Does anyone on this Forum do bluing?
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    Default Does anyone on this Forum do bluing?

    I have a few small parts to be blued, can anybody do a proper job of it?

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    I use store-bought blue/black ..I forget the name but cleaning the parts is very important. and wearing gloves so to not get finger's oil on them. good to not get blue in your skin IMO.

    I used to blue gun barrels with plugging the barrels and scrubbing with Ajax. then running under hot water and towel dry.. and bluing.

    Also, I blued/blacked gauge making so leaving only the gauge portion bright.
    Gunsmiths often have a tank and let a job set for a certain number of hours...I never dis that.

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    Dad had blue tanks in the basement with a vent when I was young.
    That like so very cool as a kid as sort of magic land.
    I'm sure very much not allowed now.
    Black and blue different? Yes it is.

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    You might want to try some cold bluing for yourself.


    Brownells
    Cold Bluing at Brownells

    Don't be afraid to give them a call and ask one of the gunsmiths which froduct is right for your application.

    Midway is another source.
    Shop Shooting, Hunting, & Outdoor Products | MidwayUSA

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    QT: bob: Black and blue different? Yes it is.
    And browning, I used to have the formula for browning.

    Acetone, lacquer thinner, and automotive carb clear are OK metal cleaners for blue/blacking.
    Clean 3 or 4 times with clean towels each time..

    Good to not breathe or touch the stuff.
    Last edited by michiganbuck; 10-03-2021 at 09:23 PM.

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    Pretty simple to do yourself, just clean thoroughly. I use pure alcohol ( found in the paint aisle at your favorite hardware store) just before applying the blue. using a wire for holding during final cleaning and application of the blue works well. If the part is warm it works faster. I've done hundreds of parts. Pretty easy if you follow basic directions.

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    Cold blueing is just about a waste of time/money.....rubs off quite rapidly in use........The solid blue/ black is done with hot caustic solution blues at around 200F in a tank......Incidentally ,the best old time blues all used mercuric compounds ,and so are no longer available,except in third world countries.

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    I have an old rifle setting all prepped waiting for me to do a rust blue with it.
    I bought the solution but haven’t found the time to get started with it.
    It might do for your parts to use this process?

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    Black phosphating may be a much quicker and easier approach for small parts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by john.k View Post
    Cold blueing is just about a waste of time/money.....rubs off quite rapidly in use........The solid blue/ black is done with hot caustic solution blues at around 200F in a tank......Incidentally ,the best old time blues all used mercuric compounds ,and so are no longer available,except in third world countries.
    That's what I want, hot blue. It's for the butt plate on my 30-40 Kraig. had it out of the case for the first time in years, looks great except the butt plate is rusty around the edges.

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    I've been cold bluing for over half a century - and browning.
    Instead of taking advice from the nattering nabobs, check out you tube.
    A new looking butt plate on a used Kraig, is out of place.
    I've restored museum collections of firearms.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Learning View Post
    I've been cold bluing for over half a century - and browning.
    Instead of taking advice from the nattering nabobs, check out you tube.
    A new looking butt plate on a used Kraig, is out of place.
    I've restored museum collections of firearms.
    Not on this one, the rest of it looks better than new. What brand of cold blue do you recommend?

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    As others have said, cold bluing is inferior to a hot caustic blue. Hot caustic bluing is easy to do, but the bluing salt is impossible to get because it is made with ammonium nitrate and it is now a controlled substance. So my question is there a replacement for ammonium nitrate as an oxidizer with the caustic soda? I suppose I could go around the neighborhood policing up sun dried dog shit and rolling my own, but I would rather not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by moonlight machine View Post
    Not on this one, the rest of it looks better than new. What brand of cold blue do you recommend?
    That is a matter of experimentation.
    Not all gun steels are the same. The steel on a Mauser's barrel and receiver are not the same as that of the ejector spring. Thus each bluing solution will act differently.
    I currently have 3 different cold bluing solutions on my work bench.
    If I don't like the results, it is easy to polish off, and try another.
    I don't want you to get the impression that cold bluing is as easy as painting. It requires preparation, possible heat and several applications.

    The real question is do you want the satisfaction of doing it yourself, or the convenience of outsourcing it?

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    And do you want hot blued or rust blued
    Eg my rem rolling block would have tree things going on the rust blued parts like the barrel
    Color case hardened receiver and the the just blue tempered stuff.
    Not sure what they used on your butt plate

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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-l View Post
    As others have said, cold bluing is inferior to a hot caustic blue. Hot caustic bluing is easy to do, but the bluing salt is impossible to get because it is made with ammonium nitrate and it is now a controlled substance. So my question is there a replacement for ammonium nitrate as an oxidizer with the caustic soda? I suppose I could go around the neighborhood policing up sun dried dog shit and rolling my own, but I would rather not.
    Potassium nitrate works just as well, easy to get.

    Ammonium nitrate is available on eBay, but spendy
    Ammonium Nitrat ACS Reagent, ≥98% High Purity Crystals 2.5kg (5.5 lbs) | eBay

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    Quote Originally Posted by 72bwhite View Post
    And do you want hot blued or rust blued
    Eg my rem rolling block would have tree things going on the rust blued parts like the barrel
    Color case hardened receiver and the the just blue tempered stuff.
    Not sure what they used on your butt plate
    It does not matter what they used, 45 years ago I had it hot blued and that is what I want.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt Learning View Post
    That is a matter of experimentation.
    Not all gun steels are the same. The steel on a Mauser's barrel and receiver are not the same as that of the ejector spring. Thus each bluing solution will act differently.
    I currently have 3 different cold bluing solutions on my work bench.
    If I don't like the results, it is easy to polish off, and try another.
    I don't want you to get the impression that cold bluing is as easy as painting. It requires preparation, possible heat and several applications.

    The real question is do you want the satisfaction of doing it yourself, or the convenience of outsourcing it?
    Well, I'll have the convenience this time.

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    No nattering about it, cold blue is nowhere near as durable. It's also not black oxide. Generally most cold bluing formulas are a copper/selenium compound. None are black oxide. Hot bluing does form black oxide and is just plain way more durable. I've done manganese (black) phosphate coatings myself, which works good but is a matte finish only due to the acid used in the process.

    Rust bluing can be very durable also, and is pretty easy to do, but time consuming. It is a true black oxide coating as well.

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    You can hot caustic blue small parts with a coleman stove, stainless pot, and a few pounds of lye and potassium nitrate. Cold Blue is hard to get right.


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