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High gloss Bluing. (what formula?)

Discussion in 'Handguns: Autoloaders' started by Thompsoncustom, Apr 6, 2013.

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  1. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    I was wondering if anyone knew the Salts or Formula used in High gloss bluing?

    I understand that the gloss comes from the metal prep done before hand but the solution has to be a non caustic one to not remove any of the polishing right?



    I just got done polishing a Magazine up and Hot bluing it in Potassium Nitrate and it turned out great except for the gloss part. The Nitrate mush have removed some of the polish to the metal as it's not as glossy as I would have hoped instead of being a High gloss finish it's more of a Semi-gloss.

    So to any of you Pro's or DYIer's out there what is a better bluing solution?
     
  2. dfariswheel

    dfariswheel Member

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    As you know, the level of gloss is entirely determined by the level of polish before the bluing operation.

    I'm no chemist, so I don't know why the level of gloss dropped, but it's probably because of the chemicals you used.
    Modern hot salts bluing chemicals certainly are caustic and dangerous to work with.
    The chemicals are so caustic, bluing has to be done in a separate room or outside under a cover to prevent the fumes from rusting any metal fixtures in the room.
    Spill a drop on a shoe and it'll eat right through it.

    Commercial bluing chemicals won't affect the metal polish.
    I'd suggest using commercial bluing chemicals from Brownell's. That insures pure chemicals that are specifically formulated for bluing and will give a more uniform finish.
     
  3. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    I use Brownell's Oxynate 7 bluing salts with great success. High polished parts in,shiney blued parts out.
     
  4. Hurryin' Hoosier

    Hurryin' Hoosier Member

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    My formula is to send the gun to Fogle's Gunsmithing in West Mansfield, Ohio. :D
     
  5. Drail

    Drail Member

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    The days of high polish blue are all but gone because of the labor costs. Working down something like a revolver frame on felt wheels without making it look like a Clark Meltdown 1911 is a skill that require years of practice and I believe that the number of guys who can appreciate a fine high polish blue have dwindled down to a very small minority. I am proud to be in that minority.
     
  6. Stringfellow

    Stringfellow Member

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    +1. It is hard to get a good, deep, high polished blue on a poly frame.
     
  7. tarosean

    tarosean Member

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    Hey, Krylon has this new shiny Fusion paint... :)
     
  8. Mr.Revolverguy

    Mr.Revolverguy Member

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    Fogles Gunsmithing, I am glad I live not far away as they are great people and do fantastic work.
     
  9. ku4hx

    ku4hx Member

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    The products MSDS will give you a wealth of technical data. What it won't do is reveal trade secrets, but most bluing compounds aren't very secretive any longer.
     
  10. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    I to think it's a beautiful lost art and would like to learn it before it is lost forever.

    The more I think about it I think my problem came from a mix of the Mag and the polish level. When I work on internal parts they become a high gloss chrome like shine at 3000grit and with the mag not only could I not remove some of what I believe are casting mark but at 3000grit it didn't look flawless and the 3000grit left marks which in it self is weird.

    I think it's time to set up my bench grinder with a few different wheels and compounds and maybe redo my father's old black powder pistol I think it has rust on it (not my gun) if I remember right so it's gonna be a job but a mix of better metal to start with and better wheels and polish I'll get there eventually .
     
  11. Drail

    Drail Member

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    Thompsoncustom, I LOVE your Glock definition. So true.
     
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    At such a fine grit, any metal particles picked up in the wheel will make very noticeable scratches in the work.

    Oddly enough, and in spite of what some have written, a very shiny gun usually doesn't look that good. Factories rarely use superfine grit, usually going for around 600, with 1000 tops. And they use hard wheels, shaped to specific parts, not general purpose felt wheels, which will round corners and blur markings.

    Jim
     
  13. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    I like the way the Colt pythons in gloss blue look and I would say there nice and shiny.

    lol thanks. I have a glock 17 tho it's less then stellar. There is just something that real steel has that pastic will never be able to replace. My carry Gun is a CZ 75b and out shoots my glock in ever way.

    Also anyone here do any sand blasting or more specific bake soda blasting. I think that might be a better way to remove old finishes than using a course sand paper to start with.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  14. nelsonal

    nelsonal Member

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    If I wanted to get a glossy blue today, I'd probably do whatever blue I was planning (I'm partial to a rust blue personally) and then cover the metal with many coats of wax or drying oil and polish the wax or oil to a mirror shine.
    Like Jim, I've also heard that for bluing you don't want a mirror surface, but the reasoning was that to get blue there needed to enough variation in the surface to cause diffraction.
     
  15. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    Colt back when they did royal bluing even used Wooden wheel with leather around them. Read an article about a guy that work at colt back in the 50's and 8 months of his training was learning how to polish.

    I guess I'm looking for more of a finish like colts Royal blue than anything else.

    Stolen from the web:
    pythonblue4.jpg
    coltROYALblue.jpg
    Royal01911a.jpg
     
  16. Deer_Freak

    Deer_Freak Member.

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    I don't know why people try bluing at home when most manufacturers will restore your gun to like new condition for $100 or so. Well, I can understand if it is a CZ. The chezchs make some good shooters but they can't finish anything.
     
  17. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    Well a good Royal blue runs about 300-350 bucks but the best part of doing it at home is I can just redo it any time I fell the need.

    Hot bluing in itself is pretty easy and anyone could do it, I think it just gets harder the high gloss finish you go for.
     
  18. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    You obviously haven't seen or owned a high-gloss blue CZ. They are still available, but cost a good bit more. (The Custom Shop can order them for you.) I've had several, over the years. They look almost as dark and as glossy as the Colt Royal Blue.

    High gloss blued guns are beautiful, but hard to keep that way. I like to USE my guns, and high use and high-gloss blue seem to work against each other.

    The standard CZ (75B) in polycoat isn't polished a lot, is then given a coat of Manganese Phosphate, and then polycoated. It's not beautiful, but it sure is durable.
     
    Last edited: Apr 8, 2013
  19. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Really, pretty nasty stuff, and you should have very good ventilation, and keep the fumes away from other metal, etc. I haven't done it, but have been around others who have; I think the leftovers can be pretty caustic, and the local environmental folks might get on your case if they find out you're doing it. Getting rid of waste materials might be a concern. Brownells could give you all the info anyone needs, however, as well as the tubs/vats, etc., needed.

    Polish up the gun, wear gloves, keep fingerprints off of it, and let a commercial shop blue it for you.

    And no, it's not harder if you're going for high gloss -- you just have to spend more time prepping (polishing) before hand.
     
  20. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    That's what bluing neutralizer is for.
    Yes,high polish is much harder and more labor intensive.
    I have for the past 35 years or so(just ordered another 40#s of Oxynate 7 today,on sale for $129.00 plus haz-mat and shipping).
     
  21. Walt Sherrill

    Walt Sherrill Member

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    Agree on all of your responding points -- except that he wrote that HOT BLUING was more difficult when doing the high gloss My point was that it was the polishing and prep that was more difficult, not the hot bluing process. And, even when neutralized, aren't the hot bluing wastes considered an environmental issue in most areas?

    As others have noted, it takes a deft hand to polish well without degrading underlying markings or rounding sharp edges, etc.

    Because of the materials involved, the issues about safety, and wastes that must be disposed of or properly handled, etc., I would argue that hot bluing is not really a good gun-related "hobby" project.
     
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2013
  22. jimmyraythomason

    jimmyraythomason Member

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    We are 100% in agreement there.
    Once Properly neutralized,salts are no longer caustic in any way. Brownell's
    states that it is safe to pour down the drain.(That's not to say that some nanny states or communities may have specific rules concerning the disposal of salts).
     
  23. rehorne

    rehorne Member

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    Back in the 60's 70's and 80's when my Dad and I were in the business full time we used home made buleing salts. 20 1 lb cans of red devil lye and 5 of the lye cans full of nitrate of soda ( got that at the local feed and seed store). added enough water to bring the soultion to a boil at 290 degrees F.

    The key to a high polish finish was the polishing process. We finished with jewlers rouge on a cotton wheel. Then donned clean gloves and degreased all of the parts and hung them on wire and put them in the tank for a min of a half hour while keeping the temp at 290. Then the parts were put in a boiling water bath and then transfered to an oil bath for approx 36 hrs to kill the blueing salts.

    Do not put any brass, aluminium or cast metal in this salt mix, they will disappear and contaminate the salts.

    Still the key is the polishing and degreasing process.
    I still do this on a limited basis.
     
  24. Thompsoncustom

    Thompsoncustom Member

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    I guess I could have worded this better. But I did mean harder because of the labor involved not the actual bluing process. My Bad.

    Not really worried about environmental issue as KNO3 was/ maybe is used in black powder. So I figure I could always just burn it or grind it back up and make some black powder again.
     
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