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Old September 17, 2001, 08:55 PM   #1
Join Date: August 14, 1999
Location: West Coast Florida
Posts: 42
How do you jewel surfaces?

I remember a while back, that it was really popular to jewel the inside or also outside surfaces of revolvers.
Does anybody know how to do this, and what tools to use to get those nice litle circles?
Thanks, Snakeman
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Old September 17, 2001, 11:44 PM   #2
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Brownell's sell the tooling. You use small, cylinder shaped rubber abrasive rods, held in a special mandrel. This is locked in a drill press and the part is held on the press table, prefrebly in a cross slide vise. The rod is lowered onto the piece and allowed to polish a small circle. The piece is moved over about 1/2 the diameter of the first spot and lowered again.
There is also a special holder for rifle bolts that indexes for a neat, even pattern.

Old timers used the same setup, but used abrasive paste and a tiny steel brush.

Isn't as big a job as it sounds, just as long as the pattern is even.

The British 'smiths did a variation on flat double gun parts with a narrow flat bar of hardened steel. The part was held on a bench, the end of the bar was placed on the far side of the part, and forced down onto the surface HARD, and the bar was moved side to side as it was pulled toward the other side of the piece. The bar was moved over slightly and repeated. This gives a pattern of narrow "wavey" lines.
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Old September 18, 2001, 04:13 PM   #3
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Location: Iowa
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If you have several parts to do, or a large job, the set up is the way to go.

If you only have a small job, you can use a lead pencil.

Cut a lead pencil in half. Chuck the half with the eraser in a drill press. Coat the eraser with valve lapping compound and lower the press onto your part. Swirl away...

Good Luck...

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Old September 18, 2001, 06:17 PM   #4
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Just curious, but what does jeweling do? I've seen services advertised for jeweling the inside parts of 1911's and revolvers. Is it just for looks or does it serve another purpose?
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Old September 18, 2001, 06:40 PM   #5
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Mostly for looks, 'peach, but it may hold a lubricant better than a smooth surface. What you are doing is actually cutting tiny groves in the metal. These will tend to hold on to whatever lubricant you are using.

It seems to defy common sense, but a jeweled surface will actually have less friction than a completely smooth surface. The reason is that you have less metal to metal contact. This only holds true for hard surfaces. In a pressurised lubricant system, like a car engine, this does not apply and you want bearing surfaces to be as smooth as possible.

And it looks good on the stainless steel firewall of a hot rod!

Better to know what you don't know than to think you know what you don't know.
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Old September 19, 2001, 10:43 PM   #6
James K
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Join Date: March 17, 1999
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Some of the best gun makers jewelled the inside of shotgun side plates and the like to better hold oil and reduce friction. In most cases today, it is purely for looks.

FWIW, I don't like it on something like a rifle bolt. It looks fine as long as no one actually uses the rifle. But if one does, the normal scrapes and marks that come with working the bolt mar the jewelling and the result looks (to me) worse than if the surface had been left smooth.

Jim K
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