Monday, August 31, 2015

Gun Bluing Cold with a Little Heat


Cold bluing is what most of us use to do touch ups on a Gun. For example a drop of perspiration on a receiver not cleaned off when the gun was cleaned will leave a rusty spot when the gun is taken out to use again. Or a gun in long term storage in a wet climate that was not regularly oiled will sometimes be covered in rust.  Rust is a cancer and if not removed will continue to eat at the gun. First attack the rusty spot with a brass shell casing and solvent or oil. Oil is ok for a general rust removal if you do not plan to do touch ups with a bluing product. But whichever you use the metal should be cleaned with acetate of lacquer thinner if you plan to blue the spot or part. Gun metals are of many types and the bluing you plan to match may be different as well. Some gun blues can be a beautiful plum shade or can go to a near black color. Even using the same bluing product you can end up with different results. A polished metal will give you a shiny glossy gleaming look and a sand blasted metal will show a flat finish. Screws, gun barrels, and receivers may all blue differently as they are all different types of carbon steel. In the factory each part would most likely have a different bluing process so when the gun was assembled it would look uniform. So do not expect uniform results out of a bottle.
Matching the finish by elbow grease only if the spot is large will you attempt to polish, sand blast, or use sand paper to endeavor to match the surrounding metal. It is better to use a touchup blue on a peculiar small mess than to try a file, scrape, or to sand the small spot and create a world of problems and make the situation worse than it was. Your best solution is to after cleaning just to touch up the spot with a Q Tip swab and your bluing solution if the spot is relatively small.
 For larger spots matching the surroundings may be your only choice. Remember if you polish the metal so it is too smooth the bluing will not be durable. Some gun metals show abrasive marks from a scratching before bluing stay in line with these marks. Your abrasive material will wear down and become finer and smother so when you find a an abrasive that matches the pattern use a new piece on the spot on the gun to match the original surface when the last finish is complete. You may be able to match a sand blasted spot that has worn smooth by using a yellow end clear plastic hammer and taping the sand paper with the clear yellow plastic end and then moving the sand paper to a new spot and striking again. Do not use too course of a sand paper, experiment on a piece of scrap metal to create a surface match before you try on the spot on the gun.
Application
After using a cleaning solvent on the prepared metal where you want to use the bluing it can help to add a little heat to the steel with a heat gun or blow drier before or during the process.
1) For small spots a Q Tip swab with the bluing product of choice. If doing too big of a spot the Q Tip can leave streaks.
2) For larger spots a clean cleaning patch will work as an applicator (wear rubber gloves)
3) Sometimes a small piece of “OOO” steel wool will work as an applicator (wear rubber gloves) this will allow for small unseen scratches to help in metal preparation and bluing
4) Repeat the process until color is as close as can be had using what product you have. You will not always get a perfect match but it will be many times better than it was.
5)  Wash off the spots you blued with water so the acid is removed as the bluing chemical can eat on the steel after you put the gun away. Use your blow dryer or heat gun or a little heat from the kitchen stove to drive out the moisture.
6) Apply a coat of oil before putting the gun in storage. 
Richard W. Norman to see my book click my name

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