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Old 02-20-2008, 11:21 PM   #141
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Top receiver is for my battle field pickup on a '73 Romy. I did not sandblast that one . Just cleaned, applied Laurel Mountain Rust Brown, let rust in the bathroom overnite, boiled in distilled water. Then carded and burnished. I only did 1 cycle on it. It is actually a deeper blue/black than the other receiver which I did blast with alum-ox. It has 2 cycles on it and waiting for more. That is going to be a pistol, hence all the other parts. All receivers I use are NDS. I'm working up an experiment with phosphoric acid tomorrow.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:25 PM   #142
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I noticed that when rust bluing the barrel pin and cleaning rod and other very smooth polished parts that the finer the initial finish, the darker the blue.

I'm thinking on my next rust blue I'm going to go with a very fine AL Ox blast media.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:29 PM   #143
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I'll do something different with the lighting for pics too. The parts are black under the crappy lighting.
On oil weeping
Look for it comeing from under the flanges on the gas tube, center support rivit and were the piston goes into the carrier. The Laurel Mountain product is not affected by it.
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Old 02-20-2008, 11:40 PM   #144
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Best photo tip of all? Use a white paper or other matte white backgorund like linoleum. Not cloth. Cloth soaks up light, colored cloth colors the whole picture.

Just keep repeating the process. After the fourth cycle you will be able to tell that you are really getting somewhere. Go light on the carding, all you want to do is rub off the black dust that is there after the boil. Apply the solution VERY lightly. It is acid and a heavy wet coat can REMOVE the blue you have been working to make.

Remember, this is a very forgiving process. The next rust, boil and card always looks better.

Last edited by IanMor; 10-05-2013 at 12:06 PM.
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Old 02-22-2008, 05:22 AM   #145
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This may be a dumb question, but once you install those rivets, won't the original metal show through? How deep IS the rust blue, anyway?
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Old 02-22-2008, 10:21 AM   #146
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Using the AK builder rivet jig the rivet heads don't get marred. If they did and it bothers you just run the assembled receiver through another rust cycle to even everything back out. That's what I do. Then press the barrel.

Rust blue is VERY deep, probably the most in-the-steel finish you can do. We're still talking about molecules though ya know.
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Old 02-22-2008, 08:11 PM   #147
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It's not the rivet heads that he's asking about. It's the other end.
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Old 02-23-2008, 12:39 AM   #148
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My-Rifle,

I boil parts kits out in plain old water until the water is clean.

If there is a lot of grease/cosmo I start with a lot of detergent. The purple industrial kind. I buy it by the gallon from BJs. The first boil out generally destroys the physical properties of the grease and turn it into a powdery residue. The heat and steam in the water hydrolize the oils. If this is not happening in ones boil out one needs to boil longer.

I have never used TSP for the boil out but it is well known as a degreaser and I have used it for cleaning decks that are mildewed. So I have every confidence it would work for boil out just as well as the detergent.

I take parts out and card off loose rust and the powdery residue each go round using the Bronze bristle GI type toothbrush.

It may take 3 or 4 or 5 one hour boilings and cardings with less and less detergent each go 'round but eventually everything is completely degreased and the water stays clean.

This is a lot of handwork but it is well worth it. It is a zen sort of thing for me there is nothing that I would rather be doing. I guess it is like a vintner squishing grapes. A lot of people would see that as menial work. When I am cleaning and carding I think about the people that made the original rifle the soldiers who used it and the new rebirth it is about to have as a sporting rifle. A swords into plowshares sort of thing. Perhaps some grandfather will use the rifle I make to teach his grandson how to shoot. And that grandson will stand up and take his place and join the military to defend freedom too.

Now back to our story:

I have built hundreds of rifles and have never had a problem with residual oil seepage after boil out.

I think Valmet-M76s handiwork speaks for itself. It is readily apparent that he gives each operation in building 100% excellent completion before moving on to the next operation. This is the mark of a careful builder.

I think you probably boils things out a long time like I do.

Now I have seen your photos as well and you do excellent work. I think it would be a shame if the excellent builders here quible amongst themselves.

We are here to learn from each other.

There are things that I have learned from your postings. Thank you.

I think I may have been confused about who was boiling long and who was soaking.

You are right soaking is not enough.

When I am boiling out I usually fire up the convection oven as well. I put the carded parts in there on baking sheets in between boilings. Any remaining oil seeps out.

Sorry about the mix up about who posted what.


One other tip: Bamboo

When you are boiling out and cleaning up loose rust Bamboo skewers works great for cleaning superficial rust and hydrolised oil gunk out of shallow grooves and small pin holes.

The end grain of a bamboo chopstick is great for scraping scaled rust off and getting down to bare metal.

You can even grind chopstick ends into various profiles on the belt sander for getting into various grooves.

The bamboo can even be used to get into the grooves in the carding step of the rust bluing process after boil out. This works great if you have a fine groove and your wire brush just wont seem to reach the bottom.

Last edited by IanMor; 10-05-2013 at 12:07 PM.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:20 PM   #149
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OK, well, here's my first attempt at rust bluing. It didn't come out quite as nice as some of yours on here, but it looks better than what I started with. The test subject was an Italian replica of a Colt 1860 Army .44 cal black powder cap and ball revolver that I was given as an incomplete pile of parts.



After finding and ordering the missing pieces, and quite a bit of work, I got it to this point:




Then, I tried my hand at what you guys described. I wound up using glass bead (because that's what I had in my blast cabinet) and used the brake cleaner like this tutorial describes, til I got it cleaned up. It wasn't as receptive as I would have liked to the rusting process. That might have been my prep work, or it might have been the metal these are made from. (Probably a combination of both factors)



And of course, once I got it to rust, then to the 30 minute boil:



Once it came out of that, let it dry:



Then after carding it with the Brownells brush:



Then repeat 5 more cycles. After that, I used the Lamp Black oil paint and artist grade linseed oil soak:



Wiped it down, baked it, reoiled it and baked it, then mineral oiled it and cooked it again on lower heat. And here's what I finally wound up with:




I know it's not perfect, but I figure like any other skill, its a learning curve. Next time I try it (and there WILL be a next time) I will swap out the glass beads for Aluminium Oxide in the blast cabinet, I will try and let it go longer to get better rust coverage (assuming the metal cooperates) and I will definitely cut down the paint/oil mix more to get it thinner. But on the positive side, the finish I wound up with looks "vintage" in keeping with the antique firearm, and it certainly was a LOT less expensive than sending it out somewhere to be done. The chemicals are not bad at all to work with, and it certainly looks nicer than painting it. Plus, it *should* be a good durable finish that hopefully will hold up well to shooting black powder through it.

Now, to try and get my AKs ready and try, try again...
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Old 03-07-2008, 08:06 PM   #150
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Looks pretty good to me.

The parts need to have a even coat of rust all over or close to it. As the number of rustings go up the rust should form faster and more evenly. You definitely want an nice coating of small orange crystals to cover as much of the metal as possible.

5 or 6 rustings is all it took for me on AK steel. Other steels could take more, many more cycles.

Basically, you just keep rusting and boiling until it gets as dark as you want it. At this point, you can degrease it with hot soapy water and just keep right on running rust cycles as many times as you want. You should be able to get that steel very dark.

A big plastic storage container with a wet towel in the bottom with a pan set on some kind of spacers over the towel makes a great damp cabinet that will encourage rust.

If anything, It looks to me like you were a little shy about how long you let it rust each time.
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Old 03-07-2008, 09:00 PM   #151
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Yeah, the next one I do, I plan on letting it rust longer to get a more even coating. That will probably help. That, and better prep work with a tougher abrasive. But, eh, it looks better than it did in the raw...
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Old 03-07-2008, 10:19 PM   #152
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Did you use the Brownell's Rust Blue or Laurel Mountain Rust Brown?
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Old 03-08-2008, 01:11 AM   #153
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I used the Brown's classic rust blue.
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Old 03-11-2008, 09:54 AM   #154
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I'm on the 4th cycle. Boiling right now. I'm getting frustrated because it doesn't appear to be getting any darker than a light gun-metal grey.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:32 PM   #155
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Default Rust blue

I am using this method to do a receiver and all the small parts. Not doing the barrel as it is in great shape and looks like I can match it. What I do to help the "rusting" process is this: I get a small pan of water boiling, after it gets going good I put it in the oven for a few minutes. Then I place my treated parts in the oven and take the pan out. I let the parts stay in the oven for a couple of minutes then take them out. Get a real nice rust coating this way. Works for me.
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Old 03-11-2008, 07:06 PM   #156
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J2T. let the rust progress a little longer before you do the next boil.

Look carefully at this picture and read these words. The focus is not good in this picture but it does show the rust beginnig to bloom on the steel. What you want is for those little rust blooms to completely cover the surface of the steel before boiling. Remember it is the RUST that is converted into the BLUE. You have to let the rust get going really good. The rust in this picture is only just getting started and is a few hours old and was allowed to rust for at least 18 more hours in a VERY warm and humid place. You want the rust to completely cover the metal, I mean so like all you see is RUST, no steel, then boil it.



Also remember to apply the rust blue solution VERY SPARINGLY. It is acid and if you put too much you can remove the blue you have already created. Do not slop it around on the surface of the steel or wipe it back and forth. Apply it so lightly you can just barely tell you put any on. LESS IS BETTER.

It will get darker with every cycle and should really start to get dark by the 5th or 6th cycle if you are letting it get good and rusty before boiling.

Also remember that the metal is oil free. Once you oil it the steel appears darker.

I know the stage you are at and wondered the same thing myself, gun metal grey.

It will get darker.

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Old 03-11-2008, 09:21 PM   #157
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Valmet_M76,

Thanks for the very informative thread. I am jumping in here and have ordered the carding brush and Brownells rust blue solution. All I want to rust is the receiver as the kits are in like new condition and I am hoping to get a finish that will be close to the original. If it is off a little so be it. Some of the parts them self do not perfectly match color so it should all work out.

I have several nodak receivers and do not have access to a blast cabinet. Are there any recommendations on what I can do to the receiver to prep it for a good rusting? I am pretty sure the nodak receivers are in the raw and just need a good de-greasing - no prob there. I just need to know how crucial the metal prep is and if there is an alternate to blast media?

Thanks again.
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Old 03-12-2008, 12:42 AM   #158
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NDS receivers are indeed in the raw.

You can use sandpaper to prep the metal. I suggest you use 320 grit and just scuff the metal in a irregular or random pattern so there is no obvious sanding pattern such as straight lines or swirls. Just try to evenly rough up the steel some and remove any spot stains there may be on the raw steel.

I did a rifle just like you plan on doing where I only rust blued the receiver. This one.




Be sure to read the sections about applying the sealcoat of BLO and lamp black oil paint and then wiping off the excess and then baking it on. That brings it all together.
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Old 03-12-2008, 07:51 PM   #159
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VALMET_M76
Be sure to read the sections about applying the sealcoat of BLO and lamp black oil paint and then wiping off the excess and then baking it on. That brings it all together.
And be sure to THIN the BLO/paint mix well before applying!!! Do not ask me how I know this...
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Old 03-19-2008, 05:05 PM   #160
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Default mid-process degreasing??

Quote:
Originally Posted by VALMET_M76
Remember, this is a very forgiving process. The next rust, boil and card always looks better.
While removing parts from the boiling pan, my cousin (yeah right, cousin...) accidentally touched the rear sight block. I would guess that it would prevent from any more bluing to take place there because of body oils. This is after the 2nd rust/boil cycle.

What do you think? Degrease it with brake cleaner and keep going?
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Old 03-19-2008, 06:29 PM   #161
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Yes, degrease it again after you card it.
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Old 03-25-2008, 07:59 AM   #162
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VALMET_M76
J2T. let the rust progress a little longer before you do the next boil.

Look carefully at this picture and read these words. The focus is not good in this picture but it does show the rust beginnig to bloom on the steel. What you want is for those little rust blooms to completely cover the surface of the steel before boiling. Remember it is the RUST that is converted into the BLUE. You have to let the rust get going really good. The rust in this picture is only just getting started and is a few hours old and was allowed to rust for at least 18 more hours in a VERY warm and humid place. You want the rust to completely cover the metal, I mean so like all you see is RUST, no steel, then boil it.



Also remember to apply the rust blue solution VERY SPARINGLY. It is acid and if you put too much you can remove the blue you have already created. Do not slop it around on the surface of the steel or wipe it back and forth. Apply it so lightly you can just barely tell you put any on. LESS IS BETTER.

It will get darker with every cycle and should really start to get dark by the 5th or 6th cycle if you are letting it get good and rusty before boiling.

Also remember that the metal is oil free. Once you oil it the steel appears darker.

I know the stage you are at and wondered the same thing myself, gun metal grey.

It will get darker.
I'm getting good rust but I have yet to see any blooms. I've been setting my parts near an aquarium in a dry envrionment. No water droplets, good rust color but no blooms! Heavy carding required to get past the fur after boiling. A little darker but nowhere near what you have! I'll post a pic after I wake up this afternoon!
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Old 03-25-2008, 08:59 PM   #163
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J2t-what product are you using? Also, use the bathroom method instead of the fish tank. You need a lot of humidity to make it rust. Put the re-prepped parts in a open container, shut the door and take a long, steaming shower, hell, get the wife or gf involved. Oh, shut the door when your done with the shower, leave the parts in the bathroom all night. I'll bet the next day you will have rust like you won't believe!! Now get your pan of water(distilled water is best)to a rolling boil, drop your parts in and leave them for 20 minutes or so. Remove the parts, let the water cool down and pour the water back into the jugs you bought them in. You can re-use this for every boil no matter how rusty it looks.
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Old 04-16-2008, 08:27 PM   #164
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VALMET_M76
I usually give out at five, rivet the receiver all up and give it one more and then press the barrel.
VALMET - hope this isn't a stupid question, but why don't you rust it again after the barrel is in? is it that your boiling pan is too small or that after pressing the barrel there are no marks/scratches..etc to hide or something else?

thanks!
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Old 04-18-2008, 10:46 AM   #165
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Yes.

My pan won't hold a barreled receiver and there are no marks on the barrel or any other surface after pressing the barrel. Or after riveting the whole receiver together for that matter.
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Old 06-04-2008, 11:15 AM   #166
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Default Are you bluing the inside of the receiver too?

Hi all,

I've looked through the thread and did not see if the rust blue was being applied to the inside of the receiver or not. If you are not rust bluing inside of receiver, what are you doing to protect it??

Thanks,

JJS
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:57 PM   #167
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjsmn
Hi all,

I've looked through the thread and did not see if the rust blue was being applied to the inside of the receiver or not. If you are not rust bluing inside of receiver, what are you doing to protect it??

Thanks,

JJS
This treatment is only for unassembled guns. Once you rivet your kit together it's difficult to use this method of bluing. The carding brushes just aren't made to get into the small spaces of an assembled receiver. The alternative is to leave those spaces "in the white" and oil them a lot.

By the way, if you want to be able to boil an assembled receiver with the barrel pressed in (necessarily if the rear trunnion is mounted), you can buy an iron bluing tank from Brownells. Mine cost $50 shipped to my door. These are the tanks I use for hot bluing, so I know they'll contain an assembled rifle.

On the other hand if you already have the tanks you just can buy the nitrate of soda and lye, and hot-blue your rifle fully assembled in about 1 hour. My hot blued rifles are still holding up fine after a couple year's use. And it DOES hold up to carding, steel wool, and bead blasting. I've done all of them to my rifles with no ill effect.

Last edited by my-rifle; 06-22-2008 at 04:03 PM.
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Old 06-23-2008, 09:05 PM   #168
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Default Rust blue problems

Hello all,

I have been trying my first blue with a Laurel Mtn Forge kit. The results have been a mixed bag. It has taken me much longe than expected to get rust to form despite being in a humid location. The last run I did (treatment 5, I beileve), was done in a sealed plastic box with the parts sitting on a plastic grid over a wet rag. The box was in the sun all day. The rust that developed was minimal. My boiling water was cloudy with rust tinge after the previous boilings. When I took the parts out, some were orange!

I replaced the water with fresh distilled water and boiled again. This time some orange was gone, but orange splothces remained on some of the parts. It took a lot of carding with a bristle brush, toothbrush, cloth and finally a brass brush for the really orange spots.

What's up with this? I have not touched the parts without gloves and suspect no contamination.

Thanks,

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Old 06-24-2008, 07:49 PM   #169
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One thing I have seen vaguely illuded to here but not mentioned specifically is the dedicated sweatbox. Basically nothing more than a plywood hinged box with a shelf in the bottom and a light fixture in the bottom section with a shallow bowl of distilled water to provide the moisture. Should solve any humidity problems, with out big steamy wet results.
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Old 06-25-2008, 01:34 PM   #170
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I'm on my second gun using Brownells Rust Blue. The best method yet I have found is to wait until the drying cycle after the last wash on the dishwasher. Put the parts in real quick and in a half hour i'm rusted up pretty good.
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Old 07-08-2008, 12:51 AM   #171
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Here's a question relating to refinishing/rebluing- has anyone found a viable method for filling in rusted pitting (without grinding it down and changing the profile of the original part) which can then be blued using the rust blue method and have the reblued surface not appear either spotted or textured? It would seem like being able to do that would be VERY useful in refinishing.
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Old 08-14-2008, 04:06 PM   #172
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One of the best how-to threads I've seen in awhile.

I can't wait to try this out.

I've fire blued before but it tends to fade over time -

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Old 01-11-2009, 09:46 PM   #173
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I picked up some rust blue solution from Brownells to use on a few of my kits and I did a test run with my dad's 30+ year-old Ruger MK1. It survived a house fire in a fire proof safe but it took some damage and looked pretty shabby.

I cleaned using a sand blaster, laquer thinner, and one initial boiling. Carding was all performed using 0000 steel wool. I did 5 rust cycles on it.










I love the way it looks as it rusts up.





My dad is going to be pretty stoked when I give this back to him!

Next up is my M70. This is a great informative thread.
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Old 01-19-2009, 06:48 PM   #174
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Here's a dumb question...

On the DCI receivers, they have that dark tint due to the heat treat. Would I still have to sandblast this before I start the rust blue process?
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Old 01-20-2009, 02:28 AM   #175
partsjunkie
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Originally Posted by l4mbr3tt4
Here's a dumb question...

On the DCI receivers, they have that dark tint due to the heat treat. Would I still have to sandblast this before I start the rust blue process?
That shouldn't matter as long as there is a uniform texture on the surface of the part to be blued.
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