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Bluing Large Pieces FAQ

FAQ Bluing Large Pieces

Bluing Large

"How to Blue" big items.
Pictured is the 2 Foot Wide Structure of what would be from a handgun of a really big giant. It's a sculpture of course.

So it is possible to "do it large."

By now, especially if you have tried anything else, when you are doing large pieces, you want it to be done fast - especially if you are doing wall art, because your customer does not have months to wait, nor can the customer afford all the man hours: It need to install fast and easy, with preferably the finish done before installation.

Mentioned last is a conversation done with Jim, the owner of the piece Fear_1.

In addition to what is mentioned, really large art (10 by 10 foot steel panels) or other sizes, you can use any brush that is larger then a tooth brush all the way up to a soft to medium bristled driveway brush: basically anything the equivalent of an acid brush, applicator brush (as in for walls) snow brush (Winter where there is ice) All sorts of Automotive and Parts etc. cleaning brushes: anything that will function like the tooth brush or small shoe polish dauber brush (The kind with the brown bristles). These allow it to be applied without cloths diluting the bluing.

After the fact preservatives range from Wax to Clear Coat, but Clear Coat is the most popular for large ornamental and Wall-Art, though Oil-based Wood finish was used on one Wall Art - so User preferences vary from Customer to Customer. In any case customers have different techniques, so it is nice to learn the variety.

Here it is

Blog Style, Last First, Customer Private information deleted.

From: Jim
Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2005 11:05 AM
To: Shooter Solutions
Subject: RE: Bluing large piece

At long last I have some pictures. I am still working on the piece and will add some frayed wire cable to the "stem" just below the cylinder section to add visual bulk to it and balance the sections. Here are some shots of the piece after bluing of the cylinder.

Thanks for your help!

From: Main
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2004 7:38 PM
To: Jim
Subject: RE: Bluing large piece

If you want to keep it warm, use mild indirect heat: infrared or Sun, but I don't think any heat after the fact will be necessary.

(If you really like the results and do a digital photo(s) of your creation: especially in the Sunlight (Where there won't be any brown)

I would love you to attach it later to an email.

Instructions are detailed so you will have good results, not just for a sale LOL.


Shooter Solutions /
Extreme Prep, Finishes, Performance, and Treating metal

-----Original Message-----
From: Jim
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2004 5:22 PM
Subject: RE: Bluing large piece

Thank you for the detailed response! I'll order the materials and use your instructions… thanks.
One more question. About how warm does the piece need to be while applying the bluing?

From: []
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2004 1:27 PM
To: Jim
Subject: RE: Bluing large piece

Well, since it will be a show piece, I would
  • 4C the whole thing first, and heat dry.
  • Then with it oxide free (No need to sand blast) then Blue it by keeping a section wet:
  • You can imitate immersion of the whole piece by having the whole piece on top of plastic (Item warmed up already and placed there) Then use a wide brush to keep a section soaked at a time.
  • A wallpaper brush would probably be best as wetting without retaining bluing = best. Any runoff into the tray can be reused until the entire cylinder is done.
  • For best preservative, Wax or Rustoleum clear coat method = best. (For a work of art = solvent based clear coat = best. You have a work of art, not a gun, so you are using it as a Architectural Blue rather then a gun blue.) And yes, when an architect specifies Architect blue = Cold Gun Blue since it is too big usually for hot blue.
  • You may need a couple of quarts, and one bottle of 4C per Quart of Blue will be sufficient for welding. (Whether 1 Quart or 2 = how well you reuse runnoff technique and no use of rags and cloths)
  • I would use Shooter Solutions' because it reacts with the steel nice and slow like it should. (Though black may start sooner - you want to let it work for a minute.)
  • Does this help. (For checking all products, click on Amazing Products.)

Jonathan Doege
Shooter Solutions / molyfusion1.html
Extreme Prep, Finishes, Performance, and Treating metal

From: Jim
Sent: Saturday, September 25, 2004 12:07 PM
Subject: Bluing large piece

I was reading your instructions in anticipation of ordering a quart of bluing when I realized it would be smarter to ask you how to approach my task.

I have constructed a hollow cylinder (based on my S&W chief's special) from welded mild steel- it is about 24" in diameter and 18" deep. I want to blue the whole thing. (I have cast bronze cartridge ends to insert in the cylinder when finished.)

I can heat the piece with a heat gun or with an acetylene torch but I have no way to maintain a specific temperature.

What is the best way to blue this piece? I want to do a good job but I can't afford hundreds of dollars for this project…

Thank you for your help!



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