Oxpho-Blue: What am I doing wrong?


May 13, 2007, 10:53 PM
I bought a little bottle of Oxpho-Blue from Brownell's and tried it out tonight. I did what the instructions said: rub it down with a cotton patch until it changes colors.

I did it for a few minutes and nothing happened. When a little didn't do anything, I applied even more. The cotton patch was somewhat soaked to a point it was dripping. Do I need to wait longer, or am I doing something else wrong?

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Jim K
May 13, 2007, 10:59 PM
You don't say what you tried it on. It won't work on stainless steel or most aluminum alloys.

On ordinary steel, the surface must be completely clean and free of all oil and grease, and prepared with steel wool. It helps to heat the surface so it is warm, but not hot.

No cold blue will give the same results as hot tank blue, being less durable and generally not as even and consistent. It will do for a quick touchup, or to cover, like charity, "sins", such as scratches and messed up screws.


Jorg Nysgerrig
May 13, 2007, 11:03 PM
My guess is that if you were using it on the right kind of steel, it wasn't properly degreased before you tried to blue it.

May 13, 2007, 11:03 PM
The inside of an AR lower and the outside of an old Wingmaster Barrel. Same lack of results with both.

Harry Paget Flashman
May 13, 2007, 11:08 PM
See these links: www.gunsandammomag.com/techside/blue_0515/


Jorg Nysgerrig
May 13, 2007, 11:13 PM
Well, there's part of your problem. Most AR15 lowers are aluminum.

May 13, 2007, 11:56 PM
For the AR you might try something like AlumaBlack.

I don't know why the Oxpho-Blue would have a problem with the wingmaster barrel, maybe an unusual steel?

I've had good luck with Oxpho-Blue. I find it works well if you heat the piece a bit with a heat gun, and then rub in the Oxpho-Blue with extra fine steel wool (make sure your steel wool isn't oily). More coats gives a deeper and more even finish.

May 14, 2007, 06:07 AM
I may be mistaken, but wasn't the old Wingmaster the shotgun with the glass fiber wrapped barrel?

May 14, 2007, 08:14 AM
Firehand - The shotgun with the fiberglass barrel was the Winchester Model 59. Wingmasters (AFAIK) have always been steel.

May 14, 2007, 09:03 AM
I have found cotton balls are not the best thing to apply cold blues.
Another tip:
Don't pour or dip the cold blue directly from the bottle with your applicator, Oxpho-Blue needs to be exposed to air to begin the chemical process and you will contaminate the whole bottle by dipping directly from the bottle and it won't work at all if you dip and redip directly from the bottle.
Go buy a small glass bowel like a salt cellar and dip your cold blue from it.

First polish the metal with 0000 steel wool.
Pour some Oxpho-Blue in your glass container and let it breathe a bit while you are doing this.
Degrease with lighter fluid and a clean white paper towel, let the excess degreaser air dry.
Use another plain white paper towel folded so you have something that looks like a paintbrush.
Start with a very light application of the Oxpho-Blue, just wipe it on and let it set for about 30 seconds, Don't rub it.
Redip your applicator a little wetter and reapply, dab it on, let it sit for thirty seconds and then lightly polish the metal with a clean paper towel.
Keep doing this using progressively wetter applicators, you should begin to see some color after about four applications and it may take eight or more before you get to a color you want.
Do not use steel wool between coats you will just buff the color off before it sets up.
Once you get the color you want wipe the surface dry with a clean paper towel and oil with plain old 3in1 oil, let this sit for at least 24 hours, the cold blue will set up and become durable in this time.
You may now lightly polish with the 0000 steel wool to obtain the luster you want.

I have been using Oxpho-Blue for touch up work since the stuff first came out and this technique has always worked and produced a durable finish.

Birchwood Casey Aluma-Black is what you want for the AR receiver innards and the technique works exactly the same with this stuff too. HTH

May 14, 2007, 09:22 AM
I've used the kit from walmart before to blue my 1911 a few times. It comes with three bottles. First is a cleaner, second is a blue and rust remover, third is a bluing agent.

You've gotta use that blue remover first if you want a good blue. Unless the metal is BARE you don't get any kinda bluing on it.

Robert Hairless
May 14, 2007, 11:04 AM
More forgiving than Oxpho Blue is Kleen-Bore Black Magic (http://secure.armorholdings.com/kleen-bore/product172.html). Proper preparation is still important and, like Oxpho Blue, it is for iron and steel. It works quickly and gives an instant black.

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