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Thread: Gun Bluing

  1. #1

    Default Gun Bluing

    I tried my hand at cold bluing a sporterized military rifle today with Brownells Oxpho-Blue. It blued evenly, but after 10 coates it was only a very dark grey. I was trying to match the almost black receiver. Is this normal for cold blue, or can I somehow get it darker? I know hot blue would be better, but a hot blue job would be more than the cost of the rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankb View Post
    I tried my hand at cold bluing a sporterized military rifle today with Brownells Oxpho-Blue. It blued evenly, but after 10 coates it was only a very dark grey. I was trying to match the almost black receiver. Is this normal for cold blue, or can I somehow get it darker? I know hot blue would be better, but a hot blue job would be more than the cost of the rifle.
    Oxpho is one of the best of all the cold blues I've tried over many years.

    One trick that might help is to heat the metal with a propane torch. Get busy with a cotton swab saturated with Oxpho., rub out with your 0000 steel wool.

    The shine of the finish is determined by the shine of the metal. If you want it darker, then sandblast the metal, this will give you a Parkerized look to the metal, with no reflection, vary dull, and much darker.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3

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    The barrel is shinier than the receiver now. I went down to #600 wet/dry sandpaper and then used 0000 steel wool. It doen't look bad, but I was trying to match the almost black receiver. How long did you leave the blue to react. I left it on 1 to 2 minutes between coats. I'll try heat.

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    Go back to 240 grit paper on the barrel, make sure all your sanding is length of the barrel no shoeshine strokes. Actually 240 maybe to much of a polish. Leave the blue on until the oxidation has stopped. Then rub out with the 0000. Remember that more polish to the metal the shinier the look. You want to match the receiver then sand blast all the metal. Look in the phone book for a sandblaster in your area. It's really not the finish that makes the shin, it the metal preparation. 600 is far to much. It sound nice, few ever go beyond 400 for a syrup like look.

    Cut way back, on the finish!
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankb View Post
    The barrel is shinier than the receiver now. I went down to #600 wet/dry sandpaper and then used 0000 steel wool. It doen't look bad, but I was trying to match the almost black receiver. How long did you leave the blue to react. I left it on 1 to 2 minutes between coats. I'll try heat.
    If that doesn't work, you might try rust bluing with Laurel Mountain Forge browner and degreaser. Instructions and descriptions are here. It's dirt easy and might match your color needs really well. In my experience it is a lot "blacker" than any other bluing product I've tried. It's also one of the toughest finishes I've ever used.

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    I imagine the bead blasting kit would work better than sand paper if you are willing to spend on it. I have tried some hand sanding and did Duracoat, Oxph and Pilks. The Duracoat worked out very well with procedures but overall appearance is lacking in the Pilks and the Oxpho is not as resilient as I would of hoped for.

    Brown Bear, I too may have to just try out Laurels, I emailed the fella over there and he mentions shipping is not a problem like Gun Goddess.

    I won't give up. I have only one firearm that is rust blued with Pilks and it is that Rem. Model 30 .30 Remington - beautiful piece of work when done correctly.

    just a sunday morning-heading into town today and getting a molar worked on tomorrow, get some powder over at Sportsmans. I just wonder in Fbks. who might have Laurels handy for sale?

    this is always a good topic. Frankb don't give up you will eventually get it right.

    regards,

  7. #7

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    I warmed up the barrel with a hair dryer and applied 25 more coates of Oxph-Blue to the barrel. I used acetone instead of rubbing alcohol to degrease. The barrel is now the right color. I also used cotton balls to apply the blue instead of 0000 steel wool.
    I carded with blue jean material on most coates and occasionally used 0000. The color is not perfectly even, but it is the right color. I must have been removing too much blue with the steel wool before.

  8. #8

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    The next time I do this I may try Laurel Mt. Forge rust/blue or Mark Lee Express #1 Blue & Brown. Brownells recommends it. Dunking the metal in boiling water is required for these, but I hear the surface is very tuff when you finish. The Oxpho-Blue wasn't bad for a quick job for a person on a budget.

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    With the MARK LEE, I've gone to using a wire wheel to remove the soft rust on a slow speed motor (VFD motor). You will love the way it slings mud in your shop. I haven't used a sweat box and nasty old sulfuric acid since I tried MARK LEE.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  10. #10

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    Would 0000 steel wool do the same thing for rust removal or is it too harsh when using Mark Lee Express? Do you use wood plugs for the barrel when submerging in boiling water? Does it work ok to submerge the receiver attached to the barrel to get an even color match?
    Last edited by Frankb; 07-29-2008 at 11:26. Reason: Spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankb View Post
    Would 0000 steel wool do the same thing for rust removal or is it too harsh when using Mark Lee Express? Do you use wood plugs for the barrel when submerging in boiling water? Does it work ok to submerge the receiver attached to the barrel to get an even color match?

    As I said above I use a wire wheel on a VFD motor, no I do not plug the barrel. No reason to plug. The barrel is only going into my rain water tank to soften the rust so when wet will wire wheel off easier. Yes 0000 steel wool works fine (use it wet) I forgot to mention that you need to de-grease the steel wool. I put acetone in a can and clean it out side behind the shop.

    Yes it's best to keep the barrel and receiver together. Don't try to do them separately.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  12. #12

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    I've never used Express Blue #1 before. Maybe you could answer some questions. Do you submerge the rusted barrel and receiver in boiling water to turn them black? Do I need to degrease the inside of the rifle too? If I have a 320 or 400 sanded surface is that ok or is blasting a requirement? Can I use a PVC trough with boiling water poured in like Laurel Mt Forge recommends or do I need a metal trough with a heater?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankb View Post
    I've never used Express Blue #1 before. Maybe you could answer some questions. Do you submerge the rusted barrel and receiver in boiling water to turn them black? Do I need to degrease the inside of the rifle too? If I have a 320 or 400 sanded surface is that ok or is blasting a requirement? Can I use a PVC trough with boiling water poured in like Laurel Mt Forge recommends or do I need a metal trough with a heater?
    What I use is not necessarily what you need to do the job. I already had a stainless tank, stand and gas pipe on hand, I run off of a hundred pound propane tank. This is all left over from the days when I was doing the sweat box and sulfuric acid rust bluing. I used to boil water off of the hot plate in a steam kettle and pipe it into the sweat box. This is the original way that WINCHESTER did the process. So that was the way I did it until the MARK LEE. Now I just follow the directions that came with the 16 oz bottle.

    Look on the web for MARK LEE SUPPLIES 9901 France Court Lakeville, WI 55044. Or call Brownells and talk to Tech support. I know there are more and different ways of doing this job. I just had this stuff on hand. This does as nice a job as the other way, faster, safer and you don't have to go to NAPA to buy acid.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  14. #14

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    Grizz106, did you use Lauer Duracoat? I might want to use a spray on coat in the future. I was also considering Wheeler Engineering Cerama-Coat. Both are sold by Midway USA. Did you blast finish the metal or just sand it?

  15. #15

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    If I use the Mark Lee Express brown as I understand it I wont need to use boiling water. Does the brown have any blue in it? Does it look like heat treated or case hardened steel, or does it look like brown rusty metal? I need something that looks ok with a black synthetic stock. I would use the Express # 1 Blue, but I don't have a metal tank or a burner to put under it. I sanded the blue job down again in an effort to remove a streak. I'm out of Oxpho-Blue, so this might be a good time to try something with more protective power. Do I have to blast the steel with with Mark Lee?
    Last edited by Frankb; 08-02-2008 at 20:34. Reason: Spelling

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankb View Post
    If I use the Mark Lee Express brown as I understand it I wont need to use boiling water. Does the brown have any blue in it? Does it look like heat treated or case hardened steel, or does it look like brown rusty metal? I need something that looks ok with a black synthetic stock. I would use the Express # 1 Blue, but I don't have a metal tank or a burner to put under it. I sanded the blue job down again in an effort to remove a streak. I'm out of Oxpho-Blue, so this might be a good time to try something with more protective power. Do I have to blast the steel with with Mark Lee?
    I said over and over you don't need a tank of water and burner to use the MARK LEE # 1 Blue. You do not need to sand blast, unless you want a dull finish like Parkerizing.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  17. #17

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    I didn't realize that Express #1 blue didn't need boiling water to make it turn black. Brownells tech seemed to think it did. He also seemed to be in a hurry and didn't tell me the process. I was unable to get directions on their site. So you just heat the steel and put the blue on and card and kill with water? What color does the brown come out? Is it mottled or what? I know the Blue #1 would be good.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frankb View Post
    I didn't realize that Express #1 blue didn't need boiling water to make it turn black. Brownells tech seemed to think it did. He also seemed to be in a hurry and didn't tell me the process. I was unable to get directions on their site. So you just heat the steel and put the blue on and card and kill with water? What color does the brown come out? Is it mottled or what? I know the Blue #1 would be good.

    I have no idea about the brown? What you want to do with the boiling water you pour over the work piece is let it stand until the rust layer shows up nice and even and then card it off. When my friend put me on to this stuff, he sent me my first bottle and told me over the phone how he did it. He was after making the process simple. He has the same gear I have for rust bluing and wanted to make for a faster process. He doesn't use any more than just hot water from his hot water heater and a hose with a spray nozzle in the sink in his shop. I don't have a hot water heater or a sink in my shop, but I do have a tank and stand and a 100 lbs tank of propane. With all the rain we have been having my plastic trash cans are full. I'm good for the winter.

    I think once you figure out what you have on hand you will make do just fine. It's all comes down to how you make it work for you.
    "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tryants." (Thomas Jefferson

  19. #19

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    Thanks for the information everyone. This should be a good reference for future bluers.

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