Shops doing much bluing will find it desirable to arrange two sets of burners, and at least two tanks—one for use with a strong alkali cleaning solution, and one containing clean water for rinsing. If a hot solution is to be used for bluing, a third tank may well be added, standing it between the two sets of burners. In use, the barrel and action is first boiled in the alkali cleaning solution; then immediately dropped into clean warm water to remove the alkali; then into the third rank, in which the water is boiling and the solution ready for use, as described later. See Figure 125.
But, for the man with a home workshop, or the small gunsmith doing only a few bluing jobs per year, a single tank will answer nicely. Figure 126 shows a simple and inexpensive outfit within reach of any crank. The tank should be of heavy black iron—not tin or galvanized—and any tin or sheet metal works will make a good one at small rnst. Or, mak* it yourself by folding back the comers of a piece of metal, and putting a rivet near the top edge. The other essentiob arc: a can or two of household lye; a quantity of fine steel wool; several pairs of white cotJon gloves; a few clean rags of cotton or linen; a small scrubbing brush with long handle; some powdered pumice stone; small iron wire bristled scratch brush; and every one of these items may be purchased at the five-and-ten-cent store except the rags, which you will probably steal, if you're onto your job.
Was this article helpful?