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Chad Arnow
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Aug, 2003 2:10 pm    Post subject: Fire-bluing?         Reply with quote

I love the look of Albion's fire-bluing. I'd love to try it out on some stuff I have here. If it's not a trade secret, could someone enlighten me on the process?

How does it work? Is it something I can do at home? Does a sword need to be disassembled? How durable is the finish?

Thanks, guys!

Happy

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Stephen S. Han




Location: Westminster, CA
Joined: 21 Aug 2003

Posts: 211

PostPosted: Mon 25 Aug, 2003 6:46 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

My Irish Galway Sword by Vince Evans is "heat blued" which looks remarkably similar to the "fire-blued" look of Albion.

Vince described the process thus: "This requires that the steel be absolutely clean and polished. The steel is heated with a torch until it begins to change colors on the surface. The trick is to get it to heat evenly so that all areas achieve the same color at the same time...[t]his finish is durable provided the owner takes some care in keeping the fittings oiled."

It took Vince six tries to get it right (I still feel a little guilty about that, wish he told me how difficult it was)



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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Mon 25 Aug, 2003 6:51 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll let Albion describe their process themselves, but I have to say that I absolutely love the finish on both my Crecy and your own Agincourt swords. It's worth noting that each and every piece is unique in the color that's produced; a very appealing thing to me.
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Michael Sigman
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Location: New Glarus, WI
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

Posts: 275

PostPosted: Wed 27 Aug, 2003 10:21 am    Post subject: Re: Fire-bluing?         Reply with quote

Chad Arnow wrote:
I love the look of Albion's fire-bluing. I'd love to try it out on some stuff I have here. If it's not a trade secret, could someone enlighten me on the process?

How does it work? Is it something I can do at home? Does a sword need to be disassembled? How durable is the finish?

Thanks, guys!


We use our heat treating rig to blue the fittings. As Nathan stated - you never know how they are going to turn out until you pull them from the rig. It is neat to have a different color on each piece. The bluing seems to be holding up pretty good for everyone.

If you would like to blue the components at home - I would say try a cold blue for guns. That turns out pretty nice as well. :-)

Mike Sigman
Albion Swords
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Robert Morgenstern




Location: Silver Spring, MD
Joined: 26 Aug 2003

Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed 27 Aug, 2003 12:01 pm    Post subject: Heat Bluing         Reply with quote

I tend to find the chemical 'bluing' tends to leave a more brownish finish, and isn't as rust-resistant.

The end color for heat bluing is going to depend on the temperature you actually take the metal to. If you overheat an area, it will tend to grey out. I tend to use a MAPP torch for bluing and oil quench the pieces. Start in one area and bring it up to temp and then work out from the spot to the total area you are trying to blue. Make sure you are in a WELL ventilated area as this generates LOTS of smoke if you oil-quench.

If you mess up, you can buff up the area in question and try to clean up the coloration. I recommend practicing a fair amount with this before you try it on something you care a lot about.
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Patrick Hastings
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Location: West coast USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003

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PostPosted: Wed 27 Aug, 2003 6:11 pm    Post subject: Re: Heat Bluing         Reply with quote

Robert Morgenstern wrote:
I tend to find the chemical 'bluing' tends to leave a more brownish finish, and isn't as rust-resistant.

The end color for heat bluing is going to depend on the temperature you actually take the metal to. If you overheat an area, it will tend to grey out. I tend to use a MAPP torch for bluing and oil quench the pieces. Start in one area and bring it up to temp and then work out from the spot to the total area you are trying to blue. Make sure you are in a WELL ventilated area as this generates LOTS of smoke if you oil-quench.

If you mess up, you can buff up the area in question and try to clean up the coloration. I recommend practicing a fair amount with this before you try it on something you care a lot about.


Hi Robert,
Chemical blueing is a really large category of products. Some do not offer any additional rust resistance over Hot blueing however there are many that offer much higher protection than heat blueing. The birchwood casey super blue that is commonly found in walmarts and sporting goods stores actually has a very high protection value (but the color really is not attractive) In my expirience Heat blue is rather durable mechanically, but it will rust like crazy if not wiped down after handling and oiled. There is a difference in that chemical "blueing" generally is made to yeild an actual black color or a blue so dark it might as well be black. Heat blue will not yeild black no matter what temp range you use.
Tip, If you have access to a furnace or oven that can reach 550F or better. prep your parts and put them in the oven on top of some crumpled Tinfoil. IF your oven will manage the temp you can get your blue quite evenly and its just as durable as the torch method since the thickness of the oxide determines the color. If you get the same color blue you have the same thickness oxide. This is much much easier that useing a torch. Then again if you really want an easy heat blue Try Niter salts you can melt it in a cast iron pot with with your torch then drop the clean part in. The molten salt conducts the heat evenly and can provide very even color or some interesting cross-sectional tracking color shifts. This really can't be done with the the torch directly. Using the salts or an accuratly controled furnace can let you really nail that elusive royal blue which occurs in a very narrow temp window. The lighter faded gray blue occurs in a wider temp range and is usually what people end up with when torching it. The royal blue is much more attractive IMHO Happy

Patrick Hastings Happy
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Kenneth Ryan




Location: USA
Joined: 10 May 2011

Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri 20 May, 2011 10:04 am    Post subject: Re: Heat Bluing         Reply with quote

Patrick Hastings wrote:

Tip, If you have access to a furnace or oven that can reach 550F or better. prep your parts and put them in the oven on top of some crumpled Tinfoil. IF your oven will manage the temp you can get your blue quite evenly and its just as durable as the torch method since the thickness of the oxide determines the color. If you get the same color blue you have the same thickness oxide. This is much much easier that useing a torch.


Aluminum Foil or Tin Foil? Can you tell me what is the oxide formed? Does it need to be oil quenched?

I think I may have seen a chart showing temperatures and colors achieved, but I can't find it anymore -- does anyone have additional information?
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Christopher Treichel




Location: Metro D.C.
Joined: 14 Jan 2010

Posts: 268

PostPosted: Fri 20 May, 2011 11:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

you could try Firearms Blueing & Browning by R. H. Angler... you will have to delve into chemistry a bit for his recipies.

Another option is to go to a place that stocks gun building supplies... especially for muzzle loaders. Or you could order chemicals from www.trackofthewolf.com or www.muzzleloaderbuilderssupply.com for various browning and bluing solutions. There is more out there than just Birchewood Casey.
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Nathan Robinson
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PostPosted: Fri 20 May, 2011 11:18 am    Post subject: Re: Heat Bluing         Reply with quote

Kenneth Ryan wrote:
Patrick Hastings wrote:

Tip, If you have access to a furnace or oven that can reach 550F or better. prep your parts and put them in the oven on top of some crumpled Tinfoil. IF your oven will manage the temp you can get your blue quite evenly and its just as durable as the torch method since the thickness of the oxide determines the color. If you get the same color blue you have the same thickness oxide. This is much much easier that useing a torch.


Aluminum Foil or Tin Foil? Can you tell me what is the oxide formed? Does it need to be oil quenched?

I think I may have seen a chart showing temperatures and colors achieved, but I can't find it anymore -- does anyone have additional information?


You're responding to a post made in 2003. Patrick Hastings hasn't logged into myArmoury.com since 2005.

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