• Ken Kraushaar

Metal refinishing series (intro)


Disclaimer: the following series is for informational purposes only. any attempt to work on your firearm or restore a fire damaged firearm is solely at the discretion of the owner of the firearm. Ken Kraushaar Firearm Service assumes no liability or responsibility in any damage to firearm or injury caused in attempting to restore and then use a firearm that has been rusted out or burned out.

Hey all,

I hope this finds you well.

Things have been pretty busy here at the shop, and over the course of the next few weeks and months, I'll be working on posting a metal refinishing series involving how to take a rusted out frame, and make it shine again.

its important to note that the purpose of this series isn't going to be about restoring a gun to make it functionable again. Rather, the purpose of this series will be more about practicing achieving smooth finishes on metal.

the pictures of this post were in fact of a fire damaged revolver which I was able to salvage, as the internals had not been welded shut by the fire, and largely the issue were cosmetic, thankfully. everything on it that could have been replaced were actually replace in the course of the restoration.

if you are thinking about restoring a rusted out or fire damaged frame for use, it's really important consider whether or not the frame has been compromised, as well as the barrel. if they both are really rusted out, then the goal will more than likely be to restore it in such a manner to make it a wall hanger for sentimental reasons only.

we will be working on a fire damaged, and rusted out Astra 44 magnum, but the goal will be to take the metal from looking like the above trigger guard picture from another firearm project, to making it look like this:

and then finally a high polish, like this:

The supplies for this project will be:

  • a bench grinder with wire wheels (both stainless and brass)

  • a dremmel or foredome with a quick release dremmel head

  • a course, medium and fine dremmel buff used for wood working (I've found these to be quite helpful on rounded surfaces.

  • a foredom or dremmel barrel sander.

  • a polishing machine or bench grinder with polishing wheel mandrels

  • a set of polishing wheels: course, denim, muslin, and felt wheels for different stages

  • green or red rouge if that's all you have, though I'll be using brownell's polish-o-ray polishes from low to high grit

  • sand paper (low to super fine grit)

  • 3m polishing paper for final super fine hand polishes (you can get this from otto frei or other jewelry supply houses.)

a lot of what I will do in this series can be found in brownell's gunsmith kinks. I had the opportunity to learn polishing from my uncle, who's a jeweler with over 40 years of metal working experience, either way, it's important to read up on the topic first, then proceed from there.

in my next post, I will post before pictures to show the start of the frame work that I will do, though I have already polished smooth the cylinder arm, and will show the difference for reference.

as always, keep safe, safe and happy shooting, and I'll see you all in a bit.

Ken Kraushaar is the owner and operator of Ken Kraushaar Firearm Service, and has over 30 years of Shooting experience. he is a gunsmith, certified firearms specialist, and lives and works in beautiful Sonoma County, CA


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