Marlin 336 Overhaul

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing' started by ChrisG, May 23, 2017.

  1. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    So I got this rifle as pieces and parts from the owner. It was in pretty rough shape with some putting, and a cold blue (really just a thin iron selenide coating) that was uneven and unsightly. The buttstock had been replaced and finish inlet with... maybe a dremel tool? It was oversize and very poorly finished (you could still see tool marks in the wood from the stock duplicator.) I wish I had taken more pictures...

    upload_2017-5-23_12-48-13.png
    This is the pile of internal parts. You can see the bluing wear on the lever and the poor finish job on the trigger assembly as well as the Home Depot screws used to install the recoil pad.

    upload_2017-5-23_12-50-19.png
    These are the barrel bands after they were cleaned up. Cleaning up all the rust and bringing the finish back down to bare metal was done initially with phosporic acid and then a lot of elbow grease to bring it to a 400 grit shine. This process was then done for the hammer, trigger, trigger assembly plate, lever, magazine tube, mag tube plug & follower and the reciever and barrel.
    Here is the barrel and receiver cleaned up:
    upload_2017-5-23_12-53-30.png
     
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  2. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    My next process was to come up with a way of producing a durable blue finish without converting my whole workshop into a caustic bluing lab. I settled on rust as it is traditional and also one of the most durable blues that can be applied to a firearm. First, before I did any of that though, I had to construct a steamer to steam the large pieces once they were rusted.
    Here is what I came up with:

    upload_2017-5-23_12-57-3.png

    This is a piece of 4" PVC within an insulated box made of 2x10 reclaimed pine boards. Attached at the bottom is an insulated hose running from an old pressure cooker. I drilled a 1.5" hole low through the bottom of the pressure cooker and installed a 1500W water heater element. This heats the water to boiling and provide ample steam. When I checked the chamber when running, internal temp was up to 215 degrees.

    Next, I degreased all the parts... Word to anyone who wants to get into rust bluing: When you think you have degreased it enough... DEGREASE IT AGAIN! I have found that one solvent doesn't necessarily cut it so I used Brake cleaner initially and then denatured alcohol to follow up as some oils and waxes dissolve in one but not the other. Each part was meticulously degreased 4 times with a change of nitrile gloves in between so that any residual doesn't get back on the metal.

    The parts then had their initial coat of rust blue.... and then we wait... About 6 hours later they had rusted nicely. here are a couple pics:
    upload_2017-5-23_13-9-52.png

    upload_2017-5-23_13-10-22.png
     
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  3. CAustin

    CAustin AH ENABLER BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Ambassador

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    You are doing some detailed work there sir!
     

  4. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Once they are rusted with a nice even velvety coat of rust but not too rusty, they are steamed in the steamer for about 20 minutes
    upload_2017-5-23_13-14-37.png
    This process turns the red rust that has formed on the surface of the metal into magnetite. This is what bluing is, a controlled rusting which produces a stable, durable finish on the outside of the metal. It also happens to be gorgeous!


    Once the steaming is done, the loose black oxide is carded off the metal with 0000 steel wool or a carding wire wheel. This leaves a semi-satin black gun metal gray finish after the first application. This whole process is repeated 6-8 times until the finish is deep and black.

    Like I said, I wish I had taken more pictures during the process.. I am not great at that. But here is the finished product with a coat of wax on it to prevent further rusting until the finish cures. It is actually a beautiful matte luster but the wax dullens it in the picture.

    upload_2017-5-23_13-19-0.png

    upload_2017-5-23_13-20-15.png

    Next up.... STOCK REFINISH AND CHECKERING! I will post those when I get a couple more minutes!
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
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  5. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    So the stock inletting in the rear had to be filled in. I decided that a glass bed was in order. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of that because it was messy and a little stressful potentially gluing the reciever to the buttstock. But I pulled it off and the fill in is not super noticable. Once it was dry it was knocked free of the recever, completely sanded down and fitted to the tangs which protrude from the back of the reciever. Once it was roughed in with rasps and 100 grit sand paper, it was sanded down to 800 grit and a coat of walnut Danish oil applied with a piece of 800 grit sandpaper and sanded in to fill in some of the grain. I didn't want to fill in all the grain so to retain that quintessential late 1800's wood finish that so many american lever actions had. The Danish oil was left to dry and 25 coats on tung oil followd on both the buttstock and the forend.
     
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  6. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    upload_2017-5-23_13-45-23.png

    Once the finish was cured.

    Unfortunately I don't have a picture of the forend before I started checkering it but here are the pictures of checkering in progress:

    upload_2017-5-23_13-46-36.png
    Initial layout and first cuts.

    upload_2017-5-23_13-47-17.png
    Progressively deepening the checkering

    upload_2017-5-23_13-48-11.png

    An up close pic of it halfway done.
     

  7. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    The fully checkered fore end attached to the rifle

    upload_2017-5-23_13-49-44.png
     

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    Last edited: May 23, 2017

  8. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Layout and Checkering buttstock:
    upload_2017-5-23_13-51-25.png
    upload_2017-5-23_13-52-22.png
     

  9. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    More to come!
     

  10. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Is it a 30-30 or a 35 Remington?

    I put a Williams Receiver sight on mine, that swap required a much taller front sight. I really like the Hornady Leverevolution ammo. White-tailed deer at woods ranges are a piece of cake.
     

  11. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    It is a .35. Not really my cup of tea... I will probably be giving it back to him for his birthday
     

  12. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Thanks! It was a long process but I have a lot of fun doing stuff like this!
     

  13. Shootist43

    Shootist43 AH ENABLER GOLD SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Can I send you my stock and forearm???
     

  14. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Lol sure!
     
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  15. mdwest

    mdwest AH Elite

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    Ive always had a love affair with lever guns.. and a 336 in .30-30 was one of the first "deer" rifles I ever bought for myself when I was young...

    glad too see you restoring that old rifle and putting some life back into it..

    I just ordered a bunch of parts to restore an old Winchester 1890 pump this morning.. this thread is pretty awesome.. I think I'll do something similar once I start fixing my rifle up..
     
    Last edited: May 23, 2017
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  16. larry4831

    larry4831 AH Enthusiast

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    Beautiful! What would you charge me to do a Winchester 94 lever in 3030 Winchester?
     

  17. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Sent you a PM
     

  18. enysse

    enysse AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Nice work, I'm sure it takes a lot of hours!
     

  19. MartyJ

    MartyJ AH Veteran

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    Very, very nice. I would have sent it out to someone. I admit, it's a project I wouldn't tackle. Stock refinishing, ok, but rust blueing, no way. Congratulations
     

  20. ChrisG

    ChrisG BRONZE SUPPORTER AH Fanatic

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    Buttstock checkering done. Hand checkering is a time consuming process but it is incredibly satisfying when it is done. The instant you put the sealer on the checkering and the browns, blacks and ambers come through the checkering is a very fulfilling

    Checkered but not sealed yet:
    upload_2017-5-24_8-22-30.png

    Rifle all done and ready to rock and roll

    upload_2017-5-24_8-25-38.png

    Its not a bespoke Rigby but I think it came out pretty good.

    upload_2017-5-24_8-25-27.png
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 24, 2017
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