View Full Version : removing surface rust?

May 13, 2010, 03:55 PM
whats a good method of removing surface rust from a 43yr old gun(marlin 336), without destroying the bluing?

what about touch up bluing in those spots?

theres already lighter/bluer spots so im assuming my grandfather has already touched it up before.

May 13, 2010, 04:22 PM
Go to the hardware store and buy some 0000 steel wool (four ought -- really fine strands). Wet the 0000 steel wool with good quality gun oil and lightly rub the rusty area with soft pressure. The strands of steel wool are harder than the rust but softer than the blued steel. Rub a little, wipe clean, look at your progress, rub a little more, wipe clean, look at your progress.

May 13, 2010, 05:57 PM
Touching up is iffy since you need to use cold blue, which will not match the color of the factory blue (as you can see by the spots your grandfather's work left). If it's so bad that a refinish is needed and the (real or sentimental) value of the gun supports it (as in it's not so rare that refinishing destroys a huge collector value but valuable enough as a usable gun to justify professional service) I'd have the whole gun hot blued.

May 13, 2010, 08:24 PM
I use 0000 steel wool and mineral oil. Just plain old mineral oil you get from the "I Can't Poop" section of the Wal-mart pharmacy area, it's there with all the laxatives.

May 13, 2010, 08:50 PM

i like that!

baby oil is also mineral oil.

May 13, 2010, 08:51 PM
i dont really have the cash to get it hot blued right now, so its cold blue till the time comes.

May 13, 2010, 09:58 PM
I was going to ask about the rust too.I have to try and help my grandma get some rust off of her old S&W 32 long colt. It's the only protection she's got so I 'm going try to stop it from getting worse hopefully.The ammo in this thing looks a good 20 years old. It's got to be replaced pronto.

I've had minor success using liquid wrench soaking the rust then scrubbing with a rag. This took several times but it did help.The steel wool trick would work better I would think.

Anybody tried P.B. Blaster?

May 13, 2010, 11:53 PM

May 14, 2010, 01:09 AM
I picked up a S&W Model 58 that had a bad case of "freckles" from a humid environment.

Soaking the frame in Kano Kroil for about an hour, then lightly scrubbing with a copper Chore Boy pad removed the rust without scratching up the bluing. Avoid using steel wool as minute bits of the wool can lodge between and behind parts and they will rust quickly.

Bill DeShivs
May 14, 2010, 03:47 AM
Steel wool won't leave anything behind if you clean it all off....
I prefer WD40 with the steel wool.

George R
May 14, 2010, 03:27 PM
0000 and oil is the conventional wisdom, but I was taught, and I believe correctly, that the oil mixes with the loosened rust and creates a slurry that will scratch the existing blueing. I think you'll find that dry steel wool is a little kinder to the surface.

May 14, 2010, 06:17 PM
Steel wool is great and all, a little better maybe a bronze wool it still a bit more friendly than steel wool. It can be found in some Hdware store and Brownells.

May 15, 2010, 07:17 AM
...Wet the 0000 steel wool with good quality gun oil...What is the difference between good quality gun oil and bad quality gun oil?

May 15, 2010, 07:26 AM
Any liquid will help with the chore. Don't sweat what kind. Just use the 0000, remove rust. To dress up guns when I had my shop, I would then use the steel wool and Oxpho Blue from Brownell's, does a fine job. If it is/was a different shade than the original, it sure didn't show. Except on some Win. lever action receivers things when kinda red and some scopes same thing.

May 15, 2010, 04:24 PM
I use Kroil bath and copper/brass or bronze (best is bronze) wool. I keep the parts in the bath as I am lightly rubbing the parts with the non ferris wool. The whole idea is to keep the friction down and the rust removal at the best efficiency.

Kano Kroil - http://www.kanolabs.com/

Brass Wool - http://www.brownells.com/aspx/NS/sto...le=BRONZE+WOOL

Brownells Oxpho Bluing - http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=1072/Product/OXPHO_BLUE_reg_

Depending on how bad the surface rust is, the bluing should be ok. If you want or need to blue it via cold blue, I would suggest Brownells Oxpho blue, good stuff, works well and easy to use. I would also suggest doing the whole part, not just spots. Hot bluing leave to the pro's, it is usually well worth a professional bluing.