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Larry Bohnham





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PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 12:22 pm    Post subject: Hilt Blueing         Reply with quote

I've seen quite a few people who have blued their hilt hardware. Can any one provide a detailed "how to"? I was thinking of getting a standard gun blueing kit and having at it, is that what everybody else has done, or are they actually heat blueing? If people are heat blueing, how are they controlling the conductance of the heat into the blade so as not to compromise the blade's heat treat? Thanks, love this forum!
"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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Stephen Curtin




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 1:24 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

From what I know of this subject most quality manufacturers use heat blueing, how this is done without effecting the blades heat treat is that it is done to the hilt components before they are attached to the sword. So if your sword can be disassembled, do that first and then blue the individual components.
Éirinn go Brách
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J.D. Crawford




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PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 1:48 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I have tried the gun bluing cream and for sure it works, quick and dirty, if the parts really are carbon steel. It's an option for a home project on hilt components where you don't require perfection and/or can't dis-assemble the sword. In my hands it was a bit streaky but looked better after a rub-down with steel wool. I wouldn't recommend it for larger surfaces like a blade, and make sure to protect any surface you don't want affected (it acts quickly and it can be hard to get off of awkward spots like the blade under the cross). The best use I have found for it is to just too darken some small spots (like rivet heads) that looked too shiny. The instructions say to use a cloth but this is very sloppy - a cue-tip worked better for more precision. In short, it works, but is better for small areas, and for larger areas will not do as good a job as more professional heat or chemical methods.
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Hadrian Coffin
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Location: Oxford, England
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 1:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello,
SuperBlue has always worked for me. It just takes a bit of patience. It needs to be put on in "layers". I like to rub with steel wool between coats... and generally do several. I have always managed to get a very even blue.
Cheers,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est

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P. Cha




PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 5:55 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Okay so if you can take your sword apart (or your sword isn't peened yet), then you can heat blue it...even in your charcoal grill. Get some real wood charcoal (not briquets), get it read hot, place the parts in and get the color you want. Then oil quench the piece. You can use cooking oil, and I personally used used old fryer oil. You can use your oven if it gets hot enough. Mine doesn't so I use the grill. Oh make sure you have GOOD tongs or your just asking for trouble. Check to make sure you tongs can get good grips on your parts BEFORE placing them in the coal.

Now if your sword doesn't come apart...you can take the sword apart, hot blue and re-peen. If you have a peen block, you don't even have to get a new handle. Other then that, you can use cold blue agents. I suggest getting fine foam brush so you can place nice even coats. Tape up the handle and part of the blade to prevent discoloration of parts you don't want colored. Painters tape works well for this. Use light coats and use multiple coats. I find you need at least 20 coats to make for a lasting finish with most cold blue agents.

Hope that helps Happy .
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Mon 08 Nov, 2010 6:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I used Birchwood-Casey Permablue from Wal-Mart for the sallet in my avatar and the hilts shown below. It's great stuff, but there are some tricks.
• Wear latex gloves and keep plenty close to hand.
• Use spray-on engine degreaser on the parts to be blued.
• As P. Cha wrote, use a foam brush or a NEW sponge--something that will take up, hold and easily release large amounts of fluid.
• You can degrease outside on a newspaper or box, but everything else should be done in a sink. Degreaser and bluing solution both require large volumes of water to rinse, and you won't have time to walk back and forth between steps in the process.
• Keep a bottle of Singer sewing machine oil, clean paper towels and NEW piece of very fine steel wool beside the sink where you're working.
• The degreased parts will begin to rust almost immediately, so charge your brush with bluing solution before rinsing the parts. Never touch them with bare hands. You should be in gloves before moving the degreased parts to the sink.
• Quickly pat down the rinsed part with a clean paper towel.
• Immediately saturate the part with bluing solution from the sponge. Rub it all over as quickly as possible. Don't allow a single drip. If you have enough solution and the parts are small enough, just immerse them. They'll blue within a few seconds. When they stop getting dark, immediately rinse thoroughly in running water, pat dry and generously coat with oil. If you wait even a few seconds before oiling at this stage the part will rust. Rub in the oil with a paper towel and then VERY lightly rub the whole surface with the steel wool, making sure there are no dull spots. If you want a gray finish, I would suggest doing everything true black, then carefully polishing with the steel wool after all of the parts are blued. That's what I did with the second hilt shown below.
• Add more oil and wipe clean with a new paper towel. You'll probably see some rust stain. Rub all over until there's no more of that.
•Add a final coat of oil and make sure the part stays well-oiled for at least a few days.



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-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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William Goodwin




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 2:51 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

pretty much everything Sean said...the only different is I use a few #2 art brushes - cut half the bristle's off and use that to rub in the Birchwood Casey's gun blue solution. Have done several and each came out nice and with a little different hue's.

here's the hilt of my Windlass 15th c. longsword done some time ago...




and my Windlass type II Schiavona with a small variation in color....






cheers,

Roanoke Sword Guilde

roanokeswordguilde@live.com
"I was born for this" - Joan of Arc
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 4:32 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

And I use an abrasive sponge dipped in the diluted bluing solution and clean the surface as I blue it: I find that this way I don't have to worry much about de-greasing and I can blend in the blue more or less dark blue or a light blue grey depending on the amount of dilution and how hard I rub.

Others might get different results but it works for me and I find that using this method once you are used to it one can blend in a bluing touch-up and get a nice uniform finish more or less campaign worn: Takes a little practice to get the right result.

What the abrasive does is expose clean fresh metal and blue it in the same pass.

If it's too dark keep rubbing without adding blue and it gets lighter, if it gets too light add more blue on the sponge and rub more softly with less pressure.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Larry Bohnham





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PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 8:35 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks, everyone. Great input.

I want to do the hilts of some already mounted (peened) hilts. How do you go about keeping the water from seeping under the grip core and getting at the tang and wood? Also, do you mask off the ricasso area of the blade or just get real careful applying the blue to the cross guard? If the pommel, for instance is highly polished, do you have to score the surface with heavy steel wool or light sand paper prior to blueing?

"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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P. Cha




PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 11:03 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Larry Bohnham wrote:
Thanks, everyone. Great input.

I want to do the hilts of some already mounted (peened) hilts. How do you go about keeping the water from seeping under the grip core and getting at the tang and wood? Also, do you mask off the ricasso area of the blade or just get real careful applying the blue to the cross guard? If the pommel, for instance is highly polished, do you have to score the surface with heavy steel wool or light sand paper prior to blueing?


I already mention I use painters tape for this. If you want a more satinly finish, yes adjust the finish before bluing as adjusting after will just remove the bluing you just did :P .
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 1:13 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You could try masking those areas with rubber cement. Should create a good seal but would be easy to remove. But, really, the bluing isn't the problem because it isn't going to have any affect on steel that isn't degreased. The water will be more-or-less neutral and leakage into the hilt can be mitigated by flooding the area with rubbing alcohol and drying with a hair dryer. Degreasing will be the bigger hassle because its so messy. The stuff stinks and you don't want it running into your grip, where it will continue to do its work, guaranteeing rust. Frankly, by the time you do all the work to mask, protect and fix everything that goes wrong with in-situ bluing, you'd be much better off to dismantle the piece. It's easy, and will give you the opportunity to fix other potential problems with the grip, construction, etc.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Larry Bohnham





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PostPosted: Tue 09 Nov, 2010 9:14 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I really don't want to dismantle the hilt of my Albion for several reasons; one, the sword is very well assembled to begin with and I don't have any complaints about it, nor can I detect any flaws in its construction, second, I have no idea how to dis-assemble and re-assemble a peened hilt but it seems to me that the final result would entail shortening the tang during the re-assembly since the peened end is flush with the pommel surface and there does not seem to be any extra material to use when re-peening. This would inevitably alter the balance fo the weapon and I find the grip almost too short as is to want to have an even shorter grip. Also,I don't have an extensive work shop with heavy grinders or welding equipment.

Sounds like I should just enjoy the sword as is and not risk damaging it just to have a different look. Thanks for the info, though, as it as given me an idea as to the amount of work involved in such a project.

"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov, 2010 10:12 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I'd be reluctant to open a flush-peened Albion, too. Big Grin Since it's not a compression fit you couldn't even remove the pommel by chiseling off the grip and sliding down the pommel to expose the peen for filing, which is what I've done with some peened swords. I'm preparing to disassemble an A&A Town Guard for bluing but it has a long button, so there won't be any loss of length.

I think you could still blue your hilt by using Q-Tip swabs for all of the fluids and clearing the fluids with a water-soaked sponge (blade up to degrease, wash and blue the pommel, blade down to work on the cross). If you're careful and can still manage to work quickly enough to avoid streaking it should work fine without disturbing the grip. It would certainly be more "fiddly" but in this case that actually would be easier than disassembling. Ironically, I think I'd be less likely to mask the grip in this particular case. It might make me less cautious and get in the way of what would have to be very detailed work with a swab.

-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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Jean Thibodeau




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PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov, 2010 11:11 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hadrian Coffin wrote:
Hello,
SuperBlue has always worked for me. It just takes a bit of patience. It needs to be put on in "layers". I like to rub with steel wool between coats... and generally do several. I have always managed to get a very even blue.
Cheers,
Hadrian


Right the only difference is as I've mentioned in a previous post is that I apply it with an abrasive sponge and I get or can get a very uniform finish as dark or as light as I want and worry very little to none at all with degreasing as the abrasive exposes the carbon steel to the bluing compound in spite of any oil on the blade ..... one can even oil the blade first and it still seem to work for me at least. Wink Laughing Out Loud Completely opposite to the instructions and the normal and approved method ? Go figure, but if it works it works.

Oh, cleaning immediately with oil after bluing does remove any rust before it has a chance to form.

Anyway I have done and entire blade this way and it's very uniform.

You can easily give up your freedom. You have to fight hard to get it back!
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Hadrian Coffin
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PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov, 2010 1:57 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello again,
The one note of caution is that it in general will not make your sword any more accurate... Well the various cold blues are reminiscent of historical blues.... they don't look the same. The hue is actually quite different.

For a sword like A&A Town Guard... I'd be hesitant using a chemical bluing process. Well the Wallace A612 is blued the original hue would be different then that of a modern chemical blue. There are dozens of these swords around, and many are not (and never were) blued. So it may not make the sword any more accurate to blue it, instead it may make it less so. Unless of course you are trying to specifically mimic the A612, in which case I would attempt to do a more historically appropriate blue... and make a few other minor tweaks.

Concerning the Albion.... I would not take it apart. Even with the grip removed it would be difficult to get off, and there would be a very high likelihood of damage. It wouldn't be all that hard to blue fully assembled... but perhaps you should get a bit of practice in first. Having a more visceral knowledge of how the bluing process works would help give you a better finished piece.

Cheers,
Hadrian

Historia magistra vitae est

www.hadrianscustomshop.com
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Karl Schlesien





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov, 2010 3:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

The process of fume bluing has not been brought to the attention. This process I have used to good success. It is much older bluing technique that makes for a old looking blue colour on steels. He is worth a try!
I post the links because my English is tiresome. So I will let them show you, the English reads better.

"Fume bluing is another process similar to rust bluing. Instead of applying the acid solution directly to the metal parts, the parts are placed in a sealed cabinet with a moisture source, a container of Nitric Acid and a container of Hydrochloric Acid (Muriatic Acid). The cabinet is then sealed. The fumes mixed fumes of the acids will produce a uniform rust on the surface of the parts (inside and out) in about 12 hours. The parts are then boiled in distilled water, blown dry, then carded, (just like when rust bluing). These processes were later abandoned by major firearm manufacturers as it often took parts days to finish completely, and was very labor intensive. It is still sometimes used by gunsmiths to obtain an authentic finish for a period gun of the time that rust bluing was in vogue, analogous to the use of browning on earlier representative firearm replicas. Rust bluing is also used on shotgun barrels that are soldered to the rib between the barrels, as hot bluing solutions would dissolve the solder during the bluing process."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bluing_(steel)


http://www.assra.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1282132883/18


http://www.assra.com/cgi-bin/yabb/YaBB.pl?num=1161274388


http://www.24hourcampfire.com/ubbthreads/ubbt...g_Question


http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=133608


http://www.practicalmachinist.com/vb/gunsmithing/blueing-126689/


http://www.reachinformation.com/define/bluing_(steel).aspx
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Karl Schlesien





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Posts: 54

PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov, 2010 3:35 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Also this site is good, with DIY video on bluing.


http://firearmshistory.blogspot.com/2010/08/m...luing.html



Tschüß!
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Karl Schlesien





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov, 2010 3:59 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Good photographs of a process of rust bluing steel, you must read all, very interesting results!

http://www.akfiles.com/forums/showthread.php?t=31594
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Karl Schlesien





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov, 2010 4:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

One last link.

http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net/showthread.php?t=36326
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Larry Bohnham





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PostPosted: Wed 10 Nov, 2010 8:42 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

All good stuff guys, thanks. I have an idea for the de-greasing. Instead of the engine de-greaser, I think I'll try swabbing the surfaces with acetone or MEK then rinsing with a neutralizer. Those two chemicals used to do great things for us in the aerospace biz and I think I can apply it just as needed (q-tips as required), then get after the parts with the blueing compound. For those of you who have read some of my earlier posts on this forum, you know that I'm not overly concerned with historical accuracy with somethings, and this is one of them. I just wanted a different look for the furniture along with some corrosion resistance, the glare reduction is just a tactical bonus Cool . If I were having this done as a custom hilt I'd even be tempted to have the furniture Tenifered which is the process Glock uses to finish the metal parts of their pistols; it's a bit drab but it leaves a nearly indestructible, non-glare finish.

I've already re-wrapped the hilt with suede leather braid because the OE grip was too thin for my hand and the leather was slippery. Not period accurate at all but the sword now feels more like it was custom fitted, and I can change the look/color any time by just changing out the over-wrap (all for $4.95US). Next up is finding/making a scabbard for less than the proverbial king's ransom (it's not easy being Scottish, y'know). I bought the sword way way way under retail on e-bay and I'm trying to stay with the low buck, tactical gear theme.

"No athlete can fight tenaciously who has never received any blows; he must see his blood flow and hear his teeth crack under the fist of his adversary..."
Roger of Hoveden, d.1201

a furore Normannorum libera nos Domine

"Henry, get down off that horse with that sword, you'll put someone's eye out!" Mrs. Bolingbroke's advice to her son, Henry, on the eve of the battle of Agincourt
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