The Browning A5 Restoration Project

Discussion in 'Shotgun Forum' started by Chdamn, Aug 24, 2012.

  1. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    Here are some before pictures.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345850036.667425.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345850046.415446.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345850061.555876.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345850074.352570.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1345850089.280648.jpg

    It's hard to see in the pics but the stock has waaaay to much lacquer on it. It has almost filled in all of the checkering.

    There is a crack on both sides of the forearm as well. These will be filled at the very end with color match wax.

    The plan is basically the same as the gold hunter. Strip and refinish the stock, cerakote the receiver satin aluminum, the barrel midnight blue and fill the engravings with gold.

    I will also splurge for a gold plated trigger to replace the stock one on the A5 (not just a gold colored trigger like the gold hunter).

    I will also be using water based aniline dye on the wood for this one and using a technique I read about using armor all and Casey's tru oil together on the stock.

    This is a 1951 A5. It will be a privilege to restore her and I cannot wait to see the end result.

    I really am tickled to death to have this gun in my collection. I have always wanted one.

    Stay tuned. Stripping starts tonight. Same soy based stripper as before.



    Blame any misspellings and or grammatical errors on the ridiculously small keypad on my phone. Friggin tappatalk my butt.
     
  2. Wahoo95

    Wahoo95 Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2007
    Messages:
    16,981
    Location:
    Charlotte, NC
    Can't wait to see it when completed!

    Blame any misspellings on Tapatalk
     
  3. mckenziedrums

    mckenziedrums Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,136
    Location:
    SW Charlotte
    Please don't use armor all for a finish... It is NOT a finishing product. If you want a glossy oil finish get some Waterlox and thank me later. These silly gun "finishes" folks come up with drive me crazy.
     
  4. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    Alright. I wish I had taken a better pic before I started filling the cracks but I forgot.

    A5's have a common hand guard crack on both sides. This is due to the thin wood and the barrel slamming back into the guard when chambering.

    The one was really bad and long. I tried a few things but settled on what you see in the last pick. I mixed up high temp Jb weld and painted it on the inside of the hand guard and then cut a piece of thick tin foil and worked it into the Jb weld smoothing as I went.

    The end result should be much stronger than stock and provide a smooth heat shield as well.

    The crack fill isn't finished. I should be able to make them disappear by the time I'm done.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1346021691.093477.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1346021706.999339.jpg ImageUploadedByTapatalk1346021719.046089.jpg


    Blame any misspellings and or grammatical errors on the ridiculously small keypad on my phone. Friggin tappatalk my butt.
     
  5. B00GER

    B00GER Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2011
    Messages:
    13,458
    Location:
    Lewisville, NC
    Looking forward to seeing how this turns out as I'm the one who apparently screwed it up to begin with. Keep the updates comin!
     
  6. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    Here's the furniture completely stripped and sanded to 800 grit.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1346022447.919475.jpg

    When I finished with the buttstock I was thinking no dye would be needed. I'm not sure if the pic is as obvious as in real life. It the buttstock is a lot darker and redder than the forearm.

    It will be a job to make them match. I have 2 dyes coming in. One is red walnut and the other is nut brown walnut. I should be able to play with them till I'm satisfied.



    Blame any misspellings and or grammatical errors on the ridiculously small keypad on my phone. Friggin tappatalk my butt.
     
  7. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    I respect your opinion. I wouldn't be trying aniline dye if I didn't.

    However, I was turned on to a weird technique and I've done the research and seen the pics. I cannot argue with this guys results and he turns out beautiful refinishes and charges quite a bit.

    The technique is to rub the stock down with a thin layer of armor all before each layer of tru oil. You rub the tru oil until the tack goes away and it glosses.

    The consensus is there is a chemical reaction between the 2 that causes the tru oil to dry and harden faster. It is also supposed to be a harder finish that requires little dry time between coats (only minutes instead of hours) and gives a high gloss with less coats.

    If it doesn't work I'll just strip it off and start again.


    Blame any misspellings and or grammatical errors on the ridiculously small keypad on my phone. Friggin tappatalk my butt.
     
  8. mckenziedrums

    mckenziedrums Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,136
    Location:
    SW Charlotte
    Do some research on waterlox tung oil. The high gloss is the best gloss oil you can buy, period. It's tough as nails and probably the most glossy oil on the market as well. This is what a lot of serious guys use on expensive yacht wood work if they are not using spar varnish.

    If I was smart I'd start charging to screw up old fire arms value by refinishing them lol There is no way to rush a finish that much I know.

    That being said... I learned what worked for me by trying different things. Only way to learn finishing really and different folks prefer different methods. Looking forward to seeing it.
     
  9. Stick

    Stick Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,591
    Location:
    Durm
    I love the old A-5s, my father in law has several, but they all went to other parts of the family. Can't wait to see how she comes out. I like what you did with the JB Weld inside the forearm, that is some strong stuff! You might want to try the Armor All/ tru oil combo on a piece of scrap first, though, just to be safe.
     
  10. Qball50

    Qball50 Lifetime Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    Messages:
    7,323
    Location:
    High Point, NC
    Looking forward to seeing the finished project myself Chad. My son has a 1946 A5 handed down to him from his Grandfather. It is in incredible condition and he's been shooting the crap out of it. I've got the brass rings configured for target loads and it shoots great. Can't wait to see yours when you're done............... Dave
     
  11. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    Ok so the aniline dye came in today. I used the water soluble kind.

    There are things that I really like and things you should be aware of before going this route.

    First the difficult. You are in control of the intensity. They give you a guide line of 1-2 ounces to a quart of water. You have to dissolve the powder in water just off the boil. It then has to cool before you can use it.

    I guessed and tested several times on scrap with the red walnut.

    It was a little darker than I wanted when I put it on. I should say the only reason I put any color on this wood that was beautiful of its own accord was to try and get the fore end to better match the butt stock.

    The control of this dye is not nearly as easy as stains (especially gel stains) so this stuff is not idiot proof. It soaks into the wood so dwell time is key.

    The likes. The result if you're good (or lucky like in my case).

    Also, once applied and wiped off if you give it a few minutes to soak in and dry you can use 0000 steel wool to rub off the excess that is clouding the grain and really reveal something awesome and lightening it up a bit. This is something you could never do with stain. Stain does not go deep enough a d you will lose almost all of your color.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1346107673.173546.jpg

    The wood was much darker when I first applied the dye and I was worried I was going to have to strip again. Zoom in and look at the grain definition.


    Blame any misspellings and or grammatical errors on the ridiculously small keypad on my phone. Friggin tappatalk my butt.
     
  12. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    And while the cracks aren't invisible they are darn near completely blended.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1346107828.940810.jpg

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1346107843.254092.jpg

    I have to give the dye a full 24 hour dry time and then I can start with the tru oil.


    Blame any misspellings and or grammatical errors on the ridiculously small keypad on my phone. Friggin tappatalk my butt.
     
  13. mckenziedrums

    mckenziedrums Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,136
    Location:
    SW Charlotte
    Be careful using steel wool and water based dies... Steel + water = rust. It will leave some particles in the wood. Once you get the hang of the dye it's great.

    I did this using a couple different dye colors:
    [​IMG]

    Next up... I'll have you buying an HVLP set up and spraying the top coats with the dye mixed into them ;)

    Oh forgot to mention... Whatever you put on top WILL darken the dye so go just a touch lighter than you originally planned on.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2012
  14. Revolverman567

    Revolverman567 Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Messages:
    3,057
    Location:
    Belews Creek NC
    looking good....even if it is a browning....lol
     
  15. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    Haha. Maybe. That drum is beautiful by the way.

    If I didn't explain this enough in my earlier post I completely get why professionals or those that are always using stains would switch to dye. It gives you so much more control over the final product it just isn't made for someone who has never worked with wood before. It will take a few more tries to get really good using the dye but I am sold on it.



    Stop steaming up my tail.
     
  16. mckenziedrums

    mckenziedrums Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2012
    Messages:
    3,136
    Location:
    SW Charlotte
    Practice makes perfect... and perfecting finishes takes a lot of screwed up ones unfortunately. You should see all the ones I've sanded back to bare wood and started over on. Playing on scrap is definitely the way to go when it comes to figuring out how much to use. Once you dye the wood you're pretty much committed to a color unless you cheat like I do and seal the wood first THEN put the dye in the topcoat. Can't do that with an oil finish though.

    I'd say you're in good shape, color and tone looks good. She'll be gorgeous when you put that funky goober oil and car cleaner finish thing on there ;)
     
  17. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,335
    Location:
    Kannapolis/Concord
    Don't apply the finish until you're through re-checkering, much easier.....
     
  18. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    I have never checkered at all. I have been trying to use a pick to clean it out and deepen it a little. What all is involved and what type of tool do I need? I'm assuming some sort of small wood gouge.


    ***Edit***
    Never mind, I just watched a few video's. Great idea BB. I will not be purchasing a checkering kit but I have a set of mini gouges and mini files that I think will work just fine.

    I'll post pics of the tools and the progress tonight.


    Stop steaming up my tail.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2012
  19. Chdamn

    Chdamn Staff Staff Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    16,427
    Location:
    Right behind you, NC
    God I hate you Kyle :).

    I really was going to just leave the check alone but now I feel like a slack ass.

    And the file set I already owned wasn't good enough so now I've gone and bought a checking set. Thanks.


    Blame any misspellings and or grammatical errors on the ridiculously small keypad on my phone. Friggin tappatalk my butt.
     
  20. Bailey Boat

    Bailey Boat Club Subscribed

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2007
    Messages:
    5,335
    Location:
    Kannapolis/Concord
    When you get it call me and I'll give you a few secrets that will help a bunch!!!!
     

Share This Page