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dyeing horn grips

tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
edited April 2014 in Ask the Experts
The FN 1900 I am thinking of buying,has what the seller claims to be the original grips on it.
They are black with checkering and the FN logo.
The grips are similar to what I have seen on other 1900 FNs.
The black is thinning and a lighter(tan-gray)color shows through.
He says they are made of some type of horn then dyed black with leather dye.
I would appreciate comments about these type of grips.

Has anyone out there tried re-dyeing 100 year old horn material with leather dye?
Thank You.

Comments

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    charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 6,579 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Leather dye these days isn't as good as the stuff we had in shop class back in the 70's.

    Check with your local gunsmith, I'd bet he has box of old butt plates. Find a chipped/beat up/worn horn one and test your dye.
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    Bill DeShivsBill DeShivs Member Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Horn grips were not dyed. If they are lightening, the horn is delaminating. While you may be able to dye these delamination spaces, they are best dilled to stop further delamination. I use super glue for this. If you don't know what you are doing, you can ruin the grips.
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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks guys.
    I am going to pass on this one.
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    USN_AirdaleUSN_Airdale Member Posts: 2,987
    edited November -1
    soak them in STRONG black coffee.
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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    USN Airdale...Thank you
    Room temperature STRONG coffee?
    Any chance of swelling or other damage with this procedure?
    If the grips can be darkened in this way I may buy the gun.
    I have been looking for an FN 1900 and this is a nice one.
    They have came down from $550 to $460 tax included.
    Seems fair to me.
    I would like to hear more about soaking horn grips in coffee.
    Is it as simple as it sounds?
    Thank you.
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    Bill DeShivsBill DeShivs Member Posts: 1,264 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I work with horn almost every day. I can assure you it's not that simple.
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    rhmc24rhmc24 Member Posts: 1,984 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Working some with old cracked or delaminated horn I have stabilized it by first washing it as clean as I could in alcohol, let dry, mix some Devcon clear 2000 lb epoxy (not the 5 minute kind) mix alcohol in it till it's like a common varnish. Brush it on & into the horn & before it sets up, wipe it off with a rag damp with alcohol. Let it set up over night.

    If the surface is smooth or can easily be made smooth by fine steel wool, I would rub on Fiebings leather dye, damp on a rag or paper towel. Carefully done you can tone it some with alcohol damp on a rag.

    I would try this on a piece of soft pine, paying attention to end grain, to get some experience & save wondering how to un-do something gone wrong.
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    tone59tone59 Member Posts: 673 ✭✭
    edited November -1
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