Kibler Southern Mountain Rifle, 40 Caliber Cherry

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I have to say that it's hard to go wrong with a Kibler. This was by far the easiest build I've ever done. I'd never worked with cherry before and I'm really glad I chose it for this one. It fits the character I had in mind perfectly. I stained it with a dilute solution of crystal lye followed by some darkening with Fiebing black leather dye. After this came two coats of linseed oil thinned with naptha and a little Japan dryer. Four coats of Minwax wipe on poly finished it off. I buffed out the final coat of poly with a grey 3M pad after 12 hours, before it set up too hard. All that was the easy part. Now I have to sharpen up my lousy flintlock shooting skills!
 

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I was told that there is no reason to neutralize the lye after treatment. Since lye is a base it would have to be neutralized with an acid which could do more harm than good. Kiblers included several scrap pieces of the wood for me to experiment with. It's good that they did since I found that too strong a lye solution turns the wood a lot redder than what I wanted.

I used Laural Mtn Forge to brown the metal. I also rubbed on a couple of coats of cold blue in between coats of the LMF. It seemed to darken the brown some. I had ideal rusting conditions here in Southern Arizona during the monsoons. The humidity has been high and the temp in the 80's and 90's.
 
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I was told that there is no reason to neutralize the lye after treatment. Since lye is a base it would have to be neutralized with an acid which could do more harm than good.

NaOH (lye) reacts with the tannic acid (in the wood) to change the color of the wood, so maybe a simple rinse is adequate. I've done a little experimenting with lye on cherry and liked the results if I left it on at least an hour, but possibly redder than you might like.
 

11th corps

40 Cal.
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Very nice.
Cherry is one of my favorite woods. It can be hard to plane, it has a tendency to chip out.
But it ages beautifully.
 

Major Tim

32 Cal.
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Nicely done! I really like how dark your barrel turned out. It almost looks black on my little screen.

I was going to order a 40 in cherry recently but went with a 45 maple. Now you've got me rethinking that decision!
 
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Ordered a cherry stocked Kibler SMR project in .45 cal. a little while ago. Waiting for it's arrival.
Yours looks really good! Seeing that one, I'm glad I went with the cherry - hope I can do it justice...
(I also am a fan of Fiebing leather die for coloring wood.)

Well done!
 
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