Monday, 25 November 2013
Some interesting experiments in surface finishing this weekend. I had picked up some gun bluing from the local "outdoor" store. I treated some small steel blocks and they turned out fairly well, if a little "splotchy" in places. I felt that it was possible to achieve a higher finish quality.
I asked some local experts and, as expected, received varying advice. Procedures for cold bluing differ due to personal preference and chemical composition of the bluing itself. There are some blues which are simply not available in Canada due to import restrictions or other Customs complications.
The basic premise is to provide a finish that resists corrosion. Old-school techniques like heating the steel to a certain colour and plunging the workpiece into a bath of motor oil are fine if you have a proper place to do that kind of work.
I did manage to achieve an "oily water" finish that is interesting if not wholly intentional. Initial research into the various processes opens up a fascinating range of possibilities for future projects. It's certainly a non-trivial subject.