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Old 04-15-2007, 05:17 PM   #1
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filling pits: what method?

There seems to be a myriad of methods for filling pits: silver solder, brass, steel epoxy, etc.



http://www.practicalmachinist.com/cg...6;t=000803;p=0



Metal epoxy coating of superficial pits sounds interesting, although I have no clue how it is done:

http://www.crsi.org/corrosion/epoxy.html



I understand from the practicalmachinist.com above and this interesting thread in the AR15 forum that heating, for example, a pitted slide to fill pit with silver solder can warp or damage the steel, http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=305300



What are some sound methods for filling pits that which would allow successful coating with either a dark gunkote finish (molybdenum) or traditional blue finish?



Look forward to hearing from folks who have filled pits in steel prior to refinishing.



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Old 04-16-2007, 02:00 AM   #2
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filling pits: what method?

Usually the surrounding metal is sanded down to blend the pits rather than making an attempt at filling. Temp required to actually fill them will probably cause more damage than the pits. I've seen a couple 1911 slides ruined by amateur " Smith's" attempting to solder rear sights.
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Old 04-16-2007, 05:14 AM   #3
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filling pits: what method?

Indeed, sanding can work for insignificant pitting. However, my question applies to pits that are extensive.







I understand from my links above that the molecular structure of steel is damaged by temps well in excess of 1100 degrees F. From the little that I have read it does not appear that any of the applications for filliing pits will go to that extreme.



If anyone has any thoughts on pit filling methods, please let me know. Thank you.
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Old 04-16-2007, 05:28 AM   #4
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filling pits: what method?

Hello sarabellum,



While I don't honestly have any "firsthand" experience.



My local gunsmith does indeed practice "Drawfiling" over pitted recievers and barrels to remove very deep pits. According to him, it requires hours of practice and skill to do it successfully.



Brownell's does sell draw files and I will peruse the site to see if they have any instructions.



Here is the link:



http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/sto....aspx?p=548&s=



I wish I could be more helpful, but perhaps captaineagle can address this question better than most of us.



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Old 04-16-2007, 03:04 PM   #5
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filling pits: what method?

Maybe the molecular structure of steel is okay to 1100, but you'll start destroying surface hardness at around one third of that. Any operation that might cause friction or in any way heat a piece of metal has to be kept well below 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
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Old 04-16-2007, 03:13 PM   #6
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filling pits: what method?

Interesting Chubbypigeon. What are your thoughts from the following thread discussing the effects on steel's molecular structure with regard to solder, welding, etc? That thread is:



http://www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=3&f=4&t=305300



(the AR15 forum is down for maintenance).



Thank you Chris for the tip.
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Old 04-17-2007, 03:49 AM   #7
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filling pits: what method?



Quote:
What are some sound methods for filling pits that which would allow successful coating with either a dark gunkote finish (molybdenum) or traditional blue finish?
As mentioned above, the traditional method of removing rust pits in metal is to remove the metal with the pits by grinding or by carefully draw filing. Brute grinding crudely changes the shape of the ground surface and is usually a desperation move, and draw-filing flat and rounded surfaces is very expensive and usually done only for the restoration of expensive antique guns worth upwards of thousands of dollars before restoration



I doubt that there is any way to fill the pits that would allow a traditional blue finish where the pits wouldn't be obvious. (Even if you could somehow fill the pits with steel, the steel in the pits would react to the bluing solution differently and you would still have speckles.)



This what I would try to do in your situation (I say try, because I've never done it):



Assuming Gunkote or whatever opaque finish you decide to use will adhere to the epoxy about as well as steel (I would contact the finish manufacturer about this), I would fill in the pits with steel epoxy leaving the epoxy in the pits just a smidge higher than the surface of the steel and, when completely hardened, carefully draw file the pitted area down to a flush, smooth, even surface with a small (3-4") fine file the best you can, and then apply the finish to the handgun. The use of emery paper, crocus cloth and, especially, steel wool to polish the area after the draw filing will probably result in the pits with the softer epoxy being "dished" and the loss of your perfectly flat surface. (Using fine emery paper or crocus cloth backed by a small, hard block of wood might work. You'd just have to try it.) After the Gunkote or whatever finish has been applied (and it acceptably adheres to the epoxy), I would guess that nobody would ever be able to tell the pits were there, at least without a really close examination of the pitted area.





Go to http://www.e-gunparts.com/forum/forums.asp and under PUBLIC FORUMS click on the Gunsmithing forum and post your inquiry. There's practicing and retired gunsmiths that frequent this forum which can probably give you some guidelines.







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Old 04-17-2007, 03:16 PM   #8
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filling pits: what method?

I am sorry, but I can't be of much help here. I have done bluing and electroless nickle plating on my custom guns, but have never tried removing pitting from bady used guns.

The small amout of abuse on the students guns is cleaned up pretty easy and then bead blasted for the Gunsite Blue finish I like.

I did clean up a duty gun many years ago but I just took the metal down to below the pits and then prepped it and had it hard chromed. That was long before we could do paint jobs. I don't like hard chrome, but it served me well for a duty gun with nite lites on it. The Gangsta's hated it with good reason. I wanted any small excuse to pop them. They decided to behave around me.

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Old 04-17-2007, 09:24 PM   #9
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filling pits: what method?

Interesting thread. However, for all the work and risk involved, and presumably expense, I'd probably just get the gun a normal refinishing and live with the pits if it is a shooter -- or buy a new/non-pitted gun of the same model, if possible.



If this is a restoration project of a family heirloom or something like that, that's a different story.



Let us know what you decide.



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Old 04-20-2007, 01:41 AM   #10
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filling pits: what method?

This would be a restoration project. Actually, a restoration project on a couple of pistols. Like many personal projects or crafts it is enjoyable.
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