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Discussion Starter #1
I read that cold bluing is basically a bad idea. Is there any good reasons to carefully use cold bluing? What is the best brand? Thanks for any responses.
Glen
 

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IMO, one of the toughest cold blue finishes is Brownell's Oxpho-Blue. It does a good job of matching matte finishes also. I don't think it would match an old S&W or Colt blue, but then again I haven't tried it (and won't).
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thanks guys. Oxpho was already on my "To buy" list, Laurel Mountain Forge is also now. I wonder if it chemically similar to Mark Lee's Express Blue #1 on page 150 of the latest Brownell's catalog.
 

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Cold blues were never intended to be used for bluing more than scratches and small worn areas.

In most cases, when you attempt to do a large area, the result is a streaky, sort of smoky gray-blue.
It also wears off almost immediately, and tends to turn brown and rust later.
 

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Hi, partsp. This is one area in which I HAVE done a bit 'o personal testin'. I agree - Oxpho does provide a nice finish, and it does provide some level of protection over "in the white." If you want to go one step above "cold" blue, then you might consider "rust" blue. The types that I have tried are "slow" rust-blue forumulae and "express" rust-blue forumlae.

The only "slow" rust blue I have tried is Brownell's. For whatever reason, I did not get satisfactory results from the Brownell's rust blue solution. To be honest, though, my problem may have been inadequate metal prep. Other poplular "slow" formulae include Laurel Mountain and Pilkingtons. Some swear by one, and others by the other. A major difference seems to be (and this is just what I've read) that Laurel Moutain is a bit more forgiving when it comes to metal contamination, but you need a humidity cabinet to use it. The Pilkingtons is very sensitive about metal contamination, but doesn't require the cabinet. Here's a link I found awhile back that talks about using these slow-rust-blue formulae: http://www.hobbygunsmith.com/Archives/Aug03/HowTo.htm

"Express" types are what the name implies - they're much faster and don't need a cabinet. I've used Mark Lee and Radocy Express blues. I got much, much better results with Radocy than Mark Lee. Once you get started, you'll have to stand there and constantly work for several hours, but it yields a nice finish (don't polish below about 400 or it doesn't take well), and it is holding up nicely.

Here's a link posted elsewhere on it. The guy who posted this is also the guy who turned me on to the Radocy.

http://smithandwessonforums.com/eve/forums/a/tpc/f/3331040301/m/1551012192

Best,
Jon


PS - and, here's a photo he says is of the pistol he did (the six inch gun) next to a factory finish . . .


 

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If you're like me, and don't have access to all the high-dollar, good stuff, and can only get the cheap wally world kind like me, Birchwood Casey's Super Blue does and Ok job.
I re-blued the bolts, and receivers on an old Mosin Nagant and old FN K98k, and it came out looking pretty dark and nice and glossy. Not as dark as I like (I like REALLY blackish-blue dark dark dark finishes) but it's quite fine for a less than $10 bluing job.
Also, the Birchwood Casey Blue and Rust Remover works GREAT! That stuff I CAN say is a great product. Just apply it onto the area, wait a bit, then scrub with steel wool, and it takes the metal back down to the bare steel quite quickly! Good stuff!
 

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That's the neat thing about the Radocy, Damascus - all you have to own to apply it is a pot, some steel wool and acetone to degrease it, some cotton swabs, and some distilled water.

Best,
Jon
 

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Oxpho works pretty good.

I've done an entire 1911 and it does darken it. The slide looks better than the frame as far as consistency, perhaps because it's harder steel?

It does wear quickly, but the Oxpho is very easy to reapply.

For you chemical "inventor" types, a cold blue that you could dunk a 1911 into and have it last as long as hot blue, will make you "rich". :)
 

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Irishlad said:
For you chemical "inventor" types, a cold blue that you could dunk a 1911 into and have it last as long as hot blue, will make you "rich". :)
I think it's a big conspiracy, Irish! I think the technology's out there, but the "gubment" is keepin' it from us . . . sorta the gun-finish version of electric cars! :D
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The rust bluing doesn't sound too difficult. Distilled water and good cleaning, but I wonder about the 400 grit minimum finish, if it's a rust finish it wouldn't seem to matter, and I'd rather go for a polished finish.
 
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