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Ive had some time to tinker with this technique and am happy to report some good results. If this has already been posted please forgive me but Im so excited I just had to share. Of course everyone knows how to blue their screws. I wanted to spice up a couple of builds and didnt want to spend 8 dollars a screw. So I spent a few hours testing and came up with this process. I take my screws and polish the heads on emory paper. Once thats done I place them in this brass jig which is basically an old bridge I had laying around. I tried to do this in the tweezers and for some reason it works ten times better in the jig. I think the brass helps distribute the heat more evenly. Also its imperative to direct the heat to the thread side of the screw. When I would blast the heads it never seemed to work right or at least in a predictable fashion. Its also key to make sure your heat, if youre using a pen torch like me is on a low setting and on the same axis as your screw. If you come in at an angle youll get an uneven finish. It takes a little trial and error. Be patient the farther you are away from your heat source the longer it will take but the deeper the blue you will get and the longer the colors will stay in phase. I used just regular canola oil to quench. Its key to get it in quench right away. In fact when you get real good at it youll actually be able to time the quench right when it hits blue. The color phases will be gold to purple to blue. Just as it starts to go from purple to blue id drop it in the quench. I found that the blue isnt as blue as the ones you can buy. Honestly to me the store bought ones are too blue and are a bit tacky. I dont think the store bought ones are blued by heating but rather by a chemical process. I have some gun blueing chemical on the way to try as well. I will report back with thos results. Hope this helps. 0128734186d017b89e105b98db112af5.jpg7263fd1c14cb9574ad618b4bfef0e6bc.jpgad13caaa855878c1d977ba8b15a932ce.jpg990e13ba71af9ec0b808c9716b4e921a.jpg42eddf7c8cfbd371c8a7a915fe34d17c.jpg6186acbe2c90d59224f4235695735a89.jpg

 

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I love blued items on a clock and it's great to see that colour emerge when you reach the right temperature. 

If you don't mind me adding to the subject, I'd tried various ways of doing it, particularly for steel longcase clock hands, (including the selenium bluing compound) when someone suggested an electric hot air blower (the type used to strip paint).  That would still be heat bluing, but less fierce and more controllable than a flame. 

You need a lightish touch, but it now works fine for me every time.   

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I have blued hands & screws and I found the key is absolute cleanliness. To absolutely make sure after rubbing down I use methylated spirits which works great for removing all grease. The slower it is blued and the more even the heat the better. 

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Brass keeps the heat it doesn’t spread the heat outwards. Some people use brass filings.

 

This is the way I used to blue screws. Remove the entire burr with a needle file and use various grade of emery, I used sticks, sometimes cloth. Wash out the screws in my old watch cleaning machine. I had an old copper penny (copper is as good as brass when it comes to heat) that was bent at an angle and held in a mini vice which was held in my bench vice. Sprit lamp underneath the penny, when the penny got hot I would put the screws one by one on the penny and blue them, as soon as the screw was blued drop it in clean oil, I used 3 in 1 this will add a shine to the screws. When all done wash them in the cleaning machine again. All nice and blued (the same colour blue for them all) ready to use when assembling the movement.  

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Brass keeps the heat it doesn’t spread the heat outwards. Some people use brass filings.
 
This is the way I used to blue screws. Remove the entire burr with a needle file and use various grade of emery, I used sticks, sometimes cloth. Wash out the screws in my old watch cleaning machine. I had an old copper penny (copper is as good as brass when it comes to heat) that was bent at an angle and held in a mini vice which was held in my bench vice. Sprit lamp underneath the penny, when the penny got hot I would put the screws one by one on the penny and blue them, as soon as the screw was blued drop it in clean oil, I used 3 in 1 this will add a shine to the screws. When all done wash them in the cleaning machine again. All nice and blued (the same colour blue for them all) ready to use when assembling the movement.  

Good tip. I have a lot of these old copper British pennies for coin magic.


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