Re-bluing?

Discussion in 'DIY Projects' started by McCakie, Aug 28, 2013.

  1. McCakie

    McCakie New Member

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    I was wondering if its worth striping and re finishing a gun yourself or just have a professional do it? I've never tried anything like this before and don't really know what's involved
     
  2. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Depends on the gun, and what your expectations are of the end result.

    I HAVE blued some firearms, both hot blue, cold blue, and rust blue- just to see what they would look like.

    Rebluing an entire gun, you will be disappointed with cold blue. Hot blue is a lot of work, and rather dangerous.

    If you have a good gunsmith, that would be a good call.
     

  3. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    i have to agree with C3.

    i too have done some at the house with acceptable results. have done smaller parts or pistols with decent results.

    IMO, there just isn't any comparison in the quality of having it done correctly with hot blueing. especially if doing much larger parts like a barreled action or a shotgun.

    i would say it depends on what you expect and how large are the parts you want to blue as to whether doing it yourself or having it professionally done.
     
  4. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    Take it to a pro bro.
     
  5. longunner

    longunner New Member

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    Wish I saw this before I tried it on my Mosin...lol
     
  6. trip286

    trip286 New Member

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    See that squirt in my profile pic?
    I cold blued that gun he's holding. I've discovered that cold bluing seems pretty fragile, very easily scratched.

    The first time around was a learning process, and I did learn quite a LOT in valuable lessons.

    For one thing, I'll never use the paste again. Liquid only. The paste is too hard to spread evenly in the tight nooks and crannies of the frame.

    Degreasing a stripped gun leads to nearly immediate rust. Between stripping and refinishing, it's a constant battle to keep the rust away.

    The metal kinda goes into shock from the harsh treatment of the chemicals. Keeping rust at bay is a process that'll take several weeks unless you give it a good soaking in vinegar between the stripping and refinishing. After stripping, douse in vinegar, rinse under COLD high pressure water, dry with compressed air, repeat. Do this quickly. Keep a piece of polishing cloth on hand (a paper towel with flitz on it will work) and a cleaning brush, to knock out any rust spots that pop up in the process. Don't use your gun cleaning oils, the purpose is to completely degrease because oil and grease are rust inhibitors, and bluing is only a form of controlled corrosion. It's basically blue rust.

    Apply blue. The instructions say, I think, to let it sit a minute. NO. As soon as it starts to turn reasonably dark, rinse under high pressure cold water, dry with compressed air. If you let it sit too long, the chemical process will basically eat into itself, removing the blue, and leaving a nasty gray patina. This is acceptable to some people in old guns, but it's not exactly what most people are going for when they refinish in blue.

    Not dark enough? Well there's the beauty of it. You can repeat until you get the color you want.

    Metal prep is key. What you see in your bare metal, will be magnified times ten when you're finished. Follow the directions. Then POLISH EVERYTHING. Make it look like high polished chrome. If you can't look at a flat piece and count the pores in your face, get back to work. Then degrease and douse with vinegar again.

    Then be prepared to start all over again at least once, if it's your first rodeo. Possibly twice.

    Seriously. Take it to a pro. It's not impossible at home, but it's really not worth the hassle.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2013
  7. nitestalker

    nitestalker New Member

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    A good shop can often reproduce original finishes. More guns are ruined by home bluing then any thing else. It takes care and knowledge to avoid rounded edges and buffed out numbers and legends on the firearm. :eek:
     
  8. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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  9. BillM

    BillM Active Member Supporter

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    What I have done in the past is get in touch with the local hot blue guy and
    work out a deal. I do the dis and re assembly, and the polishing. He tanks
    what I bring him, at a very fair price.
     
  10. adwye7

    adwye7 New Member

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    Is there a way to brue a handgun without it being shiny, i want more of a matte look for my desert eagle
     
  11. c3shooter

    c3shooter Administrator Staff Member

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    Sure. Bluing does not make a gun shiny, it makes it blue. Shiny is a result of polishing the metal. Do not polish it to a mirror state. You can even glass bead the gun and THEN blue. Again call and talk to a smith.
     
  12. adwye7

    adwye7 New Member

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    okay then.
     
  13. HM2Grunt

    HM2Grunt New Member

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    The best and easiest bluing job that looks pretty good is Belgium Blue. You need to have two tanks. This was easy to find because I was just re-bluing a black powder revolver. You need a heat source for both, I used a camping stove. After removing the old blue, and polishing the metal, you use one tank to degrease the pistol parts. you then put the parts in the clean boiling water. I used distilled so as to not get mineral deposits on parts. After a few minutes in the boiling water, swab on the Belgium Blue, and stick it back in the water. The part will rust. You card off the rust and the prettiest deep blue will be there. Repeat the swabbing, boiling and carding of the rust until you get the bluing just right. after you remove the rust for the last time, rinse with clean distilled water and oil the parts. I have found that salt bluing is expensive and a gunsmith may not want to fire up his tanks for one gun. I have done both of these types of bluing in smith school. Up side to BB is minimum equipment, downside, the last I checked in Brownell's, it was expensive. The Belgium blue is used for double barrel shotgun barrels too, when you don't want the hot salts to eat the solder that holds them together causing them to come apart. If you go with Brownell's Belgium, it comes with good directions. If you do the bluing yourself you will have the satisfaction of having done it each time you handle the gun
     
  14. HM2Grunt

    HM2Grunt New Member

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    c3shooter, why don't you want to polish the gun to a mirror finish? If you do you can get that nice mirror blue like the way Smith and Wesson did their guns in the old days. I prefer shiney to dull blue, but that's just me saying.