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easiest way to re blue with local supplies?

Discussion in 'Maintenance & Gunsmithing' started by slicediceputinrice, Jul 28, 2012.

  1. slicediceputinrice

    slicediceputinrice SE Portland Active Member

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    I did a ghetto fabulous paint job on this parkerized AK two years ago with engine enamel from Autozone (get in the zone, Autozone), and after two whole years of shooting and cleaning the paint is starting to wear off of just about everything but the barrel and receiver.

    what is the best way to re blue without resorting to another rattle can? birchwood casey cold blue any good? I am not going to be ordering anything off the internet and want to do it with a product I can buy at the local Bi-mart/Dicks/Wholesale Sports etc, What were your experiences with a cold re blue? and it is possible with a parkerized finish?

    if I have to I could just do a touch up with more $5 spray paint but I want to void that path
     
  2. RVTECH

    RVTECH LaPine Well-Known Member

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    Nothing can replace a true hot blue job BUT with the proper preparation you can get very good results with the cold blue products. What do I mean by 'proper preparation'? For starters you need to wet sand the metal to the point of zero scratches or dings, eventually finishing with 1000 or better wet or dry paper. Then you need to carefully clean the parts to be blued to remove all traces of anything that my be on the metal then boil the parts in clean water to make sure. Handle everything with cotton gloves and place the parts in the oven and warm them at low (200-250 degrees) for a while to ensure the parts are warm completely through. Remove and again handle with clean cotton gloves apply the cold solution like you would stain wood. Try to work quickly as the metal will cool and don't worry if the blue does not look even. Just wipe it on evenly, repeatedly until the metal is cool enough to handle and support it so the blue does not touch anything and leave overnight. Heavily oil some 4/0 steel wool and LIGHTELY wipe the blued surfaces evenly but just enough to remove the scale left by the bluing. Finish with a cotton baby diaper dampened with oil to polish. If you do this correctly you will have a very nice 'shadetree' blue job.
     
  3. slicediceputinrice

    slicediceputinrice SE Portland Active Member

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    cool, sounds fun, cant wait to get started
     
  4. deadshot2

    deadshot2 NW Quadrant WA State Well-Known Member

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    RVTECH has pretty much nailed it.

    I do it just a little differently but not all that much.

    The key points are:

    Clean and polish to the level of finish you want when blued. Scratches dings will be "amplified" when the blue is applied.
    Oil, Grease, and Silicones are your enemy. Anything that will keep liquid from coming in total, molecular, contact with the metal will leave light spots. Degrease, Degrease, Degrease, and when you think you've done it enough, do it again.

    Heat speeds the process so make sure the metal is warm. I find that sometimes I can't get a part into the oven so a piece of metal roof gutter, sealed off on both ends, with boiling water poured into it can work well. Put the gutter on a couple of sawhorses and fill with boiling water. The long parts will drip free of water pretty quick and the heat will "flash" the water off quickly.

    Whatever material you can find to "blue" is usually going to be Birchwood Casey Gel or liquid blue. Apply it to the hot part with anything oil free. Cotton balls work as well as a piece of t-shirt that's been through the laundry many times.

    I keep swabbing the bluing on the metal until the appearance is pretty much uniform. Because the bluing process is chemical, it tends to build up a layer on the metal. I like to build up several layers by cleaning and buffing between applications. Wash and wipe per the container instructions. Steel wool does have some oil in it so if you use any to buff between applications, make sure to go through the degreasing ritual again. Brake Kleen is OK but Acetone from the Paint Store is better. Do this outside as acetone in an enclosed space can be explosive, not to mention a major headache producer.

    I like to just keep on applying, buffing, and reapplying the bluing gel or liquid, repeating until I get the nice deep look I want. Heat is essential for the process so be prepared to handle hot parts. A barrel can be suspended by a piece of nylon mason's line with a washer on the end. Run the line thorough the barrel until it stops at the washer. Tie the other end to an overhead support while applying the bluing.

    Patience, lots of prep work with the sanding and polishing, then applying the bluing will yield surprising results.

    Like RVTECH said, finish with lots of oil. Remember that bluing is really just a different color "rust". You want the chemical process to stop while it looks good.