Bluing Metal Tracks

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Postby jackalope » Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:16 am

Greengiant if you want damn near bullet proof last for LOOOOOONG time try real rust bluing the way it was done back in the late 1800's. Thats REAL bluing and it lasts the longest out of any method, of course it also takes the longest and is very labor intensive and requires exact timing intervals that you leave the rust bluing on for in a heated humidity box. But the results FANTASTIC! Its what I use when I restore German Lugers. 8)
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Postby greengiant » Tue Apr 28, 2015 8:18 pm

I have seen the results that can be achieved by that method but I'd rather send a real gun out to someone to do a complete strip down and reblue. I have A 1917 in 45 apc that is a great shooter. It's not Historically valuable one but over the many years I've had it I've worn most of the original bluing off and am thinking of sending it out to have the timing checked and a new barrel put on along with a complete strip down and reblueing. Also a new side plate without the Argentinian police force logo stamped on it.
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Postby westyIII » Thu Oct 29, 2015 11:33 am

Some great looking tracks here, but a quick question, what material are Taigen Metal Tracks?

This is a great method, and I have used the Birchwood's 'Aluminium Blue' to create a blued effect on aluminium before.

But want to get the correct stuff, and I know little about liquid Bluing!

Cheers

Will
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Postby SovereignZuul » Tue Jan 26, 2016 6:00 pm

Hey Westy, sorry haven't been too active on the forums.

Not sure about Taigen. Seems like most tracks are pot metal (zinc).

My really high end tracks segments form the turret and front spare are steel though! Can't recall which brand they are right now.

The blue worked equally well on both the steel and zinc tracks I have.
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Postby Del » Fri Jan 29, 2016 5:39 pm

I've just used the same bluing fluid as everyone else but my technique was slightly different.
After washing the tracks I put enough fluid in a bowl to cover the tracks (the bowl was tilted slightly to reduce the amount needed).i then just dragged the tracks through the fluid and hey presto.
I didn't use any kind of brushing and it took less time to do than typing this post.
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Postby Del » Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:01 pm

In my previous post I used the birchwood casey super blue ordered from the Internet.90ml for 7 ish quid plus postage.
I needed to do some kv1 tracks but didn't want to wait for postage so ent to my local gun shop.He sold a different cold blue solution for £10.55 for 250 ml.
In use it performs the same as the birchwood casey but takes slightly longer to change colour going sort of bronze looking through to black,I liked having a bit more control tbh and the better value.
The real bonus being I can nip found the corner when I need some.
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Postby SovereignZuul » Tue Jun 21, 2016 6:40 pm

Looking great Del!
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Postby siegfried » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:15 pm

There is also a product for aluminium or pot metal parts called "Aluminium black" same type of product as the steel blues above, comes in liquid form and works in the same way but colours and sticks to aluminium parts in the way the steel blues wont. Always neutralise the acid with a water or oil coat and then seal the finish after, as the acid in the product will oxidize on the metal and later wear or rub off easy if not sealed, very nasty marks will be left on a carpet too :D . Aluminium back also gives a nice dark brown to black finish not bluish like the other products.

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Postby siegfried » Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:28 pm

Forgot to say you can also get the paste version of blue as well as liquid form, just rub on with a toothbrush. If you apply more than once, each time you apply a coat it will get darker. Do not forget to neutralise that acid with water or oil and do not wait for it to dry out too long before oil application and sealing or it will look bad and rub off the metal surface easy.

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Postby jackalope » Tue Nov 08, 2016 10:29 pm

I wonder what the aluminum blue is? Normal gun bluing attacks pot metal and starts to desolate it due to the acids in it. Any idea what this aluminum bluing is made from?
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Postby siegfried » Sat Nov 12, 2016 11:38 am

Got some in the garage will post its name and maker later today, so long as you stop the acid process with water or oil after you get the colour you want then it is fine, I seal with clear paint after to prevent further oxidization, when it wears off you get the bare metal to high points look, just like real tracks or use wire wool to bring out this look on the high points of the track, easy.

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Postby siegfried » Sat Nov 12, 2016 5:58 pm

Product is called Aluminium Black and it is made by Birchwood Casey. I have used it on pot metal alloy and also brass and it works well, for steel and high ferrous content metals use the blue suggested by others above. For alloy metals with low ferrous content or pot metals as used in many parts kits and some tracks you will have more luck with Aluminium Black as the usual blue only sticks well to high ferrous content metal as the acid needs to rust to make the blue finish on the surface. Easy to tell which to use, if the metal can rust, use blue if the metal does not rust use aluminium black. Hope that helps.

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Postby Sabre27 » Tue Dec 10, 2019 7:43 am

Hi Everyone,
Just to renew this thread , my experience last week on bluing Challenger 2 tracks from brand new 2019 Version 6 tank.

Firstly as siegfried said above the product to use is Birchwood Casey-Aluminium Black .
The Heng Long tracks are totally non ferrous, the only reason a magnet sticks to the tracks slightly when placed over several links is the attraction to the steel track pins!!

I used 2 bottles, 1 for each track with some left over. Use fresh bottle for each track.
This is NOT a quick job as described above on the tracks for a M1 or C2 as opposed to the WW 2 tracks most people in this thread did above due to the shape of the track plates!

METHOD
I cleaned off tracks with rubbing alcohol and let dry.
Wear gloves and glasses, this is acidic!!!... but looks like windex.

Pour 1 bottle into a small bowl with circular bottom shape to get sufficient depth of liquid.
Hold tracks open like a necklace in an open loop and slowly pass bottom of loop thru the liquid, working your way around slowly, I did it several times.
I also used a brush with 1 hand on INSIDE of track as I passed it thru the liquid to force it into the square holes where the rubber track pads would go on the more expensive tracks with this feature.

I found this necessary (using brush) after my first attempt as despite tracks being completely submerged a number of these square areas were still metal colour as liquid did not touch them!! (due surface tension of liquid forming a bubble even though this was not visually apparent!!)

MODERN TRACKS- the other problem area on these tracks which was not apparent until removing from liquid and then immersing and washing in water after 2 to 3 min to nuetralize the acid was this-

Due to the surface tension of the liquid MANY of the small holes between the “track blocks” on each track link was also untouched and still metal colour.
I had to use a small brush to put a blob of liquid over each hole then work it into holes with wooden toothpicks moving back and forth in the holes. This took a long damn time!!
Once done all that rinsed off thoroughly and let dry in hot sun ( summer here in Australia)
Next step- I told you this wasnt a quick 20 min job!!

It took me several hours total!!

Rub off the inside and outside flat surfaces thoroughly to get off the loose oxide powder with a dry microfibre type cloth.
Then get a dry toothbrush and holding each link gap open between each track link brush a few times to remove powder build up in there too.
Then wash off all oxide dust , dry again and you are done !!

The results look Excellent!!

But I am worried that any running on pavers or concrete will scratch off the black oxide revealing the bright shiny metal underneath which may look ok on WW 2 tracks but not on modern ones that have rubber track block shape squares!!
I don't want to spray on a sealer coat as this will scratch off too anyway and then when needing to re blue with a brush over the scratches on the outer blocks there will be a layer of sealer paint over everything contaminating the surface.
Hope this helps anyone wanting to blue their new tracks!! Cheers All!! ;-))

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Postby whitewolf » Fri Apr 16, 2021 9:39 pm

How much of this would I need to do a set of King Tiger tracks?

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Postby Rob1970 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 9:04 am

I've used the Birchwood Casey Perma Blue Paste in my Heng Long Sherman tracks instead of the liquid.
https://www.amazon.com/Birchwood-Casey-Perma-Paste-2-Ounce/dp/B000LC601K
I figured it would be easier to control on application than a liquid (less splashy). Important step is washing the tracks with plenty of hot water and dishwashing soap. I didn't sand them or anything, just made sure they were completely dry.

Application is pretty easy with an old toothbrush. Ofcourse while wearing gloves and a face guard/glasses. After letting the paste do it's work for about 10 minutes I rinsed them in a bucket of cold water and while keeping them submerged I pulled the tracks between two nail/hand brushed I screwed to a piece of wood with the bristles overlapping slightly. The brushing and dunking action cleaned of most of the residu. Just to be sure I put them on the ground and gave them a blast with my power washer. Dried them with compressed air, getting all the water out of the links was the last step.

I repeated the process twice, and each time I used a walnut sized dollop on an old saucer to do a whole track. The results are not being done justice by the pictures...

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It's a very dark brown/almost black colour...

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A few runs through sand an on the street rubbed the black off in all the right places. I like this look...

Image

TTFN,
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