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Rust Blueing

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PMcfall
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Post by Froneck 8/8/2023, 10:59 am

Getting near completion of my .22 conversion so I'll be trying Rust Blueing soon, maybe start on a few small parts like the one piece grip safety/main spring housing. From the video I watched by Mark Novak I see him in other videos use boiling water but in the video with Bob from Rustblue.com they use steam. One thing they caution is to not allow water to condense on the part when steaming so it's suggested that the part be preheated to above the Dew Point. If not the blueing will be ruined.
 First which is better Steam or Boiling water? If the part can be boiled in water why worry about condensation?
 Being I have everything needed as Mark suggested in the video including the Carding Wheel from Brownells, Gloves and Ever Clear, stainless steel pot and Distilled water. I also have the long shaft Baldor buffer
 I did get a bottle of the stuff sold at RustBlue.com and from Brownells.
 Being I've never rust blued and a bit confused as to steaming or boiling!
 Also after each boiling/steaming do I card the part prior to applying more solution to darken the blue?

Froneck

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Post by javaduke 8/8/2023, 11:14 am

My favorite is Belgian blue which is similar to Mark Lee Express Blue. Here's how I do it:

1. Clean the part in acetone, then rinse with distilled water, then clean with brake cleaner and rinse again. 
2. Boil in distilled water for a few minutes so that it heats up.
3. Apply the solution with cotton swab, patch or brush and return the part to the boiling water. 
4. Boil for another 2-3 min.
5. Card with 0000 steel wool or Brownells carding wheel.
6. Repeat steps 2-5 until you get a nice dark finish. Usually takes about 10 applications or so.
7. Boil for another 30 min or so.
8. Remove from water, dry and then soak overnight in used motor oil. Some recommend using WD40 but I found that motor oil helps create a darker finish.

The key is to keep the part hot when you apply the solution and don't let it cool down. 

The resulting finish is not as durable as hot salts bluing but works for me.

Rust Blueing Img_1310

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Post by Froneck 8/8/2023, 12:03 pm

As per Mark Novak in Anvil videos he claims that Rust Bluing if far more durable than Hot Salt Bluing. A better high gloss show piece finish is better with the hot bluing but Rust Bluing will last longer and prevent rust. Ferrous Oxide is more stable than Ferric Oxide so it will last the longest.
 After cold bluing before carding I would oil the part. I seen a video where it was stated that the oil will allow the bluing to continue and it seems that is does because I get a darker blue that way. Also Mark claims that the best way after rust bluing is completed is to put the parts in Kerosene  for a few hours to stop any blueing and remove any water. Then oil it but with non detergent oil not gun oil. Afterwards gun oil is OK.
 So carding after every application of the solution, thanks for the tip!
 I'll report my progress and results.

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Post by PMcfall 8/8/2023, 1:19 pm

I've been rust bluing for years and I always spray my warm parts with G96 after the final carding.  I have never had the rust process continuing.
Phil
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Post by Froneck 8/8/2023, 1:51 pm

What is G96??
Mark claims Diesel fuel will work too but is messy. Gasoline also but fumes can ignite. I'm sure other products will work too so that's why I ask what is G96

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Post by RodJ 8/8/2023, 2:27 pm

G96 was recommended in a CZ / Dan Wesson manual as one of three lubricants for their 1911’s. I’d never heard of it till yesterday and now it pops up today. Here it is:

https://g96.com/

https://g96.com/

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Post by Froneck 8/8/2023, 6:22 pm

Looked at the info, thanks I probably will order some G96. However Mark said not to us a gun oil after bluing. He claims that gun oil has an rust removal agent and that Rust Blueing is rust or metal oxidation. Best to use an oil after Kerosene soak that has no chemicals to seal the pores then a gun oil can be used.Though I don't agree with some of Marks machining skills I'm quite impressed with his gun smithing though I doubt he is into BE type guns. At least he don't show any BE accuracy type work (he did tighten-up an old 1911) as some other jokers do on YouTube!
 I seen Mark Rust Blue items as an assembly rather than completely disassemble everything when disassembly is difficult as in the plunger tube and grip screw bushings on a 1911 frame. Then claims Kerosene will remove all water from the boiling process.
 But as I mentioned being a first time rust bluer I'm a dummy in the process and can be impressed by anyone doing something I have no knowledge of! Same as an new shooter is impressed with a BE shooter that shoots below a 2400 in a 2700 match! However I'm careful so as not to accept bad info.

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Post by only_8_ring 8/8/2023, 9:47 pm

Froneck, I cannot wait to see your conversion when it's done. It's going to look awesome!

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Post by Froneck 8/9/2023, 12:18 am

Haven't worked on it for a few days, making a shoe for a 2 hole Kimber trigger and some work for an Industrial customer. Get the extractor in and the rest is cosmetic. Yeah it should look good but more important I want it to shoot great! Barrel lock in is very tight, when the screw is removed it's still locked in due to the 5° taper in the locking slot.

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Post by Froneck 3/10/2024, 6:18 am

As I mentioned I did get a bottle from RustBlue.com, American formula and a bottle from Brownells. I intend to get some from Mike lee both #1 and #3. Javaduke; you mentioned Belgian Blue is that from RustBlue.com? When I ordered it, Bob recommended American formula but I notice Mark at Anvil is using Belgian formula, sometime later is other videos Mark mentioned that gunsmiths should get priority when the Belgian formulas is available. I guess Mark likes the Belgian too. Bob probably recommended American because he didn't have any Belgian!
 I did have success on the Caspian frame, American formula did a good job. However not so great on the slide and barrel that was made from S2 tool steel. I tried a number of repeated applications but didn't get good results! Was OK but not as good as on the frame. I would like to try other brands. The one piece grip safety/mainspring housing I welded together didn't blue well at all! The top (grip safety) blued OK, weld OK too! but mainspring housing not good, I did everything possible to remove oil, let is sit in Acetone over night then rinsed it off with fresh Acetone, tried Brake cleaner too. Both sides remained white, yes it blued but easily rubbed off. Shouldn't have much oil in the steel since it got very hot from welding.
Any other brands anyone had good luck with? This was the only rustblue topic in my search list that I started.
 See https://www.bullseyeforum.net/t23086-home-made-22-conversion-up-dated-up-date#197431 for blued gun.

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Post by javaduke 3/10/2024, 9:07 am

Froneck wrote:Javaduke; you mentioned Belgian Blue is that from RustBlue.com? 
I used to buy it from Brownells but on their website it shows as no longer available. Midway still has it: https://www.midwayusa.com/product/1861810891/?pid=958388

Not sure if it will work on the tool steel though, I've never tried it.

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Post by PMcfall 3/10/2024, 11:43 am

Are you sure the parts that didn't blue aren't stainless steel?  Did they rust up?  By the way, I think over the years I've tried most of the rust bluing solutions.  As a result, I will only use the Laurel Mountain Forge product.  I have found it to be the most forgiving by a large margin.
FWIW
Phil
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Post by Froneck 3/10/2024, 1:26 pm

Phil; Definitely not SS, some areas did blue, look at the photo in the link provided you will see the sides of the mainspring housing white. I'll try Laurel Mountain Forge.
Javaduke: I did get a bottle of Brownells Classic rust blue a few months ago but didn't try it yet. I'll check-out Midway.
 I do have about 5 pairs of Caspian frames and slides I want to complete, might be one or 2 more pairs so I want to find the best formula.

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Post by PMcfall 3/10/2024, 1:59 pm

Hard to see good enough in the link, but looks like maybe it was starting to blue?  Did that area rust up?
Phil
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Post by r_zerr 3/10/2024, 5:18 pm

If it is not clean, clean clean, you will see the situation that you are seeing.
Many tool steels can take more effort to blue because of the alloys. A2 and O1 included, but they will blue, it just takes more applications.
Brownells used to sell a cleaner-degreaser (powder), that would mix with water, heat and drop your parts in. It worked.

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Post by PMcfall 3/10/2024, 6:26 pm

Thats another reason I love the Laurel Mountain product.  With it, it is not necessary to go through all the hoops to degrease since it contains a degreaser.  I still make a sort of effort to remove the oil and grease regardless.  I have a big pail of the degeaser r_zerr refers to from Brownells.  I used to boil the parts in it prior to finding the Laurel Mountain, don't do it anymore.
Phil
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Post by D.H. Grace 3/10/2024, 11:25 pm

Froneck,

Could the tiny amounts of Vanadium and Molybdenum in the S2 be what's causing the slight resistance to rust?  They up the shock resistance of the alloy, but I believe both of those components are also associated with increased corrosion resistance.

That said, if you can get S2 to rust, then you should be able to rust blue it.  It just might take a lot more cycles than 4140 and the more common gun steels.

My two cents worth--which may not be worth even that.

David

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Post by Froneck 3/14/2024, 11:52 am

I did all to get the item clean, clean clean! Wore surgical gloves, made sure they didn't have any oil on them. Bottom half of the 2 pieces was blued main spring housing, Rust blue didn't work but did rust. Cold blue got it blue but soon rubbed off.
 I did S2 4 times, may try another brand. It's blue so good enough to test the gun.
 So far on my conversion I did assemble it but need to make an extractor. I did get one from Caspian but it's not quite what I need so I'll copy most of it. Test fired the gun with no extractor, fires, ejects spent shell, reloads next round ejects again but will not lock back. Might have to cut the recoil spring, I'm using the lightest recoil spring available for 1911. I think it was 6 pound spring.

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Post by D.H. Grace 3/14/2024, 12:23 pm

Do you know which S2 recipe you have?  AISI lists about a dozen recipes, currently made by at least a half dozen suppliers.  All of them fall under the general heading of S2.  Some of the variants are more corrosion resistant than others.  Unfortunately, once you get out of the stainless classes, corrosion resistance doesn't tend to be one of the characteristics that's frequently described by suppliers to manufacturers who are more interested in traits like workability, hardness and wear resistance.  Since end users of the products do care about how well a material might withstand corrosion, discussions of the traits tend to pop up more often there.  On the Piping Mart website, for instance, states:

"S2 Tool Steel Corrosion Resistance

Tool Steel S2 also offers excellent corrosion resistance when compared to other tool steels; this makes it suitable for environments where humidity or water exposure could otherwise cause damage to other types of materials. This property is especially useful in marine-grade applications, where saltwater could corrode other metals quickly if not properly prepared or sealed against moisture. Additionally, this metal will resist rusting better than most other metals and stainless steel—making it an ideal choice for outdoor use or in areas where humidity levels are regularly high."

That might explain why you're having a hard time rust bluing your S2 parts.

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Post by Froneck 3/14/2024, 12:53 pm

Yes I assumed S2 is the reason why it's not blueing well, not concerned. I want a great shooter to a looker. Interesting issue is the main spring housing, it seems to be a standard item, I simply welded it to the grip safety. Only part that don't blue is the sides of the main spring housing.

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