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Unread 09-16-2018, 07:51 PM   #26
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Tom Flanigan
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I guess my first question is why you are doing so many iterations. Did the barrels not blacken properly and therefore needed more iterations? I have never used the Brownell’s formula so I don’t what results to expect using it. I have used Pilkington’s and Laurel Mountain Forge. With both of those rusting agents, you should never need to go more than five iterations and I have done barrels with four. I just finished a set of Trojan barrels with four iterations. You don’t want the barrels to be a deep black. Parker bluing was not dark black but more of a black bluish color in sunlight. This is what you should shoot for.

I would have thought that a problem caused by not using distilled water would have shown up before you got so far into it. But, I don’t know for sure. I use well water and have never had a problem. I’m not sure what is going on with your barrels. Are you sure that the rust you are seeing on the barrels is not from contamination from the rust in the water? If so, just card and the red rust will disappear.

My biggest question is what did the barrels look like after five iterations. Were they black / blue? Or were they gray and so more iterations were needed? It is best to stop when the barrels are black / blue. I always compare my barrels to a benchmark set. It makes it easy to know when to stop. But on average barrels, five iterations is standard with four sometimes sufficient. It’s been a long time since I’ve had to go more than five iterations. I’ve never gone beyond six. But your situation is hard for me to judge since I have never used Brownell’s rust blue. Laurel Mountain is a strong agent with Pilkington’s a bit less so.
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