Hot Bluing w/Micarta Scales Attached??

Mar 29, 2002
I am not set up to hot blue so can't try it on my own. I also have no experience hot bluing. Can it be done without adverse effects to the micarta or bluing equipment?


Since Micarta has a base similar to epoxy, I think the heat would pretty much destroy it even if the chemicals didn't.....don't know, just a thought.
Also not sure I would want to take chances on the salt compounds working their way under the scales where you can't neutralize them and have them eat the tang away over time.
Hot bluing is usually way above the breakdown temperature of most epoxies.

The other thing is, heating micarta like that will release a lot of phenol, and formaldehyde gasses. You don't need that at all. You'd have to wear a respirator the whole time.
You could always try the old permanent magic marker. :D (Sorry, it's gettin close to quitting time here at work, and I'm getting even sillier than usual) :D
I guess I had forgotten how high in temperature hot bluing goes and I really should have NOT forgotten about the salts used. Thoughtless question on my part. Sorry I wasted good space on it. Thanks though. Carry on :) .

I'd be better off using the magic maker method :eek: :eek:
As Mete said - Cold Rust Bluing.

There are lots of old time recipes out there for the slow method but it can be done in much shorter time.

First get a bottle of Laurel Mtn Forge Barrel Brown & Degreaser - follow the directions exactly until you get a deep dark brown. Once accomplished either dip the part in boiling water (best way) or pour boiling water over the part. The boiling changes the surface oxides from brown to blue/black (it's a chemical reaction that changes the rust from Fe2O3 = ferric oxide to Fe3O4 = ferrous oxide if IIRC).

Simple and easy to do and the finish is very tough when done right. This is the method used for bluing on the high priced doubles and other guns from such great gun companies as Holland & Holland, Purdey, et al.

I've got a blade that I experimented with the above method recently that I'll get a picture of if anyone is interested. It's not a perfect job since I was just experimenting but it will show what a nice blue/black is possible with this method - a method that WILL NOT ruin the temper on a blade.
Excellent info Chuck and I thank both you and Mete for suggesting that option. Yes, I for one am very interested in seeing that picture.

EDIT: I Googled Laurel Mtn Forge and wasn't successful. Do you have a contact number or URL?

Ferric ,Fe+++, therefore Fe2O3, Ferrous, Fe++, therefore FeO. Fe3O4 is a mixture of the two oxides....Words that describe rust red are ferruginous as in the ferruginous hawk and rufous which descibes the tail color of the red tailed hawk.
Laurel Mtn Forge - get it from Brownell's

As stated this was an experiment so it's not perfect - I didn't prep the blade completely and only used a couple of coats before boiling. Also the picture isn't the best - cause I'm too tired to set up for it :yawn:
ANyway it will give you an idea of the possibilities.

Her's an example of properly cold blued rifle action

Next time, send me your part and I can either Nitre blue it or Gun blue it for you. Nitre creates the lustrous vibrant blue/purples...gun blue is of course the nearly black, dark blue (but you know about guns so...).

And I'll second what folks here have said.

Excellent info. Thanks again Chuck and Nick - and Mete for more on the chemistry lesson.

Brownell's it is then. I'll look it up on their site.

Looks like my ignorant question wasn't so fruitless after all.

Roger, how about Brownell's cold blue? They offer several really good cold blues on pages 182 and 183 of catalog 56, which can still be ordered out of. Nice thing, too, you only have to spend just a few bucks. Compared to how much you will have to spend for do it yourself hot blue, it's a real bargain, too.
Big John, I don't believe I would want to trust cold bluing for more than only small parts and touch ups. I do have some cold blues and have used them but I would not trust it for an entire blade.

Yeah, it would make a big difference between the furniture and the blade. AND, piece of mind of how it is gonna hold up.