Author Topic: Rust bluing question  (Read 807 times)

Offline NJS

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Rust bluing question
« on: April 18, 2024, 12:40:16 AM »
Good afternoon,
I put together a Kibler SMR a couple of years ago and I rust blued all of the furniture with Pilkingtons. I didn't do a great job fitting the rear sight so, I have to refit another sight. My problem is, from what I understand, Pilkingtons is no longer being made. Is there another product that any of you recommend? I read or heard somewhere that you can use aqua fortis. I have some leftover that I bought from the Kiblers when I bought the kit I could use if that's an option? Thanks for all of your help!

Offline okawbow

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Re: Rust bluing question
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2024, 12:57:29 AM »
Laurel Mountain works good.
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Offline rich pierce

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Re: Rust bluing question
« Reply #2 on: April 18, 2024, 01:01:06 AM »
The whole aquafortis thing is confusing because the term is used for at least 3 different things by various people.

Nitric acid is aquafortis. It is used to make a solution of ferric nitrate by adding it to water then adding iron which it dissolves in the chemical reaction, giving off heat and gas. The actual aquafortis - nitric acid - will dissolve your barrel.

Next we have iron saturated solutions of mostly exhausted nitric acid and water. This works great for staining maple but needs blushing with heat plus usually neutralization or st least a good wash out depending on how much acid is left. This stuff, if enough acid remains, can rust barrels in a controlled fashion.

Next we have purified ferric nitrate powder or solution which has no remaining nitric acid. Not useful for browning barrels by itself as far as I know. This may be what Jim Kibler and others sell.

Then Whakon Bay used to sell something they called aquafortis which had nitric acid, water, dissolved iron (ferric nitrate) plus hydrochloride acid. This all rounder would stain maple, rust barrels, and so on.
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Offline BJH

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Re: Rust bluing question
« Reply #3 on: April 18, 2024, 01:25:51 AM »
All the cold rust browning products can be used to rust blue. The boiling/ scalding step is the difference. Some dilution helps with the smoothness of the final finish along with carding timing. BJH
BJH

Offline NJS

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Re: Rust bluing question
« Reply #4 on: April 18, 2024, 02:24:07 AM »
Thanks for the help!

Offline sdilts

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Re: Rust bluing question
« Reply #5 on: April 18, 2024, 03:09:20 AM »
Mark Lee's Express Blue is another good product.

Offline JPK

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Re: Rust bluing question
« Reply #6 on: April 18, 2024, 03:21:00 AM »
I used the easy to come by BC Plum Brown. Simply brown then boil in distilled water.
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Offline Smilax

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Re: Rust bluing question
« Reply #7 on: April 18, 2024, 12:27:07 PM »
I like the products from rustblue.com. I just used some to rust blue all the steel parts on a Kibler colonial build and it came out great. The owner is really responsive to questions and happy to provide help where he can.

Offline Dphariss

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Re: Rust bluing question
« Reply #8 on: April 19, 2024, 08:01:10 AM »
Good afternoon,
I put together a Kibler SMR a couple of years ago and I rust blued all of the furniture with Pilkingtons. I didn't do a great job fitting the rear sight so, I have to refit another sight. My problem is, from what I understand, Pilkingtons is no longer being made. Is there another product that any of you recommend? I read or heard somewhere that you can use aqua fortis. I have some leftover that I bought from the Kiblers when I bought the kit I could use if that's an option? Thanks for all of your help!
In Montana Pilkingtons was a waste of time would stop rusting at about the third coat on the chrom-moly barrels I was using at the time. Any cold brown will work. I used to mox Wahkon Bay brown and “Aqua Fortis” stain 50-50 and it worked well. But started making my own anyway. Rust boil/card off repeat. And yes IMO  a little Nitric acid in the solution seems to work well. Using Aqua Fortis depends on how acid the stain is. Ferric Nitrate need not be acidic to stain a stock…
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