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There was a thread going in the Mauser Forum about "Fire Blueing". Some side conversation began about how it's done. I'm not an expert, but I have some experience to share.
I have used the nitre salts from Brownell's at home with good success. A couple of things- the melted salts in an iron pot will "escape" and go over the sides when cool. You can rub soap around the edge of the pot to halt this, if you want to bother.They also absorb a LOT of moisture, if allowed- keep 'em covered. A good quality metal thermometer is very important, as too hot a bath will cause the part/parts to change color too quickly. There is a trial and error period, of course. There is a small temperature "window" wherein the subject piece will go from straw, to purple, to "Peacock feather" blue, to dull blue. You can't just place the part in the salts and time it. Once it goes to dull blue, you have to strip it, and start over. Here is a tip that took me the longest to discover- hang or wrap the part to blue on a piece of iron wire. Dip it continously in the hot salts, and watch it go through the colors as it heats. When that beautiful iridescent blue appears, dunk the part in HOT water ("freezes" the blue process), and immediately put it into inhibited oil. Inhibited oil is very thin- it absorbes moisture. The hot water dunk will remove the salts from the piece. You don't want the salts to solidifly on the part. You don't want to try and wash the part in water right away, just put it in the oil. I tried scrubbing with a toothbrush and water, drying and then oiling the part- but it doesn't come out as well. Finally- nitre salts are used in the 500-600 degree range. Splatters WILL burn through all layers of skin.. so stay covered up and use safety glasses. I use a propane furnace, strictly outside. Spills,....well just don't let that happen. Hope this helps...
 
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