After scrubbing the last of the finish off the receiver and degreasing I soaked it overnight in some naval jelly to etch and matte the metal to lessen the impact of the 3M abrasive marks. Then I blued it with Birchwood Casey’s Perma Blue. I tried the Super Blue first and didn’t care for the results and I am out of Oxyblue ( which tends to work better but I wasn’t in the mood to wait another week for a Brownell’s order to arrive).
As seems to be normal with cold blue potions it streaked and spotted. The first application was so mottled I actually considered leaving it just like that as it had something of a psudo case hardened effect. But no I knew I wanted that faded out gray color so pressed on.
I applied Perma Blue 4 times, each time buffing with 0000 fine steel wool between applications. The Perma Blue gave a much more consistent color than I had anticipated but still not good enough to leave it that way.
The next step was to use a 3M scrubber (extra-fine / purple pad) to slowly remove the bluing until it was a very light blue-gray color. To lighten any light scoring marks from the pad and matte the finish I applied white vinegar a few times and not only did it bring the matte finish out better than the naval jelly but it also brough out some interesting additional color.
This all took place last weekend along with putting a final glossy coat of tung oil on the wood. Unfortunately during the reassembly last Sunday I managed to twist off the loading gate screw. A quick order with Brownell’s and the screw arrived Wednesday while the wood finish had time to cure a bit.
On Friday evening I took a piece of 0000 steel wool to the tung oil and broke it’s sheen. It looks really nice, used but not abused and well sealed and the few nicks and dings give it some nice character. And when that wood came together with the gray metal – almost exactly the effect I was looking for…
Come summer I'll setup a humidity cabinet and see what I can do to add a bit of brown petina to it. Unless I get bored with it and want to try something else like a some Pilkington’s Rust Blue maybe?