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Author Topic: Rust Blue  (Read 1653 times)
Snap
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« on: January 22, 2012, 12:04:50 PM »

The discussion of the Vincent colors got me thinking...  I've only rust blued one barrel.   I used Wahkon Bay Rust Blue, filed/sanded/polished the barrel and boiled and carded the barrel between rustings.  The barrel came out a beautiful, very deep shiny black and the finish is very durable.  I shot this rifle monthly for 10 years and the barrel still looks great.   My question is ... are rust blued barrels supposed to be black (similar to modern chemical blue) or do are they supposed to be some shade of blue?  I'm going to be rust bluing another barrel soon and just want to know if I'm doing it correctly. 
Thanks,
Kevin
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Dave B
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« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2012, 01:37:12 PM »

It sounds like you have it right. There are small variations that will yeld different results in the final color. If you polish out to 6oo grt will produce a different blue vs the 220grt polish. I have heard some use 150 grt but that is a little too course for my liking. If you are good about how soon  you are carding and the softness of the brush you are using to card with will make the finish finer (more blue) vs coarser ie if you let it bloom longer and heavier before carding thus making it darker (black). I know that the use of the Damp Box (discribed by John Bivins in Gunsmithing Tips and Projects) and the fine wire wheel from Brownell's made the single biggest improvement in the consistency of the browning and rust bluing for me. this example of one of my first attempts at rust blueing gives you the general idea of what a fine wire wheel from Brownell's and a damp box can do for you.
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Dave Blaisdell
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« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2012, 06:30:10 PM »

Different rusting solutions on the same piece of steel will give different shades of color. Different steels with the same soln,,again different shades.
Change the color further as Dave says by altering the polish, rust time, carding procedure and you can see there are lots of variables. Even the water used to boil can effect the color. Clean soft water the best to change over the oxide.
Generally, the coarser the coating and rougher the polish,,the darker (blacker) the color. Probably because it doesn't reflect as much light back at you but that's just my guess. I'm no scientist!
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Snap
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« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2012, 07:15:34 PM »

Thanks Guys!  I had rust browned quite a few barrels with good results before I tried the rust blue.  For the rust blue I used tap water and carded with Scotch Bright pads (as I recall).  I'm going to rust blue my next gun, but this time I think that I'll try to polish the barrel more.

Thanks,
Kevin
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Dphariss
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Northern I Corps Kill a Commie for your Mommy


« Reply #4 on: January 22, 2012, 08:45:49 PM »

The discussion of the Vincent colors got me thinking...  I've only rust blued one barrel.   I used Wahkon Bay Rust Blue, filed/sanded/polished the barrel and boiled and carded the barrel between rustings.  The barrel came out a beautiful, very deep shiny black and the finish is very durable.  I shot this rifle monthly for 10 years and the barrel still looks great.   My question is ... are rust blued barrels supposed to be black (similar to modern chemical blue) or do are they supposed to be some shade of blue?  I'm going to be rust bluing another barrel soon and just want to know if I'm doing it correctly. 
Thanks,
Kevin

The color is more black than blue. The process converts red iron oxide to black iron oxide after all.
Blue in the 18th century gun world was often temper blue. Charcoal blue is also bluer but its also a heat process rather than a rusting process.
So yes I would say you were doing it right.
Rust blue is very durable more so than brown.

The TG, barrel and rib is rust blue. The belt hook is pale temper blue and the entry pipe is well. The trigger is also heat blue but its to dark to see in the photo.


Dan
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Dphariss
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Northern I Corps Kill a Commie for your Mommy


« Reply #5 on: January 22, 2012, 08:47:22 PM »

Thanks Guys!  I had rust browned quite a few barrels with good results before I tried the rust blue.  For the rust blue I used tap water and carded with Scotch Bright pads (as I recall).  I'm going to rust blue my next gun, but this time I think that I'll try to polish the barrel more.

Thanks,
Kevin

Exceeding 320 grit is a waste of time. Too bright and it will not rust evenly on the first couple of applications.

Dan
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"American Girls and American Guys
Will always stand up and salute  Will always recognize
When we see Old Glory Flying   There's a lot of men dead   So we can sleep in peace at night   When we lay down our head"
Toby Keith "Courtesy of the Red White and Blue"
D. Taylor Sapergia
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« Reply #6 on: January 22, 2012, 09:01:55 PM »



I have to agree with Dan.  I get good results by polishing lengthwise with cloth backed Aluminum Oxide at 180 grit after drawfiling.  the barrel above is from my most recent rust/blue using Nieder's formula.  I have seen a barrel by the same manufacturer blued with this same solution, and it is as black as can be.  I don't know how he achieved it, but the maker knows what he's doing.  I get a very deep blue/black, and it is tough as all get out.  I card between applications with 0000 steel wool.
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D. Taylor Sapergia
www.sapergia.blogspot.com
Albert Rasch
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« Reply #7 on: January 22, 2012, 10:59:40 PM »

Fellows,

I've been fooling around with Plum Brown, and my best results have been with boiling, rusting, carding (Denim, wife's sponge with the scouring pad, 0000 steelwool, etc) boiling, rusting, carding, lather, rinse, repeat. But it's near black the more I did it. Sooner or later I'll need to make a damp box and see what the results are using that.

I sanded one out to near mirror, and it came out a smooth velvet black, BUT, a couple spots that weren't as well done definitely show!

Dan and Taylor, thanks for the tips!

Best Regards,
Albert “Afghanus” Rasch
The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles™
A Chronicles’ Project: How to Smoke Fish!
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The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles
Sawatis
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« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2012, 11:16:21 PM »

If you have the patience, the old Niedner blue is a nice deep blue (not black) with a very durable finish...mre so than any comercial products I've tried
check this site
http://forums.gunbroker.com/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=478479
John
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wilkie
Starting Member
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Posts: 31


« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2012, 03:49:06 AM »

I tried Brownells dicropan im bluing solution with the boiling water process that they recommend but had trouble with contaminets in the tap water or some other problem that did not produce a uniform blue.  Then I tried a rust bluing procedure of polishing, degrease with acetone or lacquer thinner, apply im bluing solution with a tooth brush or fiber pad, let set for 1 or 2 days, card with steel wool, then repeat with more solution and carding.  After 4 or 5 applications this has resulted in a nice black oxide rust coating the same as the hot blue solution method.  After the last coat wait for a couple of days then oil.  I have used this on several barrels and other parts and it usually does a very good job.  It doesn't take long to apply a coat of solution and uses very little solution.   
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