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  #1  
Old 07-15-2007, 06:57 AM
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Inletting Black?


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I know there is no such thing as a dumb question But here is one for you fellows.
Since Inletting black comes in such a small jar (1 ounce) and is fairly expensive for what you get. I take it, that it should be used sparingly when inletting a stock.
What is the best way to apply it to the barrel or action without wasting it?

Thanks
Steven Adler
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Old 07-15-2007, 07:28 AM
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Welcome to the forum iceman. Rules are simple, be nice and join in.

It's put on with a small brush to the metal parts your trying to fit into the wood stock. In reality it's not used much anymore for fitting an action to the stock with good glassbed materials now on the market.

Where it shines is when fitting nose caps on mannlicher stocks, curved buttplates or the skeleton butt plates and grip caps. It also serves well when fitting the bottom metal to new stocks.

For Buttplates and grips caps I like to establish the screw holes then using two try screws (screws with small rods the size of the screw shanks) that will allow the butt plate or grip cap to slide into the stock use the black to check how my fitting is going til I have a tight fit between the metal and the wood. Trying to fit these curved pieces without some kind of a guide can be a pain.

Over the last bunch of years when I order a semi-finished stock the outfit I use will cut the action inlet 1/16 inch over size as an aid in glassbedding.

You might check out Brownell's tech section. You can ask their gunsmith any questions you have and get it straight from the horses mouth so to speak.
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:11 PM
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You can pretty well accomplish the same thing with lipstick, FYI, or even lightly smoking a part with a candle flame (as appropriate to the material).

Dry erase marker, thick coating of graphite from a pencil, machinist's layout dye, etc., etc., etc. There's a bunch of ways accomplish this.
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Old 07-15-2007, 01:20 PM
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Good old air-blown willow wood charcoal, as used to be mixed with sulfur as fingerprint powder works, too. Lots of ways to improvise.
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Old 07-15-2007, 06:11 PM
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Bought the small jar of inletting black from Brownell's in the mid '70's. Inletted a couple dozen rifle stocks, plus a bunch of other projects wanting a tolerance indicator.

The jar is about 1/2 to 2/3 full and still very useable. Normally use a Q Tip to apply the blacking to barreled actions or whatever needs coating. Stuff goes a long way.
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by icemanxxxv
I know there is no such thing as a dumb question But here is one for you fellows.
Since Inletting black comes in such a small jar (1 ounce) and is fairly expensive for what you get. I take it, that it should be used sparingly when inletting a stock.
What is the best way to apply it to the barrel or action without wasting it?

Thanks
Steven Adler
A couple of alternatives: Regular auto past wax, rubbed on to barrels will work. Blue carpenter's chaulk mixed with a couple drops of water works good. Brush it on and let it dry.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:22 AM
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Hi Iceman,

A lot of weird suggestions and you will be better off with the regular inletting black. You can make it from Vaseline and a blackening agent. The little bottle you get from Brownell's will last for years. Unless you do custom stock work you will never use up the bottle. I would just buy a bottle from Brownell's.

When applying the black you need a very, very thin coating applied with a small brush. I used the Solo Cup Insert to hold the black. You don't apply it directly from the bottle to the metal. The Solo Insert is plastic so the black does not soak into the cup. It is also tapered and that gives you access to the sides. You take a very, very small amount of black on your brush and rub it all around the inside of the cup on one side. You rub it as thin as you can get it. Spread it out around the cup as needed to thin it out. Now run brush around the side of the cup and apply the black to the metal you are inletting. Always pick up fresh black from the cup when you need more on the brush. As you proceed with the inletting the metal that does not touch wood will still have black on it. Sometimes all you have to do is brush the metal to redistribute the black. The worse thing you can do is use too much black. It is important that when you remove the metal from the stock that the metal is lifted away perpendicular to the stock. Do not tip the metal or you will get black someplace other than a high spot.

You don't have to use the Solo Insert Cup, it is just one I found convenient. Any shallow plastic cup with tapered sides will work.

Frank

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Old 07-16-2007, 10:23 AM
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Like Frank, I find a lot of the suggestions interesting, but would warn against using any form of grease, wax, or petroleum or Lanolin based product on wood where you might want to put glass bedding later. It will prevent the epoxy from penetrating the grain and sticking properly.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:02 PM
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Another old standard for inletting is Prussian Blue, which is the name of a color, actually- it's oil paint that artists use. You can find it in any art supply store, as well as at Brownells (last I looked, anyway) One tube of the stuff will last a long, long time.
Apply it to the metal with a Q tip or a small brush.
Unclenick's caution about using oil based products where you're going to be glass bedding later makes a lot of sense, but I have never run into a problem. Maybe because you shave off the wood marked with blue, I don't know.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:44 PM
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You still have to worry about the oil base of the paint separating from the pigment and wicking in past the color on the surface. I would stick with the inletting black or get some carbon black or graphite to mix with water for the job.

Prussian blue is great stuff. Also sold as in the Hi-Spot Blue brand. It is intended for scraping metal to fit metal. I once scraped three small right cubic corners by the rule of threes and had a lab measure them on a Zeiss optical instrument which found them to be flat within 20 millionths of an inch and true right angles within 35 millionths across span of their 2" faces. I would set one of them on my granite surface plate and lift the leading edge a fraction, drop and push it at the same time and it would glide clear across the length of the surface plate on the air cushion trapped underneath. Amazing what can be done by a centuries old technique.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:58 PM
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Sometimes when I'm working on an old double rifle or drilling from the turn of the century to the 1930's I often wonder at the fine hand fitting the gunsmiths did on those rifles and shotguns. Lots of it had to be done with a file and prussian blue.
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Old 07-17-2007, 06:08 AM
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The Prussian blue usually gets used with a scraper because you can see extremely fine differences in its thickness. Scrapers have different shapes, but you can think of them as a kind of single-tooth file. Spread the blue on one part, place it together with the one it mates to, then scrape off spots where the blue transfers. Those are the high spots. Repeat until pressing the two parts together transfers the blue all over in the pattern of your scraper marks. It takes patience, but was a standard mechanic's skill back when people still made their own parts to repair automobiles. Scraping was how final fit was achieved on split journal bearings, for example. I was taught to use a triangular scraper to fit the tip-up relief in match 1911 barrel bushings. The skill is common today only among machine tool builders, as far as I know. At least one of two sliding surfaces, like the ways on a lathe or a knee mill, will carry the scraper's telltale pattern of regular scuffs.
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