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DrewBone submitted a new Article:
S&W 5906 restore
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The work. After assessing how to attack each area I got to work with my abrasives, which are different grits of sanding blocks manufactured by 3M. I find these to be perfect for flat surfaces yet they offer a bit of flexibility when encountering round or radiused surfaces, i.e, the muzzle end of the slide on this pistol without creating flat spots that a solid block could possibly create. Working perpendicular to the slide then lengthwise creates a hatch pattern which clearly shows any and all low spots. The process is continued until the dent or scratch is no longer visible, though there are limitations to how much material to remove; if the dents are too deep, removing them will remove too much of the adjoining material, and this area will be extremely noticeable, especially when polished. So it's kinda' like gambling; you have to know when to stop, and if stopping means that there will still be minor dents or pits visible, just live with it, as this is better than seeing a divot or low spot...
Beginning frame work; crosshatch sanding work towards scratch removal...
Triangular diamond file used to return sharpness to vertical grooves on front strap...
Removing dents from beaver tail...
Beginning delicate flat diamond file work to the area surrounding the opposite side of the takedown lever, being carefull to avoid the S&W rollmark so the metal upheaval surrounding the rollmark remains intact...again using the crosshatch method to allow a good visual assessment as work continues...
Gone over with sanding blocks, inspected, and ready for glass bead...
Glass beading major components and internals, followed by reassembly.
Slide and barrel done...
Assembled and function checked; all good
Many people speak out about these pistols being heavy boat anchors, but once you have one of these pistols apart and disassembled down to nothing, I'm in awe of the engineering and superb machinework that went into these all steel/stainless steel examples. As I consider myself a student of firearm mechanics and history, doing work like this makes me think that my endeavours aren't wasted.
Restoring this and other worn and neglected stainless steel pistols has given me a new sense of purpose, one that I'd needed since having been forced into early retirement 5 or so years ago due to health issues, and I'm finding this work to be most rewarding, MUCH MORE SO than simply buying an already pristine firearm and showcasing it whenever a question comes up about a similar or identical firearm; anybody can do that; all it takes is $$. But I don't have a disposable income to buy the likes of Korth revolvers but I do have money to put towards a minor investment in host pistols and the tools used, followed by of course the physical work requirements, which are all done by hand (I never use a Dremel except for polishing feed ramps) and I'm happy to do it, having been quite satisfied with the results
Super material and presentation. Let's get this some more exposure.
Amazing resurrection of the pistol and craftsmanship getting things looking new again.
And something I like even more is you are giving @bac1023 some serious competition in the photography department.
Great work and thanks for sharing. I wouldn't even try as I know after 5 minutes of careful filing I'd be breaking out the Dremel and belt sander to speed things up.
That's awesome work, DrewBone. Inspiring, even. If you're doing this kind of thing regularly you should make a YT channel for it. We'd all watch, maybe some would even buy the fruits of your labor.
What a cool thread. Seriously, thank you for sharing.
Absolutely fantastic work. It looks brand new. Did you glass bead it yourself? I love those pistols.
Thanks for sharing this amazing transformation. You, sir, do excellent work!
Thanks for the compliments and for seeing fit to give the thread some extra exposure, it was quite unexpected
Thanks FC! As a welder fabricator with many years service with a major Navy airframe manufacturer I had the distinct pleasure of working with some true craftsman, and they were gracious enough to share with me what they knew, and this together with my own experimentation over the years gave me the ability to built up a pretty good understanding of different metals and their characteristics, with stainless steel topping my list of favorites! I also have the patience of my Mom, so doing this type of work is right up my alley; it just can't be rushed, 'else it looks that way!
Thanks for the kind words G, I appreciate it! My son is now bugging me to do the YouBoob channel thing, and I have it currently under consideration
And thank you for your kind commentary MD!
Much obliged, thank you Mr. Kaplan! Yes, I do the glass bead work also. The 2nd and 3rd Gen S&W semi autos are my favorites as well, particularly the stainless steel models as they can be restored without having to be sent out to be reblued, which I don't care to have the facilities for!
Great job! I haven't a 5906 but do have 3 of their magazines that are used in my 9mm Marlin Camp Carbine. It is a great and fun pistol caliber carbine. Kudos to you Drew
Old girl looks as fresh as a blushing bride...well done Sir.
Nice work.. i have a couple police trade in guns but they are not that pristine.
That is some nice work, and one beautiful Smith 5906!!!
You literally polished a turd and turned it into a beautiful gun.
That is some amazing work, truly impressive.
Well done. You should be very happy with the results.
Absolutely wonderful work there! It’s like new! I just picked up a 5906 myself and am eager to shoot it. I am really appreciating the machining and smoothness of the gun though just handling it.