View Full Version : Homemade Hot Blue Formula

12-08-2004, 09:32 PM
Homemade Hot Blue Formula
I have seen a lot of posts on blackening tool posts and other things.
I under stand that some things (bluing salts) are hard to get
for some of you. I hope that this helps. I have NOT tried this but
it should work. I use RUST bluing or Brownells bluing salts

Happy holidays
Be safe. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif

www.geocities.com/kemays/formula.htm (http://www.geocities.com/kemays/formula.htm)

12-08-2004, 09:36 PM
Amonium Nitrate eh?
Suddenly my mind is thinking about other things than bluing.

12-08-2004, 10:13 PM
Oh yea, that should be MUCH easier to get! Unless you have a farm, you better have a good excuse to tell when the FBI and ATF show up. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

12-08-2004, 10:27 PM
Maybe if you purchase over 1000lbs at a crack... a sack or two will not cause a second look.

12-09-2004, 02:00 AM
Ammoniun Nitrate is no longer available in Australia even if you want to use it as fertiliser,something to do with terrorists I believe? It is still used for commercial blasting but I wouldn't like my chances at trying to buy it for any purpose what a great way to get a visit from the cops!

12-09-2004, 02:01 AM
Yeah, you can buy small amounts at wallyworld even...

12-09-2004, 02:18 AM
Lawn fertiliser in one kilo boxes.

12-09-2004, 02:47 AM
On a similar note I tried to buy red phosphorus for a flame retardent project at work. So I call up my regular chemical supplier to place the order and I'm told I need to fill out DEA paperwork? A quick web search turned up the fact that it's used to make meth-amphetamine! I went the old-fashioned way and used antimony oxide and a halogen donor.

-Christian D. Sokolowski

12-09-2004, 02:50 AM
Red phosphorus??? Not too many legit uses for that around the homestead, excepting strike anywhere stick matches.

12-09-2004, 05:36 AM
Will, I still see fertiliser trucks out here with the Ammonium Nitrate hazardous goods tag on the trailer. I haven't looked in a feed store for a while, but I am fairly certain my father still has a bag of nitropril tucked away. He used it to get fishing worms. Spread it and water it, about 15 minutes later the earthworms evacuate http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//wink.gif

12-09-2004, 08:55 AM
Many Chemicals are under the watchful eye of Big Brother. They also follow the money trail too. Where I live they watch the precursers for explosives and illicet drug manafacturing. Meth labs are poping up everywhere. 30 years ago I worked for the worlds largest rock producer. I would drive to New Jersey and Delaware and bring back 73,000 pounds of amonium nitrate routinely. We were limited of course to shooting no more than 150,000 pounds at a time in our quarries. Some where I read Timothy Mcveigh used around 5,000 pounds so you can figure the difference in our booms. I grew up on a farm and we would go to the hardware store and buy dynamite to blast stumps and beaver dams and ditches you could buy it right over the counter. Now days you have to be licensed to get explosives. I think that is good with the changes we have had in our society. We basically have open borders and anyone could walked into the Country Hardware store and bought what they needed to become a terrorist. But what most people don't realize is gasoline is even worse than amonium nitrate and look how available it is.
There is a lot to think about what is available to us in basically a free state.
The main reason we did not have terrist activities in America is that most of the terrorist were geting their funding from stupid Americans. Osama Bin Laden did not need the money so he became a direct threat.
This is a Machining BB and I may have gotten way off topic but it is an interesting topic. I just hope the government doesn't start regulating lathes and mills, etc., because thay could be used by terrorist.

12-09-2004, 03:44 PM

Already have. A plumber I know was arrested for owning black powder, a lathe, and pipe nipples and end caps. He never served time, thou he was arrested.

Yeah, he was heavily tattooed and had old motorcycle club ties. If they paint someone as a "monster" first. NORMAL society says this is perfectly alright to do this to monsters.
Timothy McVeigh comes immediately to mind, the CNN line hit me "Unable to prove his innocence". I was in shock for days from that line. Trial proved him to be a monster, I don't dispute the end result, just the CNN headline shocked me.

THEN, owning any books on making a full automatic out of any weapon and a milling machine. Clear and purposeful intent acknowledged by possesion of both. GUILTY!

And it is going to get worse. Not sure what to do unless we all clean shave, cover our tattoos and move in next to Evan. You can see every policeman I pass, he just knows I am guilty of something. Past questions included "I can't afford a Harley, how can you?" I suggested to the last one that said that to get a "better job" and he got really angry. I think I almost got beat that day.
Another day I almost got shot in the head for speeding, kneeling right there with the deputies hand shaking holding a pistol to my head. Yep. Don't do that in the South.


12-09-2004, 05:40 PM

You should move up here brother. It may be cold mut the only snakes, rats, and vermin we have are in Ottawa ruining the county. Some dumb ****s out east keep electing the bastards and they keep screwing us - but someday we hope Ontario will retain an attention span longer than 5 minutes and remember that the Liberals are screwing everyone in Canada next time the dumb ****s vote - we can only hope. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif

Rant mode off. Merry Christmas! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//rolleyes.gif

12-10-2004, 04:42 AM
From "Engineering Workshop Practice" by A W Judge.
There are two principal methods of obtaining a blue finish on steel parts, namely,(1) the chemical, and (2) the heating methods. One recommended chemical method is to brush or sponge over the previously polished surface of the steel with a solution consisting of 2 parts of crystallised chloride of iron, 2 parts solid chloride of antimony, and 1 part of gallic acid in 4 to 5 parts of water. Allow the parts to dry in the air. This operation should be repeated two or three times,Afterwards wash well in water, dry, and rub with boiled linseed oil to darken the shade.
The heating method consists in first giving the surfaces their final polish and then heating them uniformly until the original cold steely appearance gradually changes to the required shade of blue. Then remove the source of heat and allow the articles to cool in air. Small objects may be heated in a sand bath, or in a mixture consisting of equal parts of fine sand and powdered charcoal.
Another method for small pieces is to place them on a flat bar of iron mounted over a bath of water or lubricating oil. The bar is heated from below with a gas flame until they start to colour. When they have become blue, the bar is tilted so as to upset the objects into the liquid below.

There is a method of obtaining a brown finish on steel and for blackening steel. All under the chapter "miscellaneous workshop hints and recipes". I haven't tried any myself.It is an old English book.
Merry Christmas, Ken

[This message has been edited by speedy (edited 12-10-2004).]

12-10-2004, 10:40 AM

Whether you are speeding or not I'll bet you let off on the gas when you see the law. Don't feel like you are alone I do it too. Our society has made a knee jerk reaction to the terrorist activities of the last few years. We all are paying the price. You can be as legit as can be but you will still be under a scrutonous(sp) eye. What scares me is there people with absolutely no idea or concerns of what their actions will do to others making decisions in this free country we live in. Good luck with the purchase of the chemicals you need and don't let that body art influence the regulators or the sellers. I believe body art should fall under free speach the first amendment that one is next on their list for removal. My appologies for getting a little off the thread topic.

Al Flipo
12-10-2004, 10:51 AM
Hmm...wonder if that Homemade Hot Blue Formula will get that pesky moss out of my lawn.

J Tiers
12-10-2004, 01:20 PM
What I want is a way to reliably get the nice brown finish that shows up on old tools.

I have heard of the "rust method" which seems to emulate the natural provess, and seems to have been used by gunsmiths. BUT, I can't get a piece of metal to rust evenly.

Inevitably it gets patchy, or else I just get the "yellow dust" typical of very clean surfaces. That never seems to progress evenly, however.

Anyone know the "real" secret? I have tried a few "formulas", and didn't get what I was looking for.

And, for some reason, "heat blue" rusts quicker than anything else (but not evenly). Seems to have no more real protection than the oil you would rub over it would give w/o the color. Is that correct?

BTW, as far as the law, I will GUARANTEE that every man jack of you could be jailed TODAY over something you have actually done. I don't know what it is, but Investigation would turn it up. I will give odds that you have even CONSPIRED to commit a crime. In the US conspiracy is worse than the actual crime, in many cases.

12-10-2004, 01:45 PM
Sodium Nitrate works just as well or even better than Ammonium Nitrate. Go to your local chemical dealer and get about 5 pounds. If he wants to know what you're using it for tell him it's for giving your cow an enema. That will usually shut them up. Potassium Nitrate (Saltpeter) works too and you used to be able to buy that in any drugstore. You know what to say when they ask what you need it for.

12-10-2004, 03:24 PM
>>What I want is a way to reliably get the nice brown finish that shows up on old tools.<<

Back when I was building muzzle-loader kits, I learned there are two types of browning finishes. The liquid from Burchwood Casey gave a nice smooth satin finish more correct for late 19th-century items, Im guessing. T\You got the steel sizzling hot, then swabbed it on. Repeat as needed, wash and oil to finish.
Before that, controlled rusting was the method. I bought some stuff in a brand that escapes me, deep yellow in color. It was applied cold and left to sit overnight. You had a nice uniform lawyer of bright red rust. Knock off the scale, re-swab. Do that several times (about a week) and you get a nice uniform, pitted surface. Wash and oil and it looks 100 years old but works great as a shooter. The one rifle I have left that I did this way still looks great after 20 years of zero maintenance.
That 2nd method could be duplicated by any number of methods. According to the Foxfire volume that covers gunsmithing (a good read - buy it) the custom was to lay barrels out behind the shop to be urinated on as the occasion arises. That would work fine if the neighbors are OK with it http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
Not sure, but there may have been a recipe in that Foxfire boox.

12-10-2004, 04:29 PM
For a brown finish make a solution of water and Sal Ammoniac (the stuff that you used to use in tinning a soldering iron). Swab it on, let set until a light coat of rust forms, card it off and repeat as necessary. Rex's pee-method works too and makes brass look 100 years old. For brass I would take a bucket of water and shovel in a bunch of horse ****, mix, and soak the brass until you get the color you want. Just don't let the wife see you peeing on your lathe chuck or mixing up a bucket of horse ****.

12-10-2004, 05:18 PM
"Engineering Workshop Practice"
Brown Finish For Steel..
This may be obtained by heating uniformlyuntil the initial blue and purple colour changes to a brown; then quench the article in cold water or oil.
The chemical method is, more generally employed. It consists in brushing the previously cleaned and finish-polished surface with a special bronzing solution, or solutions.
One satisfactory method is first first to brush the polished-steel surface with a copper-sulphate solution. After a few minutes wipe the surface dry with a clean cloth. Then brush over with a solution of ammonium sulphide, taking care to apply evenly over the previously coppered surface. After about 30 seconds, dry the surface with another clean cloth.
Another method is to give several brush coats with a solution made as follows:
1 oz copper sulphate
1 oz spirit of nitrre
1 pint distilled water
An interval of a few hours should be allowed to elapse between each of the coats. Afterwards rub with ordinary furniture polish and a dry cloth.

I hope that this is of some help.

12-10-2004, 11:43 PM
To rust blue you only need something to make it rust. It doesn’t mater what you use.
There are some things that work better then others but if you can’t get them, no big
deal. Put whatever type of finish you want, like Polished, bead blast or as machined.
Clean it, rust it, steel wool it, repeat till it is as dark as you want. Boil it in distilled
water for 30 min. to 1 hour. More time is more durable (one half hour is fine)
The water is the difference between rust brown and rust blue.
Coat in oil for three or four days, it appears to absorb it.
I use steel wool and a power wire wheel ( not stainless ) to card off the surface rust.
I will rust it maybe five to seven times. I clean off all the surface rust each time.
It is a lot of work but does make a very fine and durable finish.
I have blued a lot of things over the years, it does work. It doesn’t take any special
skill, equipment, or chemicals. Looks great when done. If you want to try it and
need or want more information, ask.

Good luck
Happy holidays
Be safe http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif