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Old November 26, 2010, 12:05 PM   #1
Buzzard Bait
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barrel bluing ?

I am wanting to re-blue a rem 1100 barrel that has rusted. I have sanded out the pits I started with 320 then 400 now 600 wet sanded with wd 40 the metal is now ready. The question is, it is a vent rib barrel and I was thinking of using Art's Belgium blue which involves putting the barrel in hot water, sub boiling temps but hot. I am thinking that the temps involved are safe for the solder that holds the rib to the barrel. Am I correct or am I risking desoldering the rib. I'm also open to other suggestions about other cold blues.
Thanks
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Old November 26, 2010, 01:25 PM   #2
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You will not melt silver solder with boiling water temperture.
The vent is attached to barrel then it is blued so you are GTO

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Old November 26, 2010, 07:10 PM   #3
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IIRC, Remington factory ribs are not soldered on, they are electric induction brazed. In any case, boiling water will not do any harm.

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Old November 26, 2010, 08:38 PM   #4
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Thanks Jim I thought some where solder.
To OP welded even better.
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Old November 27, 2010, 10:34 AM   #5
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Folks, not trying to Hi-Jack this post but rather, trying to find out more on the product mentioned. ..... Art's Belgium blue

I have tried more cold blues than I can recall and with limited success. I have see some very good cold blue jobs and when I sneak a wipe on the barrel, some of the blue always rubs off. I have plummed a few barrels that turned out quite well. What do Y'all thinkd of Art's Belgium blue? Thanks again ..


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Old November 27, 2010, 11:09 AM   #6
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Art's works , but for me Mark Lee Express Blue is much better finish and quicker to do.
My $.02
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Old November 27, 2010, 12:25 PM   #7
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After putting all that work into prepping the barrel, I wouldn't use any of the selenic acid-based (cold and warm) blues. The classic finish for a shotgun is rust bluing, and it isn't that hard to do. Just more time consuming, as it takes about a half-dozen cycles to get solid coverage and about a day per cycle so the rusting has time to occur. It involves suspending the work in boiling water to convert the red surface rust to black magnetite, then carding off the excess, which elbow grease and a degreased steel wool pad will do just fine. I've used the Pilkington formula Brownells sells with good success. I believe the Mark Lee Express Blue is also for rust bluing, and should be fine. I just haven't used it.

The only special advice I have is that you spend the $.50 a gallon to use distilled water. The conversion is inhibited by really hard water and water spots result from anything not distilled, deionized (more thoroughly than a regular water softener does), or run through a reverse osmosis machine.
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Old November 27, 2010, 05:56 PM   #8
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well Pahoo

I have not tried Art's Belgium blue yet. I have tried several other cold blues. For the most part I have had poor results. Brownells ospho blue seems to be the best for touching up a worn spot and blending it in to whats already there. I saw a blue job done on a older 22 rifle that was a rust blue (don't know what brand) and it was beautiful. I have learned along the way #1 is that surface prep is king what looks like a small blemish on the unblued metal looks like a large festering sore after the bluing is applied. Also most of the cold blues are pretty good at touching up a small area but when it comes to bluing a complete large area like a barrel or a receiver cold blue always left me with streaks or blotches or in some way an uneven finish. I have found that for darkening a small area like the muzzle of a rifle that has turned silver from rubbing the gun case and or the muzzle blast the 44 40 bluing is fast easy and will match well with the existing blue but it wears of easy too. I watched Midway's video and I'm going to try Art's Belgium blue probably while I'm off for the Christmas holidays on this barrel. I have hope that I'll get good results.
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Old November 27, 2010, 07:32 PM   #9
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Art's Belgium Blue is not a cold blue. It is an accelerated rust blue and is very durable. I did a Ruger Blackhawk and it came out very nice. If you use it, make sure that you only put enough bluing onto your cloth so no runs occur. It took me 9 coats to get the blue that I wanted. took probably about two hours.

I have another Blackhawk that I want to do and I am tempted to use Mark Lee's express blue because I have heard it is easier to use. You may want to consider that instead

The only thing that you may have a problem with is the 600 grit finish you have gotten the barrel down to. I think that the Belgium Blue needs a little bit of something to bite onto. Do a liitle research or call Brownell's to see for sure. The belgian blue leaves a nice satin finish and will be a very nice deep purple-blue color under bright light.
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Old November 29, 2010, 12:55 AM   #10
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For the average person doing rust bluing, pistols are no problem, but it is hard to find a tank that will take a barrel or barrelled action unless you buy a regular bluing tank from Brownells or have one made. With cook pots, only part of the barrel can be dipped at one time and the middle can't be dipped at all. A steam cabinet can work, but again, those take up room and are not worth building for a one time use.

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Old November 29, 2010, 01:40 AM   #11
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I'm planning to rust blue a barrel soon. I have never attempted it before. Do you think PVC pipe filled with boiling water will work in lieu of a tank? How long does the barrel need to boil? I have small quartz plating heaters that can be immersed, and can boil the water and heat the barrel before immersion.
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Old November 29, 2010, 11:24 AM   #12
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Quote:
Do you think PVC pipe filled with boiling water will work in lieu of a tank?
Took the words out of my mouth and I see that Midway sells a tank and has a fairly good video on the process. If you support the PVC, it will hold hot water but I'm wondering about the glue joints. Sure wouldn't take much for a S.M. shop to bend one up. I use to clean my M/L barrels with boiling hot water and basically pump the water up, from a heavy pan, with my Ramrod and it got the barrel plenty hot. Looks like another consideration is contamination and that is why they recommend distilled water. Also fabricating some kind of end holders so you don't touch the barrel. I'm working on my set-up to do another M/L barrel. Wish me luck and same to you. .....


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Old November 29, 2010, 11:50 AM   #13
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This all sounds really neat, but the OP asked what he could do to blue a Rem 1100 barrel that is already polished. Rust blue will not match the receiver, and sinking a couple hundred into rust bluing makes no sense.

Since it is already polished, find someone who does caustic bluing and have them dip it. It usually runs around $25 to dip the barrel, most of the cost (and almost all of the work) of bluing in in the prep work. Ask your local smith who runs bluing tanks.
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Old November 29, 2010, 02:57 PM   #14
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Scorch,

I think the mismatch is a given with the receiver finished at 600 grit and no polishing or buffing being done. But the cost of the boiling tank is a good point. Since I have one, I've never tried boiling a part one-end-at-a-time. I'm not sure, with distilled water and stainless welding wire to suspend it, that it won't color pretty uniformly even if he resorts to that. But as you say, a dip at a hot bluing shop shouldn't be too expensive and will sure be faster and easier.


Jim,

Steam cabinets, I thought, were just the old way to induce the surface rust, not to do the conversion. You'd set up the cabinet and put a watchglass on the floor of it with a few drops of nitric acid in it to get fumes to mix with the steam, then pipe the steam in from a kind of kettle. The rusted part was still submerged in actively boiling water in a tank for the conversion, AFAIK, but I'm prepared to be wrong about that. I never built a steam cabinet. I don't see why a hot enough stream of steam might not do the job if the presence of air doesn't just make the red rust deeper. It would take it longer than submersion to heat the barrel, but it might work, especially if you supply steam fast enough to displace the air in the cabinet.


Bill,

I've never tried bluing without the water actively boiling around the surface rusted part. Seems to me most of the conversion is done in 5 minutes under boiling water, but I recall I last wound up settling on boiling for 15 minutes to be sure conversion was thorough on thicker steel parts that took longer to heat up. Figure that once the flashlight shows the red is gone, you want to double that time.

If Jim is right that a steam cabinet can achieve conversion, then that's what I would make, in your shoes. The water is distilled when you boil it, so that part's taken care of. Just suspend the barrel vertically in a tube and pipe the steam in from the bottom. Let me know what happens and how long you end up having to leave it in there if that works out for you. I think PVC would work in that instance, since there is no pressure with the steam continuously venting at the top. Just be sure you have enough flow to get to the barrel temperature to the boiling point. I don't know that it works well if it's cooler than that. It's not like Parkerizing.
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Old November 30, 2010, 11:42 PM   #15
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there is more than economy

part of the goal is to develop a workable home process, yea I could drop it of at the gun shop come back with my check book and be done. If I put a clock to the hours I spend on a project like this I'm sure it would be cheaper to pay to have it done and spend my time at work making money. But working on something like this is rewarding in it's self and the time spent doing it sort of defragments my mind and is cheaper than a shrink.
What are you guys talking about when you say conversion are you talking about the rusting part of the process.
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Old December 1, 2010, 08:44 AM   #16
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BB the conversion is the red rust being converted to black either by boiling or steaming. With steaming you could do your gun parts and vegetables at the same time:-)
I think chemically it is FeO3 to FeO2
I even learned a few things from this thread.
BB as stated ealier you will need to reduce the 600 to 400 to get the "bite" needed.
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Old December 1, 2010, 08:45 AM   #17
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I use Mark Lee Express Blue and have had excellent results on pistols, shotguns, rifles, parts, etc.
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Old December 1, 2010, 01:01 PM   #18
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The red oxide is Fe2O3 and the black is Fe3O4. There is also FeO. The various colors, red, yellow, blue, and black come from combinations of these. If you heat a piece of bare iron, like a nail at one end, you can get a rainbow from yellow through blue to black, going from hottest end (black) to the least warm end (yellow). Red may be converted by enough heat to become black slag in air, while using boiling water facilitates that conversion at lower temperature to avoid getting the metal that hot.
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Old December 1, 2010, 03:02 PM   #19
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Quote:
IIRC, Remington factory ribs are not soldered on, they are electric induction brazed. In any case, boiling water will not do any harm.
Quote:
Thanks Jim I thought some where solder.
To OP welded even better.
Brazing is still soldering, though at higher temoeratures (>~840 F).

It is still not welding.

Soft solder uses a filler with a temperature below ~840 F.

Hard solder, brazing, and silver soldering use a filler metal above ~840 F.

Neither melts the base metal, just the filler metal.

Welding DOES melt the base metal, and typically uses a very similar metal as the filler (almost always well above 840 F).
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Old December 1, 2010, 08:53 PM   #20
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Brazing and soldering are the same thing in a way, but the metal used is different. As the name indicates, brazing uses brass (or bronze or copper) while the term "solder" is used with lead. The problem with hot tank bluing anything with a soldered joint is not only the temperature, but the fact that the bluing salts attack and dissolve lead and also aluminum. They won't harm brass or copper brazing.

Dropping an old style soldered sxs shotgun in a hot tank blue is a quick way to make two single barrel guns. Most folks know that, but some don't know that caustic bluing will also dissolve light weight aluminum receivers. Some gunsmiths have had to buy new guns for the customers when their aluminum alloy guns vanished in the tank. (I had a friend almost lose an eye when he threw a BHP magazine in the bluing tank, not knowing it had an aluminum follower; the follower dissolved and the spring flung hot caustic into his face.)

On the steam cabinet, I have never seen a steam cabinet used with any acid, only as an alternate way to do rust bluing without a tank. The bluing solution is swabbed on, and the gun put in the cabinet to rust. After a coating builds up, it is carded off, and the process done over until the desired color is achieved.

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Old December 1, 2010, 09:12 PM   #21
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Many rust bluing solutions are acidic, ferric chloride in acidic solution, usually.

One old article warned against anything in a damp cabinet that would lead to condensation of water droplets on the steel, it would spot the work. I don't think you would want actual steam, just high humidity. The author just set a pan of water over a lightbulb, not a hotplate.

I actually have a shotgun with the reciever hot blued and the barrel rust blued. (I think it unnecessary, it being a Remington with furnace brazed rib, but the gunsmith was taking no chances.) They are a very good color match contrary to one post above.
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Old December 5, 2010, 05:04 PM   #22
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Jim K,

Now if we could just get the powers that be to decide whether "silver soldering" or "silver brazing" is correct, we'd have it settled. Still see both all the time.

I was looking at the Webster online dictionary. It defines brazing as soldering with non-ferrous alloy. Hmmm. Ever solder with one? I'm pretty sure that's called welding. One of their other definitions said "braze" is an old word for "harden". I suppose one might infer that "brazing" applies to hard rather than soft soldering?

I'll have to go look in some older dictionaries. I don't think the online ones are telling the whole tale.

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Old December 5, 2010, 08:18 PM   #23
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Soldering with a non ferrous alloy is not welding-unless you are joining the same alloy you are soldering with. Soldering uses a different metal (usually softer) to join metals. "Brazing" refers to joining with brass. Brazing is also hard-soldering. Silver (hard) soldering uses a silver/copper alloy at high heat.
Silver-bearing (containing) solder uses a very small amount of silver in a lead/tin mixture to join metals. It is a low heat, or "soft" solder. Lead soldering is soft soldering.
Welding generally refers to joining steel to steel, using molten steel, but other metals can be welded.
Got it?
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Old December 6, 2010, 10:44 AM   #24
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The definition of soft solder (using ANY filler metal) are below ~840 F.

Brazing or hard solder uses a filler (again, any metal) above 840 F.

Welding is defined as melting the base metal.
It can be steel, copper, etc. but the melting of the base metal is the defining part of the operation.

None of the process definitions rely on the materials being joined, or the filler as part of the definition.

Temperature for hard vs. soft solder, and melting of the base metal for welding.
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Old December 6, 2010, 06:23 PM   #25
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Bill,

I think you misread what I was saying. The implication of that inadequate dictionary definition is that there is such a thing as a ferrous solder. My assumption is they think welding rod was a form of solder.
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