The Kibler Ash SMR, or WKU Round Two

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brewyak

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Thanks for sharing. I have a Fowler kit in order from cabin creek. Just waiting on colerain to start production on the barrel. It’s going to be stocked in ash. I figure it’s going to be like American chestnut soon. It’s pretty much wiped out in my area of Pa
 
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Maybe in missed it, but how did you get the darker grain to pop out like that?

By using a grain filler. In this case Art's Gun Shop French Red. More subtle than using a grain filling gel. Many would probably choose to use the gel and do it before any finish coats. But then every pore would stand out. I had a couple finish coats on prior to using the French Red. In the dense wood there was little for the grain filler to stick into, and it wiped right off those areas. Ash has a grain with large pores and they were not completely filled with finish. The result was more subtle. Many ways to do it. This is how I chose.
 
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I appreciate the reply. I have a piece of ash headed for my version of a shortened Hawken. The blank came from a tree on my property and I'm hoping I can get it looking half as good as your stock.
 
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Again, I am back to working on this kit. Finally feeling much better. Got a surgery date due to a cancellation. Suffered through two UTI's, and when Doc went in with the scope, saw the last stone had moved, he snagged it with a dip net first try. Or some such tool they shove up the tubes. Stone came out, I had passed the other one, and the stent came out. When you do not feel good, best to not try working on kits.

I decided that I was unhappy with the work I did so far. Too many flaws. Oh, I expect some. I am not burnishing my scrapers good enough. I need to practice on that. There were too many CNC machining marks that started to show with the finish. So I sanded it all off. Mostly. Changed my mind on the stain and treated the stock with Kibler's Iron Nitrate. It was necessary to let the stock dry overnight to get a light greenish hue on this ash stock. That showed some more flaws and sanded it again to an acceptable point. Another night of iron nitrate drying.

It was the next step when the magic happened. Using a new heat gun. Having left the other one in the classroom at Bowling Green. (No great loss) The stock went from a very light looking, slightly greenish hue to an amazing reddish brown. Much darker than I ever expected. Once I applied the oil. WOW! Got to figure out a way to clean the pick holder without messing anything else up. It's finally moving towards completion.

Some pics with notes. (front porch workshop)

Sanded. iPhone always adds a bit more orange.
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This is with iron nitrate. See the scratches? More sanding required.
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Can you see the color change?
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There are two light spots and two black spots on the stock. You can see one here. They will diminish with the oil. They will be fine.
IMG_2955.jpeg
 
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Some pics with the finish applied. Up to two coats so far. Medium luster and I can go to a low luster if too many flaws pop up. The high luster is just too shiny.

Looks like a pre64 Winchester. I never would have predicted that.
IMG_2956.jpeg



There is a faint, light, thin curl, and a larger bolder curl. Good grain. Nice. I like it.
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2nd coat of finish 30 minutes old.
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Went to WKU for the NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar again this year. Our instructor was Ed Wenger. Like all the talented people I have met at these seminars, very capable. A really nice guy. Talents I can only strive for. We were a group of 10, with about half doing SMR and the other half the Colonial. All Kibler kits. Typically some of us were in a few minutes after 7AM and there most of the day until 5PM. Some worked through lunch. Everyone was helpful. Shared stuff. Varied talents. But a good time was had by all. Ed did a number of demonstrations which were very useful, yet still gave us plenty of time to work on our rifles. And he spent his lunch times assisting someone.

Random thoughts. Some pictures, not all the best. I am not done with the rifle yet. Oh, it was capable of being loaded and shot the last day. But I still have work to do as I make time at home. I'll add to this thread when able. I wanted to post things before it left my aging mind for good. Probably some thoughts in between the pictures.

I added two things to my SMR kit. A German silver toe plate which I fitted. And a German silver pick holder, which Ed Wenger inlet for me. Ed did a superb job. He went to his chisel pouch and pulled out an inletting tool he had made that he used to outline the pick holder. I would have taken a different tack and screwed that up. A great teaching moment.

The stock isn't done yet. Filed, then scraped. The only sandpaper used was to widen the inlet for the trigger group. Little folded pieces to carefully open the inlets up to accept the trigger. Nothing fit initially on this ash stock. I had to do a lot more work than I did on my colonial rifle. Not complaining. It taught me to be more patient and not to immediately start carving away with a chisel. I got it all to fit. Then stained with Laurel Mountain Honey Maple. Next day, stained with Laurel Mountain Maple. Late that day I sealed the stock and rubbed the stain back with a cotton pad and Sutherland Welles Tung Oil Sealer. At this point (next day) I could have used a stock filler, but chose instead to give it a coat of Tung Oil High Luster. I was really liking how it was looking and was thinking that I really didn't need to try to highlight the grain. Then Mike Miller walked through and immediate saw that and mentioned how good that would look with the open grain darkened. I had to agree as that had been my plan all along. So that will happen.

A note on the Sutherland Welles Tung Oil. I purchased a quart each of the High Luster and the citrus based solvent. Using those finish saver bags, I made one each Sealer, Low Luster, Medium Luster, and High Luster. Instructions for doing so on their website. If it should appear too shiny I can rub a lower luster coat on. The amount used is very small. I also use this same product on our antique heart pine floors.

New tools I purchased this year included a group of Grobet pillar files. Wow! Really wow! Three of the four did 95% of all my file work. My old Nicholson's were hardly used. I was smart this year. I don't ride bikes anymore, so I put to use my old Thurlow deerskin riding gloves when filing. Had no bloody and blistered thumbs or fingers.

View attachment 145302

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Measuring for the pick holder. And lots of CNC marks to file off visible in these pics. Nice finish on the barrel.

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Thanks for showing us this work! I love those picks-in-holders thingies! Don't have one myself, but has to be really handy.
 
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That's a really nice ash stock. Love the grain orientation. And a fine looking rifle. I can only keep striving to do such work as that.

I need a workshop.
 
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Working on polishing the lock. Well, the lockplate. I knew that the frizzen was hardened. I do not have the skill set to anneal the frizzen, and then harden it. All I have managed to do is knock the tarnish off. The hammer has the same look but is a bit softer. Even so, I don't think polishing it completely smooth is time well spent.

The lockplate however, was already sort of smooth and is easily polished. And I will continue through a few more grades of emery cloth. I have to wonder how much polishing was really done. It is said that locks were always polished. Photos of older, and many modern rifles, give me the impression that some polishing was done. Why do so many makers use these antiqued finishes to make their handwork appear to be used? I intend to go through all my books and really study the metal.

Oh, and I found my missing heat gun. Just buried in one of my tool crates. I felt so bad all summer I just didn't dig down far enough.

Pic when I get satisfied with the look of the lock. I intend to blue it.
 
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Took the lock apart, did some polishing, and blued it with a 44/40 cold blue. Some of it wiped right off with paper towel. The more smooth the metal, the easier it wiped off. It ended up being sort of antiqued looking. The flint is striking the frizzen and causing a bounce. Using a Sharpie. Flipped it and it just did the same thing, only higher. I didn't get it square. I think if I flip it back, knap it to shorten it. It may perform better. I bought a foot of 3/16" brass square rod to make a special tool to disassemble the lock. Cut the rod into three pieces. Got plenty of special tools now. Shown in good light on the kitchen table, but used out in the shed on my vise.

IMG_2968.jpeg
IMG_2969.jpeg

IMG_2965.jpeg
 
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Went to WKU for the NMLRA Gunsmithing Seminar again this year. Our instructor was Ed Wenger. Like all the talented people I have met at these seminars, very capable. A really nice guy. Talents I can only strive for. We were a group of 10, with about half doing SMR and the other half the Colonial. All Kibler kits. Typically some of us were in a few minutes after 7AM and there most of the day until 5PM. Some worked through lunch. Everyone was helpful. Shared stuff. Varied talents. But a good time was had by all. Ed did a number of demonstrations which were very useful, yet still gave us plenty of time to work on our rifles. And he spent his lunch times assisting someone.

Random thoughts. Some pictures, not all the best. I am not done with the rifle yet. Oh, it was capable of being loaded and shot the last day. But I still have work to do as I make time at home. I'll add to this thread when able. I wanted to post things before it left my aging mind for good. Probably some thoughts in between the pictures.

I added two things to my SMR kit. A German silver toe plate which I fitted. And a German silver pick holder, which Ed Wenger inlet for me. Ed did a superb job. He went to his chisel pouch and pulled out an inletting tool he had made that he used to outline the pick holder. I would have taken a different tack and screwed that up. A great teaching moment.

The stock isn't done yet. Filed, then scraped. The only sandpaper used was to widen the inlet for the trigger group. Little folded pieces to carefully open the inlets up to accept the trigger. Nothing fit initially on this ash stock. I had to do a lot more work than I did on my colonial rifle. Not complaining. It taught me to be more patient and not to immediately start carving away with a chisel. I got it all to fit. Then stained with Laurel Mountain Honey Maple. Next day, stained with Laurel Mountain Maple. Late that day I sealed the stock and rubbed the stain back with a cotton pad and Sutherland Welles Tung Oil Sealer. At this point (next day) I could have used a stock filler, but chose instead to give it a coat of Tung Oil High Luster. I was really liking how it was looking and was thinking that I really didn't need to try to highlight the grain. Then Mike Miller walked through and immediate saw that and mentioned how good that would look with the open grain darkened. I had to agree as that had been my plan all along. So that will happen.

A note on the Sutherland Welles Tung Oil. I purchased a quart each of the High Luster and the citrus based solvent. Using those finish saver bags, I made one each Sealer, Low Luster, Medium Luster, and High Luster. Instructions for doing so on their website. If it should appear too shiny I can rub a lower luster coat on. The amount used is very small. I also use this same product on our antique heart pine floors.

New tools I purchased this year included a group of Grobet pillar files. Wow! Really wow! Three of the four did 95% of all my file work. My old Nicholson's were hardly used. I was smart this year. I don't ride bikes anymore, so I put to use my old Thurlow deerskin riding gloves when filing. Had no bloody and blistered thumbs or fingers.

View attachment 145302

View attachment 145303

View attachment 145304

Measuring for the pick holder. And lots of CNC marks to file off visible in these pics. Nice finish on the barrel.

View attachment 145305

View attachment 145306

View attachment 145307

View attachment 145308

View attachment 145309
 
Joined
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Took the lock apart, did some polishing, and blued it with a 44/40 cold blue. Some of it wiped right off with paper towel. The more smooth the metal, the easier it wiped off. It ended up being sort of antiqued looking. The flint is striking the frizzen and causing a bounce. Using a Sharpie. Flipped it and it just did the same thing, only higher. I didn't get it square. I think if I flip it back, knap it to shorten it. It may perform better. I bought a foot of 3/16" brass square rod to make a special tool to disassemble the lock. Cut the rod into three pieces. Got plenty of special tools now. Shown in good light on the kitchen table, but used out in the shed on my vise.

View attachment 167787 View attachment 167788
View attachment 167786
You receive an "A" for your report and photos!
 

tgfrench

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Some pics with the finish applied. Up to two coats so far. Medium luster and I can go to a low luster if too many flaws pop up. The high luster is just too shiny.

Looks like a pre64 Winchester. I never would have predicted that.
View attachment 165540


There is a faint, light, thin curl, and a larger bolder curl. Good grain. Nice. I like it.
View attachment 165541



View attachment 165542



View attachment 165543


View attachment 165544


2nd coat of finish 30 minutes old.
View attachment 165545


View attachment 165546
So much better color. I like that it toned down the grain a little.
 
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