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33700Re: Japanning (was Carbines and Fusils)

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  • Patrick Schifferdecker
    Sep 6, 2007
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      The original formula for Barrel Black this was: "To one gallon of
      vinegar add a quarter of a pound of iron rust, let it stand for one
      week; then add a pound of lamp black and three quarters of a pound
      of copperas; stir it up at intervals for a couple of days. Lay five
      to six coats on the gun with a sponge, allowing it to dry well
      between each application; polish with linseed oil and soft woollen
      rag; it will look like ebony."

      --- In WarOf1812@yahoogroups.com, "Dale Kidd" <ucpm_gunner@...>
      wrote:
      >
      > 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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