Rust Bluing

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by modwerdna, Oct 29, 2013.

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  1. modwerdna

    modwerdna Member

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    I am getting ready to try some old fashioned rust bluing on a couple of recent barrel projects. I have done a lot of research, and easiest safest technique I have found goes like this:

    1- heat on a hotplate in a not important pan enough hydrogen peroxide to immerse my barrel.

    2- when almost boiling add as much salt as will dissolve.

    3- bring back to almost boiling, immerse decreased barrel (after plugging and greasing bore to protect it) and brush

    4- after rusted- card to remove loose, and repeat #3 and 4 until covered in rust

    5- Boil in distilled h2o and card until rust turns into blue, repeat until satisfied

    anybody try this yet? and how did it go, advice?
    Thanks
     
  2. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    I haven't done this, however my brother just did a CZ pistol with good results. He used brownell's rust blue. I think he basically applied the bluing and boiled the parts multiple times.
     
  3. Gun Master

    Gun Master Member

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    Ergo, the term "Browning".:)
     
  4. modwerdna

    modwerdna Member

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    Brown or Blue!

    Browning is ok too, I have seen some photos of the transformation it makes in boiling water, brown or blue is ok.
     
  5. modwerdna

    modwerdna Member

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    did he immerse?

    carbine85, did he immerse it or just brush the solution on?
     
  6. desidog

    desidog Member

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    If you're OK with browning instead of bluing, take a look at Laurel Mountain Forge's Browning solution. It is a lot easier to work with than the process you outlined in the OP.
     
  7. bronco_buster

    bronco_buster Member

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    I've used the Laurel Mountain Forge Barrel Brown and Degreaser for rust bluing. It's great stuff, the cleanser part means you don't have to fear fingerprints and oils in your skin ruining the finish. Produced a great finish on my FAL topcover. I actually dropped the cover on concrete and not so much as a scratch. It's been slid on and off several times, and as of yet, has not been rubbed down to bare metal like parked covers. My prep was also less than stellar...I don't own a sand blaster, so I hand sanded and steel wooled it. Turned out way, way better than I anticipated...and has the best color and uniformity of all my covers.

    Never heard of using peroxide before, you using 3%??
     
  8. loose noose

    loose noose Member

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    I also used Laurel Mountain Forge Browning solution on several Black Powder rifles and pistols and really appreciated the finished product. It really is a simple process, and so far a superior finish. I do believe you can also use the same solution for bluing the steel on a firearm.
     
  9. 44-henry

    44-henry Member

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    I have no idea how the process you are describing would work, but a true rust blue simply involves a controlled rusting (browning) followed by boiling in clean water, card, and repeat. Their is a process called Belgium Blueing that you can do entirely on the stovetop and it is much quicker, but the blue isn't as durable as a cold rust blue. Essentially anything that will cause rust can be used for rust blues, but some formulas work better than others.

    I have made my own chemical mixtures before, but it is easier (and less expensive) to just buy a commercial solution when you need to.
     
  10. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    As I understand it after the prep work he simply applied the blue, boiler the parts and carded. He did this several times
     
  11. Mousegun

    Mousegun Member

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    What is "card"?
     
  12. morcey2

    morcey2 Member

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    "Carding" is using steel wool, a very fine steel brush, or something like patches of denim to remove the loose layer of rust during bluing or browning.

    Matt
     
  13. DoubleMag

    DoubleMag Member

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    I would like to see pictures of anyone's finished project :)
     
  14. 4v50 Gary

    4v50 Gary Moderator Staff Member

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    You might also want to look into express bluing. It's very durable.
     
  15. LAGS

    LAGS Member

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    Slow Rust Bluing and Browning are simmilar but different.
    The rusting and Boiling in Distilled water turns the Red Oxcide rust to Black Oxcide in slow rust Bluing.
    Browning leaves the red oxcide in the brown form and not black.
    I do Slow Rust Bluing on all of my custom rifles since once itis in the Black Oxcide form, the metal will not rust unless scratched back to bare metal.
     
  16. solman

    solman Member

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    Wouldn't the plugs blow out of the barrel when you immerse in the hot water?
     
  17. LAGS

    LAGS Member

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    @ Solman
    The plugs could Blow out from the heat.
    But if you warm the barrel first, then insert the plugs there won't be such a pressure differance.
    When you do the Slow Rusting using Acid Applied to the parts, the barrel plugging is not needed, since the parts will only rust where the Acid is applied.
    But with the peroxcide /Salt method, you have to emerse the parts in the hot solution, and anything that is touched by the mixture will rust Big Time.
    The whole trick to all bluing is to clean and de- grease all the metal.
    You can not even touch the parts with your bare hands or it will spoil your bluing.
     
  18. solman

    solman Member

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    Thanks Lags.
    Good information
     
  19. modwerdna

    modwerdna Member

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    Thanks

    Thanks for all the good advice, I was concerned about the immerse thing my self, especially on a long barrel, a 14" pistol barrel is one thing, but a 26" tube.....so I guess I will look for the brush on formula, last thing I want to do is rust up a recently polished 6.5 mm bore!
     
  20. jalex1941

    jalex1941 Member

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    What I did to brown my colt navy was I polished the parts to a mirror finish, degreased them with isopropyl alcohol, and heated them up till with a propane torch while checking the temperature with a laser thermometer. It turned out great for my first time browning.

    Here is a link with pictures of the pistol. http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=731951
     
  21. LAGS

    LAGS Member

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    @ Modwerdna
    What you refer to as the Brush on Method, is really a Wipe on method, as you apply the Bluing Acid with a cotton ball, and it is only DAMP with the acid.
    This is the slow rust method, and takes several hours to overnight to see the metal fully rust.
    Also, it works best if the metal is Polished, then Bead blasted or lightly sandblasted.
    The rust bluing does not produce a Deep Shiney mirror finish , no matter how much you polish the metal.
    The rusting is actually pitting into the metal like a fine Patina then is converted to the Black Oxide finish by Boiling.
    But after each Boiling, it is important that you run a brush thru your bore and dry it out with a dry patch.
    Any water left to Air dry on metal will rust.
    But since the distilled water contains no minerals, the rusting is less than with tap water.
    You have to degrease your parts with Acetone, then apply the acid, then wait for the rusting, then boil in DISTILLED Water and then when air dry, buff off the blackened rust oxide powder,
    Then you start all over again for 5 to 10 times.
    One BIG mistake a lot of people make is not cleaning their steel wool before they Card or lightly buff off the oxide.
    Steel wool contains oil to keep it from rusting.
    Clean your steel wool in acetone before it ever gets near your Bluing set up.
    Oil is not your friend.
     
  22. LAGS

    LAGS Member

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    BTW
    You need to use a steel tank to boil your parts in, Not Aluminum
    Bluing tanks can be made locally at a sheet metal shop out of cold rolled 16 or18 ga steel, Not Galvanized steel, or purchased from Midway or Brownells.

    The Boiling process works by the distilled water containing no minerals, when boiled releases the Oxygen in the water.
    The oxygen being released sucks out the oxygen in the rust turning it Black.
    Boil for 20 to 30 minutes.
     
  23. carbine85

    carbine85 Member

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    I had 2 small tanks made locally from stainless steel. They where around $35.00 each. I also have a stainless buffet serving pan that I can use for small parts. I've used them for parkerizing.
     
  24. Vodoun da Vinci

    Vodoun da Vinci Member

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    Used to make a lot of Japanese style swords, knives, and hardware like guards and handle fittings....I developed a process of rust bluing using hydrogen peroxide and table salt to flash rust and then boiled in distilled water to make it black. Basically a quick version of the old cold rust blue.

    Fujihardware_F_zpscb566cbe.jpg

    Looks like this and is very durable and more black than blue depending on the exact chemical composition of the steel. These steel (actually electrolytic iron) fittings were rough textured but I have done this on polished blades and steel and it looks awesome. Always have wanted to do it on a firearm but never had the occasion.

    VooDoo
     
  25. LAGS

    LAGS Member

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    @ Carbine 85
    Stainless steel tanks work also.
     
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