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Thread: Engineer's/Machinist's Blue/Marking Blue Recipe?

  1. #1

    Default Engineer's/Machinist's Blue/Marking Blue Recipe?

    Today I had to make some Marking Blue.

    I used:
    Rubbing Alcohol
    Prussian Blue oil paint

    Does anyone have another recipe? I'm not so sure mine is gonna work.
    Last edited by dang; 12-01-2007 at 04:30 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Denatured Alcohol

    Denatured Alcohol and that Evil Prussian Blue oil paint seems to work pretty well.
    I'm feeling pretty smurfy at the moment.

  3. #3


    Once I ordered a quart of Master Pattern Layout Fluid from Kindt-Collins Co. and this formula was printed on the label:

    Purple Dye - 0.6%
    Cellulose Esters - 6.2%
    Resins - 5.0%
    Plasticizers - 0.7%
    Lacquer Thinner - 87.5%

    When it ran out I tried mixing up my own version, making a few substitutions:

    Rit Navy Blue fabric dye powder - 3 grams
    Clear Lacquer - 30 ml.
    Shellac - 30 ml.
    Castor Oil - 3.5 ml.
    Lacquer Thinner - 429 ml.

    It worked, sort of, although it was harder to remove than the commercial type and seemed not to take quite as fine a mark. It might be an improvement to use rosin in place of the shellac, but I haven't tried this.


  4. #4
    jimini2939 Guest

    Default Engineer's/Machinist Blue/Marking Blue

    When I was teaching machine shop years ago students were always spilling the dye so I started using a black magic marker! It worked fine unless there was a large area to be covered, then I unlocked the bottle.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    coastal Oregon

    Default bluing

    For bluing tapers and such, I've always used Prussian blue straight from the tube. Use just a dab and using fingers, rub it out into a very thin layer, as uniformly as possible. The thinner the layer, the more accurate the reading.
    For fitting scraped surfaces, I have a reddish brown powder that i mix with oil used the same way. A pint of the powder has lasted me so long, I no longer remember what its called. Getting old sux.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Western New York U.$.A


    For smaller projects I find the big fat magic markers hard to beat. The tip was mentioned over a year ago by one of the regulars and it works great for me.

    I have two 20 oz bottles of potassium permanganate which is what the Prussian Blue is made from. It ain't worth the effort to make with a big black magic marker on the bench.
    - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
    Thank you to our families of soldiers, many of whom have given so much more then the rest of us for the Freedom we enjoy.

    It is true, there is nothing free about freedom, don't be so quick to give it away.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    SW Ohio

    Default Sharpie

    90% of the time a big fat Sharpie works great for me...........
    For the rest I save back my one and only bottle of the expensive stuff, Dykem, (which is now going on 5 years old).

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    N W La.


    I've also gone to using the big fat 'magic marker' things, but they wanna dry up on me pretty quickly, -- will come back with a 'skeench' of brake cleaner but is pretty short lived. I had 3-4 of an unknown brand --probably dollar store type -- and need to get a couple more are y'all having good luck with a name brand, say, 'Sharpie' having better 'shelf life'?
    If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something........

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Nottingham, England


    I have one of the big fat Eddings 500 felt markers.
    It's about 10 years old and in daily use, when it starts to run out I dribble about 1/8" of marking fluid into an old aerosol top and stand the pen in it so it wicks the fluid into the pen and it's good for about another 6 months.

    It's not that I'm tight, well not that tight but I find the marker to be more handy, can't spill and if I do forget and leave the cap off then it's soon refilled.


    Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2005


    [QUOTE=dang]Denatured Alcohol and that Evil Prussian Blue oil paint seems to work pretty well.

    i thought the prussian blue was basically oil paint that didn't dry - did your formula dry? be a bit of a mess otherwise.

    imo both the layout die and the blue are cheap enough and lasts long enough (like 10 years later there's no need to restock), that other than chemistry experiments, why bother making it?

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