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Old 07-04-2017, 12:25 AM
rct269 rct269 is online now
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Unhappy SINGLE SHOT GRIPS RESTORATION????

So----I got a nice new 2nd Model SS. The grips are perfect---nice shiny black on the outside. On the inside, they're pig filthy----right along with the inside of the gun. It appears someone lubricated the gun by cocking the hammer, and pouring oil into the hole until it overflowed. Given that, every piece of schmuta and gradu that came along stayed----stuck in the oil---while it solidified. The good news is there is no rust anywhere inside.

It comes apart and goes into the solvent tank to soak. The grips go into a glass jar filled with a solution of Dawn dish washing detergent and water to soak. The gun bits come out all squeaky clean---and the grips come out nice and clean------and brown----pretty much like we see every now and again when black hard rubber grips get too much sun----or whatever fades them to brown---except they're mottled here and there---on the smooth (uncheckered) areas. As is the case with grips which have faded to brown, the insides of the grips are still black.

Sitting and staring---and picking at these mottled areas reveals some sort of very thin coating that seems like it could almost be peeled off or otherwise removed---almost as though someone, somewhere, once upon a time, applied a coating of black stuff to "fix" faded grips.

At this point, I can do nothing----or try to remove the remnants of this mystery coating, restoring the grips to their faded brown-----or apply yet another coating of "black stuff"---restoring the grips to their shiny black glory.

So---------anybody know/have any idea what sort of magic elixir one applies to once black now faded hard rubber grips to return them to their shiny black glory? As an alternative (removing whatever was ostensibly applied previously), what sort of solvents will do no harm to hard rubber?

Many thanks!!

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 07-04-2017, 08:44 AM
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Mineral oil brings back the color and shine to gutta percha without harming the rubber. Put some on a rag and rub it in well. It will eventually be absorbed and/or dry up and then you simply re-apply it occassionally. Do this after removing whatever coating someone applied to the grips. Maybe try a weaker solvent like mineral spirits to strip the grips.
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Old 07-04-2017, 08:51 AM
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Ralph, it could be a coating, since hard rubber is molded in liquid form and not normally prone to peeling . . . BUT long term submersion in water with a wetting agent (detergent) can cause rapid deterioration. A quick quote from a definition article on Ebonite, an early hard rubber containing sulfur:

Exposure to moisture bonds water with free sulfur on the surface creating sulfates and sulfuric acid at the surface that are very hydroscopic. The sulfates form a film with favorable wettability characteristics on the surface. These aging processes will gradually discolor the surface grayish green to brown and if water or moisture is constantly available, it can cause rapid deterioration . . .

Hard rubber, like Ebonite and the type used by S&W contain up to 50% sulfur, which can cause the formation of sulfates in water. I believe that is just what may have happened and you have de-bonded the surface of the stocks. Unfortunately, not sure there is any solution to this problem. Maybe when all the moisture is dried, the stocks will once again be serviceable?? At any rate, I would not soak hard rubber in water more than a simple wash and dry in the future, even if there is the slightest chance it could deteriorate the surface of the stocks.
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Old 07-04-2017, 09:08 AM
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I would be trying the Mineral Oil, at least on a less noticeable part of one panel. I'd bet it just might do the trick. Thin coat, let dry well and then a second coat.
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Old 07-04-2017, 11:49 AM
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Thank you, folks!

I shall proceed accordingly.

As it stands now, the mystery is solved----sort of. I retrieved another black, hard rubber grip panel(one of one) from my drawer of generally useless stuff---------and dropped it in a Dawn/water solution. Now, 12 hours later (+/-), black is brown. (Black is brown on the outside, but still black on the inside.) The SS grips were soaking for longer than that. I have no clue how much longer, but very possibly long enough for the de-bonding Gary noted to begin---and hence the appearance of "mottled" and "the very thin coating that seems like it could almost be peeled off" I mentioned. Bottom Line: I screwed the pooch.

The good news is I now have a Guinea Pig for possible solutions/improvements. I shall proceed accordingly.

Right now, I'm yanking those grips off the gun! Gary's "Maybe when all the moisture is dried-----" got my attention!! It never occurred to me moisture could soak into these things. Live and learn!!

Ralph Tremaine
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:14 PM
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And see if this makes any sense: Black goes to brown on the outside of the grip panel---but not on the inside; because the outside presents a (significantly) larger surface----------it's curved vs. flat, and it's irregular (by way of the checkering/gooves) vs. essentially smooth. Add to that this little tid-bit: The bottom of each grip panel (flat/smooth/small) is (also) still black. And all of this seems to suggest I could screw up both the inside and bottom with longer exposure.

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Old 07-06-2017, 11:47 AM
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You might try some Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil. It did a good job on some vulcanite stems of mine that had heavy oxidation.
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:07 PM
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Originally Posted by bbqncigars View Post
You might try some Obsidian Pipe Stem Oil. It did a good job on some vulcanite stems of mine that had heavy oxidation.
I looked into the ingredients of this product out of curiosity and the primary ingredient is food grade mineral oil, "with very small amounts of organic sunscreens and some essentials oils".
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Old 07-06-2017, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rct269 View Post
And see if this makes any sense: Black goes to brown on the outside of the grip panel---but not on the inside; because the outside presents a (significantly) larger surface----------it's curved vs. flat, and it's irregular . . . vs. essentially smooth. Add to that this little tid-bit: The bottom of each grip panel (flat/smooth/small) is (also) still black . . .
Ralph, I think you introduce a lot of oxidizing agents by simply using the gun. You hand will add both moisture and salt. Sunlight will speed up the process, and free oxygen adds even more to the browning process. The insides, and for that matter, the bottom of the stocks seldom see handling, salt, moisture from the hand, sunlight, or simple air circulation. All of this adds up to the brown color, which is a combination of sulfates and oxidation. I think those guns with black stocks probably either remained in a drawer, box, or were very well cared for with even the stocks being wiped down with oil.

Hope your stocks can be salvaged. I have restored some of my old worn stocks by taking black enamel paint, thinned down and applied it to the stocks. I used compressed air to blow most of it off, then let it dry and repeat a few times until I got a nice even black color.
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Old 07-06-2017, 01:21 PM
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This post has been the most informative on black grips I have ever read.
this will go into my note book. Thanks for info.
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Old 07-06-2017, 05:56 PM
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Status of mineral oil treatment: Put on a thin coat the man said----put on another one when it dries. I put it on my (now brown) test panel several days ago. It didn't dry. Mayhaps his definition of "thin coat" is different than mine. The panel is still brown----and slicker than snot on a brass door knob!!

Okay---I'll dry it---did that with paper towel.

GUESS WHAT?!! The now dry panel is A BUNCH darker brown than it was-----damn near black if the light is less than operating room bright.

Guess what else? I'm going to put another coat of oil on it. If it doesn't dry by itself, I'll dry it.

And not too long after that-------------I have a really spiffy NM #3 with one brown panel---perhaps what was the outside panel as it lay on the shelf at Duffy's house for many moons. It's going to get some mineral oil too.

And along the way, the SS grips I messed up are going to get the same treatment----which may take longer----but it's lookin' GOOD!!

Ralph Tremaine

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Old 07-06-2017, 06:13 PM
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OK, so do not soak in a solution of Dawn. I got it. Great for dishes,
not grips.
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:31 AM
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Default Restoring Grips

I have been restoring hard rubber for about 25 years now. There are a lot of things that can cause oxidation. Basically the sulfur migrates to the surface and when it interacts with Oxygen, Sunlight, Moisture, etc. This will turn the surface brown.

You should never use water on hard rubber. It is very bad for it. If you have a brand new gun or one that was well stored and the grips are black you want to treat it with anti-oxidants. Mineral oil is very good. So is carnauba wax.

I actually make all my own products since there is nothing made specific for hard rubber. Recently I also made a deoxidizer that will remove the oxidation from the surface as well without harming the rubber.
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Old 08-19-2017, 12:20 PM
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Welcome to the forums from the Wiregrass!
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Old 08-25-2017, 02:56 PM
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I actually make all my own products since there is nothing made specific for hard rubber. Recently I also made a deoxidizer that will remove the oxidation from the surface as well without harming the rubber.
You need to bottle that stuff !!! I bet it would sell here like hotcakes!
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