Random Question Of The Day........

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by msmp5, Jun 8, 2021.

  1. msmp5

    msmp5 Member

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    I have gotten in the habit of documenting my firearms with pictures. On some of the blued and parkerized guns, the pics often do not come out well when taken in my usual manner .... on my iPad. So I typically rub a bit of chalk into the serial number so that it stands out better in the pics (as well as to my aging eyes). Does anyone know if using chalk in this manner has any potentially harmful effects on the metal? I'm kinda wondering if it has moisture in it, and over time - in long term storage in my safe - if might cause rust right on/in the serial numbers? I don't usually worry too much about moisture in my safe, the humidity inside it runs right around 16% year round..... I'm guessing that is a pretty good number for guns in storage? (I'm in the desert Southwest.) Any thoughts/comments on these issues from you very knowledgeable folks?
     
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  2. bersaguy

    bersaguy Member

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    White wax i think has always been the preferred material for the task you're describing. With the humidity in your area being what it is, probably not a huge deal, but if i were doing it, I'd probably use wax
     
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  3. mnrivrat

    mnrivrat Member

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    I have no definitive answer. I have never used chalk to highlight the SN for photo's. I general us white out. It is a good question however, but I would think more along the lines of the chalk being so dry it may draw moisture. My honest answer however has to be I simply don't know.
    I use white out because the solvent quickly dry's. Would a blast of air blow the chalk dust out of the SN indentations ?
     
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  4. JTHunter

    JTHunter Member

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    Try a white crayon. It won't draw moisture like chalk which might blow out or drop out of the impressions and the White-Out with solvent (IF you can find it !) might damage the bluing on the gun.
     
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  5. PWC

    PWC Member

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    White wax china marking pencil, the ones with the string down the side to "sharpen" it as the tip wears away.

    Hair dryer to heat firearm, then rub marker into markings, let cool then buff with smooth cloth like a T shirt. Repeat as necessary.
     
  6. Riomouse911

    Riomouse911 Member

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    If you only want to highlight the serial number or model information for pictures then the chalk is a good idea. Chalk it, photo it, use compressed air to blow it out then wipe down with the oily rag and it’s back to looking like it did before. :)

    If it is a more permanent want, the wax crayon will stay in the grooves far longer.

    Stay safe.
     
  7. Odd Job

    Odd Job Moderator Staff Member

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    If that was me I would also go for a wax pencil.
     
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  8. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    The stuff in the box labeled "chalk" at your local junk'n'stuff store isn't, but it's a synthetic substitute that's good enough if you have a fake chalkboard. For real slate chalkboards, use real chalk.

    In either case, consider that it's a very mild abrasive, but not hygroscopic, or it would go bad with exposure to air. That or white grease or wax pencil should work fine.

    To remove, a toothbrush is perfect. Be sure to clean your wife's toothbrush afterward.
     
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  9. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    If you turn off the flash, and have an assistant hold the gun just right in a well lit room, you can use the glare from the ambient light to highlight the markings naturally.

    Alternatively, you can use a desk lamp with a flexible stalk to accomplish the same thing by moving the light until the glare is directly on the markings
    Either way, good luck!
     
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  10. WheelGunMan

    WheelGunMan Member

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    If your reason for using chalk is to record a serial number for posterity then use a toothbrush, preferably an old one, and some solvent to remove it when you're done.
     
  11. JCooperfan1911

    JCooperfan1911 Member

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    You can use white marine epoxy for a permanent result. I do this on many of the military surplus rifles I own. Let’s my aging eyes better see serial numbers and markings for book keeping purposes and photos.
     
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  12. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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  13. Pat Riot
    • Contributing Member

    Pat Riot Contributing Member

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    Why not just brush or blow the chalk out after taking the photo? It’s not like the serial number needs to be seen.
     
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  14. Ironicaintit

    Ironicaintit Member

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    I think chalk’s a good idea because it’s be so easy to remove once finished.

    compressed air, maybe a nylon brush to help the stubborn bits, and you’re done.

    I’d only use wax (bright colored crayon) if you want it to stick around. I do that with engine timing marks
     
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  15. Demi-human

    Demi-human Member

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    A few of my ARs came without color fill in the emblems or lettering.
    The cheapskate I am, I raided the kids crayons!
    Much to my surprise, the “cheapie” Rose Art crayons work better than Crayola crayons! For color filling firearms anyway…:D
    Still there seven years later, still looking great, and a hairdryer can take it out.:thumbup:

    Good side lighting can help raise contrast on an imprint for a picture, if any other solution is not available. With the awesome LED lights nowadays a little flashlight scotch taped just right can “shed some light on the subject”, literally.:)
     
  16. hps1

    hps1 Member

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  17. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

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    I take pics of my firearms' serial numbers with my iPad, too, and haven't any problems getting a clear and legible pic of the s/n - the trick is in placing the firearm so the ambient light reflects off the s/n, which results in highlighting the edges of the engraving. Here's one example of using the technique:
    random s:n.JPG
    You can see how the edges of the digits are lit by the reflected light. That gives them better definition.
     
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