How to strip and re-blue

Discussion in 'Technical Questions & Information' started by 9 fingers, Apr 18, 2009.

  1. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    Hi, just aquired a Mossberg 472 (like Marlin 336) and it was not well stored and has corrosion on the receiver, lever and hammer and slight rust on the barrel. The barrel is still nice and black but the receiver has a purple/brown color to it. I am going to use Brownells Oxpho as I have heard lots of good reports on it. My question is do I need to remove ALL of the coloring from the receiver or just work the sections that are corroded? Only a smal portion has bad corrosion but there are very small dots of pitting in other areas. I think steel wool will remove them but probalby most of the blueing (purple browning really). Since the Oxpho is nice and black will it color equally if I don't remove all the old finish? Also, what type of draw file is best to start with? Are there special types or do I go to Home Depot and get a fine file and work with it? Birchwood Casey blue/rust remover any good? Do I need it?
    Thanks!
    9 fingers
     
  2. Just an opinion, 9, but rebluing in only a few places (unless they are very small) usually turns out looking cheap and patchy. My suggestion would be to do the whole rifle. I would use fine steel wool or emery paper. Start with 400 grit, perhaps a bit heavier for the really bad places. You might also add a little WD-40 applied first. You want to end up with as smooth a metal surface as you can manage. The cold blue will take much better that way. Be sure to remove ALL oil or grease residue from the metal before you actually apply the blue. Be patient. If you are cold bluing bare metal, don't expect it to come out dark enough after the first application. Be prepared to apply the blue as many times as needed, letting it dry thoroughly between applications, and going over the surface lightly with fine steel wool (800) between each application.
     

  3. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    Thanks Pistolenshutze.
    The corrosion is heavy enough in a few places that steel wool will not be enought to remove it. I will need to file along the top of the receiver and near the load port. Then I will hit it with variousl paper grits and maybe carefull a bit of wire wheel. Question: is Gunscrubber sufficient to degrease before I blue? Does it leave any residue? I may be able to get away with 220 grit instead of the file but I don't think so.
    Thanks again.
    9 fingers
     
  4. I would suggest you use whatever is necessary to remove the corrosion, 9, but try and keep to the minimum abrasive power that will work effectively. If the corrosion is bad enough to require files, use them, but I would start with a very fine one and only work up to rougher ones if truly needed. One very effective type of file is the kind that uses various grits of diamond dust as the file medium. Remember, metal that is removed cannot be put back. ;) Work slowly and carefully, applying only the minimum pressure that gets the job done. Gunscrubber is a good product, I use it myself, but for this purpose, I would suggest you buy a can of degreaser. Birchwood Casey and several others make such a product and they are quite effective for that purpose. The cleaner and smoother the surface, the better the cold blue will take.
     
  5. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    I second Pistols suggestion to do the whole thing, if you dont it will end up patchy. Birchwood Caseys Blue and Rust remover is in my opinion fantastic. I have used in many times and have a bottle here as I write. Did a handgun slide recently to match the frame. Old gun so had to blend, be creative. The remover got me straight back to steel in double quick time. Just be sure to follow instructions.

    Actually the original finish had developed into a fine dapple. I kept dipping wire wool into the blue creme and gently built the finish up until it matched. I love things like that. Never be afraid to try things out.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2009
  6. I was meant to suggest that product as well, Tranter. It is excellent, easy to use, and not expensive. It makes doing a whole rifle much, much easier. Thanks for mentioning it. ;)
     
  7. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    It is a good product, but you still need to work at it. I use wire wool.
     
  8. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    Ok, so I'll order some Oxpho, the blu and rust remover from Birchwood casey and some degreaser. I am waiting on a reprint for takedown as I can't get the lower receiver off to get at the hammer and the safety to remove them. Last thing is to remove the barrel. I am assuming it is threaded in. I am thinking I will put the barrel in a properly shaped holder of wood in a vice and turn the receiver clockwise. Is this the best way to do it or is there another approach? It appears to be a fairly nice gun, maybe not as nice as a good 336, but worth me bringing it back to a nice finish. I am going to tru oil the stock also, which I have done before. All the rest is new to me including the full takedown. Never had to do it before. Thanks for all the advice.
    9 fingers
     
  9. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    I must tell you that the result of your refinishing will probably be substandard. Refinishing a gun is really a professional's job. And the Oxpho blue won't hold up well, nor look as good as a professional refinish.
     
  10. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    Well, you are probably right but I tend to do good work on anything I really put my mind and hands to (I drew, GC's and finished my own house and learned finish carpentry along the way) and I have seen the results of cold blue restorations elsewhere on the web and they look great so I am going to give it my best shot. If the Mossberg receiver is made of a metal blend that does not take the cold blu well then I will go the baked laquer approach. I will, no doubt, make it better than it is now and it will be a learning experience. I don't want to throw a lot of money at this gun as it is what my gunsmith calls "my commuter car". My pristine 1950's Marlin 336 SC Deluxe is my collector. I just don't want the Mossberg to look like a rust bucket. Thanks, 9 fingers
     
  11. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Glad to read your thoughts 9 fingers (?). Billdeshivs is of course quite right, nothing beats a professional job, but on workaday firearms of less than high value, It can be fun to do it yourself. Dont knock it till you've tried it.
     
  12. oldogy

    oldogy New Member

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    I really do not have anything to ad that has not been said. I did just refinish two old Winchesters that had been used, abused, and neglected for many years. I used the Oxpho-Blue after taking the metal down with 400 paper and 0000 wool. They both came out better than I had ever hoped for. I am really not ashamed to show them off now.
    Neither of these guns had any real collector value but meant a lot to me as the model 12 was my dad's favorite gun and 69A I've had forever.:cool:
    Since the model 12 stock was in bad shape I used Birchwood Casey Tru-Oil on the stock and am extremely pleased with the results there.
    So, take your time and do it yourself unless you have a very valuable piece is my suggestion.
    oldogy
     
  13. Bill DeShivs

    Bill DeShivs Well-Known Member

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    Tranter
    I tried it for years, and came to the conclusion that, despite the fact that I have better tools and skills than most, it just doesn't work well.
     
  14. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    Bill DeShivs, intereesting hobby and profession you have there and good website. Probably NONE of us here will ever approach your skill with metal but just the same I am going to give it my best go and see how it comes out. Again, it is ugly now and I will do a decent job (in my eyes) and it will undoubtedly be better than it is and I will most likely enjoy the process. And again, it is not a collector firearm. I think I am doing it more for fun and as a learning experience than any other reason. I can't wait to start!
    Thanks to all for their input.
    9 fingers (really 8 and one thumb)
     
  15. 9 fingers

    9 fingers New Member

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    Borwnell's tech guy got back to me and suggested that I use Aluma Hyde II paint rather than try to reblue the alloy used on the Mossberg and I jsut ordered it in Semi Gloss black, and since they nail you for $10.50 shipping (I hate when the shipping is as much as the thing you buy!) I also ordered the Oxpho blue creme and the Birchwood rust and blu remover. I no doubt will use the stuff eventually as I am always on the lookout for good old guns. Took pictures of the BEFORE gun and will post them when I am done. Incidentally, Brownells recommended against using one of their paints that require baking due to the "long length of the action". I am not sure what they mean but perhaps the action has too much mass to it and it takes too long to heat to the proper temperature. Or maybe warping becomes an issue at 350 degrees for a few hours. Anyway, paint it is. Thanks for the comments.
    9 fingers
     
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