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Thread: bluing questions - help needed

  1. #1

    bluing questions - help needed

    as per title, where do I order/buy Nitre bluing salts from in the UK? Wanting to use them for my small parts LOL (NO, not 'those' parts)...but trigger, levers, sears, pins, etc. etc.

    Another one for the bluing experts (mainly Knottaclue and JOe_bloggs it seem - thanks for your ongoing input!), but ALL input appreciated of course: question is - when rust bluing, does the carding wheel allow you to go deep into holes and cracks, etc. The rear of my action is designed with all the various cutouts for pins, sears, levers, etc. etc. etc. I don't want to leave it 'white', as it will rust in no-time at all I think. however, as I am rust bluing the barreled action, and thus not 'submerging' it into any liquids, the bluing will have to be added into all the cracks, spring slots, and holes and THEN carded off - this seems like a really awkward and not very effective way to go, if possible at all. I am then thinking, should I at the same time as Nitre bluing the small parts, stick the rear of the receiver into the salts and effectively nitre blue via submerging up to the beginning of the raceway, which would also cover all the tricky parts I refer to. HOWEVER, this would also blue the top of the rear tang and woudl touch a few minor areas that I want rust blued. So I gues the question now becomes, can nitrebluing easily be removed again with some fine grit sandpaper on those few bits, or is nitre bluing a b1tch to get off again?

    I guess the easiest solution way would be a complete submersible blueing, but I really don't want to go that route due to the complexity of the bluing setup with salt baths, etc. etc. etc. unless of course good old Bewsher kindly offers me to stop by and do it all at the same time as he's doing his

  2. #2
    I got my NaOh from eBay of all places and my KNO3 from some place on a websearch. cant find the website for some reason.
    depending on how much I end up using I may have enough KNO3 for a small pot for little bits

  3. #3
    The wheel will only card exposed parts. You can of course 'card' with clean steel wool, make your own steel q-tips!
    All you need do is remove the loose stuff so that you can re apply the acid for your next coat if needed.
    It is a pain but can be done. Carding is not a 'graft'!

    Nitre bluing the small parts is best done by stripping them from the action and bluing separately - actually most bluing/blacking is best done by
    stripping to component parts.


    Personally the hot caustic bluing is my preference as a deep blue / black on well polished steel is my fave.

  4. #4
    ace!

    thanks mate, will nitre blue all the stripped internal parts. flame blued the action screws and swing swivel studs which look great. will rust blue the barrelled action and card as you said - great idea btw with the q tips, etc. would you rust blue the bottome metal, ie, swingplate, trigger guard, etc. as well, or would that look even better nitre blued?

  5. #5
    I am struggling to find a thermometer that will go up to 350deg C for my project

    its either stupid prices for a laser guided infra red or a cooking probe that stops at 150deg

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by bewsher500 View Post
    I am struggling to find a thermometer that will go up to 350deg C for my project

    its either stupid prices for a laser guided infra red or a cooking probe that stops at 150deg
    bewsher,
    Have you thought about a lead thermometre?

    Ian.

  7. #7
    I used Potassium Nitrate (KNO3), no thermometer needed.
    Just poor the KNO3 in to a tinn tray, heat over gas stove untill granuals turn to a clear/yellow colour.
    The polished parts, degreased and pre heated are then lowered in and left for 15 to 20 minutes, lift them
    out and quench in engine oil. Job done, it really is that easy. If you get a rough uneven finish the KNO3
    was not hot enough, or the parts were not hot enough when you dipped them.
    If this happens you just clean and polish them again and give it another go.
    My KNO3 came from e-bay, and was advertised as an empty container
    I assume this was done as it is a controlled substance ?

    If you look at this link there is a very good how do it with pics.
    Beartooth Bullets > Tech Notes > Marlin Trapper Carbine!

    Neil.

  8. #8
    seems there are so many different ways to blue and solutions/methods to use it's almost impossible to make heads or tails of what's best/easiest.

    I'm going to rust blue my barrelled receiver, and niterblue the small parts...not sure though if I should niterblue the bottome metail or rust blue as well..any thoughts?

    also,,what do you guys think about this method:
    Bluing steel

    This formula will produce a durable blue/black color.
    I came across this formula many years ago in a gun magazine, I believe that this formula was used by P.O. Ackley.
    Per US gallon of soft water.
    5lbs of caustic soda.
    2.5lbs of 33% ammonium nitrate fertilizer. (sodium nitrate or potassium nitrate can also be used in the same quantity)
    If you are making any solution of caustic soda, DO NOT use an aluminum (aluminum) container. Caustic soda eats aluminum. Use steel or cast iron (stainless steel works just fine).
    Before you even think about starting, you will be messing with stuff that is very hot and will give you a very nasty chemical burn. Wear rubber gloves (buy your own, don't use your wife's if you value your wedding tackle) and a face shield. A waterproof apron would be good to have. Have on hand a large bucket of water just in case you get some on you. This bucket is for immediate use and just to tide you over while you get to shower. Just get in and start showering, boots, cloths and all, then strip in the shower. You need to flush that caustic soda off of you.
    Just be respectful of what you are messing with and you should be all right, this is not that difficult.
    You need to mix the witches brew outside. The kitchen stove is not the place to do this, unless you want to have the whole family stay in a hotel for a couple of days while the air clears in your house.
    Here is how it is done.
    Get your water boiling and start adding the caustic soda a bit at a time. As the concentration of caustic soda increases you will have to turn up the heat to keep it boiling. The purpose of the caustic soda is to raise the boiling point of the water.
    Now we add the ammonium nitrate fertilizer. There is going to be a large volume of ammonia fumes released when you add the fertilizer, get up wind of the boiling water. Make a wind with a fan if you have to. If you think pealing onions is bad, just get a whiff of the ammonia fumes.
    Add the fertilizer very slowly because there is quite a reaction as the ammonia is released, too much and the pot will boil over (you need to keep the pot on the boil while adding the fertilizer). Once all the fertilizer is in, keep the pot boiling for about half an hour as there is more ammonia will be coming off.
    Storage when not in use. A plastic bucker or container with a snap on lid is best because the caustic soda will clime the side and spill over the rim.
    The bluing its self. You will need 3 suitable sized steel pots. One with fresh clean water for rinsing in.
    One for the bluing salts and one for degreasing in.
    The process is degrease, blue then rinse. Done in a very well ventilated area (outside) and don't forget your large bucket of water just in case of an accident and your gloves and face shield.
    Degreasing. Remove any obvious grease and oil with a cloth and varasol, engine degreaser, what ever you have handy, even paint thinner.
    Mix up some weak caustic soda solution in the degreasing tank. With wire hangers suspend you parts to be blued in the degreasing tank, small parts can be put in a wire basket. Boil this up for about 5 minutes. Then transfer to the bluing tank. Do not touch any of the parts with your bare hands or you will get finger prints in the bluing. A clean pair of cotton gloves work just great here.
    Bluing. Do not blue anything that has been lead soldered, the bluing will eat the solder. The parts to be blued should be covered but closer to the top of the tank. Towards the bottom are precipitates that have a hard greenish glassy appearance and are the devil to get off without marring the blued surface. You have to bash at them with hardwood or plastic to break them up. Sometimes a thumb nail will pry them off. Extended rinse boiling does not seem to help.
    Bring the bluing tank to the boil. If you are lucky the steel will turn blue as the bluing solution boils. It probably will not. If the parts start to turn blue before the solution boils, the solution is boiling at too high a temperature. Add (soft) water to dilute the solution and lower the boiling point. DO NOT add water to boiling bluing salts you will get a STEAM EXPLOSION. Only add water to cold salts, better to add a little to much water, you can always raise the boiling point by adding caustic soda
    If there is no bluing at all then add caustic soda to increase the boiling point of the solution. With adding water or caustic soda, a little goes a long way, use in moderation. The bluing needs to take place while the solution is boiling. Boil for about 10 minutes. The solution should be boiling at about 300 degrees F.
    Rinsing. Transfer the blued parts to the rinsing tank, boil for 5 minutes to get the steel good and hot. When the parts are removed they will dry almost immediately. Let the parts cool and apply a light coat of, (1st) water displacing oil, (2nd) soluble oil or (3rd) WD40. * Soluble oil is used in machine shops as a coolant when mixed with water, use the un mixed oil.
    You will probably only have one heat source to boil your different pots on, not a problem.
    The finish. Polished parts look better than "as machined" parts. Sand blasted with a fine grit gives a nice mat finish. Glass beading give the finish I like the best, it is neither mat or black chrome looking, more like a satin finish. Very nice.

  9. #9
    Just how complicated do you want to make it ?
    The method I posted is dead simple, if the granules turn to a clear/yellow liquid it is the right temp, you will find it almost impossible to get it too hot anyway.
    I used a decent camping stove and it was running flat out to get the temp. Once you have finished turn the heat off and the liquid will cool and go solid again.
    You have more parts to do, just put it back on the heat and wait a while, once it starts melting give it a stir and wait till it once again turns a clear/yellow colour.

    Neil.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Hornet 6 View Post
    Just how complicated do you want to make it ?
    The method I posted is dead simple, if the granules turn to a clear/yellow liquid it is the right temp, you will find it almost impossible to get it too hot anyway.
    I used a decent camping stove and it was running flat out to get the temp. Once you have finished turn the heat off and the liquid will cool and go solid again.
    You have more parts to do, just put it back on the heat and wait a while, once it starts melting give it a stir and wait till it once again turns a clear/yellow colour.

    Neil.
    Depends on what one desires, Hot caustic produces a finish that is far more durable than a flame/nitre bluing finish.

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