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  #1  
Old 08-19-2017, 3:47 PM
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Default Hot Blued my first pistol with Stump Remover today. Update in post #40

It turned out great.
The pictures don't do it justice. I wanted a flat finish so I bead blasted with 120 aluminum oxide. I left the inside of the dust cover sanded and also blued a polished hammer just so I could see a few different finishes. I could not get a good picture of the hammer. It is much bluer as compared to the blacker frame.




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Old 08-19-2017, 3:47 PM
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This was the basic formula (link below) but my research showed most guys were adding 26.25% more Potassium Nitrite where this recipe shows no extra. I used the extra.

http://www.guntechtips.com/bluing/bluing.htm
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Old 08-19-2017, 3:48 PM
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I plan to do more soon. If there is any interest I can take a few pictures of the process?
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Old 08-19-2017, 3:49 PM
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Looks like it did the trick. Looks great!
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Old 08-19-2017, 5:23 PM
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Looks really good!
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Old 08-19-2017, 5:41 PM
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Very cool. Love to see process pics.
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Old 08-19-2017, 7:13 PM
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If love to see the process. Always interested in seeing stuff like this. Is that a carbon steel or stainless frame?
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Old 08-19-2017, 7:18 PM
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That is new to me. I would also like to see the process.
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Old 08-19-2017, 8:03 PM
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I'd like to see it. How long does it take?
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Old 08-19-2017, 8:38 PM
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If love to see the process. Always interested in seeing stuff like this. Is that a carbon steel or stainless frame?
Carbon, won't work on stainless.
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Old 08-19-2017, 8:44 PM
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I'd like to see it. How long does it take?
Once you have everything setup it should only take about an hour. My hotplate just wouldn't get hot enough and I had to point my heat gun at the side of the pan so it took a while longer. It's only supposed to take 20-30 minutes once it's in the solution but it takes that long to get up to temperature.

Next time I will be using a propane burner.
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Old 08-19-2017, 10:06 PM
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wow looks great...would love to learn more about the process
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Old 08-20-2017, 6:55 AM
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Looks great... it would be awesome to see how a highly polished part comes out looking.
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Old 08-20-2017, 9:26 AM
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I'm wondering if those salts can be stored and re-used after the first use. And of not, what is the proper way to get rid of it (I assume pouring it down the toilet is not an option).

OP, the bluing is beautiful, btw!
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Old 08-20-2017, 9:31 AM
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Very interesting and looks like a nice job.
And yes it would have been nice to see some pictures of the steps as you went along

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Old 08-20-2017, 10:05 AM
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Looks great
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Old 08-20-2017, 10:09 AM
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I think that's actually nitre blueing. ????
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Old 08-20-2017, 4:59 PM
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I think that's actually nitre blueing. ????
I believe you are right.
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Old 08-20-2017, 5:03 PM
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Originally Posted by javaduke View Post
I'm wondering if those salts can be stored and re-used after the first use. And of not, what is the proper way to get rid of it (I assume pouring it down the toilet is not an option).

OP, the bluing is beautiful, btw!
They can be stored and use for about 15 jobs. Be sure to bring the water level back up to where you started or the solution will crystallize and will not be usable.

One of the recipes I read told how to neutralize the solution for disposal. I'll try and find that again.
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Old 08-20-2017, 7:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TKM View Post
I think that's actually nitre blueing. ????
Incorrect.

Nitre bluing is potassium nitrate that is heated to a liquid state, zero water used, potassium nitrate liquifies at about 650˚F and you get the color change by heating the steel.

What vader is doing is a crude version of hot salts or black oxide (one and the same) only difference is chemical supply house chemicals are controlled a lot better then mixing at home and not knowing exact purity of the mix, nor trace chemicals that can affect color.

Chemicals can be saved and reused many times, what happens with hot salts is water loss, you are adding so much salt to the water it won't boil till it hits 295˚F + I have no idea what vaders mix will boil at but that's what a proper bath should boil at. Adding straight water can be very dangerous too as you want to add the water from a tube submerged in the salts and add it in a way that keeps your body and face away from the tube. You want the water to hit the salts submerged so they mix and don't flash steam causing a burn. if you flash steam enough water and blow out enough chemical the burns alone will kill you.

the other precaution is don't put anything in there non ferrous as you wont get it back and aluminum will cause an explosive reaction.

Good deal vader I've been wanting to give this a go but I have no place to set it up. Cant do it in or near the garage as the vapors will corrode everything they touch. maybe in the back yard but that will be in full view of the neighbors and thats not something i care to have happen.
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Old 08-21-2017, 3:02 PM
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Here's the finished product. Just a dedicated 22 made from leftover parts.

I'm the worlds best procrastinator. I get them shooting and then move on. I did finish this a couple years ago and have been shooting it in the "raw". I have several more that have been bare metal for a few years. Time to dress them up.


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Old 08-21-2017, 3:15 PM
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I have a couple of WWII replicas I made that I would like to get more blue into. I will need to experiment with different times, and finishes. Like I said the hammer turned out pretty blue.
I would also like to know more about the statement below from one of the pages I looked at.

All "bluing" is really blacking. The blue shine is due to additional chemicals such as manganese that are added to the mix.

How much manganese and where do I get it???
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Old 08-21-2017, 4:01 PM
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If possible, can you try a high polish surface in your bluing mix?
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Old 08-21-2017, 4:24 PM
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If possible, can you try a high polish surface in your bluing mix?
I plan to do just that but the results will vary with different metals. Getting this nailed down will take a while.
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Old 08-21-2017, 6:38 PM
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Nicely done. I've used the ammonium nitrate/lye recipe in your link with similar results. They are both readily available on amazon/ebay without hazard fees. It gives the same black finish. To neutralize the solution, you'll need to add acid until the ph drops to 7. Some companies sell sulfamic acid for this purpose.
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Old 08-21-2017, 6:49 PM
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Does anyone know if the finished parts have a bad odor?
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Old 08-21-2017, 7:09 PM
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Way cool. I wish I had a steel tank large enough for a rifle barrel and receiver.
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Old 08-21-2017, 7:54 PM
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Does anyone know if the finished parts have a bad odor?
No, I'm working with them now and I never noticed an odor.
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Old 08-22-2017, 1:54 PM
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I love the finish I get with this process. I'm glad you gave it a try too.

FYI, a cheap source for lye (sodium hydroxide) is prosupplyoutlet.com

i used sodium nitrate and potassium nitrate with the same results.
ammonium nitrate could also be used but will create some really nasty fumes when mixing.
I also found that increasing the salt concentration in the same (oxidizer:lye) 1:2 ratio made for a better bath, but it will boil hotter.

this is my process:

I bead blasted the metal to give an even, matte finish but you could just as easily polish it. The main thing is that any blemish will show under the blue.

1.
I degreased the metal by boiling it in a TSP water solution, following the solution mixture listed on the box.
The parts will rust fast after degreasing so work fast, although, I tested a spare part that rusted after degreasing; it blued the same even though I left it rusty going into the salts.
stainless steel pot or graniteware pot only; NO ALUMINUM

2.
hot water rinse.

Make sure you wear a respirator and goggles or full face respirator, chemical gloves and aprons.
This stuff is nasty, so don't skimp on safety equipment.
Have some vinegar on standby for accidents.
I keep a fire extinguisher around too.
Do this all outside.

3.
I mixed my own salts using 1 gal distilled water, 5lbs lye and 2.5lbs sodium nitrate. You could sub sodium nitrate for potassium or ammonium nitrate. Ammonium nitrate will create a ton of ammonia gas so you may want to avoid it for that reason.
I used a granite-ware pot, black steel is best. NO ALUMINUM!
On the graniteware pot, the enamel has since dissolved. Black steel would be best.
I used a free standing propane burner, like those used to brew beer.

Add the lye slowly while heating the water, then the sodium nitrate.
Bring to a boil. Mine was operating at about 275F degrees.
add distilled water as needed for boil off... be very careful doing this as it is a volatile reaction when that water hits that basic, boiling solution.

I found that 20-30 minutes gave me a good black.
If the part is removed from the bath, cleaned and not dark enough, put it back in.
I found that angling my barrel into the bath half at a time did not give uneven results; i cannot see any difference on the two halves or at the overlap point.
DO NOT PLUG THE BARREL. pressure can cause the plug to blow out.

4.
when the parts are removed, I put them in hot water to dissipate the salts and then into a second hot rinse where I scrubbed them off with a nylon brush.
It helped get all the salt out of the nooks and crannies by letting the parts sit for a while in the second water rinse after scrubbing.

5.
I cleaned everything again with a nylon brush before drying and oiling.
I only oiled after I was happy with the finish.
I found that thin oils worked great for water displacement.
I used wd40 and Birchwood Casey gun oil spray, Or you could buy oils intended for water displacement on gun parts.
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Old 09-01-2017, 10:37 AM
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I finished another and although it turned out great (better than the pictures) I'm not real happy with the process.

The instructions say 20 minutes is all you need. They also say to pull the piece and if it's not dark enough put it back, but then contradict themselves by saying the piece will get darker after it's oiled (which is true) BUT they say, don't oil until you get the results you want WTH?????

After 75 minutes this still looked like shiny metal with very little color. I just figured I'm done for the day oil it up and do it over if it's not dark enough. It was plenty dark enough so how much time did I waste?
Do you just learn from and count on experience?

The other issues were different metals taking color. You can see that the grip safety didn't take any color at all. All the parts (except the barrel) were soaked in vinegar till the old bluing was off. I would think if it was blued it would take bluing?

Lots to learn yet. To that end I ordered some traditional bluing salts from Brownells. I want to see if I can get more blue and less black with Brownell's salts.




Soaked in vinegar, sanded and polished with 320 Polish-O-Ray, and then soaked in strong detergent for 10 minutes at 160 degrees.


Not much to the setup but I did just get a new turkey cooker as it was hard getting this one hot enough.
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Old 09-01-2017, 1:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VaderSpade View Post
I finished another and although it turned out great (better than the pictures) I'm not real happy with the process.

The instructions say 20 minutes is all you need. They also say to pull the piece and if it's not dark enough put it back, but then contradict themselves by saying the piece will get darker after it's oiled (which is true) BUT they say, don't oil until you get the results you want WTH?????

After 75 minutes this still looked like shiny metal with very little color. I just figured I'm done for the day oil it up and do it over if it's not dark enough. It was plenty dark enough so how much time did I waste?
Do you just learn from and count on experience?

The other issues were different metals taking color. You can see that the grip safety didn't take any color at all. All the parts (except the barrel) were soaked in vinegar till the old bluing was off. I would think if it was blued it would take bluing?

Lots to learn yet. To that end I ordered some traditional bluing salts from Brownells. I want to see if I can get more blue and less black with Brownell's salts.
great work Vader!
I do love the shiney look on pistols.
The process does take some getting used to.
I have been going for black with my sessions and 30 min seemed to do the trick. You may try some test parts in 5, 10, 15 min increments to see if it goes bluer. more likely it will go plum though.

If you do oil and decide you want it darker you would have to boil it in a de-greasing bath again.

I have had a couple ak parts that did not want to take blue very well:
The strangest one was an M72B1 gas tube that was already blued: I had removed the old blue with rust remover then ran it through. It sat in the bath for the entire 2 hour blue session (I was bluing a lot that day) and did not get dark at all. I ended up sandblasting with ultra fine grit and trying again later. after the blast, it went black within 15 minutes.
You may consider blasting the grip safety with an ultrafine media and polishing to match the rest of the gun.

I am very interested in seeing the results of the Brownell's salts when you get around to posting.
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Old 09-12-2017, 5:59 AM
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Great info thanks for the post. Process pics would be helpful too.
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Old 09-12-2017, 6:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by javaduke View Post
I'm wondering if those salts can be stored and re-used after the first use. And of not, what is the proper way to get rid of it (I assume pouring it down the toilet is not an option).

OP, the bluing is beautiful, btw!
I would probably dump it on a stump I want to get rid of.
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Old 09-12-2017, 9:27 PM
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Vader, have you tried it on highly polished surfaces yet? Also, have you given parkerizing a shot?
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Old 09-12-2017, 9:55 PM
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Vader, have you tried it on highly polished surfaces yet? Also, have you given parkerizing a shot?
I have 555 Grey & 555 White polish heading this way.

No parkerizing plans anytime soon.
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Old 09-12-2017, 10:16 PM
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Wow great thread!
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:40 AM
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I get no aluminum pots. But can I use this method for aluminum AR15 lowers?
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:49 AM
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I get no aluminum pots. But can I use this method for aluminum AR15 lowers?
Nope, Steel only.
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Old 09-21-2017, 10:52 AM
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Lye eats aluminum and puts off Hydrogen gas. NOT good if you're working with an open flame.
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Old 10-26-2017, 11:50 AM
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VaderSpade VaderSpade is offline
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Well deer season is over and I finally got around to trying the Brownell's Oxynate #7.

I re-blued my Singer 1911 and the results are great, even though it's hard to get a good picture.

The best improvement was the propane turkey cooker. I was able to get the solution up to temperature FAST and 30 minutes was all that was needed.



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