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Old July 15, 2012, 02:39 PM   #22
Senior Member
Join Date: July 15, 2012
Location: Wonderful, Windy Wyoming
Posts: 133
I wouldn't bother with hot salt blueing in a home shop situation. It's messy, corrosive has all get out, can be personally hazardous and (most of all) it isn't necessary.

Folks should look into fast rust blueing. You can get solutions like Mark Lee, Brownells' and others. Their colors vary a bit; you should experiment to find what you like.

You polish to between 320 and 400 grit, clean the metal very well to remove any oils. You can start by using a degreaser on the metal with water, then acetone to follow up, or you can set up a hot water tank with Dicroclean or washing soda.

Then you swab on the blueing solution. Get as even a coat as possible, without any drips, runs, sags or misses. You then put it somewhere humid and warm (gunsmiths use a "sweat box" for this). After a 'fuzz' has developed on the metal (it will usually be brown/red in appearance - do NOT panic at this point), you put it in a tank of boiling water. If you have hard water, get distilled water for your boil-out tank.

You will then see the rust turn from red to black/blue.

After you've boiled the metal for 10 minutes or so, remove from the boil-out tank and card. To card the metal, you use de-oiled (or oil-free) 0000 steel wool or a .005" wire wheel at low speed.

You then apply another coat of the blue solution, re-sweat, boil, card, etc.

Do this six to nine times and you have a very nice finish.
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