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33699Re: Japanning (was Carbines and Fusils)

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  • Dale Kidd
    Sep 6, 2007
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      Bruce, et al:

      If I may take your explanation a step further...

      The japanning on muskets was a coating which was brushed and then
      baked onto the metal parts. When finished, it was shiny black in
      appearance, similar to the black laquered pottery imported from Japan.
      Sea Service muskets used by the Navy (except Marines, whose muskets
      were kept "in the white")often had all of the external steel except
      the pan cover japanned... barrel, lock plate/pan, hammer, trigger, and
      ramrod (on later model with steel rammer). In some cases, there is
      even evidence of brass fittings having been japanned as well.

      I am actually quite looking forward to getting myself a Sea Service
      pattern musket at some point down the road, and blackening the steel
      parts to a "japanned" black finish (though I will doubtless take the
      easy way out, and duplicate the effect with a modern heat-resistant
      spray paint). It should make maintaining the darn thing a great deal
      less onerous. In fact, if anyone has a good reliable Sea Service
      pattern Bess they're looking to dump, I'd be willing to trade a Third
      (India) Pattern for it.

      ~Dale

      PS. Bruce, it was great to finally meet you, and I look forward to
      seeing you again in the future.


      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "J.Bruce Whittaker" <ortheris@...>
      wrote:
      > For those who may not know what "japanning" is: it was the painting
      > wood or metal to copy the lacquer ware that was coming from Japan
      > during the period. It was usually black paint and varnish. It copied
      > the look of the lacquer ware that was coming from Japan. The Japanese
      > had the lacquer trees to make the lacquer finish but were not
      inclined
      > to disclose the secret of its manufacture to the West. Or so I have
      > been told. Of course it protected the muskets from rusting aboard
      ships.
      > Regards,
      > Bruce Whittaker
      >
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