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Old December 25, 2011, 08:28 PM   #1
Garand Fan
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Home Bluing

Gents,
Has anyone had good results with any of the home gun bluing systems available? I have a couple pieces that arent very valuable that had not been well cared for by their previous owners and I'd like to refinish and reblue. Any recomendations?
Thanks, Garand Fan
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Old December 25, 2011, 08:56 PM   #2
twhidd
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I've always been wary of the so-called home cold blue kits. I have an old Smith & Wesson Model 36 that had a pretty worn finish when I acquired it. I've polished off most of the remaining bluing with the idea of trying my hand at "rust bluing". If you aren't familiar with this process, it's the way bluing used to be done before the hot salt bluing process was developed. If done correctly it takes a good deal of time, but the results are a deep finish that is much more wear resistant than modern hot blued guns. I plan to start on the project after the first of the year.
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Old December 25, 2011, 10:25 PM   #3
Fleet
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All home bluing falls under the heading of cold blue. The best of the bunch is Brownells Oxpho-blue, which will give an acceptable finish if you do your part. What's worked the best for me is completely degrease everything with something that doesn't leave ANY residue. Also, get a pad of 0000 steel wool, and completely degrease it as well. Heat your part with a blow dryer, and then apply the Oxpho with the degreased steel wool (don't forget to have clean, degreased gloves on, you finger prints will goof this up). You'll have to apply several coats, reheating as necessary. Really go after the parts with the steel wool, you won't hurt them with 0000 (4-ought), and use plenty of Oxpho.

The end result looks ok, but will NEVER match the durability and depth of color of a hot blue job.
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Old December 25, 2011, 10:57 PM   #4
nate45
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Van's Gun Blue works fairly well.

Visit the site, it has a lot of good tips.
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Old December 25, 2011, 11:28 PM   #5
Onward Allusion
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Are you referring to cold-bluing? It's good for touch-ups but it will never match the quality of hot-bluing. I've used Oxpho-Blue and Birchwood Casey Perma Blue. Both do a pretty good job touching up. I once tried to re-blue an older Marlin with 'em and the results were not great. Pass-able but not great. If it isn't a valuable piece, no big risk in experimenting.
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Old December 26, 2011, 02:06 AM   #6
Bill DeShivs
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Rust bluing is the only viable method of home bluing.
None of the cold blues hold up well, and most actually promote rust.
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Old December 26, 2011, 02:30 AM   #7
Analytical
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Brownells...

Brownells sells a product called Oxpho-Blue. I've had great results with it. I've found, the hard way, that your success is directly related to the quality of metal prep you do before bluing the piece. If you take short cuts, you'll get an inconsistent but blued surface.

Not being an expert I use the Blue-Wonder (also a decent product if you do the prep and have a heat gun) metal prep instructions and try to be extremely thorough. I've developed a particular fondness for their gun cleaner.

Oxpho-Blue also does not omit the foul rusty smell that some other cold bluing liquids do. I've had zero rust issues after over a year.

If I have the presence of mind tomorrow I will take some pictures of a couple guns I have done.
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Old December 26, 2011, 08:24 AM   #8
oneoldsap
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Accidental Discovery ( Oxpho-Blue)

I cold blued a Browning A-Bolt barrel last week with Oxpho-Blue and made an accidental discovery . After I rubbed in 5 or 6 coats , with the steel wool and heat method , I waxed it in good shape with Butchers wax . When I looked at that barrel the next morning it was noticably darker than the day before . Don't ask me why , I'm not a chemist but I was pleased !
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Old December 26, 2011, 09:27 AM   #9
Fleet
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You'd see the same thing with fresh bluing from the hot tank, too.
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Old December 26, 2011, 10:23 PM   #10
oneoldsap
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Hot Blue

I had a chance to pick up a hot bluing set up about a year ago . After weighing the pros and cons of having those chemicals around I passed . If my customer wants hot blue as part of the job I'll send it to someone that knows how to do it right . It's like anything else , experience is a good thing !
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Old December 26, 2011, 10:40 PM   #11
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Duracoat is an option

If your weapons are not valuable and you want a finish that requires no care you should consider Lauer custom weaponry's Duracoat line. It's easy to apply, they have kits the contain everything you need and last forever with no oiling your weapon after a outing othee than the internals.

http://www.lauerweaponry.com/

you can also get the kit at Midway USA

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/197...tte-black-4-oz

There are many colors and camo patterns available.
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Old December 27, 2011, 01:28 AM   #12
James K
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I have not tried every kind of cold blue, but I have used an awful lot of them. None, repeat none, will last. Even when used like rust blue, with boiling, carding, etc., they will wear off in short order and even faster when oiled (the main purpose of bluing is to retain oil and prevent rust - appearance is secondary).

So folks spend a lot of time and effort on magic ways to get good looking results from cold blue. Then they post on sites like this, telling us how they had great success and Jim and the other naysayers are full of it. Then the blue wears off at the first shooting session, and we never hear from them again.



Jim
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Old December 27, 2011, 12:18 PM   #13
oneoldsap
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That's exactly why I put the wax right to them , helps to slow down the wear ! I much prefer the bake on finishes over bluing . I build a few guns each year and they get Teflon-Moly finishes . Refinishing is a large part of my business .
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Old December 28, 2011, 09:56 PM   #14
Analytical
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James K brings up valid points. Cold blue will not compare to a professional bluing job. It will wear faster than a professionally done finish and if done wrong you could potentially cause damage to your firearm. It also does not cost what a professional finishing will cost and it can satisfy that 'did it meself' hunger many people have. As for oil retention properties I can't say much...but I'm from the internet so I'm sure its fine

Below is a link showing a barrel done in Blue Wonder and a barrel done with Oxpho-Blue. Both were done in August 2010 after I inherited the guns. They had been left leaning in a single pane sliding glass door and had significant rust issues on the barrels. Neither is perfect, but I did not pay the value of the gun to have them refinished either.

The Remington 740 done with Blue Wonder does show wear at the muzzle from riding in a scabbard as well as a slight mottling and wear marks on one side.

The Savage, done in Oxpho-Blue, doesn't show any wear YET. I'm sure a few more coyote trips will surely ding or rub something.

https://picasaweb.google.com/1074080...eat=directlink
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Old December 29, 2011, 03:25 PM   #15
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Both look pretty good in the pics. Did you find one to give you a better finish then the other. Any heat involved.
I did a Matlin 336 lever action 20 years ago with a Berchwood Casey Cold Bluing kit and it came out more brown than blue but it was uniform. I'm hoping for better results this time. I thought I'd experiment on a worn K98 Mauser bayonet scabard before using it on a an actual gun.

Thanks
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Old December 29, 2011, 08:32 PM   #16
Analytical
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I like the way the Oxpho-Blue turned out, it also has not worn off as of yet. I may have used a heat gun for each coat but that was not in the instructions. I used the metal prep instructions from a Blue Wonder kit and the instructions on the Oxpho-Blue bottle.

Both instruction sets are linked below.

Oxpho-Blue instructions: http://www.brownells.com/userdocs/le...-546forWeb.pdf

Blue Wonder Instructions: http://www.bluewonder.us/BlueWonderG...tructions.html
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