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Posted: 3/3/2006 9:04:25 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/3/2006 9:04:36 PM EDT by michaelj1978]
I took my girlfriend's grandpa's old Cricket .22 that they were going to throw away and decided to try and at least turn it into a wall hanger. Bore is totally shot out, wood is good minus a crack in the forearm that I"m filling, and the rest of the gun is (was) rusted over 80 percent.

I bought the 3 step birchwood casey refinishing kit. Stripped the entire gun, took the rust off, then got the blue off. After that I took my dremel with different bits to get the deep pitting out and rough up the surface. Then I worked it with 80 grit up to 400 grit sandpaper to make it look like new again. I actually thought I was doing a hell of a job.

Last step was reblueing. I followed the instructions and it looks awful. It's not shiny and looks like a light slate grey. I'm definately going to have to redo it, but what's another way to go? What am I missing here and why isn't this stuff working? Is it the metal, the application, or me?

What's a good product to use to get a deep blue and shiny finish that a first timer can use with good results?

Link Posted: 3/4/2006 2:36:44 AM EDT
I'm using Oxpho-Blue from brownell's on an old shotgun. Patience pays off and I'm fairly impressed with the results when not applied over any other bluing. I never had any luck with Perma Blue either.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 4:48:07 AM EDT
How many coats did you apply? It may take several coats to look decent. It will probably never look as good as the factory blue no matter how many coats you apply.

Is there any aluminum parts on the rifle?

Are you heating it properly?

Use the search function to find any tips on reblueing. Good luck
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:15:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/4/2006 5:18:56 AM EDT by pv74]
Have it professionally hot blued...shouldnt cost too much...
Cold blue, while OK for touchups, is not that durable of a finish.

Hint...If you are going to use cold blue, make absolutely sure that the surface is free of oil. Not even fingerprints...I like to use acetone to degrease as it evaporates very quickly... I have had good luck with Brownell's 44/40...
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:18:15 AM EDT
Grandpa's "Cricket", or 100 year old side lever Stevens? By the way, the barrel can be relined to make a shooter.

Second mistake is using a dremel tool; okay, that's out of the way:

For cold blue to work, the surface has to absolutely be free of oil and clean, and after it's been cleaned, you can't touch the surface with your bare hands or a rag that is remotely dirty.

The degreaser in the B. Casey kits is okay, but you will get better results with acetone or starting fluid or other common degreaser.

The gun is never going to look like a hot blue or rust blue finish with a cold blue kit.

Here are two ways to get a better finish -
First. Clean the hell out of the metal surfaces and degrease. Get a tube of B. Casey paste blue in the tube, and a bottle of Oxpho Blue (Brownell's of Midway, and some gun shops). Follow the instructions on the packaging, except:
Start with the paste blue, followed with a light polish with 0000 steel wool,
follow with Oxpho Blue, followed with light polish,
and then repeat these two steps 5 or 6 cycles.

The B. Casey paste blue will impart a dark blue finish, the Oxpho Blue will improve its toughness. Steel wool at each step makes the finish uniform. When you are done, apply oil and admire. If you use a hair dryer to heat the parts while applying the blueing chemical, that will help.

The other method is to get some Laurel Mountain Forge browning solution. You can find detailed instructions on the 'net, but the basic process is to apply the LMF solution, remove part of the rust, then boil in water - the finish will turn deep black if repeated enough times and is a far better finish than cold blueing.

You can fire blue the screw heads with a propane torch - info on this process is also available on the internet. The end result is a beautiful medium blue color that makes a nice contrast with the darker background.

When you finish the stock, apply the finish coats in very thin layers, let them dry at least 24 hours, then buff out. When you rub out each coat, work in a glancing light from the window or a desk lamp so the haze in the finish can be seen. Buff out all the haze before adding another coat. Regardless of the opinion of some folks, Tru Oil is a superior stock finish that will harden and provide a waterproof finish. The are other finishes, too, but this one is economical and easy to find, and I know of more than one builder of very high art rifles (that are also shot and carried in the field) that use this finish. Don't use straight linseed oil unless you want a boat load of work for an inferior finish that is truly only suitable for wall hangers. There are also good finishes at some hardware stores. Learn how to raise the grain on the stock before applying the first coat of finish.

Please don't put a polyurethane finish on the wood.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:20:21 AM EDT
Before you rate it

put some car wax on it and buff it, that sometimes makes crap jobs look good.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:26:36 AM EDT
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 5:29:53 AM EDT
I never had good luck with it.

Personally I think you are better off leaving that to the professionals. I have had it done for $100 two seperate times and they both came back looking LNIB.
Link Posted: 3/4/2006 9:01:05 AM EDT
I might just have someone in the area do it. I'm sure it would be a lot cheaper since it's just bare metal and the pieces are all apart. All they'd have to do is blue it and give it back, not take it apart and put it back together. I'd like to get that antique look too that you see on reproduction cowboy style pistols.
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