Bluing Issue

Thread starter #1
I am a gunsmith and have been restoring and re-bluing weapons for 12 years now with no issues. I have used Brownells Oxynate 7 with great success. Problem lately is Brownells hasn't had any salts to sell since I tried re-ordering last September. I need salts. So I found two old recipes for mixing my own salts and bought the components.
I am in need of some advice from someone who knows the proper mix for a home made tank mix. I have used Sodium hydroxide and Sodium Nitrate for my mix.
The 1st tank I used the mix was 5 parts sodium Hydroxide to 4 parts Sodium Nitrate to 1 gal. water. The parts came out very blochy and slightly brown in color The temp. was 265. I re-did my salts and tried it at 5 parts Sodium Hydroxide to 2 1/2 parts Sodium Nitrate to 1 gal. water. Same results.
I have never mixed my own product before so any advice will be of great help.
I have 14 weapons to blue right now and am in a pickle.
 

Clemson

Senior Member
I have Angier's book but it is mostly a chemical treatise and not really recipe specific.

Do the Dulite people have any salts? I actually prefer their salts to Oxynate. The operating temperature is about 10 degrees F lower than the Brownells salts, but results are really good. Just dump the old Brownells salt and start a new bath with Dulite.

Bill Jacobs
 
Thread starter #3
I have Angier's book but it is mostly a chemical treatise and not really recipe specific.

Do the Dulite people have any salts? I actually prefer their salts to Oxynate. The operating temperature is about 10 degrees F lower than the Brownells salts, but results are really good. Just dump the old Brownells salt and start a new bath with Dulite.

Bill Jacobs
Well hello Bill. This is Jimmie Gray. Already bought all the chemicals. Just need to figure out how to get them to blue properly.
 

Clemson

Senior Member
Thought you mountain people made liquor -- not salts!
 

Clemson

Senior Member
Jimmie,

The following formulae are from Roy Dunlap's book "Gunsmithing":

No. 1, operating at approximately 290 F
Sodium Hydroxide 65 parts
Potassium Nitrate 25 parts
Sodium Nitrite 10 parts

Mix 10 pounds of mixed salt to 1 gallon cold water

No.2 Operates at between 285 F and 295 F.
5 lbs Lye (Sodium Hydroxide makes up about 94% of household Lye. Can like use it to substitute for the Lye)
2 1/2 pounds Ammonium Nitrate
per gallon of water

I don't need to tell you that these chemicals are bad actors! Be carefull!

Bill
 
Thread starter #6
Jimmie,

The following formulae are from Roy Dunlap's book "Gunsmithing":

No. 1, operating at approximately 290 F
Sodium Hydroxide 65 parts
Potassium Nitrate 25 parts
Sodium Nitrite 10 parts

Mix 10 pounds of mixed salt to 1 gallon cold water

No.2 Operates at between 285 F and 295 F.
5 lbs Lye (Sodium Hydroxide makes up about 94% of household Lye. Can like use it to substitute for the Lye)
2 1/2 pounds Ammonium Nitrate
per gallon of water

I don't need to tell you that these chemicals are bad actors! Be carefull!

Bill
I've already mixed #2 and the results are pretty ugly. With Dulite you need to run the salts every day for a week to meld the mixture. I'm doing that right now to see if it gives me better results. If not I'll get some sodium nitrite and re adjust to the #1 mixture. I've already got several hundred into the chemicals.
Funny thing. My wife makes our soap and these same chemicals go into making soap.
 
Thread starter #7
By the way. Thank you for the mix. All the manufacturers pit nitrites into there mixes. That's all mine is lacking. I will let you know what I find works best.
 

jglenn

Senior Member
Ultra-blak 400 by epi.

Really nice stuff and is available..
 
Thread starter #9
I bought ultra black as a last resort and gave it a try. I've got a 5 gallon tank of the stuff mixed. It really doesn't do a very nice job on gun parts. At least not the parts that matter. But the tip is well appreciated.

I did want to bring up what I did find with mixing the chemicals myself for anyone whom may need the info. I I tried the Sodium Hydroxide at 5# and Sodium Nitrate at 4# to a gallon of water and it didn't give a very good result. The parts were very blotchy and un even.

Then I went to 5# of Sodium Hydroxide to 2 1/2# of Sodium Nitrate to a gallon of water. It was closer but still not favorable. I boiled the parts at 265 f.
I then added 1/3 gallon more water to the mix and ran the tanks for 10 minutes at temp. for 4 days and the mix had a chance to bond the materials together. (Durolite suggests that with there product). The tanks boil between 270f to 285f. This has worked and my parts come out every bit as nice as Brownells Oxinate 7 (which I've used for the last 11 years).
The cost of the products was a wash, BUT I have enough product left for two more full tanks. So the cost savings over time is cut by 2/3rds.
Thank you for the advice. I asked in this forum because I thought someone might know and they did. Thank You all.
 
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