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Old 05-15-2017, 12:33 PM
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Has anyone in the forum recently had a gun refinished in polished blue? I can't send it back to S&W because of its age. Someone in its past refinished it in nickel from its original blue, and is beginning to show some signs of deterioration. I want to take it back to its original polished blue. Any suggestions for or experiences with a shop that you used would be appreciated.
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Old 05-15-2017, 12:59 PM
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You might consider Ron's Gun Shop. Depending on how old your gun is, it may originally had a carbonia blue. Ron says he can replicate it. I have not used him.

However, I have used APWCogan. Bob's shop is a secondary manufacturing center for several gun manufacturers. He can recut all the stampings and restore a hot salts blue finish that S&W uses today.
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:27 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions. Would a '37-'40 Terrier have had the carbonia blue finish?
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:35 PM
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Yes. S&W used it until after the war. Keep in mind that a refinisher will charge extra to strip the nickel and polish it. With shipping you may be looking at >$400 for all the work especially if you have the case coloring restored on the hammer and trigger. Then, if the stocks aren't pristine...yikes!
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:38 PM
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Fords is a good one also.
Ford's Custom Gun Refinishing | Gun Shop Crystal River
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:39 PM
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Ford's down in FL. They're well known. I had them do a master blue on a 19-3 and was very pleased. I seem to recall a ratty old prewar Police Positive they did which turned out very well.

Slow, but nice work. Check under "Ford's Refinishing".
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Old 05-15-2017, 01:43 PM
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I was going to list Ford's but there has been some recent reports in the forum of quality slippage. I hope it's not true as I have seen some of their work and it is impressive.
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Old 05-15-2017, 02:09 PM
Lee's Landing Billy Lee's Landing Billy is offline
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I have a Triple Lock at Ford's now. I have a Colt SAA they did for me last year. High Polish Blue and Case Hardened Frame. It looks better than my original guns.
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:07 PM
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Heres some of the work Fords is putting out recently. I would look elsewhere.

I can no longer recommend Ford's Refinishing
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Old 05-15-2017, 03:27 PM
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I DO NOT like beating-up on any business, especially small business and gunsmiths, in particular. So I will only say this: I used Ford's only one time for a refinish and I will not use them again. I'm sorry I don't have one that I can recommend. BTW, my work was done first qtr., this year.
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Old 05-15-2017, 09:24 PM
Lee's Landing Billy Lee's Landing Billy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jebstuart View Post
I DO NOT like beating-up on any business, especially small business and gunsmiths, in particular. So I will only say this: I used Ford's only one time for a refinish and I will not use them again. I'm sorry I don't have one that I can recommend. BTW, my work was done first qtr., this year.
Now you are scarin me...they have my Triple Lock now! I also sent a 2nd model hand ejector in 44 and a Colt Diamondback. Hope springs eternal.
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:09 PM
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[I] can recommend a shop in Crete ILL.They refinished a 22/32 for me in carbona blue , cant tell it from factory finish.The name is classic guns
they will also be rebluing a 1903 colt when it gets back from the engravers.
They hand polish not machine buff the gun so the cost is higher than normal but well worth it .
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Old 05-15-2017, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lee's Landing Billy View Post
Now you are scarin me...they have my Triple Lock now! I also sent a 2nd model hand ejector in 44 and a Colt Diamondback. Hope springs eternal.
If you are, and can stop it, do not have them case color anything, man. It will look like a rainbow after repeated assurances that it will not. As for any other work, I don't know what to tell you. Good luck, I didn't have good luck. Maybe it was just bad timing for my stuff, or? I hate this ****. But if I don't tell you what I know, right? Look, I think they're very busy and its hard to juggle light bulbs. Thay have had very good ink, and apparently do stellar work. Enough ink just on this site to swamp a shop that size probably. It'll be fine I'll bet. One third of my project turned out well. Please post how your stuff turns out.
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Old 05-16-2017, 12:02 AM
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I recently had an early 32-20 M&P original nickel revolver refinished by a local guy. I have seen his blueing applied to a few firearms and felt he was competent. This old 32-20 looked rough, had alot of serious pitting and nickel loss, had a nice lock-up, decent barrel, shot well and looking back of course I should have left good enough alone but I was in the mood to mess around with something and this was a candidate. He felt that he could remove the plating and then reblue it in a satin blue. I did not ask if he ever done this type of work before and he seemed confident. Over the next few months I would call to see how he was doing, he seemed to be having a very difficult time removing the plating, first off he complained about some grease that contaminated his tanks, etc. I am a patient guy which sometimes works to my advantage and other times does not. I was more than patient and nearly a full year after dropping off the pistol he calls me and tells me its done. He was apologetic and not happy with the way it turned out. He was not prepared for the amount of rustification that had taken place under the heavily pitted nickel but continued to soldier on at which point I probably would have put a stop to the entire process and called for some kind of truce. In the end the piece is nicely satin blued, functional, but certainly not as tight as original...to say it is worse than when I dropped it off would not be fair, it looks better but is nowhere near as crisp as it was. Live and Learn is a good way to look at it...I would be very hesitant to ever try that stunt again with anything that looked that rough, especially with nickel hiding rust lurking underneath its shiney surface. I would imagine that nickel that is just worn would not be a problem, but if there were any dark spots showing I would be very hesitant, from what I've learned.

Before:

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Old 05-17-2017, 01:58 AM
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Quote:
They refinished a 22/32 for me in carbona blue
I do not know what the refinisher told you but Smith & Wesson's Carbonia Bright Blue was a propriety finish and you need Carbonia Oil to do it. Since that product (which I believe was a whale oil) hasn't been manufactured in decades, it is impossible to exactly duplicate that finish. This isn't to say that they cannot do a really nice charcoal oven blue; it's just that it isn't a duplicate to Smith & Wesson's process. Smith can't even recreate it as the exact list of ingredients with quantities and oven times and temps has been lost to history.

Bruce
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Old 05-17-2017, 06:33 AM
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I have used Ford's Refinishing within the past year with excellent results. I suppose that every shop can make mistakes from time to time but, by and large, Ford"s does a fine job. I recently visited the shop and and met several of the family members as well as Jim (gunsmith). Larna and Horace are taking a lesser role as their children are transitioning into more prominent positions. Perhaps this is the source of the difficulties others have experienced.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:27 AM
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I don't have a source for you but can agree with the comments made by Jdavis above. I purchased a Lancaster flintlock rifle kit from Jim Chambers a while back and at the time they were offering a Getz barrel. From all of my reading, Getz barrels were top of the line.

Similarly, the senior Mr. Getz was either getting out of the business or had recently retired and Mr. Getz Jr. had taken over. My barrel was ordered but took way longer than promised and eventually, Jim Chambers stopped offering Getz barrels.

A similar situation occurred with David Chiccoine.

I think that many times there is a drop in quality or work ethic when a family business changes generational hands. The younger generation just doesn't seem to have the same oomph that their fathers had.

I am not saying that this is the case with Fords, but I think that the fact that the parents are taking a lesser role in the business may prove to fall into my examples above.
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Old 05-17-2017, 07:42 AM
Rick Bowles Rick Bowles is offline
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A post of mine on the Colt forum was referenced above. I've had six guns refinished at Ford's in the last two years with mixed results. Imagine a restaurant that grew it's reputation on a particular chef..... then the chef quits. The restaurant still has it's reputation but is no longer able to replicate the quality.
I can say that Ford's nickel seems to turn out better than their blue. The last I heard Ford's sends out for their CCH. They planned to start doing their own CCH but had not as of six months ago.
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Old 05-17-2017, 08:04 AM
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Rick--I read your post on the Colt Forum. Did you return the gun to have them fix the Colt logo that looked like it had been drawn by a sixth grade girl? That was truly amazing to me.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:14 AM
Rick Bowles Rick Bowles is offline
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Did you return the gun to have them fix the Colt logo
Another problem was the positioning of the trademark. Originally the TM was too far to the rear and half of the pony was covered by the target stocks. I did send it back and Ford's fixed it.
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Old 05-17-2017, 09:27 AM
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The Carbonia Oil used in the American Gas Furnace 'Carbonia Bluing' was a proprietary mix. A very heavy weight oil (molasses heavy), but of simple substances of the period.
IIRC the main ingredients were a locomotive cylinder lube and a specific species pine tar. The ratio I don't recall.

It had a lot to do with the color produced by the system which was an early automated of sorts method of the more labor intensive charcoal bluing. The latter produces a very similar but not quite the same look.

Different oil(s) can be used in the Amer Gas Furnace system for bluing, even common linseed oil.
Even Winchester used linseed in their AGFurnace bluing of small parts like pins, screws, washers, ect.
The blue is not quite the same color, but the cost was much less than buying AGF propietary oil for that. Most wouldn't notice the difference I don't think on smaller parts.

The system was used by other industries too like the hardware industry. Remember when nuts, bolts and screws and washers were all blued,,those were done in huge quantities by some companys in the same system,,and with cheap easily gotten common oil for the primer.

When I worked for a major restoration shop and we were trying to develop a gas furnace type bluing, we asked Mobil (they had a nearby research lab) about the Carbonia oil. We found they knew about it, but had no souce for it.
They did send a large bucket of some sort of synthetic black goop over to try,,it was a Mobil product, not some mixed up one-of. They said it was the 'same as' carbonia oil as far as lube specs go.
It worked,,kind of, like so many other oils will work,but didn't give that proper color and tone for the critical look of a restoration.
I don't know what they're using now.
Most are satisfied with shiny & blue. That's a long way from a restoration that begins with a proper polish anyway.
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Old 05-17-2017, 10:47 AM
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Rick--I read your post on the Colt Forum. Did you return the gun to have them fix the Colt logo that looked like it had been drawn by a sixth grade girl? That was truly amazing to me.
Any shop that would let something like that out the door will never get my business.
Looking for Suggestions for a Refinishing Shop-fordsawfulcoltlogo-jpg
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Old 05-17-2017, 11:03 AM
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It needs a horn and it would be a great Unicorn logo for elementy school girl notebook covers.
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Old 05-18-2017, 10:21 AM
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Any shop that would let something like that out the door will never get my business.
Looking for Suggestions for a Refinishing Shop-fordsawfulcoltlogo-jpg
Like I said, the first requirement for doing a good job is to want to do a good job. Without that desire, all the talent and technology in the world will only produce mediocre results.
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