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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
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PostPosted: Wed 14 Apr, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Rust Bluing?         Reply with quote

So, working with some guns, and the idea came...has anyone used the rust bluing method for firearms on armour? Right now the biggest problem is getting an even rust then carding off the rust within the joints, and then finding a large enough container to boil a breast plate in. It's far more durable finish than the off the shelf chemical bluing solutions. Anyone done this? I was thinking of starting with the rondels for my practice dagger for a test. Thoughts?
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Michael Bergstrom
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Matthew Fedele




Location: Auburn, NY USA
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 7:29 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Not positive by what you mean by "rust blue" but I had a friend that russeted his breastplate and it worked out well. He just used ammonia to start the process then abated it if I recall correctly.

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Matt
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Christopher Treichel




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Interesting, working on muzzleloaders I am familiar with slow rust browning and hot chemical bluing processes... but have not heard of rust bluing... I know if you get your browning process just right you can end up with a nice plum almost brownish purple color... and trying to get the crevices to not red rust and pit could be tricky...
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Todd M. Sullivan




Location: Upstate New York
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 7:42 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Allan at Mercenery's Tailor does blueing for harness.













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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 12:02 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Todd, yes, I've seen that, and wish I had opted for it when I had my harness made, I assume it's not something he can do AFTER the fact?
Rust Blues are basically rust browns where the iron oxide (rust) has been converted from the Ferric Oxide state (Fe2O3), which is red, to the Ferric Ferrous Oxide state (Fe3O4), which is blue-black. This conversion is accomplished by placing the browned parts in boiling distilled water. I've seen some really good results from it, and it's a very durable finish.

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Michael Bergstrom
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Matthew Fedele




Location: Auburn, NY USA
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 12:30 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
Todd, yes, I've seen that, and wish I had opted for it when I had my harness made, I assume it's not something he can do AFTER the fact?
Rust Blues are basically rust browns where the iron oxide (rust) has been converted from the Ferric Oxide state (Fe2O3), which is red, to the Ferric Ferrous Oxide state (Fe3O4), which is blue-black. This conversion is accomplished by placing the browned parts in boiling distilled water. I've seen some really good results from it, and it's a very durable finish.


That's very interesting Michael, I've never heard of that reaction and will have to try it. I'd imagine to get a good result, you'd have to start with a high finish then get an even flash rust somehow. You'd have to find a large caldron like the ones farmers used to render fats down with, find a whole lot of distilled water, and fuel to get it to a boil. I'd like to see pictures of the finish if you do some test pieces.

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Matt
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Michael B.
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 12:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'll be playing with it in the next couple days. I have a knife blade laying about that I'll experiment on. I'll post what I find.
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Michael Bergstrom
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Gabriele A. Pini




Location: Olgiate Comasco, Como
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 1:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not sure if it's the same thing, but recently I've had to treat two semi-coif and a coif for the company.
They were do before my times with a simple iron wire, 1,5mm, not galvanized.

I've treated them over a hot plate (a metal sheet over the gas stove of my kitchen) until they became yellow and then blue. I'm now expecting the start of the season (the first weekend of may) to see how they fare...

Interestingly ten rings didn't change colour at all, perhaps they are of some other metal?
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Todd M. Sullivan




Location: Upstate New York
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 5:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

MIke,

I hear ya Happy I do believe he will blue your harness...but don't quote me. I'm sure he'll anwser that over the phone. I too want a full harness from him blued, I think the blueing is very sharp, espeically with the brass custom work he has been doing.

Cheers,

Todd
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Joshua R




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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 10:07 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Christopher Treichel wrote:
Interesting, working on muzzleloaders I am familiar with slow rust browning and hot chemical bluing processes... but have not heard of rust bluing... I know if you get your browning process just right you can end up with a nice plum almost brownish purple color... and trying to get the crevices to not red rust and pit could be tricky...


My apologies if this has been mentioned elsewhere, here, but I do believe that "browning" and "rust bluing" refer to the same process.

" For Augustus, and after him Tiberius, more interested in establishing and increasing their own power than in promoting the public good, began to disarm the Roman people (in order to make them more passive under their tyranny).... "
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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
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PostPosted: Thu 15 Apr, 2010 11:16 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

It's almost the same as browning. The difference comes in after the second coat of browning and how you handle it. The Rust Blueing method is using DISTILLED water at boiling then letting it cool in the water before carding off the rust. This differs from browning where after you've applied the coats, you finish with hot tap water, then, after neutralizing the rusting, you torch it and oil. Different look altogether.
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Michael Bergstrom
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Christopher Treichel




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 5:07 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I don't see why you would't be able to blue armour after the fact... probably would have to remove all of the leather strapping to do a really nice hot blue which would be a pain... a really good hot blue process could make it look like the armour is covered in black glass. A friend of mine's dad (Terhaar) was a gun maker in Texas and this guy could do some magic... showed me a 1911 that looked like it was made out of black glass. Absolutely beautifull. But the process requires the use of some strong chemicals... which if handled improperly can be quite dangerous. There are some good books available such as "Firearms Blueing & Browning" R. H. Angler
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 7:28 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Are you averse to cold blue? I've had great results with it (see the sallet in my avatar) The main obstacle to cold bluing finished armour is degreasing and bluing around straps or linings. That would be true with any process, though, and I think a commercial cold blue will give the most predictable and even results. It isn't historically accurate, but as far as I know all blued armour was heat blued, so no chemical blue is going to give truly authentic results (I'm not sure the difference is obvious).
-Sean

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Michael B.
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Location: Chugiak, AK
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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 11:17 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'm not really averse to cold bluing with chemicals. I was just looking for a more durable finish. I've cold blued knife blades before and the finish doesn't last very long even with hardly any use.
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Michael Bergstrom
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Jared Smith




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PostPosted: Fri 16 Apr, 2010 6:12 pm    Post subject: Re: Rust Bluing?         Reply with quote

Michael B. wrote:
I was thinking of starting with the rondels for my practice dagger for a test. Thoughts?


I would recommend heat bluing which involves heating very clean parts up to around 450 to 550 F (232 C to 288 C.) You could do it on some polished practiced sheet metal in a kitchen oven for small items. (Fumes from propane may foul up the finish if you try it on a gas grill. I have had better luck at getting pretty color hues with our household kitchen oven.) For something as small as a rondel, with access to a forge, you could "color case harden" it by encasing it in a container with some bone meal, charcoal dust, and charred leather. After heating the container and its contents to dull red, you dump the contents quickly into water. This has the additional benefit of actually hardening the surfaces of the metal parts. Either approach seems to be more durable than chemical cold bluing in my experience.

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