Exterior Rust Removal & Refinishing a Barrel

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing Forum' started by CA357, Sep 29, 2009.

  1. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    My 1917 has quite a bit of rust on the exterior of the barrel. Some bad pitting has occured as well. The barrel has a beautiful deep blue in some places, but the rusted areas make it look like a POS.

    I'd like some suggestions for removing the rust and what I should do to refinish it. I'm thinking that I should do something to pretty it up a bit.

    I must stipulate that I paid $199. for the rifle and I don't want to spend a fortune redoing it. My local gunsmith charges $200. + to reblue a rifle, so that doesn't make economic sense to me. I want to redo all of the metal.

    I have a Model 37 that was Duracoated matte black that turned out okay, so Duracoat is one option. In the interest of a low buck project, I'm even thinking of Rustoleum or barbecue/engine paint.

    I may be able to have a friend parkerize it, but I'm not sure about that. I have also considered buying a basic/starter Parkerizing kit for around fifty bucks from Brownells and trying that, but I don't know what I could use for a stainless container long enough to fit the assembled barrel and receiver. So that leads me back to Duracoat or maybe paint.

    So gents, what do you think? The solution must be economical as I can't afford a big buck restoration. I just want it to look good. It will be a field rifle, so the finish needs to be tough.

    The project includes shortening and refinishing the stock as well. The project details are here: http://www.firearmstalk.com/forums/f35/1917-eddystone-project-18556/
     
  2. ArkansasHunter

    ArkansasHunter New Member

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    The only thing for the rust is some fine steel wool oiled...A.H
     

  3. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Cotton cloth, light oil. Rub until the cloth gets saturated with rust, then move to a clean section of cloth. Old white sox do well. Repeat until arm falls off at shoulder/elbow. It will get rid of rust with minimal damage to bluing.
     
  4. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    The dopey kids at the gun shop used steel wool on some of the rust, so not only does it have rust, but it's scratched and the blueing is gone in some areas.

    Dumbasses...:rolleyes:
     
  5. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    I also have a 1950's vintage Ithaca Model 37 that I want to refinish, so I bought the Blue Wonder Gun Blue kit. It costs $20 and is enough for 1 gun. It contains a 1oz. tube of Gun Cleaner which they claim can be used for the bore as well as to remove rust from a blued barrel, a tube of Gun Blue, and a Developer. They say to apply the Cleaner with 0000 steel wool and wipe it off with a clean cloth, then apply oil. I wish to remove ALL the old bluing, and I know there is a chemical available which will do this. I will check Brownells. I have used 0000 steel wool, scotch brite pads, and 400 - 600 grit emery cloth in the past with good results. As long as you use a twisting motion on the barrel (all barrels are turned on a lathe) and do not rub lengthwise, you won't get any noticeable scratching after the gun is blued. I did this once already on my Mod.37 but used Birchwood Casey cold bluing, which came out blotchy - I don't want to take the emery cloth to the engraved receiver a second time, so I need to find a chemical remover. For cheap guns, as a bluing alternative, I have used Brownells Matte Black Aluma-Hyde II with excellent results. It's epoxy based (much more durable than any paint), impervious to gun cleaning solvents, and holds up very well to normal handling.
     
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2009
  6. Gatekeeper

    Gatekeeper New Member

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    This works^^^ I use PB Blaster like this on an old sock or t-shirt. Removes surface rust and even rust down in the pitting. Doesn't damage bluing.
     
  7. toolman

    toolman New Member

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    RB-17 and 0000 steel wool works wonders on rust without harming any existing bluing if used correctly. the RB-17 is a gel that will stay in place and is safe for extended use on barrels. I've also used automatic trans. fluid with steel wool, but it's not as good as RB-17. you can also use JB Bore Brite on a felt or cotten pad, but it will remove the bluing unless you're really careful and observant.
     
  8. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    The blueing is already ruined. The dumbass kids scratched the hell out of the barrel and they rubbed lengthwise rather than around the barrel. :rolleyes:

    So, I guess I'll paint it. RL, does the AlumaHyde work on steel as well? I am also thinking of Gun-Kote, but I don't know how I can get the barrel & receiver into the oven to cure it. :confused:
     
  9. Hot Sauce NARC

    Hot Sauce NARC New Member

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    I was going to post a similar thread but this one should suffice. I had a similar problem with the High Standard Riot shotgun i bought last week for 100 bucks, it had some ugly rust on the barrel, and some deep pitting all around. I went at it like killing snakes and just sanded off all the finish with a drywall sanding block, but scotch brite pads worked well on the curved areas and in some hard to reach areas. If you want to get rid off all the blue and get down to bare metal just go with the foam blocks with abrasive on the outsides.

    So now i have a bare metal shotgun and its too ugly to just polish up because of some deep pitting that would take too much metal away to get rid of. i was looking at KG gun kote on midway, flat black would look good but i might go with flat dark earth just to have something unique. Do you guys have much experience using the gun kote? Will it fill in the pitting?
     
  10. toolman

    toolman New Member

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    Before you give up on a nice blued finish, clamp the receiver in a well-padded vise where you can access the barrel easily and use emery cloth in a shoeshine motion to remove the scratches. If they're deep, I'd start with 400 grit, progress to 600 grit. If a really shiny finish is desired, flip it over and use the cloth backing and JB Bore-Brite to polish it, then progress to a chamois strip with JB Bore Shine, unless you have a buffer and the appropriate polishing compounds available. Once you get the metal finish you want, you can use Brownells Oxpho Blue or send it out to be reblued for a nominal fee. The Oxpho-Blue works well but won't be as durable as a hot or rust-blue job.
     
  11. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Tim, is that the blue liquid stuff that Brownells sells? It says it will remove rust and grease as well. I can't afford the $200.+ the local gunsmith would charge to reblue it.
     
  12. toolman

    toolman New Member

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    Yes it is. You can get it from several different places, including Cabelas, if you have one nearby. I've used it with really nice results by first wiping the bare steel with a very lightly oiled rag ( I used Kroil), then using a piece of 0000 steel wool as an applicator. I heated all parts with a heat-gun before application as well, after making one swipe with a dry cloth. Oxho-Blue seems to work best with a bit of oil on the surface, but you will have to use several applications, polishing with steel wool between coats.
     
  13. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Aluma Hyde II works on steel, fiberglass, wood, and aluminum. Remove the rust and you're good to go - no priming as it is self-priming. Personally, on a nice gun like the Enfield I would check out parkerizing or bluing. I believe naval jelly which you can get at Home Depot or Lowes, will remove rust and bluing as a prep to re-bluing. This would eliminate a lot of elbow grease, which is the only PITA when rebluing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  14. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    I would stay away from the oxpho blue liquid. I found that the liquid works great for bluing small parts like barrel bands and screws.

    For the barrel here is what I do.

    Materials needed:

    1. Brownells Oxpho blue cream.
    2. Laytex or nitril gloves box of 250 (Try to use nitril)
    3. CRC break clean or 90% rubbing alcohol.
    4. 0000 steelwool
    5. emery cloth or sand paper in desired grit.

    If pitting is deep I will draw file ( I try to avoid this because I am not that good at it).

    After that I switch to 100 grit emery cloth or sand paper and clamp the barre in a padded vice and working around the barrel I remove all the old finish. Depending on how polished you want the barrel to look depends on what grit you stop at. For a more mate finish I will stop at 150 grip or 180 grit. For a smoother more polished look I will go to 320 grit If you want a nice high polish go to 600 or 1000 grit. This takes for ever though.

    once all blue is removed I clean and let dry with break clean (careful with gloves and any plastic in area).

    If it is a nice hot day let barrel stand in sun for an hour or two to heat it up. If you want you can also use wifes (OLD) hairdryer. to heat the metal a little.

    Now degrease your steel wool with break clean.

    Once it drys replace gloves with fresh pair and open oxpho-blue cream and place a liberal dab on steel wool and start rubbing for 2 to 5 minutes. Keep repeating this step until you get a nice deep blue finish it will take at least 10 to 15 times of adding blue to the barrel and rubbing it in. NOTE: use little to NO pressure in this step. Just rub it around like you are rubbing lotion on a hot young ladies back.

    Once you get it to the color you like. Let barrel sit fore 10 to 60 minutes then clean off and rub down with remoil or another form of gun oil. this helps protect the metal and stops the blue from reacting to the metal.

    I will add pics after I get home tonight.
     
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2009
  15. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    Wow! Thanks for all the help guys. I guess I could try one of the cold blues. If it turns out poorly, I can always go for the paint option later.
     
  16. cpttango30

    cpttango30 New Member

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    We do have a member that does hot bluing for $85 + shipping to his shop here in VA. I forget his name
     
  17. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    If you think of it, let me know. I may be able to swing that.
     
  18. RL357Mag

    RL357Mag New Member

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    Follow-up: I just bought a container of Naval Jelly(phosphoric acid) at Home Depot and removed the bluing from an old Mossberg .410 barrel. It worked very well and very quickly. It costs $3.79 for an 8oz container which is enough to do many guns. Brush it on and keep it wet for about 10-12 minutes then use steel wool or scotch brite pads to thoroughly remove the bluing. Rinse with water and then clean with alcohol. Use latex or nitrile gloves to protect your skin and to keep finger oils off the steel.
     
  19. CA357

    CA357 New Member Supporter

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    I just now ordered Oxpho Blue cream, Birchwood Casey Blue & Rust Remover and a small bottle of Tru-Oil from Brownells.

    So now the impatient toe tapping dance begins. I'm on hold until the Pachmayr recoil pad and the Brownells order comes in. :eek:

    I was going to just do a boiled Linseed Oil finish, but I want to try out the Tru-Oil this time around.