Best way to blue small parts?
Is there anyway to blue parts yourself or Is it a lost cause? I have some me parts, beaver tail safety and slide release that need blue. Any suggestions? Can I triple dose them to get a deep blue?
I have tried virtually every cold blue out there. None of them are are like hot blue. The best (most effective, best color) cold blue I have found (and quite recently) is G96. It is a paste/cream. It is a very strange consistency. Almost like the paste we used in Kindergarten! If you degrease the part well (use like 91% Isoropyl Alcohol), then follow the directions supplied with the bluing, things usually turn out pretty nice. The downside is the parts you want to blue are high-contact parts. You'll just have to see how the G96 stands up to this. The way I use G96 is 1-Degrease 2-generously apply paste blue to surfaces 3-After about 15 seconds, thoroughly rinse with water to remove all bluing solution 4-Completely dry asap 5-Generously apply a gun oil 6-Before installing part, wipe down with a dry cloth or paper towel. You will notice black residue on the cloth, that is normal. 7-Lightly wipe part with oil upon installation. 8-Good luck! I hope it works out. -Mike
If you have a local gunsmith that is set up to do hot bluing just ask if he will put your parts in with his next bluing session. Prepare your parts so that all he has to do is put them in the tank. Colt blue just doesn't stand up to wear.
I've tried many cold blues over the years and the best so far is Brownell's Dicrophan T4.
Unlike other products, T4 is a BLACK color that actually matches today's hot blues very well.
It's also the most durable. I blued the trigger on my 1950 Marlin 39-A and it's unworn after some years of use.
Unlike most cold blues, T4 doesn't begin to puddle on the metal after a couple of applications.
The secret to cold blues is thorough cleaning and degreasing.
Use a soap cleaner like Simply Green or a solvent cleaner like Acetone. Acetone leaves no residue at all like even lacquer thinner does.
After cleaning, spray the part with alcohol and warm with a hair dryer. Denatured alcohol might work even better. Don't use a torch or heat gun, you just want the metal warm but not hot enough to instantly dry the liquid.
As you warm the part you'll usually see moisture brought to the surface and evaporate. That's about right.
Swab on the blue according to the bottle directions.
After it works, flush thoroughly with hot water, apply alcohol and heat again as many treatments as you want.
Some people use 0000 steel wool between applications, but remember that steel wool contains oil to prevent it from rusting and this will contaminate the surface. It has to be thoroughly cleaned again.
I personally found that using steel wool really only removes what you just applied and thin the blued coating.
All cold blues are really intended for touching up small wear marks or scratches and are not very durable. Most can be wiped off with a few rubs of a thumb.
Cold blues also usually turn brown after some time, and often actually cause rust from the acid in the product.
Worse, most cold blues will leave permanent stains in the original hot blue around where the cold blue is used. This may make it look worse, not better.
For giving a dark, durable blue finish to a larger part nothing is going to work as well as a hot salts blue or one of the older types of bluing.
One possible way you might get a good finish is the old rust blue process.
This is a lighter blue color that's supposed to be even more durable then hot bluing.
It's rather messy and time consuming, but it can be done on a kitchen stove.
The chemical can be bought online as well as instructions.
^^^This is certainly worth a try.
Originally Posted by JohnnyP
If you want to get into hot bluing "on the cheap", a turkey fryer and thermometer is all you need. Brownell's sells the solution, but it and the shipping is expensive. If you live in "farm country" you can buy the ingredients to make bluing compound. Ammonium nitrate fertilizer (farm supply store) and straight lye (hardware store). The devil is in the mixing. Do NOT do this without knowing what you are doing and using the right protective equipment. It WILL kill you. I can send you the instructions if you wish.
I recall reading that some people have used farm and home store stump remover to do bluing.
As above, hot salts bluing is DANGEROUS if you don't take serious safety steps and know precisely what you're doing.
The rust bluing process has to be repeated several times as it gets darker with each application, which would allow you to closely match your parts color to the pistol.
Got it! Its shitty cold blue or die try’n! I think I’ll try a Massachusetts Smith, if anybody knows anyone, that would be great. I also really like the fact that even after virtually guaranteeing my demise, Phyllis offered me the recipe... Awesome forum guys, keep it up!
There was a person in NH that went by the name "Vic's Gun Refinishing"; (Re bluing Repairs and custom work). He did some custom work for me awhile ago; To many years to remember how long ago it was.
I really like the suggestion of JohnnyP. It might take a little longer, but in the end it's worth it.