Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3  Send TopicPrint
Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) Fume bluing (Read 30729 times)
possible
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 147
Location: Huntingdon, PA
Joined: Dec 31st, 2009
Fume bluing
Aug 18th, 2010 at 8:01am
Print Post  
Does anyone have a formula for acid fume bluing and the directions for use?
Seems to me that there were two acids in use, as well as iron or "cut" nails or iron filings included in the process.
I saw several examples of this blue a number of years ago-the blue was much like a good rust blue but harder to mar.
Thanks.
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Mike_Hunter
Senior Forum Member
****
Offline



Posts: 365
Joined: Nov 5th, 2008
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #1 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 11:40am
Print Post  
I seldom do fume bluing anymore, only when the stray double comes in.  I prefer fume bluing over typical rust bluing for doubles because it will get into all the nooks and crannies and will generally not pool in crevices like wipe on rust blues. 

Fume bluing is fairly simple; if I remember correctly its 3 parts reagent grade Nitric Acid to 2 parts reagent grade Hydrochloric Acid (and by parts I’m talking drops in most cases), put into acid proof container. 

Plug the bore, oil free cleaned metal. Figure some way to suspend the parts, put parts & acid into a sealed box.  Mine is made out of Plexiglas.
   
Make sure that the interior temp is mid to high 90s, humidity about 60-70%.  Too much humidity and the parts will get water drops on them…which will cause irregular pitting.
   
3-4 hours, take out, card, boil, return to box, and let rust more until you have a decent finish. 

Couple of suggestions: 
Anything that you put in the box will be attacked by acid fumes, so make sure they are corrosive resistant i.e..Stainless steel, glass, plastic.  For example, I first started using a light bulb in the box to keep the temp constant, the acid corroded the bulb to the fixture, and ate thru the copper wiring inside the fixture.  I now use a heat lamp outside the box, and a glass thermometer inside the box to tell me when to turn the light off and on. 

A damp sponge inside the box will provide a fairly constant humidity. A bowl of water is too much, as the water will condense on the metal parts closest to the bowl. 

If you open the box and quickly remove the parts, there is no need to recharge the acid mixture.  The fumes are generally heavier than air, and will stay in the box. 


Have Fun 

Mike Hunter
  

Mike Hunter
(You need to Login or Register to view media files and links)
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
possible
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 147
Location: Huntingdon, PA
Joined: Dec 31st, 2009
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #2 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 12:21pm
Print Post  
Mike,
Thanks for the very valuable information.
Walt
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
harry_eales
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline


Aw heck, vegetable stew,
AGAIN.

Posts: 2144
Location: County Durham
Joined: Mar 25th, 2006
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #3 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 1:19pm
Print Post  
Walt,
I used to do fume blueing way back in the 70's when customsing .45 Colt automatics for PPS.

Some three years ago I suggested this method of blueing to my Internet buddy Al Sledge in Southern California. He built a plexiglass cabinet and experimented with the method I had suggested. He quickly found that it produced excellent results. You can blue a rifle over a weekend, or you can do one fuming, boiling and carding per day and simply place a large sheet on paper over the parts when you are not working on them. This stops insects and other little critters walking over the parts and leaving marks on them which may show up on the next acid fume pass. 

One great advantage is that it will cover welding that may have been done in restoration, it may take an extra coat or two but it works, you can't tell where the weld was.

He sent me the results and his methodology when he had finished. This runs to three A4 pages in a word document and is far too large to post here.

If you send me an email I will know who to send this document too. My Email Address is:- 

harryeales@talktalk.net

People who have seen his original Winchester Hi-Wall that he re-blued using this method have all commented on the finish. It's the only method he uses now when blueing. I'll include pics when I reply.

Harry
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
whitey hanson
Oldtimer
*****
Offline



Posts: 549
Location: colorado
Joined: Oct 14th, 2006
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #4 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 2:34pm
Print Post  
Thanks Harry and I also sent you a email. Whitey
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
possible
Full Member
***
Offline



Posts: 147
Location: Huntingdon, PA
Joined: Dec 31st, 2009
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #5 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 4:45pm
Print Post  
Harry, I thank you and will email you shortly!

Walt
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
harry_eales
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline


Aw heck, vegetable stew,
AGAIN.

Posts: 2144
Location: County Durham
Joined: Mar 25th, 2006
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #6 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 5:14pm
Print Post  
possible wrote on Aug 18th, 2010 at 4:45pm:
Harry, I thank you and will email you shortly!

Walt


I'll have to reply in the morning, I'm off to bed now, it's 10.15pm where I live. I need my beauty sleep, boy, do I need it. lol.

Harry
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Green_Frog
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline


"It ain't easy being green"

Posts: 3490
Location: Lynchburg, VA
Joined: Apr 18th, 2004
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #7 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 5:52pm
Print Post  
Harry,

     With all that text and some pictures as well, that sounds like a great DIY article for the Single Shot Rifle Journal!  Why not contact editor John (40Rod) Merz and ask him if he is interested?  I'd love to see it available to the entire group (as well as myself  Wink )

Froggie
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
38_Cal
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline



Posts: 2198
Location: Montezuma, Iowa
Joined: Apr 27th, 2005
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #8 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 8:45pm
Print Post  
Email sent.  Thank you very much for offering to share this information!

David
  

David Kaiser
Montezuma, IA
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
frnkeore
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline



Posts: 6910
Location: Central Point, OR 97502
Joined: Jun 16th, 2010
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #9 - Aug 18th, 2010 at 8:56pm
Print Post  
I found this article on a gunsmithing sight. It's by an old local gunsmith with a personality much like Bo Clarke. I haven't used it but I was hoping to someday. I would like to Brown my Borchart.

Mike and Harry, what do you think of his process?

Frank

THIS METHOD OF RUST BLUEING IS EASY, AND NOT COMPLICATED AT ALL. POLISH BARREL OR PARTS, AND THEN CLEAN WITH ACETONE, KEEP HAND OFF, WHEN DOING BARREL SWAB A GREASED PATCH DOWN IT AND THEN PLUG BOTH ENDS BY DRIVING IN WOOD PLUGS. NOW HANG THE BARREL IN A SMALL CONFINED SPACE, OR MAKE A GARBAGE BAG TENT OVER IT ETC. BUY A JUG OF NITRIC ACID AT YOUR LOCAL PAINT STORE, KIND USED TO CLEAN CONCRETE, POUR A OUNCE IN JAR AND PUT IT IN WITH PART TO BE BLUED ( DO NOT DO THIS IN YOUR SHOP).IN A FEW HOURS THE PARTS, AFTER THE ACID HAS ATTACKED IT, WILL TAKE ON A DULL FINISH. NOW KEEPING YOUR GREASY MITS OFF THE PARTS, HANG LIKE IN GARAGE OR UNDER THE EVES OF SHOP AND LET IT RUST. THIS WILL TAKE 3 OR 4 DAYS HERE IN OREGON, MAYBE LESS ON COAST OR BACK EAST. WHEN THERE IS A GOOD DENSE COAT OF FINE RED RUST ON EVERYTHING, CARD OR BRUSH IT DOWN TO THE BLUE,WITH A FAIRLY STIFF MOTOR DRIVEN WIRE WHEEL. THIS BLUE IS REALLY TOUGH, AND ANY AMATEUR CAN DO IT. BUT USE A LITTLE COMMON SENSE WITH THE ACID, IF YOU LEAVE A JAR OPEN IN THE SHOP YOU WILL RUST ALL YOUR TOOLS ETC. IF YOU WANT TO BROWN A BARREL JUST STEEL WOOL DOWN THE RUST A LITTLE AND OIL.

TOM RICE
- MEDFORD, OR, USA
  

ASSRA Member #696, ISSA Member #339
Back to top
YIMAIM  
IP Logged
 
harry_eales
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline


Aw heck, vegetable stew,
AGAIN.

Posts: 2144
Location: County Durham
Joined: Mar 25th, 2006
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #10 - Aug 19th, 2010 at 3:06am
Print Post  
Green_Frog wrote on Aug 18th, 2010 at 5:52pm:
Harry,

    With all that text and some pictures as well, that sounds like a great DIY article for the Single Shot Rifle Journal!  Why not contact editor John (40Rod) Merz and ask him if he is interested?  I'd love to see it available to the entire group (as well as myself  Wink )

Froggie


Hello oh Green One,

I'll have to check that out with my Email buddy Al. Technically it's his work and photographs. He's a great guy though and I don't think he will have any objection, but I will ask him first, it's the polite thing to do before you Plagiarise someone elses work.

I described my methodology and an after blueing waxing process to him, he improved the methodology and wrote it up.

Harry

  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
harry_eales
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline


Aw heck, vegetable stew,
AGAIN.

Posts: 2144
Location: County Durham
Joined: Mar 25th, 2006
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #11 - Aug 19th, 2010 at 3:27am
Print Post  
frnkeore wrote on Aug 18th, 2010 at 8:56pm:
I found this article on a gunsmithing sight. It's by an old local gunsmith with a personality much like Bo Clarke. I haven't used it but I was hoping to someday. I would like to Brown my Borchart.

Mike and Harry, what do you think of his process?

Frank



THIS METHOD OF RUST BLUEING IS EASY, AND NOT COMPLICATED AT ALL. POLISH BARREL OR PARTS, AND THEN CLEAN WITH ACETONE, KEEP HAND OFF, WHEN DOING BARREL SWAB A GREASED PATCH DOWN IT AND THEN PLUG BOTH ENDS BY DRIVING IN WOOD PLUGS. NOW HANG THE BARREL IN A SMALL CONFINED SPACE, OR MAKE A GARBAGE BAG TENT OVER IT ETC. BUY A JUG OF NITRIC ACID AT YOUR LOCAL PAINT STORE, KIND USED TO CLEAN CONCRETE, POUR A OUNCE IN JAR AND PUT IT IN WITH PART TO BE BLUED ( DO NOT DO THIS IN YOUR SHOP).IN A FEW HOURS THE PARTS, AFTER THE ACID HAS ATTACKED IT, WILL TAKE ON A DULL FINISH. NOW KEEPING YOUR GREASY MITS OFF THE PARTS, HANG LIKE IN GARAGE OR UNDER THE EVES OF SHOP AND LET IT RUST. THIS WILL TAKE 3 OR 4 DAYS HERE IN OREGON, MAYBE LESS ON COAST OR BACK EAST. WHEN THERE IS A GOOD DENSE COAT OF FINE RED RUST ON EVERYTHING, CARD OR BRUSH IT DOWN TO THE BLUE,WITH A FAIRLY STIFF MOTOR DRIVEN WIRE WHEEL. THIS BLUE IS REALLY TOUGH, AND ANY AMATEUR CAN DO IT. BUT USE A LITTLE COMMON SENSE WITH THE ACID, IF YOU LEAVE A JAR OPEN IN THE SHOP YOU WILL RUST ALL YOUR TOOLS ETC. IF YOU WANT TO BROWN A BARREL JUST STEEL WOOL DOWN THE RUST A LITTLE AND OIL.

TOM RICE
- MEDFORD, OR, USA


Hello Frank,

You should have received my Email by now, so I'll let you judge between the two processes as described. 

I would think the local temperature and humidity will have a bearing on the time it takes for the metal to rust. That will depend upon where precisely you live. California will certainly differ from Alaska. 

Everyone will, or should, experiment on some scrap metal first, before reblueing their favourite firearm. 

Harry

« Last Edit: Aug 19th, 2010 at 3:33am by harry_eales »  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
MartiniBelgian
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline



Posts: 1457
Location: Aarschot
Joined: Jun 7th, 2004
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #12 - Aug 19th, 2010 at 4:18am
Print Post  
Harry,

Send a copy to me too - I'm interested.

Gert
  
Back to top
WWW  
IP Logged
 
harry_eales
Frequent Elocutionist
*****
Offline


Aw heck, vegetable stew,
AGAIN.

Posts: 2144
Location: County Durham
Joined: Mar 25th, 2006
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #13 - Aug 19th, 2010 at 5:21am
Print Post  
MartiniBelgian wrote on Aug 19th, 2010 at 4:18am:
Harry,

Send a copy to me too - I'm interested.

Gert


Hello Gert,

You have Email.

Harry
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
peconga
Junior Forum Member
**
Offline



Posts: 12
Location: Boise
Joined: May 6th, 2008
Re: Fume bluing
Reply #14 - Aug 19th, 2010 at 8:47pm
Print Post  
frnkeore wrote on Aug 18th, 2010 at 8:56pm:
NOW KEEPING YOUR GREASY MITS OFF THE PARTS, HANG LIKE IN GARAGE OR UNDER THE EVES OF SHOP AND LET IT RUST. THIS WILL TAKE 3 OR 4 DAYS HERE IN OREGON, MAYBE LESS ON COAST OR BACK EAST.


... Or several months in places like Boise, Las Vegas, Tucson, or Albuquerque.  Not going to get much rust action when the relative humidity is less than 30% (which it is for much of the year here), so definitely need a fume cabinet or box to keep the moisture level up if you live in a dry climate. 

Harry, thanks for the bringing some over-due attention to the fume-bluing technique; I look forward to trying it out on my next project. 

Cheers,
Peconga in Boise, Idaho
  
Back to top
 
IP Logged
 
Page Index Toggle Pages: [1] 2 3 
Send TopicPrint