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  #1  
Old 08-05-2020, 06:50 PM
gbaren gbaren is offline
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Refinishing a beat-up 1911

Decided to refinish a 20 year old SA 1911 that's seen better days. Tapped holes, profound idiot scratch, etc. I've been looking through YouTube videos, but am not sure I'm getting the best information. Some points I'm more confused about than I was before I knew anything.

Looking for advice on these things to start off:
  1. How to fill in tapped holes
  2. Best way to remove the front sight
  3. How to strip the paint to bear metal
  4. What to do with dings and scratches
  5. Best way to refinish at home

Picture of lower
Picture of upper




Last edited by gbaren; 08-05-2020 at 10:12 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-05-2020, 06:52 PM
longarm longarm is online now
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Crosspost: https://forums.1911forum.com/showthread.php?t=1022456
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  #3  
Old 08-05-2020, 11:55 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaren View Post
...Looking for advice on these things to start off:
  1. How to fill in tapped holes
  2. Best way to remove the front sight
  3. How to strip the paint to bear metal
  4. What to do with dings and scratches
  5. Best way to refinish at home
  • 1. TIG weld - Send it to Pullman Armory in Worchester, MA
    They do welding for lots of pro smiths. TIG, micro TIG and laser welding.
    https://pullmanarms.com/contact/
    Micro Arc Welding, Inc (formerly Pullman Arms)
    Hours: Closed Mondays - Tuesday - Friday 9:00-4:30
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    Address and Phone
    Micro Arc Welding, Inc
    33 Pullman St., Worcester, MA 01606
    508.926.8730

    2. It appears to be a dovetailed front sight. If it has a roll pin vertically
    through the front, you will have to remove that first. Just drive it on
    through with a suitably sized punch. Then drift it out to the side with a
    punch or sight mover.

    3. Looks like Parkerizing in the photos, not paint. Bead blasting with the
    correct media is the only way short of sanding it off.

    4. Files, sandpaper, and stones used correctly.


    5. Depends on the finish. Parkerizing is relatively easy, inexpensive, and
    extremely durable as well as providing better corrosion protection than
    bluing. Blunig is more attractive, way more expensive, and provides less
    protection from rust and wear.
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  #4  
Old 08-06-2020, 12:04 AM
roaniecowpony roaniecowpony is online now
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Send it to these guys. Pay the money and you'll be happier.
http://www.ccrrefinishing.com/faq.html
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  #5  
Old 08-06-2020, 06:28 AM
Bob Rockefeller Bob Rockefeller is online now
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It may end up cheaper to just buy a new one. Unless, of course, you have a special attachment to that one.
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  #6  
Old 08-06-2020, 06:41 AM
gbaren gbaren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
  • 1. TIG weld - Send it to Pullman Armory in Worchester, MA
    They do welding for lots of pro smiths. TIG, micro TIG and laser welding.
    https://pullmanarms.com/contact/
    Micro Arc Welding, Inc (formerly Pullman Arms)
    Hours: Closed Mondays - Tuesday - Friday 9:00-4:30
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    Address and Phone
    Micro Arc Welding, Inc
    33 Pullman St., Worcester, MA 01606
    508.926.8730
Thank you very much for sharing your expertise!

Is metal filler an option at all?
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  #7  
Old 08-06-2020, 06:43 AM
gbaren gbaren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roaniecowpony View Post
Send it to these guys. Pay the money and you'll be happier.
http://www.ccrrefinishing.com/faq.html
Pay someone to have fun for me?
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  #8  
Old 08-06-2020, 06:49 AM
gbaren gbaren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Rockefeller View Post
It may end up cheaper to just buy a new one. Unless, of course, you have a special attachment to that one.
No attachment, this thing was rattling around in a drawer, neglected with no rear sight for 20 years. I'm not looking to save money, just a project for weekends.

By the time I'm done with it, I'll probably spend way more on this toy than it is worth. Actually, not on the toy, on the experience.
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  #9  
Old 08-06-2020, 07:11 AM
gbaren gbaren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
  • 5. Depends on the finish. Parkerizing is relatively easy, inexpensive, and
    extremely durable as well as providing better corrosion protection than
    bluing. Blunig is more attractive, way more expensive, and provides less
    protection from rust and wear.
Is this something worth considering? Birchwood Casey Perma Blue Liquid Gun Blue Finishing kit
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  #10  
Old 08-06-2020, 07:14 AM
gbaren gbaren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBBill View Post
  • 3. Looks like Parkerizing in the photos, not paint. Bead blasting with the
    correct media is the only way short of sanding it off.
I actually ordered #120 Aluminum Oxide - 8 LBS - Fine Sand Blasting Abrasive Media. Will that do the job or do I need something coarser?
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  #11  
Old 08-06-2020, 07:18 AM
Bob Rockefeller Bob Rockefeller is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaren View Post
I actually ordered #120 Aluminum Oxide - 8 LBS - Fine Sand Blasting Abrasive Media. Will that do the job or do I need something coarser?
Thatís what I have used to blast prior to applying Gun Kote.
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  #12  
Old 08-06-2020, 07:21 AM
Oldpistol Oldpistol is online now
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As long as you are having fun, Bravo! If you do not have access to TIG welding equipment, you can silver solder, with a torch from Home Depot, some unplated screws into the holes. Silver solder is a low heat but strong way to do it. File them flush. Or just braze the holes shut with brass. Parkerizing or bluing will show up the silver solder or brass more than likely. Silver/brazing is a great skill to acquire though. Ion bond, which can be pricey, or paint of one flavor or another (Cerakote ) will cover dissimilar metals.

This is an excellent project. But then I have the only $1500 ATI ($275 pistol) that I know about. Quite happy with it too. Great education. When you are done, you will have something that doesn’t make a lot of economic sense but has served its purpose.
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  #13  
Old 08-06-2020, 07:22 AM
seagiant seagiant is offline
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Hi,
Here is a link where I show a Gun Kote Oven I made out of wifey's old bird cage.

Just about anything can be used and plenty of build vids on the Tube.

When these guys want $350 a pop for coating, not hard to do it yourself.

A small blast cabinet can be bought local and you might already have a air compressor.

I have a small one just to keep the air up in my tires besides the big one for my shop.

Just sayin, not that expensive to get set up for coating if you get creative!

https://www.m14forum.com/threads/any...1#post-4457160
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  #14  
Old 08-06-2020, 07:47 AM
Viper_29 Viper_29 is offline
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Refinishing at home can get you in to what might be one-time use stuff, blast cabinet, the whole setup and materials. Then the finish you choose and all the equipment and materials. Cerakote is HARD to use for the DIY person. Durakote is garbage. At some point you're putting alot of effort in to the refurb with equipment and materials and prep work and then applying a garbage finish to it.
I looked in to doing all of that DIY and it was very very expensive in startup costs compared to having a guy do Cerakote locally for $125.00.
There are home parkerizing kits that's what I'd suggest.
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  #15  
Old 08-06-2020, 09:02 AM
roaniecowpony roaniecowpony is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaren View Post
You're walking a path taken by thousands before you that have wanted to refinish a gun on the cheap. Cold blue like above used to be one of the popular cheap finishes. It looks it when finished and provides just about zero rust protection.

As for filling holes, if you put enough heat in it to weld or silver solder/braze, you will anneal the frame. The cheapest/safe way out would be to put some screws in there with button heads and leave them (making sure they don't interfere with the slide). If you are set on filing them permanently, choose your finish first, then the process for filling will need to accommodate the finish method. The most sophisticated method would be the laser weld process. It would limit the heat exposure to the frame in a local area. They can do some incredible stuff.

Another approach is to just cover the holes with something like a light rail.
https://www.gunnersecurity.com/shop/...pter-for-1911/

Looking at the furthest aft hole, it is right at the area where the slide impacts the frame. You really don't want to anneal that area by welding.
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Last edited by roaniecowpony; 08-06-2020 at 09:32 AM.
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  #16  
Old 08-06-2020, 02:35 PM
BBBBill BBBBill is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaren View Post
Thank you very much for sharing your expertise!

Is metal filler an option at all?
As in epoxy like JB Weld? If that's what you mean then no. Great for some things, bit it won't work in that application. Micro TIG and laser welding don't put much heat into the gun. The frame is not heat treated like the slide anyway. It is reasonably hard, but way less that the slide. Best leave the welding to a pro. Like I mentioned, Pullman does it every day for many folks, pro smiths, tool and die repair, etc. They know their business.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaren View Post
Best leave that for minor touch ups. It is not real bluing anyway. As noted, zero rust protection. I recommend staying with Parkerizing, at least as a base finish. Maybe consider Cerakote over the Park.

You can do rust bluing for not much more than Parkerizing and it looks nice.

Real hot bluing provides a little more rust protection than cold bluing, but not much and setting up to do it will cost $$$$.


Quote:
Originally Posted by gbaren View Post
I actually ordered #120 Aluminum Oxide - 8 LBS - Fine Sand Blasting Abrasive Media. Will that do the job or do I need something coarser?
Should work OK.

Last edited by BBBBill; 08-06-2020 at 04:36 PM.
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  #17  
Old 08-06-2020, 03:08 PM
Jim Watson Jim Watson is online now
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[*]How to fill in tapped holes

Don't. People are paying good money to have slots and holes and flutes and toots put in their guns, just consider it a feature, not a bug.

[*]Best way to remove the front sight

Drive the pin clear through and drift out the dovetail.
The rear dovetail looks odd; show from straight on. Do you have the sight?

[*]How to strip the paint to bear metal

Sandblast, that's what the army did.

[*]What to do with dings and scratches

Call them "character" and learn to love them.

[*]Best way to refinish at home

Parkerize, that's what the Army did.

Last edited by Jim Watson; 08-06-2020 at 03:11 PM.
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  #18  
Old 08-06-2020, 03:14 PM
seagiant seagiant is offline
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Hi,
For the OP here is a pic of a slow rust blue build and a KG Gunkote build.

KG Gunkote is a one part finish and is not that hard to use.

You can get a Badger air brush for about $30 and it works great.

Slow Rust Blue is good if all your parts are carbon steel, won't work on stainless of course!
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bb5.JPG   qggff4.JPG  
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  #19  
Old 08-06-2020, 06:26 PM
longarm longarm is online now
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Speaking of Rust blue - and holes - I'm curious *** folks use to ream the holes for pins between cycles.. It's not like you can use steel-wool or a carding brush inside the holes for rollpins, solid pins, etc.. My FEG will be on my agenda this winter.
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  #20  
Old 08-18-2020, 06:44 PM
gbaren gbaren is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by seagiant View Post
Hi,
For the OP here is a pic of a slow rust blue build and a KG Gunkote build.

KG Gunkote is a one part finish and is not that hard to use.

You can get a Badger air brush for about $30 and it works great.

Slow Rust Blue is good if all your parts are carbon steel, won't work on stainless of course!
Which Gun Kote black is that?
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