Featured Cheap bluing setup?

Discussion in 'Engraving & Refinishing' started by Warriorsoul84, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Warriorsoul84

    Warriorsoul84 New Member

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    I'm wanting to set up a tank and burner for boiling water for the rust bluing process. There has got to be a cheaper way then ordering a tank, tank stand, burners and hoses from Brownell's. I meant seriously, $275 for a tank stand?

    Does anyone have any ideas on how to make a cheaper set up. I have never seen a bluing set up in person, and don't have much knowledge of propane burners. Does anyone know how to make your own tanks and how much it would cost to do so? I'm looking to try to keep cost for single tank set up for boiling water under $300.00. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    well, even if you could weld, or fabricate your own tanks, and figure out how to rig up the burners and such, you still have to buy all te chemicals, and for the most part, they aren't cheap, and you also need a way to properly dispose of the waste products at some point.

    and unless you plan on doing many guns, it's still not going to be worth the expense or effort. plus you are going to need the room to set up the blueing tanks and such.

    i would suggest doing a lot more reading up on the subject before embarking on this endeavor.
     
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  3. Warriorsoul84

    Warriorsoul84 New Member

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    Yeah, I have. I'm not looking at doing hot salts bluing for that reason. I'm just looking at a single tank set up for the boiling water for rust bluing only. In that process, chemicals are applied to the gun directly, the gun is immersed in boiling water, then carded, and the process is repeated until you get the results you want. I just need one tank for boiling water, and the apparatus for the burners to connect to a propane tank.
     
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  4. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    okay, i see what you're trying to do. the size of the tank will be dependent upon how large an item you want to immerse in the boiling water.

    what you could try is getting a propane burning turkey fryer setup. and use water instead of oil.

    buy a tank from Brownell's if you plan on doing ong rifle barrels.

    https://www.brownells.com/gunsmith-...on-tanks/black-iron-bluing-tank-prod1062.aspx

    get two of the burners and stands like these. and you could also source them from Lowes, or any of the sporting goods chain stores as well. WalMart even carries them. i suggest two because if you use the long tank from Brownell's then you put one at each end to support and make the tank stable.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/King-Ko...Pot-and-Battery-Operated-Timer-1266/202483279

    and if you don't have the propane tanks already, and have to source them locally, you would still end up way under $300 for everything.
     
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  5. Warriorsoul84

    Warriorsoul84 New Member

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    Thanks sooo much Dallas53, that's along the lines of what I was looking for!
     
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  6. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    you're welcome.

    if you plan on just doing a small batch of parts, just use one and the pot that comes with the turkey fryer. and that pot is pretty huge. it will hold a decent sized turkey!

    but if you are doing a barrel or barreled action from a rifle, you will either need to buy that long narrow tank from Brownell's, or something similar. that tank i posted is 40" long. plenty long enough for most any rifle barrel or barreled action.

    and you could add one of those small parts baskets to do really small parts like screws and such and not having to fish them our individually from the tank or pot.
     
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  7. hiwall

    hiwall Well-Known Member

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    Even long barrels could be done with just a large iron pipe that was capped on one end. You would have to make some method to hold it above your turkey cooker burner but it certainly could be done.
     
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  8. Dallas53

    Dallas53 Well-Known Member

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    that is very true, and would work probably just as well.

    my suggestions were leaning towards him not having to fabricate anything, and ease of use with some commonly available items.
     
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  9. jigs-n-fixture

    jigs-n-fixture Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    Rant on|| Cheap means: shoddy, of poor quality, or utility, and thus low in cost. || rant off.

    What inexpensive solutions you can come up with is kind of dependent on your skills and tools. A guy I know made up a really good tank out of an old electric water heater. He cut off about a third of the tank length wise, and rewelded the bungs for the elements into the ends of the tank. He welded on four pipe nipples, and screwed lengths of pipe in as legs.
     
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  10. BillDeShivs

    BillDeShivs Member

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    A piece of gutter, sealed on the ends and a couple of electric hot plates to sit it on is about as inexpensive as you can get. There are also pans for holding sheetrock mud that go to about 18" available at hardware stores.
    You can also use a household steam cleaner in lieu of boiling parts, but that works best on small parts.
     
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  11. dwmiller

    dwmiller Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My first tank setup was a length of un galvanised roofers steel, bent and soldered into a tank. Angle iron stand to hold and support it level. Took some welding and torch time soldering to make. Sitting on a single pipe burner that I drilled out of a 1/2" piece of black iron pipe with two rows of drilled flame holes, running off a propane tank with a flame check valve.

    Look at how BBQ burners work for an idea then make a long, straight one. Google for hole sizes and spacing and make sure you use a "flame check" valve to adjust it. The idea is to make the water tank volume as small as possible while still immersing the work completely. Less water means less weight and less gas to heat it up. The smallest setup that's practical for a barreled action, ~40"x6"x6", isn't going to be easily portable so plan on a permanent set up from the start.

    It cost me about $30 and a couple days of time to fabricate. That was many years ago, 20+. It is possible and works just fine. The system that Dallas suggested above would be an upgrade on this. Build it right and you'll be able to use it for years to come.

    Your right rust blueing IS cheaper than the chemical blueing method, up front. But when you figure in time its much more expensive. Even with the price of chemicals and additional tanks chemical blueing is worth it in time savings. Especially if your going to do this professionally down the road. If your just wanting to try it for yourself as a hobby go the rust blue method. If your wanting to recreate historical finish, use rust blue. But invest in the full chemical setup if you want to make a living at it. End of advise. Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
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  12. Chainfire

    Chainfire Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Here is a cheap solution:

    Go see your local plumbing contractor. Tell him you want the next dead propane water heater he pulls out. (he will be glad to not have to haul it to the dump) They are usually discarded because they developed a leak. If the tank leaks, you can just expoxy it up since it won't be under pressure. Cut the tank to length with a Sawzall and you are fixed for smaller items. Hook it up the the propane tank you have for your BBQ grill and boil water all day long.


    If you were close-by I have one I would give you.
     
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  13. crash11049

    crash11049 Member

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    There is nothing better than a real tank for barrels, but if you want real cheap this is an option.
    The tank is a plastic goat feeder sold by our local Tractor supply, about twenty bucks and a 3 gallon pot for boiling water will work.
    like I said its not great but will do the job.


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