The Hobby Gunsmith Home Page

n past issues of The Hobby Gunsmith we demonstrated ways to use rust to blue a gun at home. Rust was the original method of browning or bluing a gun part, but it is very slow for darkening smaller parts like screws or other small parts. I this issue we look at a product from Caswell called Black Oxide kit that provides the hobby gunsmith with the ability to use a chemical reaction to quickly darken a part. Comparing the results of the new room-temperature chemical bluing process to the more extensive rust bluing appear to be very similar in appearance. However; it will be some time before we can determine how well the chemical darkening process holds up under hard usage. For this project we are going to use the Caswell Black Oxide process to darken the backing plate of the Dragoon cartridge conversion project and to fix some damaged screws.

Figure 3. We began by cleaning the part in either hot sodium phosphate solution or other suitable degreaser to remove any protective oils that may have gotten onto the steel part and might prevent the interaction between the steel and the solution. I usually dip the part in a mild pickling solution made from hydrochloric acid, but that is not really necessary. The etches any smooth surfaces of the steel and gives the chemicals some bite. The parts are dipped into the aqua colored solution and left there for about five minutes. Figure 3 shows the backing plate down in the solution. The part immediately begins to rust and then starts to darken into a black oxide coat. The part is ready to be removed after about five minutes in the solution. It should be rinsed under

Figure 5 We decided to treat some rusted and defaced screws to illustrate how quickly a damaged screw can be returned to a nice black color. The screws illustrated in Figure 5 were polished using the same sandpaper method as the backing plate for the cartridge conversion.

Figure 6. When they were bright and shiny, they were dipped into the black oxide solution and then wiped with steel wool. After one or two applications of the solution, the screws look as they do in figure 6.

1 of 2

1/24/2013 8:39 PM

The parts are ready Immerse the part into the to be dipped into the Black sealing agent illustrated in Oxide solution. that it has been nickel plated. black coat that should be removed for the most Figure 7 illustrates the backing appealing finish. Makers of fine Cartridge Conversion kits for: Remington New Army 1851 and 1861 Colt Ruger Old Army www. black oxide solution about reflection from base color of the Some rust had formed on the three or four times. is similar to a rust blue finish.htm running water and will have a Figure 7. I like to then add a solution. Figure 2. Figure 4.KirstKonverter. The photograph does not do justice to the silky smoothness of the new finish. solution or to be dipped into from the first issue. surface and it needed a little first Top of Page The Home Page 2 of 2 1/24/2013 8:39 PM . Leave the part in for at least five minutes to allow The solution comes as a the solvent to soak into the couple of bottles of solution finish and help protect it. but may note the sealing agent. After the steel. the surface scratches and pitting. The Dragoon parts were illustrated in the articles about electroplating that appeared in earlier issues.hobbygunsmith. We begin the project by I generally repeat the The color of the new finish is a examining the backing plate process of dipping into the blue-grey that allows some from the dragoon project. I use 0000 plate installed in the approximate steel wool to burnish the part and bring up a nice shine that location on the frame of the Figure 1. Dragoon. The solutions mix coating of gun oil to parts as quickly and are stored in a an extra precaution. The kit comes with a container of sealant solution that is used to stabilize the finish. I find a shop sanding with 220 grit wet or towel can remove the surface Those who have followed the dry sandpaper that we material and prepare the part Hobby Gunsmith from its earliest lubricated with unscented for either another dip in the days will recognize the dragoon mineral Figure 2 shows the backing plate after using the sandpaper to remove most of Figure 4. that is mixed with distilled Remove the part and allow it water to form the oxidizing to dry.The Hobby Gunsmith Home Page http://www. plastic bucket at room temperature.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful