Video: Introduction to Metal Preparation – Tools & Tips

by | Apr 23, 2020 | Firearm Restoration, Gun Restoration, Gunsmithing | 0 comments

Introduction to Metal Preparation (2 of 7) outlines the steps needed to do a quality metal preparation job on your own gun. Not just the actual steps in polishing, but the first steps you need to know in order to do a quality job. The video also shows the various finishes used by the manufacturers on their original parts, giving you a complete set of guidelines to follow so you can do a professional job yourself and save money. Most importantly, it will give you the satisfaction of doing a quality job, yourself.

For convenience we’ve divided the original videotape into the following sections, which you can navigate to using the following links:

Episode Notes:

The following is a list of tools used in firearm restoration. This list will vary depending on the type of firearm.

  • Safety glasses, dust mask, protective gloves
  • Assembly/disassembly manual for your firearm
  • Heavy-duty bench vise with padded jaws
  • Pin vise (for holding small parts)
  • Files with safe edges: 
    • Large, mill
    • Medium, #2
    • Small
    • Assorted needle files
    • Slot file
  • Screwdriver set with hollow ground bits
  • Ball peen hammers with polished faces
  • Plastic headed hammer
  • Set of pin punches
  • Abrasive cloth:
    • 80 thru 600 grit
  • 0000 steel wool
  • Simichrome polish
  • .0025″ wire brushing wheel and bench grinder
  • Oil
  • Acraglas-gel
  • Release agent or wax
  • Wood sanding blocks and dowels
  • Bluing remover
  • Degreaser

Tools are available from Brownells

Making Jigs
You will need:

  • Acraglas-gel*
  • Wax or release agent
  • Cotton swabs
  • Small wooden blocks
  • Parts to be attached

Some small parts of the action may be too hard to hold and polish at the same time.

The following steps outline the process of building a jig to hold the part during polishing:

  1. Attach part to small wood block using the appropriate screw. Be sure the screw does not protrude above the surface.
  2. Remove part and coat completely with wax or release agent. Re-attach to block.
  3. Mix Acraglas-gel according to manufacturer’s instructions. Build up around part, and let Acraglas set up. Remove part and let harden.
  4. Re-attach part to hardened jig and place in vice.
  5. You are now ready to begin polishing.

Tip: Clean file or change sandpaper often to prevent scratching the surface.

* Available from Brownells

Making a Lift or Pull
You will need:

  • Inletting black
  • Cotton swabs
  • Transparent tape
  • White paper

Before beginning, take lifts or pulls of all engraved, lettered or numbered areas on your firearm.

These will be used by the engraver when re-cutting the engraving after polishing.

Remember, it is EXPENSIVE to have engraving re-cut, so polish those areas very carefully.

  1. Swab inletting black on area to be lifted.
  2. Place transparent tape on area, gently smooth to pick up all of the detail.
  3. Remove tape and place on white paper. Store Safely.

Tip: Attach tape in front of area to be lifted. This will prevent smearing.

Thanks for watching! Feel free to use the comments below for thoughts and questions.


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