Not liking my rust bluing turn out. Suggestion on alternative?

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Larry (Omaha)

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Having issues rust bluing my underhammer parts. I degreased, and applied the solution to the small parts and they came out decent. Today, I tried to get the receiver and butt plate. The butt plate is not bad, but the receiver is a joke. (just a light gray) I am thinking about changing horses mid stream. Has anyone tried oxpho-blue? I know it is not a rust blue, but I really don't care. I just want an even smooth job, that is relatively simple. So, is this product good? Would I want to apply this over the weak color that I now have from the rust blue? If I go this Brownell product, do I need to clean everything and start all over.:doh:
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Larry
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SDSmlf

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Having issues rust bluing my underhammer parts. I degreased, and applied the solution to the small parts and they came out decent. Today, I tried to get the receiver and butt plate. The butt plate is not bad, but the receiver is a joke. (just a light gray) I am thinking about changing horses mid stream. Has anyone tried oxpho-blue? I know it is not a rust blue, but I really don't care. I just want an even smooth job, that is relatively simple. So, is this product good? Would I want to apply this over the weak color that I now have from the rust blue? If I go this Brownell product, do I need to clean everything and start all over.:doh:
Thanks
Larry
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Can not explain why you are having problems, but personally have found rust bluing about foolproof. Have tried both boiled distilled water and steam. Either seem to work. There is a difference between how different steels and hardness/heat treatment respond, but overall have found consistent results. Just for giggles and kicks have rust blued tools, like hammers and wrenches with pleasing results. Have used Oxpho-Blue and found it to be one of the better cold blues, but it wears quickly (maybe that’s what you want) and found it suitable for small parts like screw heads. If screw aren’t heat treated, now just use heat to heat to color their heads.
 

rchas

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Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you are trying to rust blue parts in one day? I will take, at a minimum, 3-4 days applying solution, boiling, and carding twice a day to get the depth of color I want.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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Correct me if I am wrong, but it sounds like you are trying to rust blue parts in one day? I will take, at a minimum, 3-4 days applying solution, boiling, and carding twice a day to get the depth of color I want.
The rust blue I am using is hot rust blue, not a cold. Put it on like Plum Brown, with sizzle! The underhammer trigger, trigger spring/guard/finale, pins, screws, hammer, all treated well with hot application and then boil for at least 5 minutes. I am using tap water for the boil.
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bpbuilder

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I would steel wool and clean the parts if recoating, bluing is crazy anal with contaminates. You might be able to reblue over it, but clean it and dry it like crazy. I've only used one brand for bluing, can't remember the name, but I don't see why this product wouldn't work. Brownell's seems credible enough.
 

LawrenceA

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I would be inclined to try another coat if the existing finish is reasonably even. Maybe the alloy just needs a bit of prompting.
Always sand and start again
 

Norman Brooks

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It take awhile to get some parts to take browning. if you change to Oxpho Blue you would have to sand everything back. I do use Oxpho Blue only though just because it is simpler to work with.20210419_173002_HDR.jpg
 

PaperPatched

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I find that when using Oxpho-Blue that if you are rubbing it on like the directions say a warm surface works better. For small parts I'll often saturate a heavy paper towel (blue "shop" towels) with the solution and lay it on the part (conforming it to the surface) and leave it for 20 minutes or so. Switching to fresh applicators frequently seems to help. I haven't tried the burnish with steel wool and re-apply approach yet, nor attempted a whole gun at once.
 

Rawhide67

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I have used Birchwood Casey Perma blue. It comes in a tube and is a little like a paste. Much better results if the metal is heated in the oven to just about the temp where the paste starts to sizzle. Make sure the barrel is well cleaned and degreased and don't linger in one spot or you don't get uniform results.

It's harder to do large parts this way as the metal starts to cool quickly and you can lose uniformity.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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Another might be the tap water--trace chemicals will often screw up the color of the oxide. Try using distilled water instead.
I have thought of that, but then why would the other parts come out OK with tap water?
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SDSmlf

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The rust blue I am using is hot rust blue, not a cold. Put it on like Plum Brown, with sizzle! The underhammer trigger, trigger spring/guard/finale, pins, screws, hammer, all treated well with hot application and then boil for at least 5 minutes. I am using tap water for the boil.
Curious as to what product you are using? Sounds different than the traditional browning/bluing chemical products I have used.
 

Larry (Omaha)

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Curious as to what product you are using? Sounds different than the traditional browning/bluing chemical products I have used.
Mark Lee Express Blue # 1. It is a good product, and most likely operator error or a fussy chunk of metal.
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ZUG

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I use the Mark Lee Express Blue and only sand the part to 320 grit max then degrease before applying the Mark Lee product. I also apply many coats of the product between the hot water bath. I use just tap water and get the results I want. I will buff the parts with a coarse cloth when I get the look I am after then I oil the parts and let stand over night.

I find some metals will not rust blue as expected I don't know why. I made a simple tool out of mild steel that only gave me a molted gray finish when I did the rust blue job on it - don't know why. As this was just a tool I left it be as is.

I like the Oxpho-Blue for touch-up but not for entire gun parts. It does not last. Your mileage may vary.
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Norman Brooks

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You are right Zug it does wear off quick around the lock area from caps and flash from prim.
 

COTNTOP

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I ran an experiment with cold bluing several years ago. Did several flat bars to see how they held up in uncontrolled environment. Rust bluing with Laurel Mountain, Oxfo, Birchwood, Tetra and more. Tetra won hands down and is real easy and very forgiving. Left those items in my workshop with no climate control to see outcome.
 
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