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Old May 10th, 2013 #1
Mr A.Anderson
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Default Refinishing a firearm

I recently purchased an old Marlin lever action Model 336 .30-30 rifle as a simple trail gun. I traced the serial number (first 2 digits) back to determine the manufacture date: 1975.

The finish on the wood is worn, and the bluing is in bad shape, but the rifling is still good.

In the spirit of learning how to do things for ourselves, I plan on refinishing the rifle myself.

I have some experience with refinishing wood, and if I get into any trouble - I have a friend that is a master carpenter. However, I have never tried bluing anything. I have watched several product videos online for cold bluing, but am completely ignorant of 'what is what' when it comes to this.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to start on the wood. I have a few ideas that I want to try and see how everything comes out. I'll take pictures along the way and post them here.

I know that Brooklyn Rick has experience in making period firearms, any suggestions/advice for a first time, DIY bluing process? This is not going to be an everyday rifle, more of a pack firearm, so I don't plan on "handling" it extensively/every day.
 
Old May 11th, 2013 #2
Roy Wagahuski
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I bought this while back...



Currently finishing a dagger (of my own creation). Will post final bluing results with wisdom gained from many inevitable fuckups. But don't wait for me.
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Old May 11th, 2013 #3
Zander
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr A.Anderson View Post
I recently purchased an old Marlin lever action Model 336 .30-30 rifle as a simple trail gun. I traced the serial number (first 2 digits) back to determine the manufacture date: 1975.

The finish on the wood is worn, and the bluing is in bad shape, but the rifling is still good.

In the spirit of learning how to do things for ourselves, I plan on refinishing the rifle myself.

I have some experience with refinishing wood, and if I get into any trouble - I have a friend that is a master carpenter. However, I have never tried bluing anything. I have watched several product videos online for cold bluing, but am completely ignorant of 'what is what' when it comes to this.

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to start on the wood. I have a few ideas that I want to try and see how everything comes out. I'll take pictures along the way and post them here.

I know that Brooklyn Rick has experience in making period firearms, any suggestions/advice for a first time, DIY bluing process? This is not going to be an everyday rifle, more of a pack firearm, so I don't plan on "handling" it extensively/every day.
Good luck with the project. Hope it turns out great. Are you going to keep the finished article or sell it. If you dont mind me asking.
 
Old May 11th, 2013 #4
Mr A.Anderson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Wagahuski View Post
I bought this while back...

Currently finishing a dagger (of my own creation). Will post final bluing results with wisdom gained from many inevitable fuckups. But don't wait for me.
That was the first product video that I watched.

 
Old May 11th, 2013 #5
Mr A.Anderson
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Cold bluing definitely seems to be the easiest for a DIY job. I've been told from a few gunsmiths that cold bluing just doesn't stand up to heavy use very well. I'm not too concerned about it in this case because this is not a primary hunting or shooting weapon, and I don't plan on handling it extensively.

One of the things that I wonder about is getting a splotchy or striped finish. All the videos that I have watched blue the barrel in sections, which will create overlapped portions of the barrel that will result in having a few more coats of blue on them.

While this isn't the end of the world, it is one of those things that would irritate the living hell out of me. I've had similar experiences laying down a candy tri-coat paint job when first learning about self building color paints.

I am looking for a deep, dark finish.



 
Old May 11th, 2013 #6
Mr A.Anderson
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zander View Post
Good luck with the project. Hope it turns out great. Are you going to keep the finished article or sell it. If you dont mind me asking.
It's a keeper. I picked it up, with an H&R single shot 12 ga for $125 total a few weeks back.

When it comes to the stock, I've always loved the ultra shine, high gloss finish; and I love wood with extravagant grains. Unfortunately, this is just a run of the mill stock, nothing particularly special about the wood itself that I can see (plain American Walnut, I think). Being a painter, I have a few ideas that I'm going to test out to see if I can create more of a laminated look.

I really like this look and type of grain pattern and think it would be spectacular with a high gloss finish.


Last edited by Mr A.Anderson; May 11th, 2013 at 08:46 AM.
 
Old May 11th, 2013 #7
Brooklyn Rick
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How bad is the rust Mr. AA? If its not bad, spot blue is the way to go. If you wish to re-blue, you have got to ask yourself " is it worth the work"? Stripping and re-bluing is a great deal of work to do correctly. What kind of finish do you desire? A shiny blue (charcoal)? A dark blue/black ( Hot blue)? A plum brown? I can write an in-depth tutorial on how I blue things, but I need to know what you wish to do. Keeping the metal oil and grease free is one of the key factors in a quality job. Also, the metal must be polished clean( the more you polish, the darker and more lustrous the finished product will be). Stripping the old blue away can be done in many ways. I use Naval jelly and steel wool. Muriatic acid( brick cleaner) works, so does Aluminum wheel cleaner. Use straight, even strokes. Any swirl marks will be evident in the finished product. All these things must be neutralized. I use a paste of baking soda and water. Think about which blue you wish to use, and I'll lay it out step by step. Have you thought about how to finish your stock? I use only 18 century techniques, which I think are far better than the modern products you buy today.
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Old May 11th, 2013 #8
Mr A.Anderson
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There is actually very little rust on the rifle. It's a situation where the bluing has all but worn off.

Personally, I really like the deep, dark finish on a rifle. I don't know if I can accomplish that with a cold blue - however I think I saw a video where they referred to getting a Weatherby type of finish using a specific brand of cold blue.
 
Old May 12th, 2013 #9
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Weatherby uses potassium nitrate as their hot blue, and then use a cold blue "wash" to achieve the final finish. I am looking into what they use, and will post what I find. From what I understand, it's one of their trade secrets.
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Old May 13th, 2013 #10
Roy Wagahuski
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Alright.

5160 steel.
Sanded down to 600 grit (was at 2000).
De-greased.
Heated in oven to roughly 100-120F.
Applied birchwood casey cold blue with sponge using moderate pressure.
Waited few minutes.
Wiped with 99% isopropyl alcohol on a convenience store napkin.
Reheated.
Repeated steps for three total applications.
Wiped with alcohol.
Wiped with baking soda paste.
Caked with baking soda and let sit overnight to deodorize and shit.
Rinsed under water then oiled with hoppe's lubricant.

Here are my results...

Side 1 above:
http://i.imgur.com/zLtUDdZ.jpg

Yes, my photography is shit, so...

Side 1 below:
http://i.imgur.com/McGrE0E.jpg

Other side:
http://i.imgur.com/nHyFsw6.jpg

(Vertical marring caused by sheath.)

Comparison shot of non-blued pommel and spacer:
http://i.imgur.com/hMiLli1.jpg

And with folder:
http://i.imgur.com/2VJD8vD.jpg

Just one problem.... A napkin loads up with black crap whenever I wipe it with oil. As this happens, however, I notice no degradation of the finish, which I guess isn't a bad thing. But it keeps coming off. There's also still a faint odor of bluing solution if I bring my nose real close.

Help please.
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Last edited by Roy Wagahuski; May 13th, 2013 at 04:46 AM. Reason: typos
 
Old May 14th, 2013 #11
Roy Wagahuski
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Fine then, fuck it. I'm going for the wool.
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Old May 14th, 2013 #12
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If your talking about steel wool, I would use 0000 or finer.
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Old May 22nd, 2013 #13
Roy Wagahuski
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Cold bluing is a scam and smells like shit. I stripped it and did a boiled vinegar patina, the right way a blade should be done.

Good luck, schmucks.
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Old May 22nd, 2013 #14
Nigel Thornberry
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The factory used to cold blue the milled semi-automatic magazine casings before the follower, spring and bottoms were assembled. We stopped doing this because the material cost involved was too great (and hazardous for humans) and the finish was never perfect. Problematic whenever we have to ship a spotless order for the US overlords to peruse over. Now we electrocoat them with CLEARCLAD. Though the hot bluing, in my opinion, would be a much better solution as the coating is much thinner but just as robust, and, due to the fact that we mill a feed ramp on each magazine casing, the hot bluing process would also eliminate the possibility of the e-coat stripping off and creating sharp shards of coating. It also seems to me that the electrocoating is not done 100% correctly every time as I've noticed e-coat slivers and drips as well.

Powder coating would also be acceptable for non-moving parts, such as the barrel. Actually ideal if you can find a place that can do it perfectly.
 
Old May 23rd, 2013 #15
Brooklyn Rick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roy Wagahuski View Post
Cold bluing is a scam and smells like shit. I stripped it and did a boiled vinegar patina, the right way a blade should be done.

Good luck, schmucks.
Only a poor craftsmen blames their tools or materials.....................
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Old May 23rd, 2013 #16
Roy Wagahuski
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brooklyn Rick
Only a poor craftsmen blames his tools or materials.....................
I'm adept with those -- not with iffy toxic waste.
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Old May 23rd, 2013 #17
Simmon
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Maybe some one missed a step somewhere.
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Old May 24th, 2013 #18
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At the risk of going off topic, this video deals with forced patina on knife blades, but as it relates to OP, it is a video on metal. I have heard this process being referred to as not being a true patina. Either way, it helps with corrosion resistance. Personally, I don't really care for the tiger-striped and other designs lacking uniform coverage.
 
Old May 25th, 2013 #19
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I'm in the process of re-blueing a Beretta Minx. A fun lil plinker. In this picture I have already blued the slide.



Yesterday I re-blued a Gewehr 88(1888 Commission rifle, 8 mm Mauser)
Here is before pictures.





Here is after pictures.

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Old May 27th, 2013 #20
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Here's how it turned out.




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