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I have a couple of guns that are scratched up that i would like to touch up with some blueing. The blueing i bought is Birchwood Casey "perma blue". What is the best procedure to do this? What should i do to the barrel to prepare for this?Any cleaning methods? Also I read that the new blueing will rust after its applied. Any thing you can do to prevent this? Sorry for all the questions. Thanks for your time.
 

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Cold Blue

Cold touch-up blues are temporary expedients, at best. For your purposes, darkening the metal scratches to make them less visible is the best you can hope for. It will NOT perfectly match the surrounding blue areas.

You need to THOROUGHLY de-grease the metal where you want to touch up. Acetone, alcohol, or lacquer thinner, are good for this. BE CAREFULL. Most degreasing solvents will also attack plastics and stock finishes!!!

Warming the metal helps give deeper penetration of the touchup blue.

I would use a cotton-tipped applicator "Q-Tip" swab or a cleaning patch to rub the cold blue onto the scratch and adjacent area. Let it work. If not dark enough, repeat application, and then wipe it off with a water-soaked patch to remove the chemicals. Follow up by wiping with a bore-solvent patch, and then oil the metal thoroughly, just as if you were cleaning the gun.

YES, they will leave after-rust if you don't do this!

Some guys like to use wax or furniture polish over the touch-up area to make it last longer.
 

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Van's

I used Van's recently to re-do the barrel on my old Mossberg and though it has only been on for a couple of weeks, all in all, I think it looks quite nice and no rusting thus far. Good luck.
 

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Depending on the bluing your weapon has John is probably right. It's very difficult to perfectly match any guns bluing but there are blues that can do quite well. I prefer the Brownell's oxpho blue and I prefer the liquid although the paste has some advantages. Oxpho blue will blue thru some oil although your better to remove most of the surface oil.. It will not after rust as will some others and it's quite tough.. Not as tough as the original but it can help make you weapon look better with very little work.. Just follow the directions and READ THE CAUTIONS. All cold blues that I'm aware of are more related to the parkerizing solutions and contain some quite toxic chemicals. Use as directed, wash your hands before eating or smoking and keep the material out of your eyes... As a tip I have found that experimenting with the heat applied to the metal before applying Oxphoblue and the courseness or fineness of the steel wool used to burnish the bluing after application can help blend the repare. Also it seems that the areas that have the regualr blueing removed by abrasion are sometimes a bit more 'polished' than the rest of the gun and this can cause a repare to stand. In some instances a light abrasion of the area to be touched up with 400 or 600 grit wetordry paper can bring the shiny surface back to the proper level of sheen.. GO VERY LIGHTLY and experiment a bit...
 

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Understand, the ORIGINAL blue will rust also.
You gotta keep those guns oiled, unless stainless (and maybe even then - don't hurt!)
I had a tiny scratch on the bolt knob, acetoned it, applied Birchwood five times and it came out looking pretty darn close to the oringinal Winchester blueing job. Especially in such a small spot.
Out here in OR, it's easy to find out the hard way that blue is NOT a rust-preventative!
Once I'm thru screwing with this poor thing, I'll prolly send it to get a rust blue on it. That is a true protectant (though you still need to keep it oiled.)
 

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sideironJohn: Homebrew rust inhibiting tip: if instead of (degrease after oil), or in conjunction with oil, or after oiled - provided the blue is like Van's: no active acid left dormant WITH the bluing (not, I believe) then a dap of Automotive grade "pure" Carnauba wax (closest to pure if it is a paste, most likely - since pure carnauba is hard as a rock) onto the freshly oiled surface, it will give much greater rust corrossion than oil alone. If the oil/wax complex is good enough, a cold blue will be more corrossion resistant than hot blue for the same reason phosphate works better: more pores to absorb oil. Oil/Wax is much better than oil alone, as oil breaks down. Owners of fine Automobiles do never oil the paint, but they WAX it. (Auto Wax holds up better for longer against bird droppings, road salt, detergents, etc). The advantage of Carauba is it resists solvents well, but can be removed eventually with strong solvents if you need the metal bare and reactive again. Grease works on the same principle as Wax: clog up the pores except with thick stuff. Carnauba wax can futher be made to appear dull for hunting by polishing with a damp cloth - shiny for show with a dry cotton cloth. It fits a low budget, since you can use it a a very inexpensive do-it-yourself general protectant.

Gunsmithing related, and backup to it's chemistry: Van's Instant Gun Blue made a write-up in American Gunsmithing Association Journal in '98 as a testimony to a significant number of member Gunsmiths who swore it was their favorite by phone when a member help-line was installed to all other available gun blue's - that would include all Blues available to a Gunsmith: so much so they were in desperation mode to get "the only stuff that works." I've heard were follow-up letters published in the Journal to affirm the desire for it. In a sense it was a compelling results-oriented review by a large group of gunsmiths published in the magazine of a nonprofit organization.
 

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A March 2003 article in the 'American Gunsmith' the official publication of the American Gunsmith Association found OxphoBlue the toughest of the cold blues. They didn't include Van's cold blue in the test. I am always interested in a better cold blue. Thanks for this information. I shall give it a try.. The wax is also a great tip. Wax in various forms has been used to protect metal and wood for centuries..and it still works. Although I tend to disagree about phosphate being the best metal finish. The oxide formed by a rust blue finish is harder and thus more wear resistant than that form by application of a phophate finish. The pores are still present, the material they are formed from is just harder..
 

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Touching up scratches

I use an old tube of Birchwood Casey's Touch-Up Blueing, or whatever it is. The darn tube is at least 25 years old and sits in my worktable drawer for whenever I need it.

I was told there were a couple of techniques to use. One is to apply the cold blue and just let it sit for a minute or two. Having a warm surface helps absorption. Then, after the blueing has worked, rub it in with a soft patch and rub the surface dry with the same patch, then rub on some oil to help seal it.

Another technique was to just rub some of the blueing into the scratch with a soft patch and then keep rubbing it in (that also warms the metal) until the scratch is fully coloured.

A third technique, which I use more often these days, is to use the cold blue as mentioned, but instead of rubbing in gun oil to seal it, use colourized automotive wax. About 10 years ago I purchased a bottle of 'colourized' wax for an old black truck I had. The wax did wonders for it so I started using it on some rifles and pistols. The wax coloured the scratches and pits and hid them very well, and then protected the hay out of the gun. I have basically gone to automotive wax as a protectant for my field pieces. It works.

You can use either the cannauba waxes (the paste waxes), or the polymer (spray) waxes. The polymers hold up incredibly well.

Just my dos centavos worth. Mikey.
 
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