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The big advantage I see for steaming is it provides a way for the hobbyist or amateur gunsmith to quickly and inexpensively rust blue. If you already have tanks, burners, etc., then perhaps you go with what you have and know. Otherwise you are looking at a sizable investment to purchase a tank, stand, and pipe burner. If you buy it from Brownells you are looking at nearly $400 compared to $40 if a steamer is built from new parts by my plans. Less if you have some of the pieces already. Yes, there is a learning curve with steaming but once mastered you can produce fine work. The two big factors are to maintain a high boil and contain the steam with appropriate venting.
 
Posts: 2176 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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dpcd

Looking at the barreled action in your "steamer" one cannot see if you plugged the bore. I assume that you do, so how do you plug the bore so that you do not rust it with the hot steam.

Muchas gracias,

Hoot
 
Posts: 751 | Location: La Luz, New Mexico USA | Registered: 08 March 2001Reply With Quote
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Like dpcd I've never had a bore rust from steaming or even in a sweat-box. I used to coat the inside of the bore with clear lacquer but also found out later that the bore wouldn't rust if I didn't. The only reason I can see to plug the bore is if you are using fume blueing where everything that comes into contact with the acid fumes will rust. With liquid cold rust blues you control what gets coated and that's what will rust.

I used to repair valves at nuclear power plants. Every time I've been inside a high pressure steam line (yes inside, they are 3-4 ft in diameter) the cast steel valves and steel piping were jet black as if they had been rust blued. Never saw any rust in one. The high temps just won't allow it.
 
Posts: 2176 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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dpcd and Bobster,

Thank you for answering my post. Got to thinking about what you said and the barrel gets real hot and when you quit adding "steam" the bore will dry very quickly. I am going to build one of these "steamers". Again my thanks

Hoot
 
Posts: 751 | Location: La Luz, New Mexico USA | Registered: 08 March 2001Reply With Quote
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Hi Bobster, yes the steel is black/blue once it is carded. I was lucky in that I did not have to purchase any tanks as I have a friend who made up two stainless tanks for me and I had a spare 6 burner BBQ hanging around my shed after the wife won a brand new one. My only outlay is for LPG. I will give it another try and see what happens.
Must say that the steel cards off far better when I use my tanks as compared to the steamer
 
Posts: 56 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 01 August 2008Reply With Quote
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Once you get the temp up with a high volume of steam the carding will be easier. It should wipe off with steel wool.
quote:
Originally posted by chop3r:
Hi Bobster, yes the steel is black/blue once it is carded. I was lucky in that I did not have to purchase any tanks as I have a friend who made up two stainless tanks for me and I had a spare 6 burner BBQ hanging around my shed after the wife won a brand new one. My only outlay is for LPG. I will give it another try and see what happens.
Must say that the steel cards off far better when I use my tanks as compared to the steamer
 
Posts: 2176 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Hell, when I use my steamer, the black rust wipes off with a paper towel; but I do use steel wool. It is black soot. You must not be getting enough hot steam in the pipe, staying in it.
 
Posts: 11350 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Just a simple question - If doing the steam method, do you have to use Distilled or DI water? Will the steam not be virtually distilled water in constitution?


"When the wind stops....start rowing. When the wind starts, get the sail up quick."
 
Posts: 10168 | Location: New Zealand | Registered: 02 July 2008Reply With Quote
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That is correct. You can use tap water as the steam is virtually pure. Once the water begins to boil any volatiles flash off and you are left with a contaminant free steam.
 
Posts: 2176 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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