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Old 06-29-2018, 10:26 AM
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jmace57 jmace57 is offline
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Default Rust blue question

I have 3 or 4 Smith revolvers that are finish challenged, and I plan to rust blue them. I have watched videos and seen the barrel be plugged. Does something like this need to be done with the cylinder as well? If the "rust" is in the chambers/charge holes, can it just be carded with a wire brush? Any suggestions would be much appreciated. Jim
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Old 06-29-2018, 10:39 AM
Zoner Zoner is offline
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I rust blued a 1911 i put together Interesting project, came out good but i didn't do the barrel. I think if i was doing a revolver i'd make some plugs out of wood dowels for the cylinder and the barrel during the boiling cycle. I also would recommend making a little "sweat box" for the rust cycle. A cardboard box with a light bulb(for heat) and a open pan of water inside the box to generate a little moisture would be a good thing.
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Old 06-29-2018, 12:30 PM
2152hq 2152hq is offline
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Leave the bbl and cylinder chambers open. They don't get any rust bluing soln applied to them so you won't be doing any carding to those surfaces.

Wipe out the bore and chambers with a clean patch after going thru the boiling water tank is about all I've ever done. The heat of the metal will make sure it dries from there.

Don't apply anything to the bore or chambers, just leave them bare metal. They won't rust or pit during the process as long as you don't put the parts through any extended rusting cycles like a couple days each..

The only time I ever protect the bores is when I do a damascus finish and that's only because betw the rusting cycles, the bbl has to go thru a dunking into an etching soln.
I have to keep that soln from getting at the surface of the bores. So I coat the bores of the bbl's with nothing more than shellac. A couple heavy coats with a swab on a cleaning rod and let dry.
It holds up very well thru the boiling water of the process. I sometimes re-coat at about cycle#6 or 7 just to make sure, but I'm not sure it even needs it. I don't want to find out the hard way though!.
Removal of the coating is not that easy, but plenty of laq.thinner into the plugged bore than wiping it clear w/swabs of the same gets it done,,finally.
Tough stuff.
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Old 06-29-2018, 01:32 PM
Arquebus357 Arquebus357 is offline
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I have used Mark Lee Express Blue on two revolvers and am pleased with the results. Next time though I will use Brownell's slow rust blue. For the barrel I just drop in a section of wood pencil and plug both ends with silicone. The pieces are just going to be dunked into boiling water so it's not as though they are going into molten salts. You just need to limit the amount of air inside the barrel if you plug both ends. The barrel really does not NEED to be plugged as the bluing adds no dimension, it just seems wrong to blue the bore.


Last edited by Arquebus357; 06-29-2018 at 01:35 PM.
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