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Pietta in the white - how?

Discussion in 'Blackpowder' started by Mictlanero, Jan 26, 2013.

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  1. Mictlanero

    Mictlanero Member

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    Interested in getting a nickel-like look on a Pietta without plating.

    So i read on this forum some posts about people putting piettas in the white by soaking them in vinegar for 30 mins - and that this may lighten the 'case hardening' but not entirely.

    How does it affect the case hardening?

    What is the best way to achieve a nickel-like look?

    Does this require polishing and how is the best way to do it?

    I also read something about Mother's polish - is this the best to use?

    --- Finally, does anyone have a pic of a Pietta they put in the white? - I would like to see how it looks before I do something i later regret :eek:


    Thanks for your help
     
  2. BHP FAN

    BHP FAN Member

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    swap yours for a nickle or stainless revolver.
     
  3. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    Soaking a gun in vinegar should not affect the hardness in a case hardened finished. Heat is what affects hardening.
     
  4. Busyhands94

    Busyhands94 Member

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    I put together a Pietta Remington New Model Army, the frame and barrel were different shades of blue. The frame was blued as nice as a mint Smith & Wesson revolver, and the barrel had a major patina. It looked good, I'll get a picture up tomorrow of it. I soaked it in vinegar then cleaned it with 0000 steel wool. :)
     
  5. StrawHat

    StrawHat Member

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    Very few modern "case hardened" frames are actually hardened. Most of what is called case h ardened should really be called case colored. It is a finish, not unlike bluing or browning that is achieved chemically.
     
  6. Hoppy

    Hoppy Member

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    You can buy an electroless nickel finishing kit. Caswell plating carries it. Not cheap. The small kit is $109, but I think it would do a revolver. I plan on trying it on an old Springfield model 84 rifle that I have. I have a Kahr with electroless nickel and it is a nice finish.

    Eta it isn't polished nickel finish, not sure if that's the look you meant.
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2013
  7. Loyalist Dave

    Loyalist Dave Member

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    actually, after removing the blue, you can use mustard, yep the condiment, to give your metal surfaces an antique look. NO not shiny like nickel, but you are going to be polishing dude if you're going to maintain a polished nickle like finish on bare steel (imho). The mustard is applied in a thin layer with your fingers, and allowed to dry and go hard and brown. Then water and a toothbrush are used to remove it. It will stain the metal similar to browning or bluing, but you can then apply some steel wool. You can do it once or several times until you get the desired effect. Then rinse with some baking soda and water solution, then rinse with hot water, dry and oil. You can get a gunmetal gray finish with some darker areas and that faint brownish tint, that you see in some actual antiques. Plus the mustard is cheap and non-toxic. You can do the same to a carbon steel knife blade to age it as well.

    LD
     
  8. CraigC
    • Contributing Member

    CraigC Member

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    Have it nickel plated. Sounds sarcastic but you'll kill yourself trying to keep a "white" finish looking like bright nickel. Especially on a blackpowder gun. Unless you never handle or shoot it.
     
  9. unknwn

    unknwn Member

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    Take previous advice about getting a gun that is already finished that way from the factory.
    You will take a sizable chance at severely damaging a gun by attempting to polish it to your desire, Flat areas, corners, and markings can and will suffer hollowing, rounding,and other undesirable problems from the polishing methods used.
     
  10. 4speed

    4speed Member

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  11. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    Why not a dura coat finish cost about $20 plus the clear. They do all the AR types and seems to hold up for them.
     
  12. Mictlanero

    Mictlanero Member

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    hey thanks! i am now thinking i will definitely not do this to get a very shiny finish -- perhaps to get a kind of patina - aged look but i am better off getting nickel or stainless on a different pistol.
     
  13. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    You can get a nice aged patina look by dunking it (disassembled) into vinegar.
     
  14. Mictlanero

    Mictlanero Member

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    Does anyone have a pic of how an vinegar treated pistol looks? Also, what do you do to preserve it once you do this - so it does not keep on oxidizing - is this where some use the Mother's polish?
     
  15. 4speed

    4speed Member

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    I have a 3rd Gen Walker that apparently has been stripped and polished. I say apparently because I don't believe Colt ever sold a modern stainless Walker.
    I have no idea who did it. It is an engraved gun so quite likely the engraver did it. I don't think it has been plated but it has been polished to a very high shine. I just wipe it off every week or so with a silicone cloth. It is a very attractive finish and I have been thinking of doing another gun in a similar fashion. Getting a gun re-blued around here runs around $150.00 or so, and since they have to strip the original finish off to do it, I think I just might get a price on just the strip and polish part and let a pro do it. I would think that might be somewhat cheaper. ;)

    Now my gun is a safe queen so it does not require bluing or paint to protect it from the elements. A gun that is fired & cleaned frequently may not fare so well.
     
  16. TomADC

    TomADC Member

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    You end up with a grayest color, I rinsed mine with hot running water then a light coat of oil inside and out,

    Sorry not a good picture.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2013
  17. Malachi Leviticus Blue

    Malachi Leviticus Blue Member

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    I've heard that you could remove or lighten some of the case coloring with vinegar, however I wouldn't soak the case colored parts, or the grips for that matter, just the blued parts.
     
  18. Noz

    Noz Member

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    Vinegar simply removes the blue. Blue is a protective coating(rust) that prevents further formation of said rust. Remove the coat and the gun immediately attempts to form surface rust. It will continue to do so until you coat it with something.
    I did that and it was definitely more trouble than it was worth.
     
  19. Foto Joe

    Foto Joe Member

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    I've stripped a few guns and one I polished and left that way for few months. Eventually it went through a defarb and browning. You aren't going to hurt anything by stripping the bluing and personally I think the "in the white" has more character than the factory bluing on the Italian repros anyway. Depending upon the gun, vinegar might lighten the color case hardening but it will in no way affect the integrity of the metal.
     
  20. Logan5579

    Logan5579 Member

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    In the white...

    I stripped this one to bare metal about six years ago and have kept it in the white ever since. Stripped with vinegar and polished and polished and polished with 0000 steel wool to get a nice shiny finish. I always kept the gun lubed up with a mix of beexwax/olive oil/lard and it took a little bit of retouching with steel wool every now and then. You can keep steel shiny like this but you do have to be mindful and keep it lubed up and remember to check on it every so often to be sure surface rust isn't taking hold.
    [​IMG][/IMG]
    That said, I'm tired of the shiny look and am currently rust bluing this same gun to try to get a look similar to a gun that once belonged to my grandfather, was his EDC gun in the mining camp back in the 40's. The gun is an old smith & Wesson 32 cal that was probably made in the 20's or 30's and has a nice blue grey/black look to it. I'll post pics of the 58 when its done, IF it turns out decent enough to go out in public :p
     
  21. 4speed

    4speed Member

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    Logan that is one fine looking pistola. :)
     
  22. Smokepole14

    Smokepole14 Member

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    If you take the blue off with vinegar and put mustard on the gun to give it a patina. Will this keep it from rusting or will you have to keep it oiled really good. The bluing on my remmy is horrible and ugly. I was thinkin about antiquing it to look like a real 58 remmy.
     
  23. Mictlanero

    Mictlanero Member

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    wow, those are nice pistols - well, i have a lot to think about.

    Does anyone know what the Pietta finish "old silver" is? -- does it just mean "in the white"?
     
  24. Noz

    Noz Member

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    It is a finish that will not take blue or brown. I got one in a gunbroker deal and it immediately rusted on me. I have tried everything I can think of to give it some sort of protection to no avail. I'm going to try boiling it in a lye soap concoction to give it the Confederate black.
     
  25. buttrap

    buttrap Member

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    Polish and more polish. A lot of issue guns where done in the white and are fairly reastiant as the high polish was low work to keep up vs blue.
     
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