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  #1  
Old 12-02-2017, 3:48 PM
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Default Color Case Hardening Effect with Cold Blue?

Hello All,

While experimenting with various methods of aging steel and seeing what can be done with various chemicals I found that cold blue (Birchwood Casey Super Blue) can be used to produce effects similar to Color Case Hardening.
I was just making a video on this, and wasn't trying to be careful or to produce a really close simulation so you can see some directionality in the pattern, but with practice I am sure the patterning would be better.





Here is the video.
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Last edited by MosinVirus; 12-02-2017 at 4:25 PM..
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  #2  
Old 12-02-2017, 4:37 PM
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Old trick. It looks cool but not very color fast. Your colors look quite nice.
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Old 12-02-2017, 10:42 PM
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Thank you. I was just surprised when I saw it yesterday, so I rushed to put out a video. Wasn't aware that it was a known thing because it is effectively the opposite of the product instructions and intended use.
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Old 12-03-2017, 7:05 AM
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This was described in the first Brownells Kink book. Your colors and patterns came out really nice. I was never able to get them to look like that. Please tell how you did it.
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Old 12-03-2017, 7:38 AM
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I agree, that is a very attractive looking imitation color case hardening finish but I think the question might be is it durable, lasting finish.


Thanks for sharing regardless.
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Old 12-03-2017, 9:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kendog4570 View Post
This was described in the first Brownells Kink book. Your colors and patterns came out really nice. I was never able to get them to look like that. Please tell how you did it.
The third item I added in my post is a video of me doing it. You can take a look at the exact process, but here it is in more detail:

Wet sanded a little block of steel.
Had a few drops of water in a measuring cup.
Dipped a Qtip into Super Blue and placed the Qtip into the measuring cup with water (only 1/4 of the Qtip cotton tip was submerged)
The Super Blue in the Qtip got mixed/diluted.
Then I get the very wet Qtip out of the cup and start drawing shapes. The color changes from dark brown to purple to blue, laying the Qtip down on its side gets to parts where more Super Blue is less diluted and can get more color on faster.

But bottom line is that it is diluted and as result the color change happens slower I think, plus if I remember instructions correctly water is used to stop the process.

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Originally Posted by sealocan View Post
I agree, that is a very attractive looking imitation color case hardening finish but I think the question might be is it durable, lasting finish.


Thanks for sharing regardless.
I have no idea. I just found it and decided to share right away.
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Old 12-04-2017, 11:04 AM
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MV, I've played with this before too, but agree with Ken, I've never got the colors like that.
I've taken a kitchen sponge and cut the end to mimic the squiggly tiger stripe color case like you find on old Stevens single shots. Dipped in Oxpho-Blu and dabbed the pattern on, but no colors like that. I didn't oil it, just warmed the receiver up, and put a thin coat of rattle can high gloss Poly on it. Haven't seen the gun since, so I don't know how it held up.
I'm going to have to try that again with the sponge dampened, and the Super Blue to see if I can get those colors.
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Old 12-04-2017, 12:25 PM
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What a cool faux finish, Mosinvirus,

I have used an oil/cold-blue mix on warmed metal parts, and then polished with news-paper and repeated several times to get a used/aged WW2 finish on replacement parts, that has been quite sturdy and visually effective.

It is really quite fun to experiment with cold-blue.

I may try your technique out, soon.
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Old 12-04-2017, 7:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TRAP55 View Post
MV, I've played with this before too, but agree with Ken, I've never got the colors like that.
I've taken a kitchen sponge and cut the end to mimic the squiggly tiger stripe color case like you find on old Stevens single shots. Dipped in Oxpho-Blu and dabbed the pattern on, but no colors like that. I didn't oil it, just warmed the receiver up, and put a thin coat of rattle can high gloss Poly on it. Haven't seen the gun since, so I don't know how it held up.
I'm going to have to try that again with the sponge dampened, and the Super Blue to see if I can get those colors.
I haven't degreased the surface either by the way, just wet sanded.

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Originally Posted by pitfighter View Post
What a cool faux finish, Mosinvirus,

I have used an oil/cold-blue mix on warmed metal parts, and then polished with news-paper and repeated several times to get a used/aged WW2 finish on replacement parts, that has been quite sturdy and visually effective.

It is really quite fun to experiment with cold-blue.

I may try your technique out, soon.
Give it a try and post here. As a matter of fact everyone willing should give it a try and see if they can use other bluing solutions as well using the diluting method. Would be good to see more pics.
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Old 12-05-2017, 5:32 AM
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Case hardened m44 : )
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Old 12-11-2017, 5:58 AM
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Well done. Brilliant case colors are nice. S&W revolvers hammers and triggers
used to have this treatment. If you see a revolver from the 50s the colors
are much brighter then later years. I wonder how they did the process?
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Old 12-11-2017, 9:42 AM
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Always been a proponent of the finish. It makes the bullets go faster.
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  #13  
Old 12-11-2017, 10:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokerB View Post
Case hardened m44 : )
True CCH?

Quote:
Originally Posted by GM4spd View Post
Well done. Brilliant case colors are nice. S&W revolvers hammers and triggers
used to have this treatment. If you see a revolver from the 50s the colors
are much brighter then later years. I wonder how they did the process?
Probably depends on base material, heatsink medium, heat cycle, guy doing the job.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hambam105 View Post
Always been a proponent of the finish. It makes the bullets go faster.
At least it doesn't impregnate the gun with evil like any black finish does. As I was using a diluted solution it seems i specifically prevented the steel from becoming "bad, bad steel".

So if a gun was finished with this it would certainly not be a high powered assault weapon by color definition. It would not be able to shoot fast or use 30 magazine clips.
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Old 12-11-2017, 4:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GM4spd View Post
Well done. Brilliant case colors are nice. S&W revolvers hammers and triggers
used to have this treatment. If you see a revolver from the 50s the colors
are much brighter then later years. I wonder how they did the process?
The most beautiful color case came on vintage Marlins, but sadly the process that produced those colors was lost to time. A gentleman on the Marlin forums experimented, and was able to reproduce it. There's a 33 page thread full of pictures that ended when Photobucket wiped the pics.
Video of the process that gets the colors that Turnbull does on his Winchester restorations:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_KiiMxJDLg
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