Hot blueing

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by army mp, May 8, 2009.

  1. army mp

    army mp Member

    Jan 30, 2009
    western Pa,
    Hot blueing
    I was thinking about setting up for hot blueing . Some of my older guns. Being retired and their being 6 that need it, I thought I would do some research. You can get the tanks and equipment, on line, after some research I decided its more than I want to under take at this stage of the game. And it sounds like it can be dangerous if not careful. My question has anyone here attempted it.
  2. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I have not done it, but a friend of mine several years ago made some vats and did a few old guns. The came out pretty good but I agree with you that it just looked like something that I would not want to get into. He was doing it in his basement garage with all the doors open but the fumes and smell was still pretty bad. Mixing chemicals and heat just looked dangerous!

  3. Helix_FR

    Helix_FR Active Member

    Apr 14, 2009
    Imperial, MO
    Its somewhat expensive to set up (as you may know now) There is also a science to it. Its caustic and you need good ventilation. Unless your going to start hot bluing others guns beyond your own personally I wouldn't get into it. Belgium bluing is a good alternative but is a lot more physical work and is a little harder to perfect but obviously requires less equipment.
  4. koginam

    koginam New Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    We did bluing, and parkerizing in my shops. You have to follow directions because you are using very caustic HOT solutions. It was always a very profitable part of the business. Learning to prepare the work was as important as the actual metal coating. Most of the equipment can be made by you if you can weld. Their are several types of stump remover that can be used to blue but the stuff Brownell's sells is very good and will do many many guns. Their instructions are on line if you want to check them out.
    Couple hints, use filtered water or bottled demineralized water, use a good thermometer, keep a bottle of vinegar on hand to stop the fumes from stinging your face, when moving parts especially barrels from the rinse tank into the bluing tank always be sure to drain the water from the part, cold water when mixed with the hot salts can bubble up and burn you, same when adding water to the hot salts, I use a water dipper and carefully pour it in slowly. If you follow the directions it is a safe process.
  5. bluesea112

    bluesea112 Active Member

    Nov 20, 2005
    West, TX
    Potassium nitrate can be used to hot blue a gun, and I understand it does a beautiful job. You can buy Potassium Nitrate on Ebay for about $2.00 per lbs. It is MUCH cheaper than buying hot blue chemicals from Brownells.
  6. muddober

    muddober Active Member

    Sep 19, 2008
    Carson City Nevada
    Sodium Hydroxide (caustic soda) potassium nitrate and potassium nitrite are the three ingredients I used when I blued guns years ago. Four parts of caustic soda, one part of potassium nitrate and one fourth part potassium nitrite. You need four tanks. One for the salts, with burner and one for hot water with burner, one for cold water and one for diesel fuel which should be behind you and away from burners. You should bring the salts to about 235 degrees and they should not be allowed to get above 280 degrees. Bluing should occur with most metals at about 250 to 260 degrees. Stubborn things like some Ruger parts want to turn red and sometimes have to be shocked by putting them in hot or cold water all of which is kind of an art. The diesel usually kills the salts in those areas missed by the hot water. There is a lot to it but it can be very rewarding. The prep of the metal and the gun smithing involved is in my view takes far more the work and talent. I have seen guys who do pretty good work only to ruin it putting back together.

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