Only experienced antique restorers should do preservation work.
The amount of time & care that goes into restoring an old Edison Chifferobe is substantial,
and one should put the same time & effort into their antique weapons.
On the other hand, if you are going to go out & shoot the stuffings out of it, do whatever is neccesary to make it work properly.
If the item is a valuable wall-hanger/safe queen...keep it that way.
If you want to enjoy a firearm the way God intended...clean & Fire
I have a 1913 Marlin model 37, currently in shootable condition, and I've enjoyed shooting it
I've been deeply considering how I want to go about its reconditioning...VERY carefully considering...
However, I intend to make sure it functions properly so that it will be an enjoyable shooter
for at least another 50-100 years.
The original finish on the stock is worn off in spots...it has a funny cracked look in places.
The blueing is brown all over...and there are a few pits from rust...
and in some places it's gone completely.
So...since it is a properly-working firearm which is a joy to shoot...what should one do??
Part of me wants to do a total stock restoration...using the old methods.
Strip & refinish using early 1900's methods, but I'm a bit stuck on which way to go there...
Varnish...BLO...Tung oil...I'm not 100% sure which was original for Marlin rifles, still researching that.
The blueing I'm loath to do anything more than keep the rust off of it and keep it well-oiled.
But...if I redo the furniture, should I go ahead and have it re-blued or even Nickel-plated??
What's the harm after having already redone the stock??
I prefer making it look as nice as posssible, as it's current condition is rather rough...
and none of my rifles looks anywhere near as beat-up and abused as this one...
So should I just keep it clean & well-oiled, or tear it down for a total refinishing???