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zebadee73

I need shotgun restorer suggestions

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To be frank the case is so far gone it is not worth doing .Far better to find another of similar vintage and change the label . I would think you could buy one for under £80.00 that will be far better as it will cost 3 times that to have it repaired properly .

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Right, I sent the gun and case to James Reynolds at the Woodworking Gunsmith.

I am amazed at the progress in ten short days and the base beauty of the stock. The case was knackered so we are using another one but applying the labelling etc.

Picture 3 is the stock after the acid stripping of the varnish.

Picture 2 is the original as it arrived in his workshop

Picture 1 is the stock after the first oiling.

 

Im amazed and there is at least another 5 to 8 weeks to go.

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Already Looking good, but just wait until James has worked all his magic on that stock and forend. You will be more than just amazed. His work is truly outstanding and done so sympathetically.

Thanks for posting and please keep us up to date with photos as the work progresses.

OB

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Thanks guys much appreciated - Instagram is the place to keep up to date or search me on facebook - The woodworking gunsmith.

I was delighted when John got in touch with me and the gun is a real sleeping beauty - you only get one shot with bringing a gun like this back from an honest age worn condition so slow and steady is the order of the day!  Everything will be done in house by me, other than the barrel browning, which will be sent out to the resident expert Dan Bromley to work his magic on them.

The stock has begun its preparation for finishing its a beautiful piece of walnut and beautifully worked Ive taken some templates and patterns from the stock for future work restocking guns of the same vintage, the lines and shapes are delightful.

Now all the varnish is removed and the horn but plate dressed up a little, its very much slow and steady, the guns a real beauty and only a traditional oil finish can do it justice, this is not a job you can just dunk in tru oil and call it good, the wood will be oiled and rubbed back daily for the next few weeks to achieve a glass hard best london oil finish. Quality wood is the biggest help when doing traditional oil finishing and i certainly wont be handicapped here ( when i say quality wood i don't just mean beautiful wood but i mean good hard dense dry and close grained walnut )

The checkering is very fine and will be carefully re cut, i never think it looks right to bring the diamonds to a full point on guns of this vintage, so the goal i will aim for is to pick out the checkering but without bringing it to a full point which will look out of place, it will probably be the case that i will make a specialist tool just for this particular re checkering job so i will document that process as well.

The guns probably due a good strip and clean so we will have it fully disassembled and check over each of the parts, i fully expect to find no issues, however its piece of mind we can strip it down and clean everything up and remove any dry grease or gunk and detritus which could foul up the mechanism, and she will be good for another 100 years.

A number of accessories are being aquired to fit out with the case, its just those little finishing touches that will go with the gun to make it look like a truly finished job. The first point of call with the case is to make a number of repairs, the donor case is sound but bears its own battle scars, but a bit of time will make it a sound base for our restoration job. The case will be repaired, reinforced, refitted and relined. The original case is sadly no more, but everything that could be salvaged was salvaged, all the original brass work, corners, screws, and fittings have been taken and will be reused on the donor case where appropriate

Stay tuned for more..

Thanks for the kind words folks,

 

James.

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Love the honey coloured wood of the stock in the third picture.

Going to look on this Instagram book thing.

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Right, as James is far too modest (and apparently busy) to reply to praise I am going to provide an update.

And the best way to do that is to use visual examples.

You will see earlier in this post the before photos of the gun (the first shot here is a before photo) and these are the after shots. I still need to get the gun reproofed and have the chambers lengthened to 65mm to fit current standard cartridges.

There is a school of thought that says why restore the gun only to then subject it to a potentially destructive test. Well, my answer is better in a proof house than 3 inches from my face.

That said, this is the work done by a tradesman and there are damn few of them left.

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The woodwork is brilliant and shows what can be achieved. The barrels are out of this world. I never cease to marvel at Dan's work. Well done to both involved.

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1 hour ago, Gordon R said:

The woodwork is brilliant and shows what can be achieved. The barrels are out of this world. I never cease to marvel at Dan's work. Well done to both involved.

Thank you Gordon. 

All the best 

Dan

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I've been following this on Instagram, noticed he put some of his turn screws in the case too.

Gun and case looks very nice, pleasure to see the transformation.

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I too have had the privilege of both Dan and James performing their magic on one of my guns with an equally amazing finish, albeit that my gun sadly was sleeved (steel on Damascus) and not the beautiful Damascus finish of your Charles Hellis, but nevertheless,  Dan made a superb job of my barrels and James brought back to life the stunning walnut stock complete with new but amazingly matching forend, both so sympathetically done.

It was a pleasure to be one of many who recommended both Dan and James for your restoration work. You are obviously delighted with the outcome and rightly so.

All that needs now is for the gun to pass proof (I sincerely hope that it does) and then to be used and cherished.

Many thanks for sharing.

OB

 

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@OB, perfectly put, after all this I will be distraught if it fails proof or worse, blows out.

But, better in the proof house than 3 inches from my face!

You are right too, I am thrilled with the outcome so far and really looking forward to it arriving back to me.

@OB, perfectly put, after all this I will be distraught if it fails proof or worse, blows out.

But, better in the proof house than 3 inches from my face!

You are right too, I am thrilled with the outcome so far and really looking forward to it arriving back to me.

I should also say, thank you very much to Dan for not only bringing the beauty of the Damascus back to life but also fixing an issue with the rib. Brilliant, sympathetic job.

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8 hours ago, zebadee73 said:

@OB, perfectly put, after all this I will be distraught if it fails proof or worse, blows out.

But, better in the proof house than 3 inches from my face!

You are right too, I am thrilled with the outcome so far and really looking forward to it arriving back to me.

@OB, perfectly put, after all this I will be distraught if it fails proof or worse, blows out.

But, better in the proof house than 3 inches from my face!

You are right too, I am thrilled with the outcome so far and really looking forward to it arriving back to me.

I should also say, thank you very much to Dan for not only bringing the beauty of the Damascus back to life but also fixing an issue with the rib. Brilliant, sympathetic job.

You're very welcome. It's a beautiful gun, I hope you enjoy using it. 

All the best 

Dan 

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On ‎24‎/‎03‎/‎2019 at 00:30, zebadee73 said:

@OB, perfectly put, after all this I will be distraught if it fails proof or worse, blows out.

But, better in the proof house than 3 inches from my face!

You are right too, I am thrilled with the outcome so far and really looking forward to it arriving back to me.

@OB, perfectly put, after all this I will be distraught if it fails proof or worse, blows out.

But, better in the proof house than 3 inches from my face!

You are right too, I am thrilled with the outcome so far and really looking forward to it arriving back to me.

I should also say, thank you very much to Dan for not only bringing the beauty of the Damascus back to life but also fixing an issue with the rib. Brilliant, sympathetic job.

What as the outcome of the proof test on this gun Zebadee73?? Interested to know as its a lovely gun.

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All, 

To begin with thank you very much for maintaining some patience with me. This has been a hell of a long wait and I hope when I attach the photos they will bear testament to the skills of genuine craftsmen with patience far outstripping those of us waiting on them to finish what we asked them to do.

The gun took 5 attempts to pass proof, none of which major. There was some mild bulging on one of the chokes which was then sorted, it got returned by the proof house because it had been browned so all of Dan's hard work had to be removed, it got refused once just because the chamber was 0.03mm too short (I had asked for both chambers to be bored to fit current cartridges and thus pass proof).

In the end, thanks be to whatever Deity you are into, it passed. I am now the proud owner of a fully restored Hellis SbS, 12G with a beautiful Damascus barrel, refurbed stock and a beautiful case to live in that is in full proof for at least another 100 years.

I did have the privilege of taking it out for a shoot in early December, it shot like a dream, was a joy to handle and with 26g Hull Imperial 7's was easy on the frame. I am very, very happy with it.

 

 

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That is a brilliant outcome to which must have been a traumatic time whilst the gun was at the proof house.

Well done for having the wherewithal to have the gun fully refurbished, giving it a new lease of life to be used by yourself and others in the future.

Enjoy owning and shooting it.

OB

 

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Well done James  and Zebadee 73 another piece of our heritage saved, 5 times at the proof house most would not have  not proceeded  after a couple off failures .

Feltwad

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