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Old 06-17-2019, 06:30 PM   #16
swjXE
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I'd use bronze wool before steel wool. Bronze wool will remove rust, but won't remove original blue unlike steel wool.
I agree, with steel wool you have to be much more careful to avoid taking off original bluing!
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:21 AM   #17
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I'd use bronze wool before steel wool. Bronze wool will remove rust, but won't remove original blue unlike steel wool.
Are you kidding? The original finish was obtained by rusting the parts, and then carding the rust off with steel wool. Later fine wire wheels were used to speed up the rust removal. The process was repeated until the desired color of blue was achieved.

Bronze wool cannot be used for the rust bluing process as it rubs off on the metal, preventing the part from rusting evenly.
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Old 06-18-2019, 08:54 AM   #18
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When removing rust from a gun, it is the rust itself that is abrasive. It has formed iron oxide with is very abrasive. If the rust is allowed to build up on even the softest cloth, ithe cloth becomes abrasive. Use small pads of 4/0 steel wool, and discard as it picks up the rust.

Never heard of using cold blue for rust removal, but it gives the metal a funky copper sulfate rotten egg smell that lingers for a long time.
I agree. I have always used 4-0 and some CLP. 4-0 will never scratch any surface, and besides using it on fine firearms, metal fittings on old field gear, I even use it on granite countertops.

Would never use cold blue. Any savy collector can always recognize a firearm where cold blue has been used.
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Old 06-18-2019, 03:18 PM   #19
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The "Big 45 Frontier Metal Cleaner" is also an excellent choice. It is a stainless steel/nickel alloy, and works great where a lot of rust has to be removed. It is fairly coarse and hard to get up in the tight spots. A piece of 4/0 steel wool stretched over a fingernail works great in the tight places like where the barrel butts up to the receiver.

www.big45metalcleaner.com
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Old 06-19-2019, 04:21 PM   #20
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Are you kidding? The original finish was obtained by rusting the parts, and then carding the rust off with steel wool. Later fine wire wheels were used to speed up the rust removal. The process was repeated until the desired color of blue was achieved.

Bronze wool cannot be used for the rust bluing process as it rubs off on the metal, preventing the part from rusting evenly.
Johnny,
Of course you're correct that bronze wool can't be used for the rust bluing process, but we're talking about taking rust off of the surface of the rust blue without damaging original bluing. The smartest veteran collectors I know use the edge of a nickel (5 cent piece) after soaking the rust in ATF for awhile. Scrape a little off at a time, removing loose rust sludge frequently with a soft cloth or Kleenex. Always re apply the ATF with a Q-Tip to prevent streaking with the nickel. When the nickels edge gets dull just keep turning it to a sharper spot. You can cut the nickel into strips and sharpen with a file to get into small areas and hold onto them with a small vise grip pliers, If you slip with the vise grip you can scratch the gun, so be very careful. If you get a streak from the nickel (rubbing too hard) don't panic, apply some Ballistol with a Q-Tip , let sit a couple of hours, wipe off and re apply until you dissolve it. Remember you're not dealing with some old Arkansas toothpick here, this Luger deserves the best treatment you can give it.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:15 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Johnny Peppers View Post
Are you kidding? The original finish was obtained by rusting the parts, and then carding the rust off with steel wool. Later fine wire wheels were used to speed up the rust removal. The process was repeated until the desired color of blue was achieved.

Bronze wool cannot be used for the rust bluing process as it rubs off on the metal, preventing the part from rusting evenly.
Steel wool will very easily remove original finish. Bronze will will not. That has zero to do with the process of rust bluing and carding.
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Old 06-19-2019, 09:19 PM   #22
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Johnny,
Of course you're correct that bronze wool can't be used for the rust bluing process, but we're talking about taking rust off of the surface of the rust blue without damaging original bluing. The smartest veteran collectors I know use the edge of a nickel (5 cent piece) after soaking the rust in ATF for awhile. Scrape a little off at a time, removing loose rust sludge frequently with a soft cloth or Kleenex. Always re apply the ATF with a Q-Tip to prevent streaking with the nickel. When the nickels edge gets dull just keep turning it to a sharper spot. You can cut the nickel into strips and sharpen with a file to get into small areas and hold onto them with a small vise grip pliers, If you slip with the vise grip you can scratch the gun, so be very careful. If you get a streak from the nickel (rubbing too hard) don't panic, apply some Ballistol with a Q-Tip , let sit a couple of hours, wipe off and re apply until you dissolve it. Remember you're not dealing with some old Arkansas toothpick here, this Luger deserves the best treatment you can give it.
I ended up with a pre war S&W K22 that had been neglected over the years. After soaking in Ed's Red (ATF, kerosine, and mineral spirts) for a couple days, a nickle and bronze wool cleaned it up remarkably well.
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Old 06-19-2019, 10:02 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by jtb1967 View Post
I ended up with a pre war S&W K22 that had been neglected over the years. After soaking in Ed's Red (ATF, kerosine, and mineral spirts) for a couple days, a nickle and bronze wool cleaned it up remarkably well.
JTB,
Thanks for backing me up on this.
I've seen too many fine pieces ruined by being over cleaned with steel wool and "prettied up"with that stinky cold blue! I'm sure you have too.
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Old 06-20-2019, 08:03 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by swjXE View Post
Johnny,
Of course you're correct that bronze wool can't be used for the rust bluing process, but we're talking about taking rust off of the surface of the rust blue without damaging original bluing. The smartest veteran collectors I know use the edge of a nickel (5 cent piece) after soaking the rust in ATF for awhile. Scrape a little off at a time, removing loose rust sludge frequently with a soft cloth or Kleenex. Always re apply the ATF with a Q-Tip to prevent streaking with the nickel. When the nickels edge gets dull just keep turning it to a sharper spot. You can cut the nickel into strips and sharpen with a file to get into small areas and hold onto them with a small vise grip pliers, If you slip with the vise grip you can scratch the gun, so be very careful. If you get a streak from the nickel (rubbing too hard) don't panic, apply some Ballistol with a Q-Tip , let sit a couple of hours, wipe off and re apply until you dissolve it. Remember you're not dealing with some old Arkansas toothpick here, this Luger deserves the best treatment you can give it.
Have been using 4/0 steel wool to remove rust on guns for many years and have yet to scratch one or remove the original rust blue. As noted in earlier post it really doesn't matter what you use if you let the iron oxide (rust) build up in whatever you are using as it then becomes abrasive. In using anything like a nickel to scrape off rust is a risky venture. A local refinery uses bronze wedges to break flanges. One of the locals was telling how good the bronze wedges worked to scrape off rust if the edge was filed filed down square. It worked beautifully until he apparenty got a particle of the rust in the edge and scratched through the blue in several places.

As to Ballistol, it is mostly mineral oil so just use baby oil and it smells much nicer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuP4m6L95K4
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Old 06-20-2019, 09:50 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Johnny Peppers View Post
Have been using 4/0 steel wool to remove rust on guns for many years and have yet to scratch one or remove the original rust blue. As noted in earlier post it really doesn't matter what you use if you let the iron oxide (rust) build up in whatever you are using as it then becomes abrasive. In using anything like a nickel to scrape off rust is a risky venture. A local refinery uses bronze wedges to break flanges. One of the locals was telling how good the bronze wedges worked to scrape off rust if the edge was filed filed down square. It worked beautifully until he apparenty got a particle of the rust in the edge and scratched through the blue in several places.

As to Ballistol, it is mostly mineral oil so just use baby oil and it smells much nicer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuP4m6L95K4
Well Johnny, I guess it's just "Different strokes for different folks."
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:06 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Johnny Peppers View Post
Have been using 4/0 steel wool to remove rust on guns for many years and have yet to scratch one or remove the original rust blue. As noted in earlier post it really doesn't matter what you use if you let the iron oxide (rust) build up in whatever you are using as it then becomes abrasive. In using anything like a nickel to scrape off rust is a risky venture. A local refinery uses bronze wedges to break flanges. One of the locals was telling how good the bronze wedges worked to scrape off rust if the edge was filed filed down square. It worked beautifully until he apparenty got a particle of the rust in the edge and scratched through the blue in several places.

As to Ballistol, it is mostly mineral oil so just use baby oil and it smells much nicer.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vuP4m6L95K4
Well I guess you can remove rust with a chainsaw if you have the skills, but most gunsmiths will tell you bronze wool is safer on gun blue. It's softer than steel. I've used a nickle on tough spots for years and known many others that have with zero damage from the nickle. It's generally only used on very stubborn rust spots. Of course spots that bad have already damaged the original finish, the nickle just scrapes off the heavier rust.
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Old 06-20-2019, 11:30 AM   #27
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Well I guess you can remove rust with a chainsaw if you have the skills, but most gunsmiths will tell you bronze wool is safer on gun blue. It's softer than steel. I've used a nickle on tough spots for years and known many others that have with zero damage from the nickle. It's generally only used on very stubborn rust spots. Of course spots that bad have already damaged the original finish, the nickle just scrapes off the heavier rust.
Amen!
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Old 06-20-2019, 02:58 PM   #28
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Well I guess you can remove rust with a chainsaw if you have the skills, but most gunsmiths will tell you bronze wool is safer on gun blue. It's softer than steel. I've used a nickle on tough spots for years and known many others that have with zero damage from the nickle. It's generally only used on very stubborn rust spots. Of course spots that bad have already damaged the original finish, the nickle just scrapes off the heavier rust.
Chainsaw? Lost control and the bus went into the ditch.
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