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Thread: LMF Browning

  1. #1

    Default LMF Browning

    I thought I'd start another thread specifically about the browning process since the questions keep coming up. Besides, the other thread is getting kinda long.

    I started the process yesterday morning, but made an embarrassing discovery when I pulled it out for the second application last night. I had completely missed one of the flats on the barrel! The other seven were getting a good coat of rust, but one of them was still silvery bright.


    I treated it along with the others and let it go overnight. Looking at it this morning, it was nice to see that it had "caught up" with the other seven flats. I guess that points out how easy and versatile the LMF is.

    It's worth pointing out that the start of the rusting is pretty slow and uneven, but not something to worry about. If you keep the faith and just keep on following directions, it will all even up. Somewhere along 24 or 36 hours into the process you'll have a nice uniform covering, but before that your pride and joy is going to look pretty scary. Just keep the faith and stick with it, and all should come out in the end.

    From previous experience, I can tell you that if you get nervous and start carding the dark spots to even them up with the light spots, you can cause problems and slow the overall process.

    Now I'm at the point of deciding how much is good enough. I'm going to rinse it this morning and do a very light carding (rubbing with wet denim), but probably give it another 24 hours before I do a heavier carding. Following that, I'll decide how much longer it needs to go.

  2. #2
    Member homerdave's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    homer, alaska

    Angry aaargh!

    log cabin just told me they could not no way ship me browning via USPS.
    does anyone in state carry it?
    Alaska Board of Game 2015 tour... "Kicking the can down the road"

  3. #3


    I'm not sure, though your local shop could order it. They're shipping in solvents and stuff all the time that you or I can't get shipped. I got a couple of bottles last year from Track of the Wolf, shipping via Fedex. I'm not sure if Fedex rules have changed, but I vaguely recall reading something about UPS being more sticky about shipping liquids. You might even check back with Log Cabin and see if switching to Fedex or US Mail would overcome shipping issues. Near as I can tell from looking and smelling, LMF is basically some kind of liquid soap. Yellow in color and it sure bubbles like soap if you drop the bottle, then open it.

    If I get to town today I'll ask my local shop for details on all this shipping weirness. A buddy tried to order some Birchwood Casey bluing solution online and UPS wouldn't ship it.

  4. #4


    Mine came UPS....but it came with a bunch of other goodies Never was questioned.

  5. #5


    Here's an update on the browning process:

    This is the first time I've done a "reblue" with it rather than starting from bare metal in a kit build. It's a learning process.

    Instead of using naval jelly to get off the original blue, I merely sanded. Past experience had shown that using naval jelly only didn't go far enough in prepping the surface, so browning was slowed.

    Well, In the course of sanding I didn't get every speck of bluing off, here and there back in some crevices. Any bluing showing won't brown, or at least it's a whole bunch slower than the browning, or even metal that has been cleared with naval jelly.

    The good news is that I went back and lightly sanded the areas with bluing showing, treated them with LMF and let them work overnight. This morning you can't even tell that the places were sanded. The bright metal I exposed have caught up with the areas already browning.

    Color case hardening is another story. On a Lyman kit I built last year I used naval jelly only to remove the color on the side plate, and it was really tough to get it to take a brown. Done, but the plate took a lot longer than the rest of the gun. This time I sanded the side plate and hammer, and it's still slower than the rest to take up the browning. Makes me think they're made of a different steel than everything else, or at least tempered.

    I've had to pull the works out of the shower and stop the process a couple of times. My wife seems to think she needs a shower every day, and worse, thinks that I need one too. As a result I'm guessing that it's going to take a couple of more days to finish the browning. Stock work is done, and I'm really happy with that.

  6. #6

    Default Browning

    If all else fails, you could brown the traditional way. Just use urine and place in a semi-humid enviornment. Recoat in 5-7 days and allow to rust brown. Then rinse card and wax. The best urine to use is horse urine though.
    " Americans will never need the 2nd Amendment, until the government tries to take it away."

    On the road of life..... Pot holes keep things interesting !

  7. #7


    Yeah, that came up earlier. Actually we got rid of all our horses some time ago, or I would give it a try. There was always that big pile next to the barn each spring waiting for the garden, and I bet burying parts there would do the job. I know that getting the pile there in the first place was really hard on boot leather. And come to think of it, the steel tines on our forks were "browned" just about perfect in the process!

    I've thought about waxing the finish rather than using motor oil as suggested by LMF or TruOil as I did last time. Just not sure how durable it will be around salt. I can say that the ones done with TruOil look as good as new several years later.

  8. #8



    After all my monkeying around with the side plate, I think I see the "coppery coating" developing that LMF warns about. I'll let it run its course in the treatment just for experience, but there's a chance I'm going to have to redo the side plate.

    You'll get to see it in the photos if the copper develops, cuzz the project will have to wait till after snowshoe hare hunting has passed. I'm missing this little 32 too much to delay things any longer than absolutely necessary.

  9. #9


    was going to say, where are the pics .

    I thought about trying to color case harden my side plate and trigger guard. Got reading up on it and decided not to do it. Sound atleast with the side plate that you may delaminate the pan from the side plate....that would really suck!

    Also thought about buffing the barrel side plate and trigger guard out so it was a nice bring silver. Well it's a turkey gun, as purdy as it would be, I dont think the turkeys would appreciate it.


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