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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 4:34 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 5515
Location: Chattanooga, TN
I agree that the garden people look at you funy when you ask for ammonium nitrate...rarely are they versed on uses other than growing and destroying things with it. If you can not find the ammonium nitrate you can go to Walmart and buy instant cold compresses for $1 each...each bag has 0.368 pounds of ammonium nitrate in it.

$10-12 for enough in the large batch mentioned above
$5-6 for the small batch.

Drain crystals (such as draino) are 100% lye...this is about the same price as the ammonium nitrate.

This is relatively expensive for such common chemicals, but for under $30 you have all you need to do a LOT of bluing. Whenever we make a batch we have a bunch of people prepare their stuff beforehand and do 5 or 6 guns, couple of pistols and a couple of buckets of bolts and parts that were boogered up while tinkering. You can use an iron pipe welded up and slotted on the top + a propane camp burner for the heat. Just make sure it is sturdy and will not spill anywhere.

THESE CHEMICALS WILL HURT YOU VERY SERIOUSLY IF YOU ARE NOT CAREFUL. If you have the slightest inkling that this type of work is over you head...don't bother with it.


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PostPosted: Wed May 13, 2009 8:55 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 5515
Location: Chattanooga, TN
I have to add this as I find it rather funny. According to the MSDS for Drano crystals

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CLICK HERE
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They are 60% Sodium Hydroxide and about 30% Sodium Nitrate. This is almost exactly the proper ratio of chemicals for several bluing recipies that I have found. I think that I might give that a try on some tools in the basement to see if it works...It just might.


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 03, 2009 10:34 pm 
Bearcat

Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2009 10:44 pm
Posts: 11
Location: Virginia
I_Like_Pie wrote:
I have to add this as I find it rather funny. According to the MSDS for Drano crystals

---------------
CLICK HERE
---------------

They are 60% Sodium Hydroxide and about 30% Sodium Nitrate. This is almost exactly the proper ratio of chemicals for several bluing recipies that I have found. I think that I might give that a try on some tools in the basement to see if it works...It just might.


Old thread I know... but how did that turn out if you ever tried it? :)


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2010 12:50 pm 
Bearcat
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:03 am
Posts: 8
Location: NE KS
I am going to give this mixture a try. Just a small amount to experiment with until I am confident enough to try it with any real parts.

I have to ask? How do you heat the liquid to 295 deg in an open container? The chemicals will alter the boiling point but I doubt it is even close to 295 deg?

No matter how much heat is applied if no pressure is present it should just boil/evaporate, making it impossible to heat the liquid to 295 deg?

Your experience??

Thanks


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 21, 2010 1:32 am 
Bearcat
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:03 am
Posts: 8
Location: NE KS
I figured out how to get it to 295 deg. On my first try I added too much water so the next batch I mixed up I only added enough water to dissolve the chemicals. It still took a little while but as the water boils off the temp of the solution increases.

It worked great with one exception, the first few parts I have blued are not a blue/black as I would like. They have a very slight brownish color? The finish is nice and seems very durable, certainly better than any cold blue I have used.

Any ideas how to get more of a blue/black?

Thanks


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:20 am 
Bearcat

Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:15 am
Posts: 4
Hello Gentlemen, this is my first post here.

Thank you for this thread. I have a question about it.

I have a revolver I want to re-blue, a Blackhawk in .45 Colt. It is parkerized now (I bought it that way). I plan on doing a really nice polish job on it, and wondered if this formula and process would dull a mirror like finish, or leave it intact?

Many thanks,

Greg


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 9:25 am 
Bearcat
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:03 am
Posts: 8
Location: NE KS
Bluing will not change the level of polish at all. It also will not improve or hide any imperfections in anyway.

After bluing it will look exactly as it did before except it will be blue/black.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 8:06 pm 
Bearcat

Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:15 am
Posts: 4
Thank you.


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:48 pm 
Bearcat

Joined: Mon Jun 21, 2010 12:15 am
Posts: 4
Another newb question about bluing.

How does this formula compare to commercial formulas, like those from Brownells or Du-Lite? The same finish, or would it be better to invest in a *brand name* product?

Thanks again.


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PostPosted: Sun Jun 27, 2010 5:42 pm 
Bearcat
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Joined: Fri Mar 12, 2010 9:03 am
Posts: 8
Location: NE KS
In general there is very little difference. Should you invest in brand name products? Everyone's situation and goals are different.

I can tell you that I spent many hours and enough money experimenting with this that the lesson will never be forgotten. Do I regret it? No, I enjoyed every minute of it.

There is a lot of information available and I can't think of any of it that was wrong. It's all in the prep work, one shortcut equals failure.

Now that I have everything I need to do it right, know how to do it right, and have done it right, I think I will take the first advice I was given, let someone else do it.

Or maybe I should just quit buying guns that need refinished??


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2011 3:13 pm 
Bearcat

Joined: Sat Aug 15, 2009 10:54 pm
Posts: 10
Location: TEXAS
Are there any pictures of the completed bluing process


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:43 am 
Bearcat

Joined: Thu Mar 18, 2010 2:32 pm
Posts: 31
I LOVE THIS POST.

WOW, someone that is not afraid to post a potentially dangerous process and give otherwise difficult to find information to people that may not have been trained to deal with this stuff a chance to make up their own mind.

I am a degreed Chemical Engineer, Registered Mechanical. As chemical processes (even common home chemicals) go this one is actually pretty docile. Slightly worse than developing photographs at home. These chemicals alone or combined are relitively easy to deal with and present no long lasting problems like the spray you put on your peach trees, the gasoline evaporating in you garage, painting a car, or many other things. They spray sodium hydroxide on tomatoes to remove the skin. So yes you might get burned from a spill but rubbing on a baking soda slurry and flushing with lots of water will fix it right up. Ammonia vapors do not knock you dead on contact nor does it imediately scar your lungs. Your really have to ignore the pain and burning in your lungs and watery eyes for quite a while before any real damage is done. I AM NOT SAYING ANY IDIOT CAN GO OUT AND DO THIS IN HIS GARAGE WITH THE DOOR OPEN. Wear goggles, long chemical resistant gloves, and long well fitting clothes so that if a really oddball accident occurs like the dog knocking your buleing tank off the turkey fryer you can strip out of the clothes in a hurry and jump in the shower. Do I do ALL that? I have to admit, NO. But sometimes familiarity breeds a lacadasical additude, do as I say not as I do. Thats why so many experienced carpenters are missing the tip of a finger, a nail , or worse. I ALWAYS PROTECT MY EYES AND I HAVE AN EYEWASH ON THE UTILITY SINK IN MY GARAGE. If your face is splashed DO NOT take any chances. At the very least always have a water hose and baking soda handy. If I deal with really bad stuff I take my large turkey fryer and mix baking soda with warm water so I can throw a hand or arm down in it of even my head.

The potential for getting hurt here is probably less than starting your chain saw, as long as you follow g17's directions.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2012 7:04 am 
Blackhawk

Joined: Sun Apr 05, 2009 2:50 pm
Posts: 822
Location: Nebraska
rugerguy wrote:
placing a barreled action into the hot tanks is a very awkward and dangerous proposition...must angle it and do this facing "away" from you, as it can and will shoot 'solution' ( bath) out the open, upper end....seen it happen MANY times..........\


I have the scars to vouch for rugerguy on this subject from my old job.
Wear a face shield and keep vinegar on hand to neutralize the acid the clothes you forget all about when it eats through them in seconds.
It was a great place to work. They told me "if you cant catch your breath you are allowed to go outside".(Hydrochloric acid fumes) Good thing OSHA inspected them and said it was perfectly safe.
The guys that worked there long period of years usually died around 60sof heart or lung failure.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sat Feb 11, 2012 9:57 pm 
Site Admin

Joined: Thu Aug 24, 2006 1:01 am
Posts: 5515
Location: Chattanooga, TN
Yeah...the ammonia that it puts out is pretty strong, but the whole process is just about as dangerous as frying a turkey.


The only problem that I have now is getting the chemicals. The sodium hydroxide is easy and cheap. got 10 pounds at a soapmaking supplier for about $12

The saltpeter/potassium nitrate is about impossible for me to get locally and you can forget about ammonium nitrate. Good grief it is one of the most abundant chemicals made and it is stupid the regulations they put on it's purchase. I resorted one time to buying instant cold packs. Refuse to go through the rather unsavory process of making it myself (the chemistry folks know how they used to make it...).

You can buy saltpeter on ebay pretty cheap. Go figure. Works perfectly....pitch black parts if 295


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 4:53 pm 
Single-Sixer

Joined: Sat May 19, 2012 3:02 pm
Posts: 284
Location: New Mexico
gyrhed wrote:
I LOVE THIS POST.

WOW, someone that is not afraid to post a potentially dangerous process and give otherwise difficult to find information to people that may not have been trained to deal with this stuff a chance to make up their own mind.

I am a degreed Chemical Engineer, Registered Mechanical. As chemical processes (even common home chemicals) go this one is actually pretty docile. .


Sober and rational advice. Thank you. People too often get hysterical about such things. After all, it's a gun! When the process is done you are probably going to shoot the darn thing which, if you are careless, is far more dangerous than a few splatters of caustic chemicals on your skin.

BTW I use ammonia regularly for household cleaning. It's very cheap and very effective. If you get a burned residue on the bottom of a cooking pot, ammonia will soften it up in an hour or so.

PS, I am totally mystified about using baking soda as a neutralizing agent. I would have thought that vinegar would be a better choice.

_________________
“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.” /Plato


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