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Re: reblueing a trapdoor barrel

Posted by John on Tuesday, 17 July 2012, at 11:53 p.m., in response to Re: reblueing a trapdoor barrel, posted by frontierwest on Tuesday, 17 July 2012, at 10:41 p.m.

My recommendation would be to use the "rust blue" process. There are all sorts of witches brews you can concoct but it is easier to just buy some from Brownells and follow the instructions. No need for bluing tanks, special burners, or home brew of acids or anything.

Basically degrease everything thoroughly, wipe on the rust blue solution and stick it in a damp place for a period of time (12 hours more or less) until a coat of rust forms. Then "card" off the rust with a ultra fine wire wheel (Brownells has them) or by hand or with steel wool.

The first coat will look like crap and you will be sure it will never work. However after several more coats (plan on 3-5 coats) you will end up with a wonderful blue finish. After the final coat you need to "kill" the acids causing the rust by flushing with lots of boiling water, and then oil it and you are done.

This is more or less the process the Army used when they "cleaned and repaired" trapdoors circa 1890s.

Follow the specific instructions for whatever you buy, but the outline above give an idea of how simple it is. It just takes a while, most of it waiting for the rust to form between applications.


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