Absolutely perfect!! And I just passed along what I learned from R. Angier. All of the armories back in the day steamed their products. I will add that you need to use the cellular core (read thick walled) PVC so it won't warp due to the heat.
I use a pressure cooker a lot for cooking and I am trying to understand how this would work.
the pressure, and hence the steam, come obviously from the water heating to over 212 because of pressure. If you introduce any hole to that pressure you will get steam for a little while until the pressure drops and the water returns to its boiling point, at which point there is very little steam.
so how long do you think you can maintain steam with this setup?
I think "steam" is being used generically here. The boiling water produces enough water vapor at high enough temperature to perform the task. That's great idea and why I love this site. Always something new to learn! Thanks!
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Posts: 11018 | Location: Texas, USA | Registered: 22 September 2003
4 inch pipe. There is no pressure involved; you can tell that by the 5, one inch holes I drilled in the lid. I just used a pressure cooker because the lid locks on; more stable than a regular pot. The steam rises naturally and fills the pipe with, steam, which converts the rust to black iron. You do get steam from boiling water at 212, obviously. The water vapor does not have to be under pressure; it is still steam. That is ILO boiling the parts.
I kind of done the same thing except I made a wood box and have a small crock pot that sets at the bottom and puts off steam. I've added a couple refinements after this picture was made but you get the idea.
_____________________ Steve Traxson
Posts: 1634 | Location: Green Country Oklahoma | Registered: 03 August 2007
Just to be clear; I used a pressure cooker only because the lid locks on; there is zero pressure (beyond normal atmospheric) in it because I drilled five, one inch holes in the lid. The steam created by boiling water rises into the vertical tube and turns the rust into black oxide.
When you boil the parts you use distilled water, right? But that wouldn't matter with water boiled for steam would it. I bet you could even use pond water. I like the sound of it, "I would like to have it Pond Water blued".
Posts: 10473 | Location: North of the Columbia | Registered: 28 April 2008
Yes, that is another benefit to steaming; I don't have to use distilled water; the steam is free from minerals, chemicals, etc. Pond water will work as well. I do have a creek nearby, but I think I will just use tap water, which here, comes right from the Mississippi. they do add chlorine. So, it will be "Pure Mississippi River Water Blued".
For those who might be curious, carding is the process, after you turn your red rust to black, it will be fluffy (not sure how to describe it, but it needs to be removed), to remove the rust down to the steel, which will be darker with each iteration of the process. You use either a very fine wire wheel, or steel wool, degreased first. Rub the parts until you get all the black rust off but don't scrub the black color off. After from 2 or 4 applications, the metal will be black/blue. Wash it and oil it. You are done. I left out some details; not intended to be a complete lesson here.
Not got to try it yet but I picked up a wagner wallpaper steamer, picked up a fitting for pipe, turned to fit hole in steamer, hold pipe in my bench vice it just sits over the steamer hole , don't have to worry about tipping over (stuff happens).
No matter where you go or what you do there you are! Yes tis true and tis pity but pity tis, tis true.
Mark, with steam, total conversion is done in 10 minutes. I do 15 minutes just to be sure. Also, I always bring the system up to operating temp before putting the steel in to avoid spotting and/or streaking.
Thanks for posting the pictures, very neat. I'm gonna be trying this soon and appreciate the tips and pointers.
On a side note......throughout our dealings and communications I allways figgered you where an awful smart fella........that saucer thingy....man, that's living dangerously! And then you even posted evidence!
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Posts: 32702 | Location: Crosby and Barksdale, Texas | Registered: 18 September 2006
She wasn't home for any of the boilings, and anyway, she has 6 of them. I figured she wouldn't miss one if it fell, and it is pretty stable. I went for another coat; total of 4; probably won't make any difference but I did it anyway. It was black, with even coverage after 3; not bad even after 2.
Great tutorial DPCD! That's a good pic of the before and after carding. A picture is indeed worth a thousand words. All of my formulas were developed to blue guns quickly and cheaply with minimum labor because the armories(in the day) were filling gov't contracts. They didn't have the time or resources to take 2-3 weeks to blue a gun when they needed to produce 1,000 a day. 3-4 passes is the norm for a complete even black as you so elegantly illustrated.
Steam is far more efficient at conversion than boiling water; both in time, fuel expense, and cost of special water. It is faster cycling, creates a deeper black, a more adherent black, and easier to card oxide. This equals less labor. With a sweatbox a gun can easily be rust blued in a day.
Yes, this can be duplicated by diluting most solutions by 50% with distilled water and ethyl alcohol. A good 80 proof vodka will do the job. This converts it into a weaker solution and the alcohol serves as a surfactant, thinning the concentration on the metal and further reducing rust grain size. Small rust grains translate into less pitting and a glossier finish. I believe many gunmakers of the period also applied black tinted boiled linseed oil to the metal after bluing and wiped it down until there was no residue on the surface but in the pores. After it cured, it was then baked at around 300 F until it cured hard. This was then waxed.
Originally posted by Nakihunter: I hae seen article which claim that when you do 8+ rust and boil cycle, the old British deep rich finish is the result.
I sure would like to try this on my Mannlicher Schoenauer
Posts: 2038 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002
No and they won't rust like you think they will; just finished this double rifle and cleaned out the barrels; zero rust. But you certainly can and the plugs won't leak or come out like when you boil in water. Another tip; OIL. Back when rust bluing was the only game in town, meaning in the early to mid 1800s, they did not use petroleum oil. All oil was either plant or animal based. So, I do not oil with modern oils, many of which are formulated for rust removal, which is not what we want. I use linseed oil. Wish I could get whale oil or sperm oil, like they used. Olive oil will work too.
I have been doing rust bluing for a couple of years and used tanks but have given the steaming a try and I have a question. I assume that the steel is meant to turn black, correct? cause mine doesnt and thats after a 10-15 minute steam. Its always a red rust colour
Posts: 56 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 01 August 2008
Originally posted by chop3r: I have been doing rust bluing for a couple of years and used tanks but have given the steaming a try and I have a question. I assume that the steel is meant to turn black, correct? cause mine doesnt and thats after a 10-15 minute steam. Its always a red rust colour
When you card is it black underneath? Sounds like perhaps the volume of steam is not adequate. The water in the boiler must be at high boil and the system capped, but vented. This saturates the interior at high temperature. Steam needs to escape the pipe in steady volume.
Posts: 2038 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002