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Great Basin
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September 26, 2021 - 10:10 pm
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I’ve been working on some different finishing techniques since I got one of my bluing tanks set up.  Today, I tried a rust conversion process that I learned about on another channel.  I found a fairly challenging rusty old shotgun barrel to experiment on and the results were pretty interesting.  I don’t think I’d use this on anything but a rusty basket case, but it worked pretty good in this experiment.  Mark

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September 27, 2021 - 4:31 am
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Thanks, Mark. Love the shop videos. Had no idea so much rust could be removed and much of the original finish preserved. I saw some moderately heavy pitting in a few places but as the barrel will likely never be part of a working firearm again it’s a moot point. I’ve removed a light, oil-soaked layer of surface rust but nothing like that shotgun barrel. Old school is pretty cool. If we behave and live long enough I hope to someday see you demonstrate how Damascus barrels were made. I don’t think it’s a lost art yet but I suspect only a handful of craftsmen could pull it off. 

 

Mike

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Smokeless powder is a passing fad! -Steve Garbe
I hate rude behavior in a man. I won't tolerate it. -Woodrow F. Call, Lonesome Dove
Some of my favorite recipes start out with a handful of depleted counterbalance devices.-TXGunNut
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September 27, 2021 - 5:11 am
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Mark,  as Mike said, I enjoy your shop videos as well.  Some questions for you though.  First thought that comes to mind is what happens with the tank you boiled the barrels in—as I recall you had quite a bit of cleaning on the tanks to get them usable.  Did the dirt and such that boiled off the barrels contaminate the sides of your tank?  I assume you had to drain the now dirty water before you would use it again.  At some point you will oil the newly smoothed surface.  Old wive’s tales were that sperm oil aided in the process of coloring.  Obviously such is no longer used.  If you used an oil, what would it be and what was the affect on the color, etc, of the metal?  The bores would also have been in need of carding and smoothing as much as possible, etc.  Thanks again!  By the way, it won’t really matter as I will not be doing anything of the kind you are doing and having obvious fun discovering!  Tim.

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September 27, 2021 - 1:06 pm
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TXGunNut said
Thanks, Mark. Love the shop videos. Had no idea so much rust could be removed and much of the original finish preserved. I saw some moderately heavy pitting in a few places but as the barrel will likely never be part of a working firearm again it’s a moot point. I’ve removed a light, oil-soaked layer of surface rust but nothing like that shotgun barrel. Old school is pretty cool. If we behave and live long enough I hope to someday see you demonstrate how Damascus barrels were made. I don’t think it’s a lost art yet but I suspect only a handful of craftsmen could pull it off. 

 

Mike  

Mike,

What you saw as pitting was probably more a product of my poor camera work.  There were still small spots of heavier rust that didn’t come off with the first round of carding that probably appear as pits.  I would expect that if I continued to boil and card until those spots were removed, there would be pits under them. Removing pits from damascus, either by draw filing or filling them, would pretty much ruin the appearance of the barrel.

I’m pretty sure neither of us is going to live long enough to see me forge a damascus steel barrel.  It’s a fascinating and incredibly labor-intensive process.  Check out this video that shows what’s involved in making a short damascus barrel.  Mark

The Making of a Spiral Welded Damascus Gun Barrel – YouTube

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September 27, 2021 - 1:28 pm
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tim tomlinson said
Mark,  as Mike said, I enjoy your shop videos as well.  Some questions for you though.  First thought that comes to mind is what happens with the tank you boiled the barrels in—as I recall you had quite a bit of cleaning on the tanks to get them usable.  Did the dirt and such that boiled off the barrels contaminate the sides of your tank?  I assume you had to drain the now dirty water before you would use it again.  At some point you will oil the newly smoothed surface.  Old wive’s tales were that sperm oil aided in the process of coloring.  Obviously such is no longer used.  If you used an oil, what would it be and what was the affect on the color, etc, of the metal?  The bores would also have been in need of carding and smoothing as much as possible, etc.  Thanks again!  By the way, it won’t really matter as I will not be doing anything of the kind you are doing and having obvious fun discovering!  Tim.  

Tim,

I would normally use distilled water for rust bluing, but just used tap water for this demonstration and dumped it when I was done.  A little bit of surface rust forms inside the tank, but it doesn’t hurt anything since the slow rust blue process is about creating rust anyway, so it isn’t a contaminant.  It only takes a few minutes in the blast cabinet to clean the tank when it looks like it needs it.

Most typically, a water displacing oil is used after bluing to kill the rusting process.  This is particularly necessary after caustic bluing or the blued parts will continue to rust rather quickly.  Most often, parts are hit with WD-40 as a neutralizer immediately after bluing and then thoroughly cleaned and a good quality gun oil applied.  Some of the cold blue solutions take a different product to kill the rust process.  For instance, Windex is the neutralizer for one product I’ve used.  Mark

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