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Thread: Original bluing recipe

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Original bluing recipe

    Does anyone have the original ingredients and the step by step procedure for applying the bluing on early blades?
    Thank you in advance.

  2. #2
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    There are a few discussions here. I am assuming you mean the needle etched b&g. The Mowbray eagle book has a few pages and there is a thread here somewhere with info Wilkinson-Latham posted. I may have that somewhere on one drive or another but basically wax, drawn with a needle, etched and then cleaned, then the amalgam and nitre blue toasted to flow off the mercury. Some of the earlier heat bluing skips the nitre solution, which does come up if searching old industrial manuals. Books like the handbook for machinists list the ingredients for nitre bluing and browning.

    Cheers

    GC

  3. #3
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    If you search nitre bluing on the net, there are several versions of a formula. Basically two of the three powder ingredients Saltpeter and nitrates.

    Cheers

    GC have to wonder how many had a flash bang experience when adjusting technique

  4. #4
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    Thanks Glen. I have this as well. What I am trying to find is the original recipe for the old bluing technique along with describing the step-by-step process....so far, I have been unable to find such a memorandum.

  5. #5
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    Well, I've not seen a video but to be honest the text above is pretty straight forward, with the formulas for nitre blue no secret.

    If we look at b&g stuff, it was becoming less and less resolute as most were going with a white etch. Flowing amalgam no big deal. It is the muddy stuff we start to see with later b&g shows less and less care was being taken. Look at the German/European b&g vs Birmingham's best and we see the continental stuff more precise, as it had been better preserved as an art, perhaps the guild system had more than a small influence in diligence of art. The Birmingham stuff was getting muddier and muddier as time went on. "Hey, grab those kids to dab and toast these blades, would ya". Less continuity and care in preserving the second hand techniques from those few skilled artisans that had arrived from Germany to share the process.

    Some of the finest examples of it were earlier and not even nitre bluing but just heat bluing, a wonderful iridescence. Adding the nitre part simply following control of how much amalgam is dabbed onto the design. Then as described above, buffing stuff out a bit. A lot of those steps rushed and less precise.

    There are jewelers you might chat up about fire gilding, which is a basis and start of what you might be looking for.

    Cheers

    GC
    Last edited by Glen C.; 09-23-2017 at 03:10 AM.

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