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Refinished Kimber S model

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Finished refinishing the Kimber Model S about a month ago and finally got a chance to take a few pictures. The finish on this stock was pretty well crazed and it was driving me crazy so I had to do something about it. These pics don't do the wood justice- it is a really great piece of wood with beautiful figure.
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The S Series is my favorite model of the 82 Kimbers. I guess it's the nostalgic connection with the Winchester 52 sporters that they were designed as a replacement for. Anytime there's one for sale, the first thing I look for is crazing which sadly is more common on them than other models. Good job on the refinish, it really shows the figure.
 

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That is a beautiful rifle; nice job. The S-Series is my favorite of all the variations; they just "Look Right". I had a very nice S-Series .22 that has since gone on to another caretaker. I knew vary little about Kimbers when I bought it though I knew it was special. The seller at the gun show I was at called it a custom grade. I almost didn't get it as I had not priced the Kimber but thought it out of my range so went back to the show to get a new Browning 52 ( at a premium over list ) but when I asked to see the Browning again the price had been raised another 50.00 overnight. I told him he could keep it and I would go buy a Kimber. Boy; I came out good on that one as I got the Kimber at about the same as the Browning would have cost me and it was better in every way.
 

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I haven't had the guts to try refinishing a nice rifle. I passed up an opportunity for an S series because of the crazed cracked finish. I assume it will be difficult to strip the old finish off (especially in the checkering). I figure sanding is off limits for fear of erasing the checkering. And if the old finish isn't completely removed it will look clumpy and splotchy. Power to you for having the ability and guts to tackle it.
 

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I haven't had the guts to try refinishing a nice rifle. I passed up an opportunity for an S series because of the crazed cracked finish. I assume it will be difficult to strip the old finish off (especially in the checkering). I figure sanding is off limits for fear of erasing the checkering. And if the old finish isn't completely removed it will look clumpy and splotchy. Power to you for having the ability and guts to tackle it.
RFC member DES/TSD would be the person to contact if you're ever in this situation again. He is the go to guy for refinishing Kimber rifles as well as others
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I haven't had the guts to try refinishing a nice rifle. I passed up an opportunity for an S series because of the crazed cracked finish. I assume it will be difficult to strip the old finish off (especially in the checkering). I figure sanding is off limits for fear of erasing the checkering. And if the old finish isn't completely removed it will look clumpy and splotchy. Power to you for having the ability and guts to tackle it.
It can definitely be a tense experience working on a nice collector rifle when repairing or refinishing. I've done enough stocks from scratch and refinishes now that I'm pretty comfortable with the process, but that doesn't mean you can't make a mistake... patience and experience help a lot with these projects for sure...
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I have a bunch of Kimber 82’s and the only ones ever with crazing are S’s. I think they figured out their application problem
Did I read one time that Dennis said something to the effect that they switched to a different finish after the S models? I'm probably mistaken, but it seems it came up in conversation a while back..
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Good old Oregon!! Go into the hills and lots of public land. Find a nice safe place to put up targets and enjoy an afternoon of shooting your fancy rifle. :)
Funny thing is, there is a public range a couple miles from this place but it is set up poorly and is usually so busy you have to wait for time to shoot on the small range areas, so I found this place about a mile down the logging road in a clear cut that works great and is set up better for what I want to do.
 

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Did I read one time that Dennis said something to the effect that they switched to a different finish after the S models? I'm probably mistaken, but it seems it came up in conversation a while back..
According to Dennis, finish crazing on the KoO rifles was caused when the sprayed coat of finish below was not given sufficient time to properly cure before the next coat was sprayed on. It is possible that part of the problem was the stocks were sprayed by different individuals and some coats may have been sprayed heavier that others. If so, you could easily have lighter sprayed stocks perfectly cured and ready for their next coat, but heavier sprayed stocks that needed an extra half day to fully cure.

KoO was "fine tuning" their finish on the fly and it took several years before both Greg Warne and Dennis Smith were both satisfied with Dennis' secret 3 part concoction that was mixed in a 33 gallon trash can.
 
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