Color case hardening

Anything to do with gun smithing.
Brent
Marksman 1st Class
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:24 am

Re: Color case hardening

Post by Brent » Mon Dec 29, 2014 9:27 pm

This is an amazing thread. I really enjoyed reading it when I discovered it a year ago.

Now I have a Marlin of my own to work on. It is an old 95 that was badly Bubbaed. Very badly. Now it has some egregious holes welded shut and new barrel, new wood, and I'm commencing with finishing the surfaces. The receiver needs polishing, but nothing major except for the welds. Files and emery paper seem to cut the metal even though it is a case colored action, so I'm tempted to do the polishing w/o annealing first. However, I notice that each time an action was experimentally recolored in this thread, it seems it was annealed first. Is this necessary for metallurgical reasons, or can I skip this if I don't mind the hard surfaces?

This is how it came to me, the welding was for the holes drilled in the sides and top of the receiver ring.
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~jessie/P ... dition.jpg

User avatar
marlinman93
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 2416
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Color case hardening

Post by marlinman93 » Sat Jan 31, 2015 4:27 pm

I've never had a Marlin receiver annealed before polishing. It's not that hard to polish them out normally, unless they have any pitting that needs lots of sanding block work.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Brent
Marksman 1st Class
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:24 am

Re: Color case hardening

Post by Brent » Sat Jan 31, 2015 9:22 pm

Yes, I ended up polishing w/o annealing. It is almost ready for colors. I have a 500 grit finish but will take it to at least 600.

User avatar
marlinman93
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 2416
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Color case hardening

Post by marlinman93 » Wed Mar 11, 2015 5:58 pm

Normally a 360-400 grit is plenty smooth enough to match original Marlin finish. I did a 400 on mine, and was told it might be too shiny. It looked like chrome polished to 400 grit.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Brent
Marksman 1st Class
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:24 am

Re: Color case hardening

Post by Brent » Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:16 pm

marlinman93 wrote:Normally a 360-400 grit is plenty smooth enough to match original Marlin finish. I did a 400 on mine, and was told it might be too shiny. It looked like chrome polished to 400 grit.

I cannot say I agree with you on this one. I polished to 800 grit in this case and I am glad I did. Polishing to even a well-worn-paper 400 grit is no enough for me, and it certainly does not look like chrome. Even a 1000 grit polish won't do that. I am sort of picky about my polishing, esp on barrels and rarely stop at less than 1000 for a good rust blue. I know what the rest of the world says, but I've redone enough of my own barrels not to go there again.

anyway, this is how it turned out. A little on the gaudy side maybe, but I'll keep it like this until I get tired of it and decide to tone it down with Simichrome.

http://www.public.iastate.edu/~jessie/P ... olored.jpg

http://www.public.iastate.edu/~jessie/P ... olored.jpg


PS. Enter another plea for modern pixel/file size limits for picts, please :)

calinb
Beginner
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 3:44 pm

Re: Color case hardening

Post by calinb » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:40 pm

Brent, Isn't CCH supposed to look "gaudy?" :P I say the more gaudy the better and I think it looks fantastic! I have to repair the kiln I got for my project and probably won't get to it for a while longer. I'd love to get your results someday. Again, great work!

Brent
Marksman 1st Class
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:24 am

Re: Color case hardening

Post by Brent » Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:52 pm

Calinb -
just to be clear - I did the polishing, but I did not do the case coloring. I hired out for that. Classic Guns in Illinois did that work, 9 days including shipping. I have always been very happy with them.

calinb
Beginner
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat May 26, 2012 3:44 pm

Re: Color case hardening

Post by calinb » Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:48 pm

Thanks, Brent. I don't always have time to keep up with this thread and I only read back only as far as the polishing discussion.

Well--your 800 grit polishing efforts paid off and that's a thumbs-up for Classic Guns for sure!

User avatar
marlinman93
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 2416
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Color case hardening

Post by marlinman93 » Sun Jun 28, 2015 12:35 pm

Brent, I'm by no means an expert, but I've got friends who have done both rust bluing, and CCH for many decades who are. You may polish to your heart's content, but I've had my barrels and receivers polished with 400 grit for many years, and more often when one of them is rust blued by one of the pros, they always tell me they'll need to knock the finish down with a scotchbrite pad, or it wont take a good rust bluing.
On the receivers I've had CCH, I've had both Ballard Arms in Cody, and Al Springer in Montana do my CCH, and done with 400 grit they've come out gorgeous. Neither company needed to go over them prior to CCH work.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Brent
Marksman 1st Class
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:24 am

Re: Color case hardening

Post by Brent » Sun Jun 28, 2015 1:43 pm

Well, I'll have to disagree with you abit. Esp with regards to rust bluing, but there are some things that have to be done differently. 400 grit can leave polishing "grain" in the final product unless done quite coarsely. But there are many ways to do the job and each of is has our preferences.

Brent

Just another day in Paradise (aka Raton)

User avatar
marlinman93
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 2416
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Color case hardening

Post by marlinman93 » Mon Jun 29, 2015 4:51 pm

I think I'll stick with what George Komandine tells me to use. He's done rust bluing and refinishing for Guild gunsmiths for decades, and if he tells me 400 is not only best, but worn 400 can be too shiny, I trust him.
George did the barrel on my Ballard Perfection, and this was after he knocked it down with scothbrite and rust blued it.
Image

As I said, knock yourself out with 1000 grit, if that's what you want to do.
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

Brent
Marksman 1st Class
Posts: 273
Joined: Tue Sep 30, 2008 11:24 am

Re: Color case hardening

Post by Brent » Mon Jun 29, 2015 5:57 pm

Sounds like we can both be happy.

choppero
Beginner
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Color case hardening

Post by choppero » Thu May 19, 2016 2:14 pm

I've enjoyed this thread and have learned alot so far. I have an oven. I've built a crucible. I've made a cage to hang and support the parts. I've got the Brownell's charcoal. I'm now at the point to make my water tank and need to choose the water (which I gather is the one variable that can make or break the process). I see guys using distilled water and can't imagine myself carting around 30 1 gal jugs. My city water leaves scale on the fixtures. I don't know if a water filter system will give me pure enough water. My question is what contaminants in city water will most effect the color? Is a water softener helpful?

User avatar
marlinman93
Distinguished Expert
Posts: 2416
Joined: Sun Nov 10, 2002 1:22 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon

Re: Color case hardening

Post by marlinman93 » Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:38 am

This guy says he never changes his water, or removes the old charcoal from the water.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U_KiiMxJDLg

Another:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A9ExouQ2byY
Marlin lever actions 1870's-WWI, Ballards, and single shot rifles!

choppero
Beginner
Posts: 10
Joined: Tue Apr 26, 2016 6:42 pm
Contact:

Re: Color case hardening

Post by choppero » Wed Jul 20, 2016 2:55 pm

I'm here again. I've decided to try a reverse ozmosis filter and a 30 gal tank. My first attempt with a manual furnace (pyrometer) was not great. I'm going to now wait for a new Evenheat HT-1 to be delivered before continuing. My idea to airate (oxygenate) the water uses water that is overflowing the tank and caught in a tub that the tank sits in. Water is circulated by a swamp cooler pump back into the tank. I keep filled with ice as I'm in New Mexico. Pictures are worth a thousand words. How do I upload them? What test is there for the oxygen in the water and how much does a kit cost.

Post Reply