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Old March 20, 2024, 04:11 PM   #26
ligonierbill
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Got the keys properly placed...they slide right into the staples. And I inlet the escutcheons. Almost forgot the toe plate, but the stock is now complete. I think I'll leave the barrel for awhile and hit the stock with aqua fortis. Been done for centuries, but first time for me.
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Old March 20, 2024, 07:21 PM   #27
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Aqua Fortis turns some wood black. It's best on curly maple but burl walnut does good it's just darker than I like. Be careful when you heat corners and edges.
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Old March 20, 2024, 07:28 PM   #28
ligonierbill
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Thanks for the advice. I'll post my success (or not). Still have my soldering, but I'm not too concerned about that.
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Old March 21, 2024, 09:50 AM   #29
ligonierbill
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Aqua Fortis

A quick shot of my stock treated with aqua fortis and heat gun. More figure in this "plain" TOTW stock than I thought. First time using this, probably not the last.
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File Type: jpg Hawken Aqua Fortis.jpg (593.8 KB, 28 views)
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Old March 21, 2024, 12:12 PM   #30
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That's going to look nice when you finish it.
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Old March 27, 2024, 02:55 PM   #31
ligonierbill
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Almost there.

I cut the dovetails for the sights and soldered the barrel rib and ramrod pipes. Now to clean it up and go for the rust bluing. I have my chicken feeder trough and camp stove ready to boil it. Another new experience!
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Old March 30, 2024, 07:17 AM   #32
ligonierbill
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Done

Got this beast put together and ready to shoot. A couple cleanups, but I'm pleased. As expected, I learned a few things. Hawkens are certainly not easier than traditional longrifles. Boy, did I get that wrong. More elements to align, for one. The rib was a new experience, but it didn't give me much trouble. Keys were more difficult than pins, or maybe just new to me, but I had to work on those.

For stock finish, I sealed it with a couple coats of Permalyn and put a couple coats of good 'ole Helmsman spar varnish over that. I already spoke to the aqua fortis, which I got from TOTW. Some folks just dissolve steel wool in nitric acid, but their concoction worked fine. I used Steel F/X for the furniture. It felt like cheating, it's so easy, but it gives an old weathered steel look. Certainly not as pretty as real case hardening. Bluing the barrel was a new experience. Previously, I've just used Laurel Mountain browning solution. That does not require a lot of work, and I like the results. I guess you can boil your browned barrel to turn it black, but I haven't tried that. This time I used Mark Lee's Slow Rust Blue #3. Lots of work, and no shortcuts, but I really like the finish I got. I'll be using aqua fortis (on maple) and Lee's rust blue again (have 70% left).

Now the real test, will she shoot? Time to get to the range.

PS: OK, I can't do uploads very well either. Here's the correct photo.
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File Type: jpg Finished Hawken.jpg (688.8 KB, 14 views)
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Old March 30, 2024, 05:26 PM   #33
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That's a pretty good rendition of a Gemmer Hawken.
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Old March 30, 2024, 06:47 PM   #34
ligonierbill
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Thanks. Just don't look too close. I'm definitely an amateur.
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Old March 31, 2024, 12:14 PM   #35
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I think you did pretty good. As long as you're happy with it is all that matters.
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Old March 31, 2024, 12:50 PM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ligonierbill View Post
Thanks. Just don't look too close. I'm definitely an amateur.
It is very likely that unless what you perceive as a mistake or poor work is much more noticeable than that picture shows many folks may never see the "problem".
I don't do smithing but do a number of other crafts and while very aware of places things not going the way I would like many people seem not to notice.

I a few years of use those perceived problems may very well be told from just character from use.
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