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Old December 3, 2012, 04:39 PM   #8
Senior Member
Join Date: September 7, 2001
Location: Washington State
Posts: 2,164
Exibar, if you're going to dip small parts, I highly recommend Oxpho-Blue from Brownells.

Here's how I use it...

1. Set up a small work area, with the following stations: 1. A bit of denatured alcohol. 2. A boiling pot of water. 3. A small glass container, or bowl.

At the end station, you should have some crumpled up paper bags, and some WD-40.

First, clean the part off thoroughly. After it is clean--down to bare metal--you can head to the next step. Do any polishing or flaw removal before going into the actual bluing process.

I also recommend the purchase of some large forceps or surgical clamps to move the piece from station to station. After cleaning, you should not touch the piece with your bare hands again until the work is complete.

Now, saturate the part in denatured alcohol. Wiping the part off will ensure that it is clean--just do it with a cloth or non-lint generating item.

Go straight from the denatured alcohol to the boiling water. Here is where the forceps come in handy--you'll want to hold the piece under the boiling water for at least 30 seconds. This will remove all traces of the alcohol, any remaining dirt, and also will gently heat the metal. You'll want that. Make sure the work does NOT touch the sides or bottom of the pot. (Word of advice--do NOT use any good cookware for any of this--your wife or husband will NOT appreciate it....)

Now, at the third station, you'll have your glass container with enough Oxpho-Blue in it to completely cover the part. Move the piece from the boiling water, give it a good shake or two, and then place it in the Oxpho-Blue. You don't have to leave it in there long--about 3 or 4 minutes will do nicely.

Now, remove it from the blue solution, and get all the excess stuff off. Don't panic--when you first pull it out, it will look like mold grew all over it. Simply wipe it away.

Here, I highly recommend the use of a fine, soft wire wheel to card the surface, and even out the blue. If you have small parts, it's not necessary--but if you have larger parts, you'll want to do this to even out the bluing job.

You should have to do this only once--Oxpho Blue gives a superior depth and finish to steel. After wiping it down, immerse the part in WD-40 for about 3-5 minutes, then let it air out. A quick lube with good oil, and the job's done.
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