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    Gun Blue Transformers



    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Gun Blue Transformers

    Post by sKiZo on Thu May 02, 2013 11:39 pm

    Any reason why I couldn't use gun blue to finish the transformers? I've got mine stripped bare right now and just happen to have a bottle of Van's Gun Blue sitting here ... obviously, heat wouldn't be an issue as it's made to coat gun barrels. Should even hold up to the occasional exploding tube. cherry

    Basically, clean the metal with acetone and rub the stuff in. When it's the color you want, buff it lightly for a touch of gloss and rub in a bit of gun oil to stop the bluing process. I expect the iron would tone differently than the caps, but that'd be a good thing for a two tone look.

    Seems like it'd be better for cooling than a coat of paint? I can always practice on the bottoms first to see how it looks.


    Posts : 31
    Join date : 2013-01-17

    Re: Gun Blue Transformers

    Post by Rich on Thu May 02, 2013 11:55 pm

    Probably the transformer covers have no enough carbon in it's steel to get oxidized by the gun blue.


    j beede

    Posts : 352
    Join date : 2011-02-07
    Location : California

    Re: Gun Blue Transformers

    Post by j beede on Fri May 03, 2013 12:32 am

    Blued transformers? Why? Ship Gray Rustoleum on the covers and satin black on the laminations. The transformer below is from one of my MkIII which I rescued from being stored outdoors under a picnic table. I am very happy with how they came out.

    Last edited by j beede on Sat May 04, 2013 1:20 am; edited 1 time in total


    Posts : 157
    Join date : 2012-01-31

    Re: Gun Blue Transformers

    Post by hawaii.ken on Fri May 03, 2013 4:43 am

    Cold bluing is not so good. Hot bluing is OK but still needs a protective coating (oil) to prevent rusting.

    How about Parkerizing?

    Bob Latino

    Posts : 2464
    Join date : 2008-11-26
    Location : Massachusetts

    Re: Gun Blue Transformers

    Post by Bob Latino on Fri May 03, 2013 7:18 am

    I agree with posts 2, 3 and 4 ... Even if you blue the bells and plates, you would have to keep some oil on the transformers to prevent them from rusting just like a gun. Bluing on a gun makes the gun much more resistant to rust but a blued gun can still rust. Even if you "oil" the blued transformers, the heat from the transformers would probably cause the oil to evaporate in time. Painting the transformers is a much better idea IMHO.

    A few years ago I was in favor of "heat resistant" paints for painting transformers. I feel now that since the highest temperature that a transformer will look at is about 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius) you can use most any paint from a spray can. I like the look of semi gloss or "satin" paint surfaces for transformers but you could use a glossy paint if you wanted. I like using a tradition black paint on transformers but you could use other colors if you want. With a black colored transformer "theoretically" the transformer may run a degree or two cooler. I don't think that the temperature difference on the transformer's surface between black and other colors is enough to really worry about. Having tried a lot of different paints on tube amp transformers, my favorite now is Krylon Fusion #2421. This is a satin black paint that seems to set up to a harder and more chip resistant surface than most paints.



    Posts : 1337
    Join date : 2013-04-01
    Location : Michigan USA

    Re: Gun Blue Transformers

    Post by sKiZo on Fri May 03, 2013 6:16 pm

    Good points all ... I do know that the cores are made from low carbon steel, and it stands to reason the bells are also low carbon or they wouldn't shape the way they do without cracking. Still ... wouldn't hurt to experiment a bit on the bottoms of the transformers. I'd hope for a two tone effect with the bells going darker than the cores. The Van's Gun Blue is also more of a metal dye that the other cold bluing solutions, so maybe the carbon isn't the issue you'd think it'd be. You can also build layers for a darker color.

    Then again, I'm kinda diggin' on the naked look right now ...

    They cleaned up real nice with some scraping and elbow grease. The secret weapons for getting the glue off the plates was a flat scraper and ... tada ... drywall screen? 3M polishing pads in various grits and a good scrubbing with a Never Dull polishing pad gave a nice smooth sheen to the bare metal. I use the Never Dull on the bike for all the chrome (including hot exhaust), so I know it holds up to a lot more weather than the amp should ever see - even if I park it under a picnic table?? scratch It leaves a protective seal on the metal so rust isn't an issue.

    Project's on hold right now due to spring planting, so I got time to ponder while I'm knee deep in the soil ... the soil, the soil, the soil!

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    Re: Gun Blue Transformers

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