MG34 Lafette Restoration

Tripods, ammo cans, gunners kit, etc.

MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Sun Jun 17, 2007 7:52 am

652 is the code for Metallindustrie Schonebeck AG, Schonebeck/Elbe, Friedrichstrasse 27, Sachsen-Anhalt

Decided to start on the 34 Lafette restoration. I started on the easiest section (yeah, right) which is the lower tripod. I tried to just remove the Norweigan green paint, but found that there really wasn't much left of the orig. paint in area's. So I chemically stripped as much as I could off, and then glass bead the rest. The lower tripod is the most difficult, and had to drop to 80 grit alum. oxide. One more trip in the blast cabinet with 80 grit and I should be done with all the stuborn paint in the nooks and crannies. Then I will go back up to med. or fine glass beads.I used extra fine glass beads on the hardware as they are going to be blued.

I have been able to save the orig. leather pads.(orig.?) But I am debateing on removing them for ease of painting and re-sewing them back on. I have to study up on leather sewing before I make that desision. The hardware will be blued. Everything is nicely marked with waffens and such.

This has been a long, process. Really long.

TC


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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby DARIVS ARCHITECTVS » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:13 am

TC, is it possible to mask off the pads, the stitching on the pads and paint the pad plates, then remove the masking and hand paint the areas near the stiching (carefully) so you can save the stitching? I know it sounds work intensive but if there's a way to save original material that is intact, that's what I would try for.
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Sun Jun 17, 2007 9:20 am

DA,

it is possible to mask off and paint. I already masked them off when they where in the blast cabinet. However, it would be a major pain to mask off the inside plate area as not to get paint on the stitching. The stitching in some area's is aready fragile and may need to be replaced anyways.


Does anyone have any information on the makers code? S652 in triangle on lower and upper sled dated 1941. The aiming and searchfire has a 30 dated 1940.
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby Bil » Sun Jun 17, 2007 10:38 am

TC There are ways of masking that may work for you-there are paint-on masks,you use small brushes to apply,and they peel off later,there are also narrow tapes,look in artist supplies stores .You can also use an airbrish or jamb gun to get in the small places.You can also chech sign-painter supplies places,they have stuff that you can even sandblast the mask with no damage.One good place is Dick Blik,stores all over and web sales too.Your project looks good! :D ---bil
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby DARIVS ARCHITECTVS » Sun Jun 17, 2007 12:00 pm

I'd get a #00 brush and work around the stitching if I ccould save it. Also, add sone thread where the stitching it threatening to come undone, taking care to match the new fiber as close as you can to the old. This is a labor of love. Part of the fun is trying to preserve as much as possible. If you can sandblast around the stitching, then there's probably a way to paint around the stitching without getting pain on the stitching.
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Sun Jul 01, 2007 10:26 am

well today I decided to remove the leather pads. I thought about it for along time, and decided it would produce the best outcome rather than trying to mask them off. Besides, the thread was fragile and coming loose anyways. I went to Tandy leather and matched up the thread. Bought a book on hand sewing leather. And got some hide rejuvenator to restore the suppleness of the leather before I removed them. Everything went well. And I pleasent finding inside. This confirms my assumption of original leather. I found original horsehair padding and original stamps!!!!. I am doing the happy dance!

Pads are eagle stamped and makers waffen 445 which is -Albin Scholle, Lederwarenfabrik, Weissenfelser Str. , Zeitz, Sachsen-Anhalt (fsx) who also made P38 holsters between 41-42.

However, I am not 100% sure on that. I can't really make out the makers mark above the 445.



it looks like the lower pad was Norweigan drop checked. :roll:

TC

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby Bil » Sun Jul 01, 2007 3:00 pm

That does look nice! I can't wait till you start sewing the leather-you won't be posting till your fingers heal! :D Get a good palm for sewing,I learned when I was a kid about a sailmakers needle and palm-it will save your fingers! ---bil[/color]
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Sun Jul 08, 2007 10:48 am

More progress. Phase one is almost complete. All the hardware should be blued by this Thursday. The lower main frame and parts are now primed. Painting is slow going as I have to do it early morning when their is little wind and no neighbors to complain.

Phase two, The upper tripod is disassembled, and waiting to be stripped, and bead blasted. The search fire assembly will be started at a later time. I think this is enough to keep me busy for awhile.

TC

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:51 am

hardware is blued. Lowere tripod frame and legs are painted.

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby Bil » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:04 am

Very nice! Did you do the blueing yourself or have it done? I find it hard to believe that the shop looks so nice-I wish I could keep mine looking like that! :D No wonder you can get things done! ---bil PS-what did you use for primer and paint? ---bil
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:48 am

bil,

I used an oil base red oxide primer which matched my original primer exactly. Got it from fleetfarm. I found that the spray can works the best. The dunkelgrau I got from Sherwin Williams. Its 7021 dark grey and is in their system. Used exterior all surface satin oil based. It's a dead on match to the untouched dark grey paint inside my bolt box. Ryan recommended to use an airbrush, so I got one and was all set to use it but ol gorrilla hands (that be me) broke the small little fittings. So I had you use my old reliable touchup spraygun I used back when I was restoring Warbirds for a living. Old squirty or squirt as I have named it has done the job again. I haven't used it in 10 years! I mixed 12 oz. of paint, 2 caps full of japan dryer, and the rest thinner to a total of 16 oz. It worked great, and tacked up nicely between light to med. coats. That lower frame is the worst as it has alot of surface area and nooks and crannies.


ps. I had a local gunsmith do the blueing. I did the metal prep. I am sure its just the standard hot blueing salts process that is most common today.

TC

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Sat Jul 21, 2007 2:31 pm

Phase one of "Operation Lafette" is complete.

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby DARIVS ARCHITECTVS » Sat Jul 21, 2007 4:48 pm

:shock: This is looking SO COOL thus far, TC! Keep up the great work!!!!

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Sun Aug 05, 2007 4:40 pm

Just wanted to show how I baked on the enamel oil based paint. I pulled all the drawers out of one of my toolboxes and hooked up 4 brooder 250w heat lamps. Baked 3 hours at 150 degrees. Thats even better than DA's easy bake oven.

TC

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby Bil » Sun Aug 05, 2007 8:00 pm

Very clever-it looks like it works good! And unlike the easy-bake oven,you don't need to wear the little apron!Those of us without wifes can use the real oven,I have never cooked food in it. ---bil
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Mon Aug 20, 2007 10:52 am

more progress. Upper is painted. I also made a fixture to help me assemble the upper. The jig is just to hold the upper so I can slide the internal sled to the rear and help install the rollers and other internals.

TC

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby gdmoore28 » Mon Aug 20, 2007 12:16 pm

TC, I am soooo envious :mrgreen:

Can't you just get a LITTLE orange peel, or a run or a drip somewhere? This is too perfect. :shock:

Looks phenominal. Can't wait 'till it's finished.

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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby Bil » Mon Aug 20, 2007 3:38 pm

Looks really good-and a nice fixture to work with.A clean workbench with those little bins for stuff. I hate you! :lol: ---bil [The project is really looking good-nice work!]
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby m2ball » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:34 pm

Sean,

I am baking the painted parts in the oven at 175 for 2 hours. Is that enough. If I increase the temp. could it bake in a shorter period of time.

Thanks
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Re: MG34 Lafette Restoration

Postby tomcatshaas » Mon Sep 03, 2007 12:40 pm

m2ball wrote:Sean,

I am baking the painted parts in the oven at 175 for 2 hours. Is that enough. If I increase the temp. could it bake in a shorter period of time.

Thanks


a higher temp would risk the chance of the paint bubbling.

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