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Thread: Removing specs of rust from blue?

  1. #1
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    Removing specs of rust from blue?

    I don't really care for blued guns much, but I recently bought a little NEF blued revolver just 'cause it was cheap. It's in like new condition, except the backstrap, which has a few specs of rust. How do I go about removing these without taking all the blue around it too? They are really small specs so I could probably fill them with one of those cold blue pens, but I'm not sure how to get rid of the rust first...
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    triple aught steel wool and a little Hoppe's No. 9. Works everytime.
    When the going gets tough the tough get cyclic!
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    A pencil eraser also gives good service for removing small rust spots. Erase the spot and treat with oil.

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    except the backstrap, which has a few specs of rust. How do I go about removing these without taking all the blue around it too?
    Find a copper penny minted before 1964 (highest copper content) and scrape the rust spots with edge of the penny. The rust will be removed and you will not effect the bluing around the offending spot at all.

    If you put a bit of oil on the rust spot before you scrape, it will make scraping a little easier.
    Last edited by jaybar; August 24th, 2009 at 01:31 PM. Reason: after thought

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    When I acquired Dad's 1903 Colt it had spent decades untouched in an old tobacco pouch and collected a few spots. My local smith recommended 0000 steel wool with Hoppe's No. 9 as a working fluid. The smith said finer steel wool would be better but unobtainable. The 0000 worked great!
    Gee, I'd love to see your data!

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    So this thread tickles the curiosity and launches a search. Seems there is 000000 steel wool, though the only source I have found so far wants about $200 per case of 100 sheets, shipped. I might buy some if it was easily available, but I don't anticipate any need, and the 1903 shows no sign that the 0000 was too aggressive.
    Gee, I'd love to see your data!

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    I've read some threads on (IIRC) electrolytic rust removal. It's basically an anode-cathode thing, fairly simple and removes all rust without damaging the underlying metal at all.

    Really an intriguing concept, and a search will reveal more.

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    I've read some threads on (IIRC) electrolytic rust removal. It's basically an anode-cathode thing, fairly simple and removes all rust without damaging the underlying metal at all.
    It will remove the bluing also.
    Joe

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    Hmmmm...not in any of the treads I've read. Are we talking about the same thing? Here's one.

    Electrolysis Rust Removal
    You can remove rust from metal using electrolysis, and it will not harm the bluing. The main advantage to this method is it gets all the rust in hard to reach places. You will need

    A plastic container that will hold the part and electrolysis solution.
    Steel rod. DO NOT USE STAINLESS STEEL AS THIS WILL PRODUCE HARMFUL BYPRODUCTS.
    Water
    Arm & Hammer Washing Soda (not baking soda. Washing soda can be found in your local grocery store with the laundry detergent. If you cannot find washing soda, pour some baking soda-sodium bicarbonate into a pan and heat it over low-medium heat. Water and carbon-dioxide will cook-off leaving washing soda-sodium carbonate. ) Another source is swimming pool "PH Increaser." which is labeled 100% sodium carbonate. [Thanks to Bob Head for this hint]
    Battery charger or other high amperage power supply.
    Cautions: Wear eye protection and rubber gloves when working with this solution is very alkaline and can cause irritation. The electrolysis process breaks down water into its component parts, hydrogen and oxygen, which can be explosive. Work outside or in a very well ventilated area. Be sure your battery charger/power supply is unplugged before attaching or touching the leads.

    In the container, mix 1 tablespoon of washing soda for each gallon of water to make up your solution. Be sure the washing soda is thoroughly dissolved. Place a steel rod either through the part to be cleaned (use o-rings to prevent the part from touching the rod), or numerous rods around the inside of your container. Connect these rods with wire; these will be the anode. You must be sure that the part to be cleaned is not touching the rod(s). Suspend the part in the solution with steel cable or wire so that it makes a good electrical contact with the part; this will become the cathode. Connect the negative lead (black) to the part being cleaned, connect the positive (red) lead to the rod(s), then plug in the charger. You will immediately begin to see bubbles; this is hydrogen and oxygen as the water breaks down. Allow the part to "cook" for 3-4 hours. The time is dependent on the size of the part, amount of rust, and the current of the power supply. After you remove the part, immediately clean and dry it off, then coat it with a good quality gun oil or rust preventative oil.

    Thanks to Roy Seifert for this tip

    Roy reports that he used this process on a 1911 frame that had a lot of surface rust all throughout the inside. He set the frame upside down on wooden blocks in the electrolysis solution and placed a rod with o-rings through the magazine well. He used a 1.5 amp trickle charger and left it for about 4 hours. When finished, the frame was completely free of rust, and the bluing was intact.
    Once again, I have not done this myself, so I offer it in the spirit of research...

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    Thanks for the tips everyone, I would have thought steel wool would take the blue too. I'll get some of the fine stuff next time I'm out...
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  11. #11
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    I may be completely wrong. However as bluing is actually a form of rust...
    Let the debate begin.
    Joe

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    Thanks for the tips everyone, I would have thought steel wool would take the blue too. I'll get some of the fine stuff next time I'm out...
    Steel wool, no matter how fine, will dull or remove the bluing. Using the copper penny method that I posted previously in this string will work without harming the surrounding bluing. But, if you are hell bent on using something abrasive follow this link http://www.brownells.com/.aspx/pid=7...ct/BRONZE_WOOL to Brownells listing of their bronze wool. It will remove the rust without harming the bluing. Alternately, go to the grocery store and buy a pack of Chore Boy copper pan scrubbers. Both bronze and copper are harder than rust but softer than steel, so they will remove the rust without scratchinmg the blued steel.

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    Got to Publix or WalMart or any of the others and get "Chore Boy Copper Scrubbers". Make sure they are copper and not steel.

    A little oil on the area and rub away with the chore boy, works a treat.

    Wipe down after with oil and youre good to go.

    Done this trick many times on rusted guns and it does not take off the bluing only the rust.
    Last edited by Ianp240; August 27th, 2009 at 02:36 PM.

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    Hmmm...how about a brass brush? Will that hurt the blue? That's what I use to clean my stainless guns, can I clean the whole blued gun with it? (I was going to buy a nylon brush for this gun)

    Also let me make it clear we're not talking about a peice of art here. My little NEF wasn't finished that great from the factory, and the blue is nothing to brag about either. But it's a sweet shooter...
    "Yeah that's a real gun in that gun rack.
    No I don't have a permit for it.
    You got a permit to ask stupid questions like that?"

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    I've had good luck with synthetic steel wool. Comes in 0000 but is really a bt finer than the steel version of 0000. The best thing about it is that it is a patch that does not tear or rip, so you won't have all the fine steel dust all over your gun in places you cannot reach. I worked over an entire rifle barrel with one patch (a sheet breaks into 4 patches) and it had not scratched the steel at all. I believe it is originally designed for wood. Most hardware stores have it next to the fine automotive sandpaper piles or in their woodworking section.

    BTW, works great on stocks too.

  16. #16
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    "...steel wool would take the blue too..." Nope. 0000(not 000) steel wool and some oil will remove the rust without bothering the finish.

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    BRONZE WOOL and oil.
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