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Brian Arthur 09-03-2018 09:46 AM

Degreasing before Rust Bluing
1 Attachment(s)
Good Morning-

First time rust blueing a shotgun barrel (VH), and I have immediately run into a problem.

I boiled this barrel in a solution of Simple Green and water. My heating set up has an issue, so I did not get to a full boil, but more of a simmer. I am hanging the barrel by a wire and a couple of wooden dowels in the tank, since I will hone the inside of the barrels after I am done.

When I pulled the barrels from the tank and dried them, I see streaking on the lower barrel. It appears to be oil leaking from under the rib?

Attachment 65248

These stains do not wipe off.

I'd appreciate your thoughts and suggestions!


Brian Dudley 09-03-2018 12:16 PM

Looks like you have voids in the solder joints that are allowing water to get in and then weep out which will effect the finish. You will be chasing this through the whole process.

Brian Arthur 09-03-2018 07:36 PM

Thanks Brian- Is soldering the edge of the rib a possible solution to seal it?

Brian Dudley 09-03-2018 07:44 PM

You likely will not be able to get it to take, but you can try.

Brian Arthur 09-03-2018 08:09 PM

Well, I did undertake this project as a learning experience, so I guess I'm getting my money's worth :-)

Jerry Harlow 09-03-2018 11:03 PM

Boil, boil, boil with air blown in the voids between boils to get the oil out. You've got to get all the oil out somehow (was the gun ever hot blued to dissolve the solder that much?). Acetone and lacquer thinner soaks work also. Then you are ready to go.

I boil and if somehow oil still comes out I flood my boil tank so all the oil floats over the tank. That way I don't drag the barrels through oil on the way out.

If you get streaks in your bluing from oil which happens, you don't need to remove all of the good rust bluing that you have so far and start over. I learned this after screwing up every set I did due to oil, usually at the final time. Just take that oil streaked dark spot down until it is gone and keep bluing. It will catch up.

Just my 2 cents.

Brian Arthur 09-04-2018 08:47 AM

Thanks Jerry- I spent last night watching videos and reading about resoldering a rib, and I much prefer trying the approach you describe before I go down that path.

Tom Flanigan 09-04-2018 09:52 PM

I'm thinking that the rib will probablyt have to be relayed. That is a lot of leakage. You might want to soak the barrels in acetone for a couple of days and then give it a try. I'm not sure if you are boiling with simple green in the water to convert the red oxide to black. But if you are at this stage, simple green is not recommended. If you are boiling to clean the barrels, it is not necessary. Barrels should be washed down with a a good degreaser like simple green and then rubbed down with acetone. If you are not using Laurel Mountain Forge as a rusting agent, you might want to try that. This product is less sensitive to residual oil or other contamenents.

Brian Arthur 09-04-2018 10:14 PM

Thanks Tom-

I have the barrels sitting in acetone now.

While I am not against relaying the rib, the looks I get from my gunsmith friends when I suggest this is sufficient warning that I may be going out to the edge of the map where it says, “There be monsters”...

I will put a week into removing the oil and then see where I am.

Tom Flanigan 09-04-2018 10:31 PM

Acetone is your best bet Brian. A good long soak may solve the oil problem. But you might want to consider relaying the ribs at some point. I would have someone familiar with Parkers do the work. There are some good people out there, many of whom have been mentioned on this board. Moisture will collect under leaky ribs and you may damage the barrels eventually if you don't fix the problem.

A quick fix to get the barrels done could be provided by mixing glass bedding compound with a bit of black color and very carefully placing it at the base of the rib where it leaks. Make it very thin, just enough to prevent the barrels from leaking. Brownell's glass bedding compound is not impacted by boiling water. It's a quick fix but it will get you through the bluing process. Don't use the acraglas gel, use the regular acraglas for this situation.

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