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MC
At age 73 I can promise you that it has been a long time sense I saw the "tinned" barrels. My memory says that it was a very thin coat with NO lump or bumps. Sort of like the tin plateing on an automotive piston

bill

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Why would any one want to tin the outsides of the barrels ? Apart from the practical points that the blue/black/brown would not take over tin or that unless the ribs were brazed then surely dipping them in a vat of molten tin would loosen the ribs .Only possible reason that I could see for doing this would be to tin the barrels before the ribs were laid. Even then the practicality of doing so is beyond me as the cleaning off of the unwanted tin would outstrip the time saved in this method of tinning over the more traditional ways .

gunman #367382 05/25/14 09:32 AM
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The reason for tinning the barrels was to prevent(slow down)rust forming under the ribs and making them come loose.It did take work to cleam the tin(really lead/tin solder) off the outside to allow bluing.When labor was cheap, this was considered a good trade off.When labor went up,some "quality" items were done away with.
Mike

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The tinning process was done using an acid flux, which allowed the solder to adhere to the steel, on both barrels and the undersides of the rib. The acid flux was not something desirable if left in the void between the barrels however. Once "tinned" in that fashion, all of the acid flux was cleaned away, and rosin flux was then used to allow the two tinned surfaces to adhere. The rosin not quite suitable for adherence directly to steel, does work well for solder to solder application. This said, I doubt very seriously anyone ever completely coated barrels in actual tin. I believe that's just something that came about from a potential misunderstanding concerning the term. It's a term commonly used by sheet metal workers and gunsmith's alike to allude to the process described above, and other jobs where getting a good solder connection may be difficult. Cheap labor or no, I just can't see anyone subscribing to the amount of work required to remove all of the extra metal if they didn't have to. [Ask jerry what I went through relaying ribs on one for him. I've since figured out a few tricks to simplify the job, but removing unwanted solder was a complete and absolute PITA.] As the unwanted metal is filed off, both barrel steel and tin/solder acquire the same color and the two become almost impossible to differentiate for one thing. Also, it's easy enough to tin the complete inside portion of the barrels by applying acid only in that area, thus keeping any unwanted material to a minimum. I've seen the void on a few old SxS's, and most seem to have been done this way, as you can usually see a small spot or two that was missed. We're also talking about a time when labor was quite cheap, but materials were considered dear. Why use much more than required?
It's also become my belief, and that of others whose knowledge and background I respect, that not all "good" barrels are completely free of a pin hole or two in the rib solder from day one. After some years of checking ribs, I've found that some can have a pinhole or two, but still have perfectly sound rib attachment and no major rusting going on between the barrels. This seems to happen more often in older American made guns than in those of English/ Euro manufacture. Which is why I believe you see weep holes more often automatically,[it seems], included on many American made guns.
No intent on raising hackles, nor calling anyone or their friends/ relatives liars. I just think my background in the HVAC&R industry gives a little extra potential insight on the "tinning" aspect of this discussion. Feel free to have at me if you feel otherwise. I'm fairly thick skinned.[Others may say thick headed as well].
Jim

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I begin to see . Basically what has been described was a production technique to tin the barrels before the ribs were laid rather than just flux up and wipe down with solder as in a more traditional way . I suppose if you have a high production rate then it may have advantages but still seems to be counter productive in man hours .
Just a point of interest I took the ribs off an old hammer gun last week as the loop had come loose and had lifted the bottom rib so all ribs needed to come off and be relayed . It was absolutely spotless in side , fully tinned and first time I have ever noticed it ,it smelt of pine ! So what kind of resin had been used when the ribs were originally laid , I know not .

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I can see JimfromTrafalger's point about tinning the area around the ribs, but it would go past them and would have to be cleaned off.I suspect that job would go to an apprentice as part of his training.They worked(in the old days)basically for the training and maybe a little bit to eat and a place to sleep-not very expensive labor.
Mike

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While in gunsmithing school one of my teachers claimed the rosin from the evergreen trees outside our building worked very well as a flux for tinning. I never tried it, but he never steered me wrong either.


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Steve, would that have been Leonard? I watched him tin a set of barrels using an electric iron , a solid block of rosin and a chunk of pure tin hammered thin.

I miss Leonard!

Mark

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Resin is not actually a flux .It is used as a barrier to prevent oxidation when soldering previously tinned parts . I have laid ribs using old fashioned irons heated in a muffle and drawn down the bores . This is method is Ok And is great for "flushing down " but most people now-a-days use a propane torch , however care is needed not to over heat as the resin just tends to burn thus negating its purpose as well as having the solder run out and leave misses . Never tried an electric iron and I would imagine that you would need a pretty big one to get the spread of heat needed . Each to there own and having laid/re-laid close on 140 sets of ribs last year I will stick to my tried and tested ways .

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