Smith & Wesson Forum

Go Back   Smith & Wesson Forum > Smith & Wesson Revolvers > S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961
Forum Register Expert Commentary Members List


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Search this Thread Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-12-2009, 10:35 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Default S&W Bluing Methods

Greetings all, first post, but I have been lurking for a while and have found this to be a great place to get good information on S&W. I have been a S&W fan for practically all of my life.

I'm trying to find out all that I can about S&W bluing methods. I know they used the proprietary "Carbonia" method after WWI (aproximately) but I am really curious about what they did before that. I have generally heard they heat blued using organic carbon sources (eg bone/wood charcoal) but that's about all I know. What did they do 1870-1920?

More than anything I'd like to get my hands on a book or two that provide a lot of details.

I do a lot of my own gunwork and have built and modified a number of firearms. I just picked up a nice 1896 HE that is great except 60% of its finish is gone, but it still has good markings, a good bore, and no bad pits. I figure it would make a nice restoration subject. But I'd want to use a period-correct bluing method.

Any help would appreciated. Except I'm not looking to touch off a "should I refinish or not" debate. I am $150 into this gun and am ok with the possibilty that it's value would be destroyed by my hands. Might feel differently if it was a nicer specimen...

Last edited by davidj; 08-12-2009 at 11:30 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-13-2009, 09:32 AM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Central Kentucky
Posts: 645
Likes: 101
Liked 352 Times in 78 Posts
Default

One website I have found that describes different blueing methods used by manufacturers in the past is ronsgunshop.com. I assume the information is correct and I have no association with the business. I was searching for information one day about carbonia blueing and came upon this site. Hope this helps some.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-13-2009, 10:04 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Default

To my knowledge the ronsgunshop info is not entirely accurate -carbonia was a proprietary process using a secret formula and it involved heating to over 500F and is not really directly analogous to charcoal bluing. I do appreciate the effort to help though.

There has to be some book that discusses industrial processes over time. I've heard they used a few different methods before they got to carbonia.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-13-2009, 04:15 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Default

I'll add on a little to my own post...

I hoofed it down to the NY Public Library today over lunch and went through a 1st ed. copy of Smith and Wesson: 1857-1945 by Jinks. I satisfied myself that it does not address bluing beyond stating whether various models were finished in "blue" or "nickel" (or in same cases park).

I don't recall seeing anything about it in History of Smith and Wesson (Jinks) although I don't have a copy here and it's been a while since I read it.

Somewhere, someone has to have compiled this information at some point in time...

One thing that was interesting to note was the use of hardened steel cylinder stop shims in the early hand ejectors and in some of the break-actions. 1857-1945 explained that they stopped using the shims in 1908 because by then they were using a more modern steel that heat-treated better. What is significant is that while Smith was moving to higher carbon steels they were most likely changing their bluing methods -- and perhaps frequently because of issues with how the new steels took the finish.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-13-2009, 07:54 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Rogers Arkansas
Posts: 1,106
Likes: 469
Liked 137 Times in 73 Posts
Default S&W bluing

In the early 80's I installed a Shilen 1.125 dia bull barrel on my 25-2 revolver and blued the barrel only at my place of employeement. We had a heat treat and bluing facility and we used Heat Bath Corp. products and the bluing tank was kept at 280-290 degrees. The barrel was buffed to a mirror finish and ran through the bath when I installed it on the frame you could not tell it from the original bluing on the 25-2. I think it is in the polishing of the part. The tool holders that were blued in the bath all had a milled finish and all came out black. Jeff
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-13-2009, 09:06 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2005
Location: South Florida
Posts: 51
Likes: 0
Liked 7 Times in 3 Posts
Default

This is from the late Bill Adair's web site:

Bluing Methods, Definitions and Processes
by Bill Adair
[snip]
CARBONIA Heat/Chemical
Now here's one of the most mis-used, least-understood words in the entire bluing lexicon. 'Carbonia' Blue was a S&W proprietary method used in the period from before WWI thru the 1960's. It was also known as 'Smith & Wesson blue'. It was ONLY done by Smith. Never by Colt or any other manufacturer. Carbonia bluing resulted in that deep-black/glossy high-polish finish that Smith was noted for during the years they used it. It's similar to 'DuLite' and Charcoal bluing as far as the process goes, but certainly not the same.
The Carbonia oil (a product of American Gas Furnace Co.) was used by many gun manufacturers in their own versions of 'DuLite' bluing, but the use of Carbonia oil does not make it 'Carbonia Blue' as only S&W did it. DuLite bluing, such as Colt did on their 1918/1919 military model 1911's is an industrial/utility finish. It was generally done over a fairly coarse-polished and/or sandblasted surface, and is a dullish, dark-grey or near-black color when used in that way. It was also far less durable than the S&W Carbonia Blue.
And there's a funny story to go with the S&W Carbonia Blue. I'm telling it like I heard it, and I have no idea if it's true.
The basis of S&W Carbonia Blue was an oil mixture (pine-tar based) made by the American Gas Furnace Company, and they supplied the oil in bulk to S&W, who mixed it with bone charcoal and other 'stuff' to make their own Carbonia product. Years ago, by the way, I contacted the American Gas company for info on the process, and they were kind enough to give me a list of the chemicals/ingredients used by Smith for the process, but it was just a list of chemicals, not a formula.
So, here's the story:
Apparently, only one old-timer at Smith knew the exact formula and he had it in a notebook which he kept. He eventually retired from Smith, and later died. His widow, so the story goes, contacted Smith and offered to sell them the formula in the notebook for $50k. I guess she knew that her husband had the only written copy of the secret formula. Well, Smith had gone into hot-bluing by then, and wasn't really interested in shelling out $50k to her for the Carbonia formula. So, she burned the notebook. And that was the end of Carbonia.
The moral of the story is that all of these companies who now say they do 'Carbonia' bluing, or worse yet 'Colt Carbonia blue', are just you-know-what. Maybe they can do something that looks similar to S&W Carbonia Blue, but it ain't. And Carbonia blue is not Charcoal blue. It's very black the way Smith did it, not blue, and please, Colt never did it.
Carbonia, when applied to a surface that is not expertly high-polished, results in just a so-so utility kind of blue. Time and temperature controls were critical in obtaining the exact color Smith desired.
I've still got the list of ingredients, but there are numerous items on the list, and you'd need to combine them in the correct measures to get the actual S&W formula. I've combined most of the ingredients (or similar ones) in various percentages and at one time did quite a bit of R&D with it, but I never got too interested in pursuing it much further. It was hard enough to find any whale, let alone a sperm whale, so I never had any sperm-whale oil. That was just one ingredient I couldn't locate. American Gas Furnace Company doesn't make the stuff they supplied to Smith any more, so it's a futile pursuit as well as further proof that true Carbonia bluing no longer exists. However, the Carbonia look can be simulated or duplicated by other means.
_______________
Reply With Quote
The Following 4 Users Like Post:
  #7  
Old 08-13-2009, 11:24 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Default

I don't think there's any doubt that an exceptional bluing job is 90% polishing and prep. (And I think this is why, in an era of relatively high labor costs, exceptional bluing jobs are rare on factory guns.) As long as you are actually "bluing" the gun -- controlled corrosion of the skin of the metal, to put it simply -- the key to a deep glossy finish is a really, really smooth finish when the process starts.

I am really amazed it is proving so difficult to find out how S&W blued their earlier guns...
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-14-2009, 12:21 AM
Engine49guy's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Florida
Posts: 3,942
Likes: 219
Liked 1,805 Times in 738 Posts
Default Carbonia Blue

I read an almost exact accounting of the S&W Carbonia story on another website some time back.
I will have to look for it as it had more details on period finishes and recipes for those finishes.

Colt offered a limited edition WWI 1911 a few years back advertised with a Carbonia finish.

As the story goes they sent them out to be Carbonia finished outside their factory by a private gunsmith,
So although Colt has offered handguns for sale that were advertised as finished in Carbonia ,
They did not perform the actual finish and because the true recipe was lost the term
"Carbonia Finish" will always be disputed.

This is a side by side picture of their "Carbonia style" finished 1911 next to a parkerized 1911 for comparison.


Last edited by Engine49guy; 08-14-2009 at 12:34 AM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #9  
Old 08-14-2009, 08:02 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Central FL
Posts: 1,367
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 10 Posts
Default

First, welcome to the forum. In the "Images" book there is a comment that S&W makes all their own polishing wheels and that the originals were made of walrus hide and wood. You can bet that the walrus hide thing is long gone with the tree huggers around today. Also says that prior to 1979 the parts were held in a dry gas oven at 750 degrees with charred bone and carbona wax. The parts were cooled in oil but it does not say what the oil was or how fast the "quenching" was.

Bob

Last edited by bk43; 08-14-2009 at 08:04 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-14-2009, 04:51 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: dover ohio
Posts: 97
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 5 Posts
Default How did they do it??

I would like to know the steps and process used to ready a gun to be blued from assembly through finished piece by S&W. Was any tumbling polish involved? What grits of polish used? For different finishes
M-28 vs. M-27 etc. Was any pickling involved?
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-14-2009, 10:29 PM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Southern California, USA
Posts: 6,362
Likes: 550
Liked 970 Times in 546 Posts
Default

The following is a quote from a 2007 correspondence with Roy Jinks: "The bright blue process depends on a very bright finish. It is not the bluing that makes the process bright. The S&W bluing process up to 1978 was a hot dry blue process called carbona. It was a charcoal style of process and S&W started using in in the 1850s. It provided a beautiful color but to keep everything a matching color all parts needed to be done together. S&W did this until 1958. After that they started bluing barrels in one batch, cylinders in another and the frames separate. This lead to slightly different colors in the blue finishes. The new process is a chemical bath process."
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #12  
Old 08-15-2009, 02:33 AM
Gun-runner's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Western New York
Posts: 471
Likes: 48
Liked 12 Times in 9 Posts
Unhappy

Quote:
This is from the late Bill Adair's web site
I didn't know that Mr. Adair had passed. This is a great loss for all of us in the shooting/gun community. Knowledge like his needs to be passed on so we may preserve our old firearms.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 09-08-2009, 06:01 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Default

This is becoming an old thread but I got some additional information and wanted to pass it on.

First, I reviewed a couple industrial/manufacturing books from the first half of the Twentieth Century and determined that carbonia oil was NOT unique to Smith & Wesson. Or even to guns. There were many applications in which manufacturers used carbonia oil in a heat treat/temper furnace to color metal. However, it appears that the specific bluing process used by Smith & Wesson WAS secret and proprietary.

Second, to respond to comments, it is unlikely that the parts were "quenched" in oil...or in anything else. The temperature at which S&W was "cooking" guns was not enough to impart a significant heat-treat effect. Generally stated carbon steel needs to go to the 1400 F or so range and then be quenched (cooled as rapidly as possible) so that the carbon crystalline structure will solidify. Heating to 750 F and quenching wouldn't accomplish that much.

But heating to 750 F and cooling slowly would make a lot of sense. When high carbon steel is heat-treated, it becomes brittle. The hotter the steel is heated and the faster it is cooled, the more significant brittleness is. Generally stated you do not want brittle steel in a gun. While brittle (hardened) steel has much higher tensile and yield strengths than mold steel, it is much more susceptible to dynamic forces. When it fails it is much more likely to fail catastrophically (e.g. shatter/"blow up"). So because of this, the normal practice is to heat treat and to then heat the steel item to a midway temperature (say, 750 F, perhaps) and then let it cool slowly. This relieves some of the internal stresses that developed in the steel during the initial heat-treat and quench, and it gives the resulting steel item more elasticity and resilience (but lower tensile/yield strength than an untempered, hardened piece of the same steel). Normally you consult the data sheets for the steel you are using to figure out how how it should be heated for both hardness treating and tempering.

So the point is -- it would seem that S&W was likely doing 2 things at once here. First, they were tempering the steel. Second, they were giving it a charcoal blue finish, albeit in a "dry" environment.

This begs the question (at least for me), do you need to go to 750 F to replicate this dry charcoal process? Or could you get good results at 500 or 550 F?

BTW - I also reviewed "Smith & Wesson Revolvers: The Pioneer Single Action Models" by John E. Parsons. Nothing about bluing methods. It did mention that S&W shipped out guns for plating (at least in the early days) and it also mentioned that there was a small run of color case hardened No. 1-1/2's (which seemed interesting on a couple levels...).
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 09-08-2009, 10:17 PM
Onomea's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Japan and Hawaii
Posts: 3,570
Likes: 2,828
Liked 1,498 Times in 665 Posts
Default

You seem to have a deep interest in the topic. I suggest you talk or correspond with the Davids Chicoine (Sr & Jr), who restore old S&W's. They are very good.

Here's the website: oldwestgunsmith.com

My underatnding is that for S&Ws they are about the best out there, rather like Turnbull for Colts. I've been well pleased with work they've done for me.
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 09-09-2009, 02:34 AM
SDH SDH is offline
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 356
Liked 764 Times in 213 Posts
Default

I've been studying firearms metal finishes for a few decades both to do my own for my custom guns and rifles and to write about the subject for magazine stories. Mr. Adair's info shows (may he RIP) that he really didn't know what carbonia bluing was (neither do I) and I don't agree with some of what is posted on Rons gun shop site, from my personal experience.

Here are pix of a single shot I hand-polished to 600 grit and had Steve Moeller (IN) charcoal blue about 20 yeas ago. (I made the custom French walnut grips. It also has gold inlaid lettering and nitre blued screws unlike factory S&W's). The bluing is very close to the original S&W bluing and involves heat at about 600 degrees, charcoal, oil and carding (as with rust bluing). As I understand it, the Am. Gas Furnace process rotated the parts in a both of charcoal and oil at heat , but I am not certain of this.


There are a couple more guys doing this charcoal bluing today including Doug Turnbull (although his is more the bright blue of Colt's) Peter Mazur in CA and Mike Hunter in MO. it is my understanding that Dave Chicoine used a hot blue with salts similar to normal hot bluing with superb polishing. I have achieve a blue very similar to S&W early matte blue (like my Model of 1950, .44 HE) using a rust bluing technique. Original shown.

One fact in the posted info is that preparation, polishing, is absolutely imperative to great results. the early S&W polisheres used huge wheels and this is a completely lost trade in today's firearms world.
In any case, I am also very interested in these processes and hope to learn more, and help if I can.
Best,
Steve
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 09-09-2009, 04:13 AM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
Posts: 173
Likes: 125
Liked 36 Times in 12 Posts
Default

References that may be of interest;

1. Metals Handbook 1939 (American Society for Metals), p.1120 for a description of the Carbonia finish.

2. A History of The Colt Revolver by Haven and Belden (1940), pages 500-503 for a description of the blueing method used by Colt at that time.

The processes are similar but nowhere does the Colt reference refer to Carbonia oil.

Also;

The Custom Revolver, by Hamilton Bowen (a superb !! book).

S&W Sixguns of the Old West, by David Chicoine.

Frank S. SWCA 2052.

"We can't stop growing old but we can choose to remain immature."
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 09-09-2009, 10:58 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,440
Likes: 45
Liked 880 Times in 493 Posts
Default

Charcoal blueing and Carbonia/Machine Blueing are not the same process though they produce nearly the same,,but not quite identicle finishes. As already stated, any blueing, including rust and hot salt,,the final look depends alot on the prep polish, though the rust blueing techniques will normally knock the gloss down. (There are ways to do glossy rust blueing though)

Charcoal blueing is done in just that,,charcoal. No furnace, no tumbling, no magic mumblings by the 'smith, save for what ever proper wording is necessary to offset the heat, sweat and the occasional burns that you'll receive doing it.

An open hearth, pan, trough or what ever shape container of small pea sized chunks of wood charcoal are brough to heat by a fire under the container,,not in the charcoal itself.
It will start to burn slowly but you do not want it to get to a glowing BBQ type fire in the container itself. The underfire is raked down to control the heat.

Clean parts are buried in the coals and left to heat, then pulled one at a time and quickly carded down. The carding was/is done with anything from wool cloth soaked in oil, burlap, a bit of rottenstone (polishing) added, old recipes talk of 'tow' and oil. Don't use any synthetic cloth as it'll melt on the hot metal and you'll have to start over after repolishing.
The idea is to remove any scale and burnish the remaining blue color and then back into the pit. You work up the color in coats.

Working this can 'be the pits'. It's hot work and can be exhausting if you are doing alot of parts. Obviously cautions against burns and eye protection a must. Early factorys quite often had child labor doing the work overseen by a boss.

The results can be spectacular, especially with a proper polish underneath. Take a look at any mint condition pre 1913 Colt revolver or automatic. That is Charcoal blueing. The first couple of years production 1911's were charcoal blued.

The only production long gun barrel I can think of that was charcoal blued was the Henry rifle IIRC. Quite a few muzzle loading Longrifle barrels were charcoal blued by the 'smiths that made them in what we'd call makeshift settings.

Not hard to see why Carbonia Blue/Machine blue was welcomed as a labor savings device. One machine could turn out hundreds of pieces per/day.

The process was used in other aspects of mfg including the hardware fittings/fastening industrys.
Carbonia Oil was used to impart the fine finishes on firearms and was a propietary finish with that name but the American Gas Furnace (rotating furnace) could and was used by the factorys with other oils including linseed and even pine pitch to impart blue finishes on less important parts like pins, screws, ect (just like the hardware industry used).

Tru Carbonia Oil is no longer available, at least it wasn't when we were trying to reinvent the process, but Mobil supplied a substitute oil that they said was it's modern equivelent. Looked like 5W Tar!

The 'charge' placed into the furnace is ground bone charcoal, as opposed to wood charcoal used in the Charcoal blueing process.
The oil is added in the correct amount after first heating both the char and oil outside the furnace to drive off any water in them,,a definate must do. Then it's mixed and added to the furnace.

The parts are racked up inside or on racks outside and place into the drum. The furnace w/ parts and charge is closed up tight save for a small vent. Enough to allow for continual pressure escape but no free oxygen intake of air from the outside while the process is running.

Any oxygen getting into the chamber during the process, or initial water vapor steaming off oto the parts during heatup will discolor the final finish. Usually a red haze. Chemicly clean of oil, finger prints, etc a must before start also.

Temps and times are part of the 'secret' that each mfg had for themselves and like case color hardening makes each mfg's blue (and case color) look just enough unique to be able to be identified from anothers, though they all reached beautiful results.

At it's peak, the temp will be in the 800F range. There are slight cool offs and heat ups sometimes used. Winchester had problems with color matches and used slight variations in process according to the parts being done.

In the end, the parts are left to cool. It is actually an annealing process at those temps so some though SHOULD be given to the parts, their original heat treating specs, etc. The process may actually weaken the strength of some heat treated parts.

Steel at 800F for a couple of hours and then left to cool slowly inside the furnace is a dead soft annealing for alot of steel.

Hot salt blueing replaced Carbonia at Winchester in about 1938/9.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #18  
Old 09-09-2009, 05:13 PM
SDH SDH is offline
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 356
Liked 764 Times in 213 Posts
Default

Frank, thanks for the reference reminder, I read the Colt info and as with many sourses, it lacks detail although interesting in mentioning charcoal, and top heat of 650 degrees. Can't find any specifics on bluing in Hamilton's book, but nice to remember my name in the index (the SAA I worked on is on pg. 160).
Does the Metals Handbook have any specifics about the carbonia process?

2152hq, are you currently offering charcoal bluing? Have you personally done the process, and are you willing to share your experiences?

Thanks much,
Steven Dodd Hughes

The 1930's era New Service was apparently blued at 650!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 09-09-2009, 06:57 PM
j38 j38 is offline
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: OR
Posts: 3,189
Likes: 1,890
Liked 323 Times in 131 Posts
Default

Thanks to all who have made this one of the most interesting threads I've encountered recently!

Jerry
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 09-09-2009, 10:35 PM
Vendor
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Beavercreek,Oh,USA
Posts: 426
Likes: 0
Liked 305 Times in 82 Posts
Default

SDH, beautiful grip work, how many hours do you figure you had in prepping the metal.

Keith
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 09-09-2009, 11:22 PM
SDH SDH is offline
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 356
Liked 764 Times in 213 Posts
Default

bis45, If you are talking about the single shot, I spent an entire week hand polishing it. No way it can be commercially viable, unfortunately. Same with individual grip making, I figured those were $800 grips when I made them about 1993.
Just finished a set of extension grips for my early pre-kit gun I-frame custom, several full days of work. Now it needs polishing and bluing, part of what brought me to this thread.

Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 09-10-2009, 05:08 AM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
Posts: 173
Likes: 125
Liked 36 Times in 12 Posts
Default

Steve;

The Metals Handbook could also be considered to lack specifics. After an introductory paragraph, it continues;

"Various types of black finish can be secured. these depend principally upon the finish of the part before the special treatment is given. Cold drawn or highly polished parts will take a glossy black finish. Parts made from ordinary stampings will have a somewhat duller finish, while work which has been sand blasted prior to applying this treatment will have a black matte-like finish.

While not an entirely rust preventative coating, this finish acts as a retardent to the formation of rust.

To apply the gun-metal or carbonia finish, the work is placed loosely in a retort with a small amount of charred bone and heated to 700-800F. After the articles are thoroughly oxidized the temperature is allowed to drop to about 650F, when a mixture of bone and 1 or 2 tablespoonfuls of carbonia oil are added. Heating is then continued for a period of several hours. When the work comes from the retort it is a dull grayish-black and by dipping in sperm oil or tumbling in oily cork a uniform black finish is secured.

If the temperatures given will temper too much, a temperature as low as 500F can be used, but this lower temperature requires a longer time at heat to color the articles and the color is not so lasting as the color produced at the higher heats.

Gun- metal or carbonia finish may be applied to articles which have first been nitrided, resulting in a pleasing finish resistant to rusting and retaining the surface hardness on the articles, since these coloring temperatures do not temper the nitrided articles.

When a rotary retort is used and when the work is of such a nature that the slow rotation of the retort would cause scratches or in any way mar the finish, special fixtures may be used to hold the work in place. These fixtures are usually necessary only when large parts are to be finished."

As I said, a lack of specifics; 1 or 2 tablespoons in how much bone? etc., but, maybe there's another clue for those who are more knowledgeable than me.

I was in your part of the world this time last year, during a five week visit to the U.S. I have single shot rifle friends in Cody so visited them and spent a few days around Big Timber, Livingston and Bozeman. I've seen illustrations of your work and did consider trying to make contact.

Frank,
SWCA 2052
____________________________________________________
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 09-10-2009, 03:31 PM
SDH SDH is offline
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 356
Liked 764 Times in 213 Posts
Default

Thanks much Frank! More specific than I had imagined and I'm sure of some help in understanding the process.

There are several advantages to using a charcoal blue finish with custom work, especially engraved parts as the bluing shows the engraving at its best with no surface changes associated with rust bluing. One must remove ALL of the scratches and I would consider 600 grit required for a great blue. Some form of this process was, and still is used in England for double shotgun small parts such as trigger guards, top-levers, inspection plates, etc.

The action of this custom Marlin '94 was charcoal blued and the hammer and lever case colored by Doug Turnbull. I rust blued the barrel and nitre blued the screws. (Engraving by Michael Dubber.) There is a companion New Model Number 3 Frontier Target, (with work by Hamilton Bowen) but I don't have good photos.


Really sorry I missed you on your visit to Montana, Frank. Although only a workshop with no retail location, I welcome visiters as so many craftsmen have welcomed me into their shops at all stages of my career. Quite a few folks come through the area, as you know it really is God's country, and I almost always have time... BTW, very few know of my passion for S&W revolvers! Next time, don't hesitate! And thanks again for the references.
Best,
Steve
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #24  
Old 09-10-2009, 04:56 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,440
Likes: 45
Liked 880 Times in 493 Posts
Default

Great looking custom Marlin '94.
Some more info on the blueing processes.

Carbonia Blue (called 'Machine Blueing' sometimes):
Turnbulls' charcoal blue the last I knew, is a form of carbonia blue done in a rotating drum/furnace. Originally a small drum set inside a furnace taken aside from case coloring use and was then hand rotated approx 1/3 turn every 15/20 minutes or so.
The total time takes around 2 hrs.
That was back around '92 & '93.

They may have graduated to a furnace w/drum set up that is constantly rotating on it's own by now,,,I don't really know.

How much oil (Carbonia, Linseed, new synthetic, or what ever you want to use) is dependent upon the internal size of the container you're using, the size of the vent, the temp and the time. All said,,the oil must NOT deplete itself inside the container during the process. Enough must be used to always have a smoke atmosphere inside the drum and have it discharging smoke (slightly pressurized) thru the vent to keep any outside atmosphere (oxygen) from entering.
If oxygen gets inside, it will spoil the finish as it will be discolored, hazy, uneven, ect. A tightly fitted seal betw the drum/container and it's cover is an absolute. No leaking of air into the container during the process.

The oil is mixed with the bone charcoal so it is soaked into the char before it is placed inside. Any water is driven out of both just before use. Just scatter it onto the floor of the container. It will rotate and actually at times fall over the parts in a constant turning drum,,burnishing the blue.
Too much oil, dripping onto parts, will spoil the finish. Remember, the parts were cleaned of all oil, grease and fingerprints before this.

Preheating of the whole charged drum starts the process and smoke generation before the drum is sealed up and off you go. For some reason, in my experience wood charcoal does not produce the desired finish like bone charcoal will.

Charcoal Blueing:
Wood charcoal is used in the charcoal blueing process I described earlier. No need to use bone char here.
Get it to the correct temp,,either judging by practice, the old method of soft wood splints starting to smolder, or go new-age w/a hightemp themometer.
Too hot and you'll spoil the blue and scale the part. Too low and you won't get any blue. Make sure the part is completely buried in the coals (keeps the oxygen out). A gas burner underneath the pan or container is great for controlling the temp of the coals rather than a wood fire as was used originally.

Don't do this inside! Aside from the smell of the fire and smoking oil being cooked off on recoated parts,,,,charcoal even if only smoldering, gives off carbon monoxide.

With the above info & the earlier post, I've described the process and the basics I use. The only other way to achive results with it would be to spend countless hours over a charcoal pit blueing parts by this method as I have over the last 35yrs. As with most everything in olde gun metal finishes, practice and techniques developed from that practice, will get you results.

Be ready for some great and some not so great results. Then with the latter,,,sit and wonder what went wrong when you think you did everything the same.,,,and you may in fact have done so!

I don't take in much work of any kind anymore for a couple of reasons and don't offer the charcoal blueing outside of any I need to do for myself.

Last edited by 2152hq; 09-10-2009 at 04:59 PM.
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #25  
Old 09-10-2009, 05:55 PM
SDH SDH is offline
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 356
Liked 764 Times in 213 Posts
Default

Thanks for your info 2152hq. Learning the process sounds a bit like learning rust bluing, about anyone can turn the parts blue, but consistancy and quality are relative to years of experience.

BTW, I saw your engraved Hepburn on another post, extremely well conceived and executed! and great lettering, an under-appreciated skill!

Another pic of the Marlin showing rust blued barrel and Mag tube, charcoal blued forend cap (Turnbull) and nitre blue mag cap and screws.(Mike Dubber engraving)
Reply With Quote
  #26  
Old 09-10-2009, 06:35 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Default The Real Question May Be, What Kind of Steel?

I love this forum.

It is unlikely that heating to 750F would anneal heat-treated steel. For example -- 4140 (chrome moly carbon steel) is used very commonly in the manufacture of firearms for receivers, bolts, barrels, and other high-stress parts. It does not anneal completely until heated to 1600 F. Hardness treatment requires quenching from 1550 F. Tempering requires re-heating to a range of 400 F - 1200 F. See Alloy Steel 4140 - All Metals & Forge [Again, normally you consult material data sheets for the steel you are using, and those tell you things like, how hot you should heat the steel for tempering in order to achieve a given hardness result (e.g. 40 Rockwell).] You could heat the steel to 800 F and leave it there for a weae and while it might acquire more temper (assuming it had not previously been heated to 800 F) it is not going to anneal.

BTW, this begs a related question....which is, what kind of steel did (and does) S&W use in its revolvers? I think the stainless is mostly 316 (not sure) but I have never been able to find out. If you could find out what types of steel were used in a particular revolver, then you could consult the data sheeets for those steels and assure yourself that heating to 750 or 800 F was not going to materially change the hardness of the steel. I checked the previously mentioned sources (Jenks' "1857-1945" and Parsons "Early Single Actions") and couldn't find any reference to the type of steel used (although there were a couple references to steel suppliers). I also searched this forum and couldn't find anything. Anyone have any insights?

Also -- what could be used as a modern analog for Carbonia oil?

Last edited by davidj; 09-10-2009 at 06:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #27  
Old 09-10-2009, 06:38 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Default

Thanks everyone for the great pictures.
Reply With Quote
  #28  
Old 09-10-2009, 09:05 PM
Onomea's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Japan and Hawaii
Posts: 3,570
Likes: 2,828
Liked 1,498 Times in 665 Posts
Default

Holy Mackeral! Nothing like blundering into a thread where some guys who really know their stuff are talking!

That is gorgeous work, Steve.

Thanks to you all -- very interesting!
Reply With Quote
  #29  
Old 09-10-2009, 10:55 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,440
Likes: 45
Liked 880 Times in 493 Posts
Default

You're correct,,it's just like rust blueing in that no matter how long you do it, it always seems to be able to throw you a curve even if just once in a while. Plus a printed 'how-to' can get you started, but that good old experience is the only real way to get it down. Everyone has their own little tricks, techniques, ect that gets them their best results and they rarely match the other guys way of doing this 100%. But both can turn out equally nice work. Nice details on that Marlin. I like the use of different finishes to compliment the complete project.

That Hepburn goes back to the owner soon. I have a feeling I'll be getting a barrel, butt plate and some screws to do some work on. Thank you for the compliments on the work. It's one I'll probably never see the finished rifle though. Other hands doing work on it (wood, finish, etc) and not in what I'd consider anything of a correct order!,,but it's their gun..

The Carbonia process may not fully anneal 4140, but when dealing with and refinishing older firearms, most of the time you have little or no idea what the steel is. Nor do you know what the heat treat characteristics are, what temp/time they were drawn back to, or how what you are about to do may alter what has been done by the factory as an established safety criteria for a heat treated part.

A part made from 4140 that was originally drawn back at under 800F, now subjected to 800F during the process is not going to maintain the same strength in all likelihood. Different applications call for different degrees of tempering. Without knowing what the original steel is in some cases, let alone the spec for tempering is just guessing from there on out. Annealing is the complete removal of applied hardness to the metal. Tempering is removing some of the hardness on a known scale to maintain tougness w/o brittle structure. Material data sheets and Machinists books will give the rundown on what a known steel will harden and draw back to when subjected to certain temps and times. That's helpful info but it won't tell you what a gun part is supposed to be in terms of hardness (if you do happen to know what steel it's made of). Mfg's are stingy with steel, heat treat info and methods.

It's not an area you want to guess in my opinion,,but I've been known to be conservative when it comes to stuff like this.
Hell, people get upset if they see purple/blue temper colors from an over zelous soft soldering job on a barrel or receiver and reject the gun that the steel strength has been compromised. What about putting the same part in an oven at 800F for a couple of hours, then letting it cool. I think that may, in some cases, change things.

Just got to be careful that's all when doing stuff like this and think about what you may be doing to that steel before proceding. You don't want to make a potential safety hazard and put into someones hands. Certain firearms,, mostly of a more modern pursuasion, just shouldn't be subjected to it IMHO.

I feel you should stick to parts that would have originally had or were available in these types of finishes. Obtaining a finish like these just for the sake of it on 'critical' parts, safety be damned, is foolish.

The blueing processes will just make them softer than before,, if anything. Not like case coloring where you can potentially create an overly hardened piece. If you think they never get warpage or cracked pieces,,think again. A Browning 86 out of the quench cracked totally in half is quite a sight. There's that unkn modern steel again.

Last edited by 2152hq; 09-11-2009 at 12:06 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #30  
Old 09-11-2009, 01:47 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Dutchess County, New York
Posts: 57
Likes: 0
Liked 5 Times in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
The Carbonia process may not fully anneal 4140, but when dealing with and refinishing older firearms, most of the time you have little or no idea what the steel is. Nor do you know what the heat treat characteristics are, what temp/time they were drawn back to, or how what you are about to do may alter what has been done by the factory as an established safety criteria for a heat treated part.
Right, exactly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
It's not an area you want to guess in my opinion,,but I've been known to be conservative when it comes to stuff like this.
Agreed.

But do you think it'd be "safe" if you were only heating to the 500-550 F range? It seems like this level of heat is unlikely to bring about any significant changes...(?)
Reply With Quote
  #31  
Old 09-11-2009, 02:41 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,440
Likes: 45
Liked 880 Times in 493 Posts
Default

500 is better obviously that 800,,
Also, though I've read that a 500/550F temp range will produce a blue finish using the Carbonia method, I was never able to make it happen at that low a temp. I'll be the first to admit my experience with the Carbonia method is far far less than the Charcoal method. But 500/550F didn't produce anything but a grey hazy cast to the metal.

Perhaps others doing the process with more time & experience have developed the necessary technique to tease the blue color out at the lower temps. It would surely be advantageous to run the parts at that temp as opposed to 800F if you could avoid it esspecially when dealing with critical parts like frames, barrels, etc.

Older descriptions of the method often mentioned varying the temp during the process and lowering it at some point to around 600F IIRC and back up again. Everyone using the process surely developed their own little techniques and tricks for getting good results. It's the same with case coloring.

So much depends on what steel you are dealing with and exactly how it is supposed to be delthandled with as far as it's hardening & tempering qualitys go.
The time @ the drawing temp means alot (soaking ), quench or slow cool down, any temp variation needed during the soak, etc.
They are not all a simple 'heat it up and quench makes it hard,,,heat it a little draws the temper'. Some demand some fairly sophisticated equiptment and procedures to get where you want to go. Vacuum furnaces, salt baths, etc are some of the things sometimes necessary to properly deal with some modern steels in heat treating.

A quick story....
I will never forget the 'one-of' shotgun proto-type,, finished, in the white but still soft. Needing hardening, the owner/mfg asked if a certain C/C/H person could harden it. "No Problem,,I'ts all just iron" was the confident answer. "It all goes in the same furnace".

Not wanting to listen to someone else with machineshop experience that offered to gather proper heat treating info on the steel type, which was provided by the mfr,,into the furnace it went.
It came out looking like a giant pretzle from the County Fair and no case color other than a bit of blue against a grey back ground. The color was actually not a problem as it was going to be polished back to a 'french grey' but the contorted parts were.
Again,,"not a problem",,,as the twisted forend iron was tightened into a bench vise. A couple of educated taps and push here and there and it'll be all back in place. The sharp snapping sound like an icicle breaking off of a roof on a cold January morning told another story. No attempt was made to straighten the action and side plates.
Moral: Know what you're dealing with before proceding....
Reply With Quote
  #32  
Old 09-11-2009, 03:24 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Melbourne, Australia.
Posts: 173
Likes: 125
Liked 36 Times in 12 Posts
Default

Steve,
I love your work. That Marlin is just gorgeous, as is the 39A you are shown holding in your Custom Rifle Gazette article. My first rifle was a 39A that my Dad bought for me in Fort Worth during a work related visit to the U.S. in 1959. I was 11. He just walked off the plane with it in his hands. Things have changed!!!!!!!.
Was on the 'phone to our mutual friend SPG yesterday. Says he must get up to Livingston to see you again.
I'll be over again in May.

Frank S.
SWCA 2052.
___________________________________________
"We can't stop growing old but we can choose to remain immature."
Reply With Quote
  #33  
Old 09-11-2009, 04:31 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Highland Park, IL
Posts: 8
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Default S&W Blueing

Hi davidj, If you can find a copy of "Firearm Blueing and Browning" by R.H. Angier, it might answer some of your questions. It was published by The Stackpole Company of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1936. Much of its contents are beyond my comprehension but you may find some useful information.
leochicca
Reply With Quote
  #34  
Old 09-11-2009, 05:35 PM
SDH SDH is offline
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 356
Liked 764 Times in 213 Posts
Default

2152hq, "Hard-fitter" was a job title at one time... (along with "polisher") the scariest thing I ever have to do is straighten warped case hardened parts, but sometimes it has to be done!!!
The top tang of this action, one lock plate and the forend iron warped. After straightening, was left with a tiny gap, wood to metal, on the iron, but that was the best I could do!!!! This 12 ga. also features case colors and charcoal blue (top lever, safety & guard) by Doug Turnbull, rust (brls) and nitre blue (triggers & screws) from my shop. I do like 'em colorful! (Stain the stocks red too!)


(the bridles and all engraving by Larry Peters)


Frank, I missed Steve last time I was in Cody at the gun show, but saw all of his cronies (and some juicy S&W's, about traded a Colt for a Smith 32-20). Be sure and look me up next May if you are in the neighborhood. I still own the Marlin 38-55 that is in my Custom Rifles book. That 39A was a dream job, but you might notice the transparency was flipped in the CRG photo, it's bass-ackwards!

And thanks to all for the encouraging words!
Best,
Steve

Last edited by SDH; 09-11-2009 at 05:37 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #35  
Old 07-05-2010, 05:40 PM
boykinlp's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2,521
Likes: 553
Liked 907 Times in 328 Posts
Default

While doing some browsing, I found this thread and thought it had alot of good info in it. So BTT so others could see it or see it again.
__________________
Each one, teach one
Reply With Quote
  #36  
Old 07-05-2010, 06:16 PM
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Texas
Posts: 1,587
Likes: 104
Liked 336 Times in 162 Posts
Default

Excellent discussion. Thanks for reviving this thread.

Charlie
__________________
SWCA # 2294
Reply With Quote
  #37  
Old 07-05-2010, 07:08 PM
SDH SDH is offline
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 356
Liked 764 Times in 213 Posts
Default

I am currently at work on a website devoted to custom guns and fine gunmaking.
Am always interested in information about historic firearms metal finishes.

Last edited by SDH; 07-06-2010 at 04:41 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #38  
Old 07-07-2010, 09:31 PM
boykinlp's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: South Carolina
Posts: 2,521
Likes: 553
Liked 907 Times in 328 Posts
Default

SDH
You are quite a craftsman. Very nice work.
__________________
Each one, teach one
Reply With Quote
  #39  
Old 07-08-2010, 05:00 AM
US Veteran
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Western NC
Posts: 1,534
Likes: 267
Liked 853 Times in 324 Posts
Default

It's threads like these that keep me coming back to this forum. Thanks to everyone who participated.

As soon as my ship comes in, I'm going to have Mr. Hughes do a Low Wall .22 for me!
Reply With Quote
  #40  
Old 07-08-2010, 01:21 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: South Africa
Posts: 174
Likes: 0
Liked 12 Times in 11 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by leochicca View Post
Hi davidj, If you can find a copy of "Firearm Blueing and Browning" by R.H. Angier, it might answer some of your questions. It was published by The Stackpole Company of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in 1936. Much of its contents are beyond my comprehension but you may find some useful information.
leochicca
I agree about the contents! One confusing thing is that he constantly refers to "browning", while most of the formulae actually give a blue/black finish. Here are the pages relating to the S&W method.

Peter
Attached Thumbnails
Click image for larger version

Name:	Angier 001.jpg
Views:	208
Size:	120.7 KB
ID:	22169  
Reply With Quote
  #41  
Old 07-08-2010, 03:10 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 3,440
Likes: 45
Liked 880 Times in 493 Posts
Default

It is confusing at times to read through the old formulas for metal finishes. The terminology used then is different from what is generally understood these days.
Browning was a general term used because the the way to either a brown or a blued surface was through browning(rusting) the metal.

Hot salt blueing was just beginning to be used at the time Angier book was published in the 1930's.
Many of the recipes in the book are from the 19th century and even before. Other than rust blueing at that time, the other ways in general use to get a blued surface on large parts were charcoal blueing (different from carbonia/machine blueing) and a few other types of temper blueing.
Browning, bronzeing, blacking, blueing,,,I'm sure there's more to add.
The term doesn't always indicate the color nor hint at a specific process to attain it.
Reply With Quote
  #42  
Old 12-07-2011, 09:05 AM
CAJUNLAWYER's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: On da Bayou Teche
Posts: 10,835
Likes: 2,463
Liked 12,198 Times in 3,079 Posts
Default Great thread that deserves to be resurected and perhaps archived

Rules say at least 10 characters
__________________
Forum consigliere
Reply With Quote
  #43  
Old 05-02-2012, 12:24 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: West Bank/Algiers, LA
Posts: 446
Likes: 177
Liked 69 Times in 43 Posts
Default

They do indeed say at least ten characters.
Reply With Quote
  #44  
Old 05-02-2012, 04:12 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 819
Likes: 0
Liked 111 Times in 66 Posts
Default

Far as I know, Steel heated up into the range where 'colors' begin crawling, as was well known to Blacksmiths or related, if quenched or cooled 'there', the colors remain.

If this is done in an Oxidizing ( Oxygen excluding ) Atmosphere, likely the Colors remain a little better or will occur or remain more vivid or are not going to be interfered with by any formation of Oxides.

Mineral or Metallic Salts ( 'Bone', is refractory, and, though made up of compounds, is none the less, essentially compounds of Metals and other elements - Calcium, Mangnesium, Boron, Phosphorus, Manganese, etc, are Metals ) or Organic compounds can contribute to or occasion nuances in a thin or molecular layer in how they may combine Molecularly with the Steel at Heat.

This then would be the pragmatic basis for any Heat related Blueing operation - an Oxidising Atmosphere, a way to controll the rate of rise, the terminal plateau, and then dissipation of the Heat, and, the introduction of whatever Compounds as will molecularly combine with the surface of the Steel to produce new compounds which then occasion premenent nuances in the Color of that Heat, which basic Color will be occuring anyway.

One can obtain a vivid 'Fire Blue' merely by evenly heating a piece of Steel in the open Air and letting it cool...for that matter. But I will guess, that it will not likely be quite as durable as the Blue which is in effect protected by discrete Compounds molecularly bound into the surface of the Steel.

Last edited by Oyeboteb; 05-02-2012 at 04:20 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #45  
Old 05-28-2013, 02:38 PM
Old TexMex's Avatar
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: South Texas and Mexico
Posts: 4,631
Likes: 7,601
Liked 5,724 Times in 2,226 Posts
Default

Ten simple characters, that's it. Bargain.
__________________
David had only 5rds(1Sam17:40)
Reply With Quote
  #46  
Old 05-28-2013, 07:16 PM
DWalt's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 6,904
Likes: 1
Liked 1,363 Times in 1,004 Posts
Default

Not S&W, but Ned Schwing's book "Winchester Slide Action Rifles" describes Winchester's metal finishing process in some detail. It applies to slide-action .22s, but the same bluing methods were probably used on all Winchester products. Prior to 1939, Winchester used a rust-bluing process using a solution containing nitric acid and several other chemicals to do the rusting (Shwing provides the names of the chemicals). Rusting occurred in a humidified chamber. Each part went through five rusting and carding cycles. From 1939 onward, Winchester adopted the Du-Lite hot dip solution bluing process, which was simpler, faster, and cheaper. The interesting aspect of the Winchester hot dip method was that it used two successive dips in two bluing chemical tanks (with a rinse between), with the first dip tank being at a slightly lower temperature than the second. It was stated this resulted in a significantly deeper and more uniform bluing appearance. I believe this is the only time I have seen any mention of the double-dip hot bluing method.
Reply With Quote
  #47  
Old 03-30-2014, 10:55 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default American Furnace company

https://tinyurl.com/American-Furnace

Hi. I stumbled onto this site while researching something else. It seemed fascinating. I did find some info on Google Books that explains the process as set down by American furnace.

I have done a little hobby blacksmithing in the past. We get a nice black finish on iron by using a cotton rag and oil on part in the 500-600 f. range. The burning of the cloth and the oil will impart a nice black color. Not as durable though. The other method is using green coal and heat. So the coal tar thing makes sense.
The use of whale oil I think could be substituted for with peanut oil. The flash point of Flash point of whale oil is around 230 C (446 F.
Peanut oil Refined 450F (232C

The only thing I think in involved in a heat treat with oil (whale oil was supposedly prized for quenching knife blades also.) Would be it's flash point.

Anyway hope this helps in the mystery. Mike
Reply With Quote
The Following User Likes This Post:
  #48  
Old 03-30-2014, 11:41 PM
DWalt's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: South Texas
Posts: 6,904
Likes: 1
Liked 1,363 Times in 1,004 Posts
Default

I'd say if anything, that the differences between the suitability of different oils as quenching media is more likely to be related to thermal conductivity rather than flash point - but I don't know. For sure, it would be close to impossible for anyone in the USA today to get their hands on enough sperm oil for quenching.
Reply With Quote
  #49  
Old 04-01-2014, 12:34 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Yeah you are right. The higher the flash point the more the oil will conduct heat away from the part being quenched. Higher flash point = faster cooling.
When quenching in water a steam jacket will develop around the part. Preventing the part from cooling rapidly.A little swishing is involved to break up the steam jacket.

Commercial heat treaters that do batch parts will use a pump to keep the fluid flowing.
Fast cooling would be important to get the color just right. That and practice.

Very interesting stuff though. The other fact I pulled from a Machinery manual on Carbonia oil is the ratio of carbonia oil to charred bone was 8 quarts bone to 1 pint of carbonia oil, well mixed while warm.
Reply With Quote
  #50  
Old 04-01-2014, 02:34 AM
SDH SDH is offline
SWCA Member
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Montana
Posts: 1,400
Likes: 356
Liked 764 Times in 213 Posts
Default

Oil is used to temper by burning it off because it burns at very close to 600 degrees, the spring temper temperature. This is an archaic method of drawing the temper. the resulting blue is also quite beautiful and very close to the temper, nitre or heat blue shown in the above photos.

This temper bluing was Not a method used by Smith & Wesson. It is a method I use on a regular basic for screws and other small parts.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
1911, 327, 650, bowen, browning, bull barrel, colt, engraved, gunsmith, hardening, jinks, kit gun, lock, military, model 27, model 28, parkerized, s&w, saa, swca, walnut, winchester, wwi

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes

Posting Rules
S&W Hand Ejectors: 1896 to 1961 Thread, S&W Bluing Methods in Smith & Wesson Revolvers; Greetings all, first post, but I have been lurking for a while and have found this to be a great ...
LinkBacks (?)
LinkBack to this Thread: http://smith-wessonforum.com/s-w-hand-ejectors-1896-1961/96132-s-w-bluing-methods.html
Posted By For Type Date
S&W 'Black Magic' Finish question. - THR This thread Refback 12-14-2013 11:47 PM
charcoal blue? | Single-Actions This thread Refback 08-02-2013 06:27 PM
GunBroker.com Message Forums - Carbonia? This thread Refback 02-20-2013 10:41 AM
Single-Actions - charcoal blue? This thread Refback 01-23-2013 12:07 AM

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Safariland 002 - break in methods t0066jh Smith & Wesson Competitive Shooting 3 05-22-2011 05:35 PM
Ultrasonic Cleaning Methods ohiobuckeye S&W-Smithing 20 05-01-2011 01:49 AM
M&P 40c methods and holsters for concealed carry FeelGood Smith & Wesson M&P Pistols 2 07-15-2010 08:56 PM
Carry Methods for 625 4" sonofthebeach Concealed Carry & Self Defense 29 11-08-2009 07:10 PM

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3
smith-wessonforum.com tested by Norton Internet Security smith-wessonforum.com tested by McAfee Internet Security

All times are GMT -4. The time now is 02:52 AM.


S-W Forum, LLC 2000-2015
Smith-WessonForum.com is not affiliated with Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation (NASDAQ Global Select: SWHC)