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Thread: Cold / rust blue formulas

  1. #21
    Boolit Master
    barrabruce's Avatar
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    Thanks JLF but I think I’ll try some less toxic stuff first.
    But the solutions you given probably less toxic than some bought stuff for all I know anyway.

  2. #22
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    I use Laurel Mtn browning for a slow rust blue and have for 30yrs or more.
    It works good because it has Nitric Acid, Ferric Chloride and Copper Sulfate in it according to the MSDS.
    Sometimes it's hard to stop.
    I've found that after the last cycle of boiling and carding, I put one Express blue coating over it right then and there using Mark Lees Express Blue and I never have any after rust at all.


    Plain Muriatic acid (swimming pool acid) does a nice job of slow even rusting. About a 10% acid to water soln is all that's needed.

    Also one that hardly anyone uses anymore but used to be quite popular was a Salammoniac soln.
    This was popular for Browning muzzle loader parts back before all the parts and kits and DIY chemicals started being made available.
    The stuff is Ammonium Chloride, a natural substance I think.
    It's major use that I knew of was as a soft solder flux.
    As such it works very well, but it is highly corrosive as well (rusts!)

    It comes in small bars like a bar of soap and most welding supply shops and still carry it. I'm sure the Almighty Web can supply it.
    It's a fairly soft substance.
    For rust bluing we simply cut off shavings of the stuff w/a knife and dissolved them in plain water.
    Then use this soln as the rusting soln.
    As long as the metal was clean just like any other Rust Bluing, stuff layed down a very nice fine red rust in about the same time as any other product.

    If you use it for a soldering flux,,the fumes from the stuff will settle on and rust any steel in the shop. Plus the residue on the soldered part will rust aggressivly as well if not washed and flushed from the surface.
    Kind of like the so call 'Acid' Soldering Flux, which are not an acid at all.
    The most common is Zinc Chloride,,,, Zinc disolved in Hydrochloric acid to saturation. Ph acidic probably.
    This stuff is Ammonium Chloride

  3. #23
    Rust blued custom rifles professionally for 30 years. I tried them all including many home made formulas. Settled on Jim Baiar's Gun Goddess. I have guns that I blued 25 years ago with no worn through spots on the gun.

  4. #24
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    Well had no joy finding anything besides touch up cold blue or two.

    Tried some quick 1hr bluing with peroxide /vinegar and salt buy applying and letting it rust then boiling for 3 minutes or so.
    In the end it wasn’t to bad and may try again but I did drop it a couple of times on the floor amongst things and it came out a bit blotchy in places but generally looked the goods.

    I decided that I will take a slower route and applied a couple of layers of solution with a somewhat heated part and left it for a few hrs.
    Applied another tonight and I’ll see how it looks tomorrow.
    I plan on keeping it going with the lightest possible smear of solution so it is not dripping wet at any stage.
    After a good rusting use a piece of denim to card off or may even try some paper.
    Get to a degree that looks good then boil in water or steam to make it black.

    First half day.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  5. #25
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    Minimum solution so no runs, allow to rust, boil or steam then card.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by barrabruce View Post
    Well had no joy finding anything besides touch up cold blue or two.

    Tried some quick 1hr bluing with peroxide /vinegar and salt buy applying and letting it rust then boiling for 3 minutes or so.
    In the end it wasn’t to bad and may try again but I did drop it a couple of times on the floor amongst things and it came out a bit blotchy in places but generally looked the goods.

    I decided that I will take a slower route and applied a couple of layers of solution with a somewhat heated part and left it for a few hrs.
    Applied another tonight and I’ll see how it looks tomorrow.
    I plan on keeping it going with the lightest possible smear of solution so it is not dripping wet at any stage.
    After a good rusting use a piece of denim to card off or may even try some paper.
    Get to a degree that looks good then boil in water or steam to make it black.

    First half day.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    It takes multiple cycles of oxidation and boil out. For boiling, you need to go 25 minutes for the conversion to work well. If steaming, 20 minutes.
    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  7. #27
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    Didn’t have much time today.
    2x boil and card.
    I’ll try boiling longer as stated.
    Learning as I go.
    THis is a piece of gun steel.
    I think I will make a steamer .
    Be awhile before I try any real stuff thou.
    Thnx everyone.

  8. #28
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    My rust bluing experiences typically take five days: boil and card in the morning, apply solution and rust all day, boil and card in the evening, apply solution and rust all night. Twice a day for five days. Times, of course, dictated by work and sleep, rather than just the right amount of rust.

    The final finish tends to look lighter than it will when it is neutralized and oiled. Beware of this, because pushing it for a darker finish will begin to roughen the polished surface slightly, with no increase in the color. A matte finish is not particularly objectionable, but after all the polishing, one might want to preserve the shiny surface.

    Not having a tank, or the room for one, I use a whistling tea kettle (whistle removed) and pass the barrel back and forth through the steam until it uniformly darkens. Drop cloths or newspapers on the floor to catch the drips and rust. Smaller parts are boiled in a ceramic coated cook pot. When I moved from 2700ft elevation to 4100ft, the blackening took a considerably longer time. Boiling a pistol in a pot of water didn’t go beyond brown at the time, although it eventually darkened after a decade or so.

    Allegedly, diluting the rusting solution just so, and allowing the rusting time just so long will result in the magnetic oxide particles to be small enough to reflect light only in the blue wavelengths, making the part look “blue.” I must confess that I’ve never been able to reach these ideal conditions; all my parts are dead black, unless I cheat. However, the finish seems to build up out of the pores of the metal, whereas the hot-dunk alkaline niter salts process seems to go in from the surface. So the finish by the first process takes a lot of wear to disappear, whereas the second one rubs off just in normal handling.

  9. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bent Ramrod View Post
    R. H. Angier’s Firearm Bluing And Browning has all the formulas and procedures for the slow-rust and “express” processes that anyone would ever want to try. I was a chemist in a previous life, so I combined some of the elements of a couple of them, added some new stuff and went from there, but the original mixtures worked fine.

    The book has been through more editions than most best-selling novels, and might even be downloadable from somewhere.

    It doesn’t cover the modern alkaline hot-dunk process that you mostly get commercially, but the investment in tanks, thermometers, heaters, etc, is more than the home hobbyist would want to spend anyway.
    If you have Kindle Unlimited it's free to read, or $13.19 to buy the Kindle edition. Nobody seems to have it in a dead-tree edition right now.

    Bill

  10. #30
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    Turned out green which is not bad.
    Had another go at quick bluing.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    Looks good enough in it’s own weird way.

    Down loaded the KINDLE APP
    See if I can figure out how to use it.
    Ha.

  11. #31
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    The solid soft lead bullet is undoubtably the best and most satisfactory expanding bullet that has ever been designed. It invariably mushrooms perfectly, and never breaks up. With the metal base that is essential for velocities of 2000 f.s. and upwards to protect the naked base, these metal-based soft lead bullets are splendid.
    John Taylor - "African Rifles and Cartridges"

    Forget everything you know about loading jacketed bullets. This is a whole new ball game!


  12. #32
    Boolit Master
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    I ended up getting the ebook to read.
    Wading through it although it may be past my ability to nut out the chemistry stuff.
    I’ll battle on regardless anyway.
    It’s all balls and sticks to me and if it was in Chinese it would make as much sense.
    Ha

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check