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JoeLee
08-28-2009, 09:24 AM
Does anyone know if there are any co. that sell small amounts of bluing salts???? I have a few small parts I need to have done and don't want to buy a five gallon pale. I need enough for about 1 gallon of water, about 6 Lbs.

TNX............... JL

Mike Hunter
08-28-2009, 10:56 AM
First…doubtful, at least I don’t know of any. What are you trying to blue? Small gun parts or machine parts?

Have you thought about rust bluing or Nitre bluing… very simple for first time doing small parts.

Bluing salts are basically Lye, at a super saturated level, I’ve gotten some interesting blue black colors while boiling parts in household drain cleaner (I had to remove zinc plating from a bunch of screws).

NickH
08-28-2009, 11:54 AM
I think you need lye (sodium hydroxide) and Potassium Nitrate to make your own, the latter is a bit hard to come by in the UK these days though :(
Nick

38_Cal
08-28-2009, 12:38 PM
Sodium nitrate, sodium nitrite and sodium hydroxide are what's in commercial bluing salts. Don't have the ratios, but the solution will boil hard at about 292 F when mixed 10 pounds of salts to one gallon of water. You might want to get a copy of R. H. Angier's book Firearms Bluing & Browning, which goes into detail on various formulas for hot & cold (rust) bluing methods.

David Kaiser
Montezuma, IA

smiller6912
08-28-2009, 02:59 PM
I only rust blue. Mainly because I don't have the space or desire to set up and maintain a caustic bluing station. You have to have running water and a way to keep three tanks boiling and then there is chemical disposal. Rust bluing is the cheapest and simplest for the HSM/ Gunsmith to do and is the deepest, richest, best wearing, longest lasting bluing that is used by any gun manufacturers today. It is NOT the same as cold bluing, which is a rub on chemical conversion, mainly used to touch up minor blemishes (some people swear that they can "COLD BLUE" whole guns, barrels, or actions and they look real good but, it is still cold blue. If you were to purchase some of the worlds most expensive long guns, they will more than likely be rust blued. Don't write this off as an option, the only reason major gun manufacturers do not use rust bluing is that it is very labor intensive, tedious, and time consuming. Caustic bluing can be done in virtually a few hours and can be automated while rust bluing requires many manually applied coats of Rust, Boil, Buff, Repeat to achieve it's final form.
Anyway, check it out.
http://www.hobbygunsmith.com/Archives/Aug03/HowTo.htm
http://www.winrest.com/blueinstructions.html

(sorry about the rant.........)

JCHannum
08-28-2009, 03:07 PM
The same topic, posted by the same poster was discussed a couple of days ago with the same advice given.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=36274

smiller6912
08-28-2009, 03:14 PM
The same topic, posted by the same poster was discussed a couple of days ago with the same advice given.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=36274

Duh, I musta' been havin' an Old_Timers moment there.
I thought that I posted to this before and was wondering where it went, maybe I didn't hit send or something, who knows.......

ETG
08-31-2009, 10:49 PM
If you want the hot blue salts here is a link to make them. All ingrediants are available through ACE hardward. They had to order the Sodium Nitrate (Nitrate of Soda Fertilizer) but it only took a couple of days to get in.

http://www.blindhogg.com/homemadesalts.html

weestrommer
09-02-2009, 12:10 PM
hot salts are just a 50/50 mix by weight of sodium nitrate, and sodium hydroxide. mix in enough salts so they just simmer at 290f-295f. and run them to 305 degrees after your clean parts are but in. 300 degrees will work fine for steels without nickle in them but you will have to go up to 305 for alloys like 4340. card gently and shock in cold water a few times esp if you are doing nickle containing alloys. a quick dip (like 1 min) in muriatic acid after the degrease will make the blue take, faster and will not effect the polish.;)

radkins
09-02-2009, 01:52 PM
a quick dip (like 1 min) in muriatic acid after the degrease will make the blue take, faster and will not effect the polish.;)



Are you talking about full strength Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid? :confused: I am certainly not trying to disagree so please don't misunderstand but I am really surprised at the use of an acid as strong as Hydrochloric (Muriatic) and would have thought it would tend to remove any blue that was on the metal. Again I am not disagreeing I have been following this thread and any other info I can find on this subject because I intend to try doing this myself. If the acid is a weak solution then about what percentage should be used.


EDIT, My mistake I now see you said after the DEGREASE not after the bluing process.

Sorry about that!

radkins
09-02-2009, 02:01 PM
If you want the hot blue salts here is a link to make them. All ingrediants are available through ACE hardward. They had to order the Sodium Nitrate (Nitrate of Soda Fertilizer) but it only took a couple of days to get in.

http://www.blindhogg.com/homemadesalts.html



During my recent search for info I spoke with a local fellow that did bluing some years ago and was told that there is a real difference in bluing chemicals (salts) and that some of the simpler mixes, which seems to be the case of the formula suggested in that link, could be more correctly referred to as blackening salts since they tend to produce more of a black finish instead of a deep blue. I am only repeating what I was told and have no personal experience with the process yet, maybe someone here could verify if this is true or not?

Rusty Marlin
09-02-2009, 02:55 PM
All hot salts bluing are Black Oxide. If you are looking for the satin midnight blue that's found on English double rifles and the early 1900 Colts, that's a totally differant process.

example of early Colt Blueing, http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://www.armchairgunshow.com/ot53-pix/hc-9289.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.armchairgunshow.com/otsHC_Colt_revolvers.htm&usg=__nIJt55amy414AU3gWzSFTmuGjyc=&h=391&w=864&sz=148&hl=en&start=6&um=1&tbnid=sWHSrfcdFISBVM:&tbnh=66&tbnw=145&prev=/images%3Fq%3DColt%2Bblue%26hl%3Den%26rlz%3D1T4GGLR _enUS314US314%26um%3D1

weestrommer
09-07-2009, 12:07 AM
Are you talking about full strength Muriatic (hydrochloric) acid? :confused: I am certainly not trying to disagree so please don't misunderstand but I am really surprised at the use of an acid as strong as Hydrochloric (Muriatic) and would have thought it would tend to remove any blue that was on the metal. Again I am not disagreeing I have been following this thread and any other info I can find on this subject because I intend to try doing this myself. If the acid is a weak solution then about what percentage should be used.


EDIT, My mistake I now see you said after the DEGREASE not after the bluing process.

Sorry about that!

Actually, yes you are totally correct, and this is a good point to make the best blueing remover in the world is just muriatic acid (read toilet bowl cleaner) it is a great way to remove old blue prior to re-finishing. it only removes iron oxides and will not affect the steel at all!

Also the early "blue blue" on pre 1900 firearms is heat blueing, this it the light color blue that is found on some guns. It is achieved by just heating the part till it reaches the blue color (just like tempering a spring). Then there is furnace blue or Carbonia blue that looks very black/blue. This is done by heating the parts packed in charcoal to about 1000f. and allowing to cool, or even rubbed by hand! with ashes while hot(this was the old colt process), or the parts are put on racks in drums with carbonaceous powder and sent into a furnace and while the drum is heated it turns and the charcoal "washes" over the metal parts (this is the process early S&W Revolvers had done) this looks like a black mirror with a tiny hint of blue color in very strong light!

Rust blue is totally different and is grey/black (the blue only shows when there is oil on it from refracted light) rust blue is done by rusting a hot steel part with an acid(not a base, as in hot blue), this produces FeO2 oxide (brown rust) and then the part is boiled in water that converts the Feo2 to FeO3 (black rust). Rust blue is always satin in appearance from the etching of the surface of the steel. Rust blue can be applied with the Quick method (heating steel in boiling water and brushing on the acid and carding off. OR the old way in a hot box where you paint on the acid and then place the part in a box that is warm and humid to slowly rust then it is carded and boiled in water. (you can also do this in a fume box that has a vry strong acid in a tray in the hot box, and works by fumes alone) then the part is boiled and carded.

old english Doubles were slow rust blued in cabinets or were browned(un converted iron oxide), the colts were either Heat(very early), or carbonia blued(~1880-1905)

radkins
09-07-2009, 11:46 AM
This just keeps getting better and I am learning more all the time! :)

The OP started a really good thread here and there has been a lot of info come to light, I never knew there was so many ways to blue a gun and that the blue could be so different from one process to the next.

lazlo
09-08-2009, 02:23 PM
Rust blue can be applied with the Quick method (heating steel in boiling water and brushing on the acid and carding off. OR the old way in a hot box where you paint on the acid and then place the part in a box that is warm and humid to slowly rust then it is carded and boiled in water.

What acid do you use? That seems a lot safer in a home shop than the traditional boiling vats of lye.

Rusty Marlin
09-08-2009, 03:00 PM
I don't know what type of acid or acids. I buy a prepared solution from Brownells, Belgin Express Blue. There are several others.

lazlo
09-08-2009, 03:18 PM
Oh, that's the Express Blue you recommended from the main forum thread?

http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/sid=21473/sku/16_oz__Express_Blue__1

I didn't realize they were the same process.

Is the "Mark Lee" brand better than Herter's (another Belgian Blue at Brownells)?

Thanks!

Robert

Rusty Marlin
09-08-2009, 03:50 PM
Don't know. They both came Highly recommended by a gunsmith here at work so I baiscally did "enie meanie miny moe" and picked the
Herters Belgian Blue. (http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=7604/Product/BELGIAN_BLUE)

lazlo
09-08-2009, 04:00 PM
Herter's is exactly twice as expensive (per 16oz) as the Mark Lee :)

I'll check the MSDS sheets and see if it's just an issue of twice the acid concentration.

Does Rust Blue prevent rust? Before anyone snickers, Cold Blue does not.

Rusty Marlin
09-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Cold blue it litterally just a few atoms thick and doesn't hold oil. Rust blue is an oxide layer of.... Rust, or more preciecly FeO3 which is also porous so it soaks in and holds oil against the un-reacted steel below the oxide layer. I've found a generous rubbing with Butches paste wax is fantastic. My skin is terrible for rusting steel, and the rust blue and paste wax treatment keeps even my skin chemistry from rusting guns, and I can rust "stainless" guns... it takes a while but it happens. :(

Rust blue is also very durable in comparison to standard black oxide due to its thickness and is worlds above cold blue.

radkins
09-08-2009, 06:17 PM
I can rust "stainless" guns... it takes a while but it happens. :(


I saw a S&W stainless revolver that was recovered from a lake after more than 3 years underwater and was surprised at how much rust this gun had on it! It was not heavily rusted like you would expect of a blued gun nor was it rusted evenly but it did in fact have some very rusty patches on it.

smiller6912
09-08-2009, 09:38 PM
Does Rust Blue prevent rust? ...... Cold Blue does not.


No bluing will prevent rust alone. You still need to keep it clean and oiled. Even stainless will rust (as stated above). There is no magic "Bullet" bluing that prevents rust because, .....it is rust.........

And, by the way, good rust bluing is probably the best at HELPING to prevent future rusting. It is a very deep finish that holds oil very well.

Look at any good double gun. They seem to be beautiful forever and they are all rust blued because you can't caustic blue the soldered barrels.