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Old February 25, 2012, 05:43 PM   #1
ks_wayward_son
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Join Date: July 19, 2007
Posts: 252
Rust removing; bluing prep/etc.

Hello all. I have a few questions with rust removal/bluing etc. I initially posted this question on the curios section and there were some helpful responses, but I forgot to mention the part about bluing too. Since this is the smith-exclusive section, figured I'd give it a go. I had heard how well naval jelly works, but decided that stuff is way too corrosive and strong for what I need. I did research on Evaporust and Envirosafe rust removal products and those seemed better-certainly less severe. The Envirosafe is in a concentrated form and one uses various parts water to the solution for removing the rust. I went on the website and there were testimonials about how people used the Envirosafe for various projects. One person used it it to completely clean a coat of chain mail...before and after pics looked impressive.

Anyways, I was wondering if this stuff (Envirosafe or Evaporust) would also constitute a proper "bluing prep" for my project gun...a VZ 24 7mm mauser. I know Brownells has a slew of products and if an actual "bluing prepartion solution" is required, then that is what is required.

Also, what type of bluing agent/method do you recommend for a complete novice in bluing? For authenticity, I should probably go with the deep blue for mausers. But the antique/plum bluing seems like it'd be nice too. Im not entirely bent on complete authenticity. Like I said, Brownells has a ton of bluing solutions available. For a newbie, I don't know if I want to go the hot blue route or the cold blue. Granted, the Birchwood Casey cold blue would probably be quick and easy, but I don't know how well that would work. Hot blue would probably grant the finer/more lasting results...but I don't want to shell out hundreds or more for a whole setup that would include tanks and the extras. I have heard some people using a hand-held propane torch for bluing application...I think there was a write-up about that in surplus rifle. Just a few things to supplement my curio and relic setup and get some results that I can be proud to say I did myself. Thanks for the advice.
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Old February 25, 2012, 06:50 PM   #2
Herr Walther
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Join Date: April 10, 2001
Location: A Place Worse than California
Posts: 782
I can't advise you on a rust stripper other than what Brownell's has.

For cold blue though, I've had great success with the Belgian Blue. It's not entirely cold as the parts have to be warmed in boiling water, but it's not exactly hot salt blueing either.

It gives a very nice authentic looking finish to older firearms, and at least a nicer finish than regular cold blue on any firearm.

I've never used it on long arms, only pistols because I don't have large tanks for barreled actions.
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Old February 25, 2012, 08:08 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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Join Date: October 25, 2001
Location: Alabama
Posts: 11,181
I do not think chemical rust remover would be enough for bluing prep.
I have used Evaporust and seen Brownell's Steel White used.
Neither gets down to really clean naked steel, there is some discoloration left that I think would affect a blue job.

Normal preparation is polishing - need not be shiny for a military Mauser, but it must be bare clean steel, and completely degreased.

I have not seen a decent blue job on a whole gun with touchup compounds like Birchwood Casey. I have one refurbished gun with a decent blue from Oxpho Blue but using the Brownell's procedure for large areas, not just wiping it on.

Rust blue like HW's Belgian does a nice job with the least equipment but the most labor.

You might look up "fertilizer blue". It uses ammonium nitrate or sodium nitrate and sodium hydroxide (lye) to make a simple hot blue. But metal prep and degreasing is still important and you are working with boiling (285 deg F) caustic solution. Not for the faint of heart or the careless.
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