Black Oxide Finishes Opinions please

    
Opinions please:
I'm wanting to finish some of the things I make at home with a black oxide type coating. It looks like the options
are Birchwood Casey, CaswellPlating and the ToolBlack sold in Enco and others. Cold type. Any others I've missed?
Is there anyone of these better than the other? Strong and weeks points worth considering?
The only thing I've tried is the lye/fertilizer mix which I couldn't get hot enough to work well. Kind of dangerous boiling lye also.
Tnks
DE
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You could take your stuff to the nearest gunsmith with a hot bluing set-up. Since you are doing all the prep and polish, the price should be pretty reasonable.
Randy

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Brownell's Oxpho cold blue.
Under some conditions this gives a reasonable black oxide coating.
Jim
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DE wrote:

There's any number of cold blues for guns, some are more durable than others. www.brownells.com has a lot of them. Their Oxpho Blue is pretty durable, comes as either a liquid or a cream. Follow the directions to the letter. I use it a lot on some of the steel items I make up from time to time. Most of this stuff takes a HAZMAT charge from UPS.
You could find a gunsmith with a hot-blue setup and skip all the HAZMAT stuff, too.
Stan
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Hey DE,
Ain't co-incidence just sumpin' !!!! I just put up a few more book shelves yesterday, and this morning when I was placing some catalogue stuff from a show somewhere last year, a pamphlet fell out. So I just now dug it out, and it says " Room Temperature Blacking Process for Iron, Steel, Aluminum, and Zinc. "
<www.blackfast.com>
The pamphlet indicates the product is from the UK, but my pamphlet has a sticker on it from the Canadian Distributor and prices are in Canadian dollars. Contact is Bob Pero, Toronto. Email at is      snipped-for-privacy@rogers.com
Phone at 1-416-521-9035
Good Luck. Take care.
Brian Lawson, Bothwell, Ontario.
ps.... I think I picked it up at either IMTS2004, or more likely at the annual Bothwell Car Show. The car show is just down the street from me, and in 2004 had almost 2,000 antique/classic/muscle cars for the one-day show!! Increase of about 300 cars from 2003. It's great to see them all coming into town in dribs and drabs over Friday and Saturday morning early, but leaving late Saturday afternoon after the show in a steady stream for over two hours is just fantastic!!
XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX
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DE wrote:

What you realy need is some "World famous, Model perfect gun blue " by Hearters. :-) :-) How many of youall remember that catalog? ...lew...
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Keywords:

It was "Herters" George Leonard & Sons. They don't make catalogs like that anymore... (something about the FTC, I think...)
Doug White
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We've tried some of the "cold black" systems and at best the results are just ok, never as good as real black oxide. The last time we tried to use it we kept getting bad "blotching" on the parts even though they were cleaned really well so we gave up on it at that point.
Around here because of enviromental issues (California) you can't even get black oxide treatment commercially done anymore. Its expensive, but we had to move to "black zinc" plating. Looks good but its a lot easier to scratch off than I would like.
For one offs, if you have a torch you should try the "heat it up and dunk it in oil" method. Linseed oil or used motor oil are typically used, search the web some more on these terms and you'll find some hints on using this method. Be prepared for the oil to catch on fire if you try this, have a cover ready to flop over the oil container.
Good luck-
Paul T.
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wrote:

Tnks, I've done that for small parts, heat to red and quench in linseed oil. Works great.
DE
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wrote:

Leigh at MarMachine ( snipped-for-privacy@aol.com) has a shop in So. Cal that he uses, that does marvelous black oxiding. Perhaps if you contacted him?
Ive seen much of their work..very nice.
Gunner
"[L]iberals are afraid to state what they truly believe in, for to do so would result in even less votes than they currently receive. Their methodology is to lie about their real agenda in the hopes of regaining power, at which point they will do whatever they damn well please. The problem is they have concealed and obfuscated for so long that, as a group, they themselves are no longer sure of their goals. They are a collection of wild-eyed splinter groups, all holding a grab-bag of dreams and wishes. Some want a Socialist, secular-humanist state, others the repeal of the Second Amendment. Some want same sex/different species marriage, others want voting rights for trees, fish, coal and bugs. Some want cradle to grave care and complete subservience to the government nanny state, others want a culture that walks in lockstep and speaks only with intonations of political correctness. I view the American liberals in much the same way I view the competing factions of Islamic fundamentalists. The latter hate each other to the core, and only join forces to attack the US or Israel. The former hate themselves to the core, and only join forces to attack George Bush and conservatives." --Ron Marr
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On Mon, 14 Mar 2005 23:27:44 GMT, Lew Hartswick

Ive still got one stuck away in storage. Lots of Herters cartridge brass too <G>
Gunner
"[L]iberals are afraid to state what they truly believe in, for to do so would result in even less votes than they currently receive. Their methodology is to lie about their real agenda in the hopes of regaining power, at which point they will do whatever they damn well please. The problem is they have concealed and obfuscated for so long that, as a group, they themselves are no longer sure of their goals. They are a collection of wild-eyed splinter groups, all holding a grab-bag of dreams and wishes. Some want a Socialist, secular-humanist state, others the repeal of the Second Amendment. Some want same sex/different species marriage, others want voting rights for trees, fish, coal and bugs. Some want cradle to grave care and complete subservience to the government nanny state, others want a culture that walks in lockstep and speaks only with intonations of political correctness. I view the American liberals in much the same way I view the competing factions of Islamic fundamentalists. The latter hate each other to the core, and only join forces to attack the US or Israel. The former hate themselves to the core, and only join forces to attack George Bush and conservatives." --Ron Marr
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That was some good stuff.

Hell, I remember the store, and what was where.
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You keep adding lye until the temperature is right. Adding lye increases the boiling temp. You want about 280 or 290 F, if I recall correctly.
Another posibility is using photo film fixer. If you use google you can probably find some reference to using Hypo in this newsgroup.
Dan
DE wrote:

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The Caswell Black Oxide kit works very well:
<http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/black.htm
See my results: <http://www.ebiz2000.com/hsm
My parts were made from 12L14. The trick to good blackening was to clean them thoroughly, dip them for 3-5 min., wipe them off dry with a clean paper towel (some of the black comes off... this is good), and dip them again for 3-5 min. Follow with the recommended sealer. Worked *great*. The black after the first dip is mottled, after the second dip it is a nice, even, deep black.
I suppose a third would be even better, but this application did not demand perfection.
Spencer
DE wrote:

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For more examples, see http://www.caswellplating.com/restgal/black_oxide_restgal.htm
I'm not an agent for Caswell, but I do like his products because they work as promised and enable me to do some things I want to do.
I don't doubt that hot blueing is more robust, but this stuff is very easy to use and I think it provides a nice-looking finish.
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I haven't heard of the lye/fertilizer method. Could you elaborate, or give some references, please?
Roger
DE wrote:

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wrote:

Do google on homemade blueing, lots of past threads. Also the one on photo fixer sounds like it's worth a try.
DE
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Thanks for all the replys. I have used my gunsmith in the past, his work is great and fees reasonable, he just doesn't do blueing every week. Maybe once a month. Hence the desire to do my own.
I think I'll try some Oxpho and the Caswell stuff along with going back to the hot blue and retrying it.
DE
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If you go with the oxpho, here's my experience with it:
1) it works best on some kinds of steel. I've found that cold-rolled is kind of uncertain at best, it doesn't work evenly or real darkly. Stainless is right out, don't even bother trying. Best I've found is drill rod.
2) degrease the parts *completely* before starting. I ultrasonic them (these are small parts, thumbscrews etc) in some alcohol.
3) then I etch them in a 20% HCl acid dip for a few minutes, and rinse in water. Dry without touching them.
4) dip in the Oxpho solution, and then I like to put that beaker in the ultrasonic bath and blip it a few times. Seems to give a deeper finish.
5) remove, rinse, blot dry, and oil right away.
Jim
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Depending upon size and usage, another method to consider might be a simple "hot oil" or "blacksmith" finish.....
Heat them up to ~ 450 deg in a gas barbeque and then drop them into a 5 gal bucket of used motor oil.
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