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Old March 9, 2021, 08:42 PM   #1
Metric
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protecting nitre/flame blue (clear coat)

I have played around with flame bluing screws and pins, and noticed the finish is as fragile as it is beautiful.

Thinking about restoring an old Star BM, to learn the slow rust bluing technique, and also may flame/nitre blue some slightly larger parts, such as the trigger (normally in the white).

I've seen a few generic references to using a coat of lacquer to preserve the nitre blue finish. Is there any preferred type/brand of lacquer or preferred application process for this? Also curious if something like duracoat clear-coat would work as well or better than lacquer.

I'm definitely hungry for any experience or educated guesses on making a nitre blue finish more durable.
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Old March 9, 2021, 10:51 PM   #2
Bill DeShivs
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Heat bluing is only good on parts that see no wear.
Lacquer is softer than the bluing.
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Old March 10, 2021, 09:29 AM   #3
4V50 Gary
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Good question. Nitre blue or flame blued is very prone to wear. Laquer like Bill suggested may offer protection. I generally recommend Renaissance Wax, but for a lot of handling, I dunno. Experiment and let us know.
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Old March 10, 2021, 02:54 PM   #4
Metric
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Yes, I did up some grips screws and pins for a 1911 in a nice heat blue, and noticed that one screw in particular lost much of its blue quite quickly, with very minor handling of the gun. The others that are never touched are still nice and blue, but I'm aware of how quickly that can change.

I know there's just no way to make it a durable finish for a high-wear part, but it would be nice to find a clear coat that would hold up against basic handling and contact with human skin.

Right now I'm thinking that duracoat clear coat is looking ideal for this. However, I don't have an airbrush and the aerosol can is pretty darn expensive for one use on a few small parts. So still considering lacquer -- if it doesn't work I can always undo/redo it.
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Old March 10, 2021, 02:54 PM   #5
Bill DeShivs
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Heat bluing is great for recessed screw heads.
NO bluing is particularly durable on high wear areas.
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