I thought that others here might appreciate the information about one of Jim's excellent kits and what you can do with it......
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I decided that I wanted to do a little carving on the stock. As is usually the case, it is not the carving that takes time, it is trying to decide on what to carve. So rather than doing anything overly original, I thought I would just use a carving theme from one of Jim's rifles.....after all, the kit is from Jim.....

So I picked a design I liked a lot when I first saw it and I knew it was going to be a tough one to try to mimic....AND IT WAS !!!! None of these are completely finished yet but I wanted to get the overall design cut. I will finish smoothing the backgrounds and cleaning up some details when I actually get around to finishing the rifle.....

I started off by putting a molding along the ram rod channel and then thinned out the wrist some side to side and top to bottom. Did the usual lock molding, etc., but here is the major stuff.....

Butt stock main carving layout:



First Cuts:



Mostly done......



I wanted to change the carving around the rear pipe so, instead of using the original design, I made up a variation on the theme Jim used elsewhere on his rifle......layout of the design.......



And cut......







Breach carving.........





Toughest one of all......patchbox !



 
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davec2

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Took half the day, but I got all the brass parts final polished. These are taken to a fairly high gloss and I will knock them back some as I do the engraving. I usually take all the brass and steel to this level of polish first to make sure I'm not leaving any "unsightly" scratches or tool marks. I can see anything I don't like in the surface finish better at this point and then, when I take some of the gloss off as I engrave, I know the parts are clear of tool marks......which, like scratches on the stock, always show up at a lousy time in the finishing process :( :mad:

The lock is next in the polishing que.......



 

davec2

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Started in on polishing the lock. Took some elbow grease with the sanding sticks I use, but had the lock plate done in about an hour:





Flint cock took another half hour to get to this point......



Only the frizzen to go but needed to anneal it first in preparation for both polishing and then engraving:



This is a comparison between the "as cast" part and what I consider to be a sufficient level of polishing:



By the way, this is the little 110 VAC furnace I use for a lot of heat treating and casting larger parts like trigger guards and butt plates. These are fairly expensive new, but they can be had used for a reasonable amount. In this case. I used it to anneal the frizzen. I covered the part in crushed charcoal (to prevent scaling) and ran the furnace up to ~ 1700 degrees F. Then I just turned it off and came back in a few hours to pull the frizzen out.....nice and soft now.

I use this for gold and silver work and it can easily melt brass and copper alloys of all sorts......anything but iron and steel. And, of course, I can use it to case harden or heat treat parts as well.

 

davec2

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Finished work on the annealed frizzen and got it polished to the same level as the rest of the external lock parts. Also polished the top jaw, top jaw screw, and gave the frizzen spring a little polish as well.



I have made no real modifications to this kit previously except for removing some additional wood along the full length of the fore stock and reducing the height and thickness of the wrist about an 1/8" in both directions. But then today I made a modification to the trigger. The kit comes with the trigger pinned through the stock and I have no doubt, that if I had left it alone, I would not live long enough to wear any part of that arrangement out. The existing arrangement is historically accurate and perfectly acceptable. However, with all of the other guns I have built, I liked the idea of the trigger "group" coming out of the stock as a unit (sort of like an M1 Garand ;)) and having the pivot pin for the trigger housed in metal rather than in the wood. Not a requirement. Not historically accurate. Just my personal preference. So I bent up a small piece of sheet steel, silver brazed it to the kit supplied trigger plate, drilled the pivot holes in alignment with the kit supplied trigger, and then excavated a little bit of wood in the trigger mortice to let it all sit snug in the stock. Came out great. Engraving is next.



 

davec2

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Nothing fancy.....just sort of a warm up and test on the materials involved. (The parts are also easily replaced if I mess up too bad..... ;)

Now that I look at the pictures (always a good "truth" check on my work), I can see that I need to do a little refining......



 

davec2

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Finished the lock engraving tonight. Started on the brass parts but haven't decided how much engraving I will do on all those parts.






One comment about the precision of Jim's new CNC locks. As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to anneal the frizzen to polish and engrave it. I did that in a furnace with the frizzen buried in charcoal to keep it from scaling at all. When I took the lock apart, I noted how beautifully the frizzen and the frizzen pivot screw were fitted. No slop at all. After polishing and engraving, I went to reassemble the lock and discovered that the frizzen screw would no longer fit through the hole in the toe of the frizzen. It took me a while to lap the hole and the frizzen screw enough to allow the screw to go back into position and allow the frizzen to turn on the pivot freely but without any slop. I have never worked on a lock that had parts fitted that precisely. Good job Jim !!!
 

davec2

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Not sure where I'm going yet with all the engraving.....as usual this all sort of just "happens" as I think of something that appeals to me. Probably why most of my engraving is so "disjointed". Although when I look at a lot of photos of original rifles, their engraving seems to be all over the place as well.....so perhaps I AM doing the right thing....who knows :eek:

At any rate, here is the latest progress....and we'll see if it all comes together in the end.......

I like decorated screws, so I did the two lock bolts and the tang screw with a different type of floral design more complicated than the much simpler one I have been doing...





I decided I wanted some decoration at the breech.....not sure if I will add too much more or not yet. I had to make a new punch for the beading here....didn't have one the correct size....



Completed the excavation of steel on the top of the breech plug in preparation for inlaying a 24 karat gold touch mark. This is always a tedious task for me for some reason. I will do some additional engraving on the tang when I decide what I want to do there.

 

davec2

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Not a lot of time to work these last few days but after engraving the lock bolt and tang screw heads, I thought I might as well do the remaining few. I used the same pattern on the cock screw, the top jaw screw and the two butt plate screws. Since I have apparently gone completely berserk here, I might as well do the little screw head on the trigger plate screw.... ;)

Oh, and I did add some engraving to the breech decoration and took a crack at the side plate. I'm not very happy with the side plate. I may ask Jim if I can purchase another side plate and take another crack at it.....







 

davec2

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I did get the gold touch mark installed in the breech plug and started the layout for the rest of the engraving on it......




Did as much as I'm going to do on the rear ram rod pipe. Just a little nick and dot border and a touch of scroll work.....



I put two rows of nick and dot on both sides of the muzzle cap.....may add something else.....not sure yet.



Did put my name and date on the top of the barrel.....I may inlay this in gold....haven't done that in a while.....

 

davec2

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I don't number my guns but I do ID them with an appropriate memento of gratitude and a date on the underside of the barrel......although I should really add Jim's name as well on this one..... ;) (Actually, I thought about this too late but the inscription should really read "David ornantur me per gratiam Dei"......."David embellished me by the grace of God") Sorry Jim...I usually build from scratch. I'm not used to the kit building thing yet !

 

davec2

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While I work on the staining experiments, I was looking at the muzzle cap and decided it was too plain (compared to everything else). Besides, I had to do something with the heads of the two copper rivets I made to hold the cap in place... ;)


 

davec2

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OK.....I tried about 435,365 permutations and combinations of staining techniques on this stock (all in the barrel channel) and determined that, in no small measure, the wood is going to turn out whatever color the wood wants to turn out. So here it is thus far. I haven't finished "fiddling" with it yet (and it looks much better wet than dry). I've done so many things to this stock along the way (going from very light to darker) that I cannot even tell you how I got this far.....and I'm sure I could never repeat the process..... :eek: :mad: :-\ ??? :)



 

davec2

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While the finish is going on the stock, I took the time to finish the barrel. I have come to like a "not just brown...kinda bronze-like" finish on the barrel that I have used on several other guns. A lighter brown than a deep plumb with touches of blue and bronze, the barrel color is not perfectly even when you look at it up close.....and I like the very slightly variegated colors. Just personal preference but the barrel has a "used but very well cared for" look about it. I'm not a big fan of artificial patina but something just a slight step back from a "show room new" appearance does appeal to me. Anyway, here is how the barrel came out.......




 

davec2

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Not had much chance to finish up this rifle but have put a few coats of finish on the stock and have been experimenting with Jim's method of applying bone black. Here is where I am thus far. More work to do but going slow......since I have no idea what I'm doing just yet :eek: Stock needs some rubbing back and a few more top coats.....and perhaps another go around with bone black......not sure how it's supposed to look........ ???










 

davec2

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Stock is turning in the hot summer sun on my "stock rotisserie". The UV really sets up the polymerized tung oil quickly. While the stock was curing, I hardened all of the screw heads, the trigger, and re-hardened the frizzen. Made a ramrod tip and partially antiqued the brass parts. Should be ready to assemble in another couple of days.

 
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