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Thread: Un-bluing question.

  1. #1
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    Default Un-bluing question.

    I am new to the whole gun refinishing thing and I have a question. If I am going to try and reblue a firearm, is a dremel tool something that I can use to take the worn out blue off? My plan was to use some of that blue remover chemical and maybe a cloth wheel or something more abrasive to take off the blue. I obviously don't want to damage the firearm but it took me forever to unblue my test piece.

    Course if anybody has any better ideas, I'm always open.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKF View Post
    I am new to the whole gun refinishing thing and I have a question. If I am going to try and reblue a firearm, is a dremel tool something that I can use to take the worn out blue off? My plan was to use some of that blue remover chemical and maybe a cloth wheel or something more abrasive to take off the blue. I obviously don't want to damage the firearm but it took me forever to unblue my test piece.

    Course if anybody has any better ideas, I'm always open.

    Thanks in advance.
    It would be bascially impossible to remove the old finish evenly with a dremel tool. That's kind of like using a weed wacker to do a large lawn. Buffing/polishing wheels on a "grinder" are the way to go. I would suggest you go to Brownells web site and maybe order a book on rebluing.

  3. #3

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    How good the blue job turns out, is directly related to how well you can buff.

    The salt tanks are relatively simple to operate.... It's the buffing job that counts.

  4. #4
    Member thebovees's Avatar
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    Default Try Citric Acid

    Heat up some citric acid powder in water and soak the steel parts in it for awhile and there should be no oxide left on it, rinse and dry it good. This sure takes heavy rust of steel and professional galvanizers use it before dipping into the zinc.

    Roger

  5. #5
    Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AKF View Post
    I am new to the whole gun refinishing thing and I have a question. If I am going to try and reblue a firearm, is a dremel tool something that I can use to take the worn out blue off? My plan was to use some of that blue remover chemical and maybe a cloth wheel or something more abrasive to take off the blue. I obviously don't want to damage the firearm but it took me forever to unblue my test piece.

    Course if anybody has any better ideas, I'm always open.

    Thanks in advance.
    STOP, Do not pass GO! To un-Blue, you use a dip in Hydrochloric acid. To prep the metal "HAND SAND ONLY, do not use a shoe shine motion on the barrel. Make all sanding motions the length of the firearm. Depending on how shinny or how durable you want the finish determines on how fine you sand. Don't let anybody talk you in to getting anywhere close to a buffer wheel, unless you have a lot of years of buffing experience.

    BOOKS have been written on this subject.

    Do not fall on the floor when you see how fast bluing comes off using HCL. Make double sure you rinse it, lots of good clean water, after the dunk.

    Use eye and skin protection, always! You can buy HCL at the hardware store as Muratic acid. Don't try to get it shipped to you.

    The best bluing I have ever used (not counting rust bluing) is MARK LEE Express Bluing #1. Available from Brownells.

    http://www.brownells.com/

    READ, READ and then read the instructions again. Have everything you need to do the job before you start.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  6. #6
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    Default

    You guys are great, and I think this may be the greatest forum on the face of the planet. Thanks for the info.

  7. #7

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    I use naval jelly to remove blueing from muzzleloaders I'm preparing to rust brown. It leaves a kind of smoky gray color on the steel rather than bright white like other acids I've tried. Polishing will still be required, but that faint gray color is a pretty handy "marker" for keeping track of regions you haven't worked yet. I've never tried it on a modern rifle, relying instead on buffing wheels and rouge. Another difference is that most surfaces on a muzzleloader are flat (as in octagonal barrels), and I'm draw filing to slightly roughen the surface for browning, rather than polishing. Worth a stab though if you have trouble getting another acid though. The same precautions about protecting skin and clothing apply, however.

  8. #8
    Member stevelyn's Avatar
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    Default

    Bullfrog rust remover will take the bluing off and be a lot safer to handle.

    http://www.rustbloc.com
    Now what ?

  9. #9
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    Default

    If you are going to hot blue, you don't have to remove the old blue.



    Before everyone tells me I don't know anything, I learned this from a gunsmith, he was working on a small part of a gun and was going to blue the gun afterwards. I asked him about polishing off the old blueing, and he said he didnt, as long as the polish of the worked part was the same as the rest of the gun, it didnt matter. He was right.

    I asked an old time gunsmith, that had been blueing for 40 years, to blue a rifle bolt for me, he gave me a price, mentioning the time to polish it. I asked him how much without polishing, to "just throw it in", he said it wouldn't work. I told him I'd pay him the same amount if it didnt work, so he agreed. After it was done, it looked good, and he commented "Well, I'll be, I'd have never thought that would work." Mentioning this on another forum, one of the gunsmiths, tongue in cheek, told me not to tell everyone, he knew it wasn't neccesary.


    Not buffing also saves the edges and markings, the buff is what ruins a good gun, not the re-blue. If you have to buff anything, hand polishing with a hard block under fine paper will keep from ruining markings and edges. Power buffers can be used, but it takes a lot of experience to keep from ruining the guns markings.

  10. #10

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    my buddy had lemon juice from a frozen bottle leak onto a Ruger 22, sure soaked the blue right off!

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