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Old October 3, 2010, 10:31 AM   #1
Join Date: September 1, 2010
Posts: 25
Removing Rust Pits

I want to refinish a revolver that has some small rust pitting. Some are easy enough to remove by careful use of a file and sanding, etc., but some are located such that they would be difficult to remove by correct filing, grinding, and sanding (such as on perfectly flat portions of the gun, where it could tend to create "low" spots that would show, or located near the manufacturer's emblems that I do not want to remove, etc.). Besides, it is not a restoration of a collector but a clean-up of a shooter, so hours (or days) of file work and sanding are not appropriate.

I was wanting to put it back to a polished blue finish, but had thought about bead blasting it (to maybe hide some of the rough spots), and then bluing it, but was not sure how that would look for this gun, which should be shiny blue in my opinion to make it look good.

Anybody bead blast and then blue one - what did it look like?

Anybody know of any way to fill in these rust pits with some kind of filler, such as with something epoxy based, or JB Weld, or something like that?

I realize there probably would be a color diiference between what the metal looked like when it takes the blue (Brownell's cold blue process), and what the filler looks like when it takes (or rejects?) the blue. But this might look better as a finished product than a pretty blue finish with rust pits??

Any ideas or thoughts?

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Old October 3, 2010, 06:32 PM   #2
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[Anybody bead blast and then blue one - what did it look like?]

A matte blue/black.

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Old October 3, 2010, 06:49 PM   #3
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Bead blasting does help conceal pitting. It's still there, you just don't notice it as much as on a shiny surface.
In color a bead blasted finish is a dull black. Look at the top of most blued revolvers or automatics where the metal was bead blasted to eliminate glare and that's what it'll look like.
Depending on the blasting media used and the air pressure, the finish will range from a smooth dull black to a fairly rough dull black.

There is no material you can fill pits with that will take any chemical finish.
Epoxies and other fillers don't color at all. If you use these, they will remain whatever color the material is. If you dye the material blue/black it may hide better, but it won't match the bluing.

You can dye epoxy with very small amounts of model airplane solvent-based paint.
As example, mix some dark blue with gloss black model paint and add just a very tiny amount with some epoxy and mix it.
The more paint you add the weaker and more crumbly the epoxy is.
This is how you make colored front sight inserts.
By experimenting with the paint mix, you can get reasonably close to the color of the bluing, but it'll never be an exact match.

The only way to "remove" pits is to either polish the metal down until you bottom out on the pits or you can have a really expert gunsmith/welder Tig weld the pits.
This will fill the pits, but there's usually problems with getting the welded material to match a chemical finish. You can usually see the welds as slightly off-color blotches under the finish.
Also the welder has to understand guns, not just welding. Get a part too hot and you can wind up with a dangerous gun.

Last edited by Dfariswheel; October 3, 2010 at 06:55 PM.
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Old October 3, 2010, 07:03 PM   #4
Join Date: September 1, 2010
Posts: 25

Thanks for the input and knowledge. Sounds like I best just leave them there and go for the shine, or bead blast it and have it be matte/dull.

With bead blasting, what media would you suggest? Air presure?

I had thought about doing a two-tone of sorts, like maybe partly bead blasted, and partly shiny, but I am not sure where to break it, and not have it look stupid or unfinished!

Problem is that some of the pitting is such that I cannot just do the frame one way and the cylinder the other. And the easier part to fix with polishing would be the top surfaces where it is rounded (barrel and top strap), but that is where you would expect to see the matte finish, and not the shiny!

Need to remember it is just a shooter!!

Thanks again!
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Old October 3, 2010, 08:13 PM   #5
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Duracoat makes a product to fix this called "DuraFill". After blasting and using this product to fill the pits, you will need to cover with Duracoat or some other epoxy finish.
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