0000 oil free Libron Steel Wool
Or make your own de-greased 0000 steel wool: soak steel wool in lacquer thinner for an hour, then rinse with spray 'brake cleaner'
400-600 grit wet/dry sand paper
Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
optional Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
*optional Hydrochloric Acid (Muriatic Acid)
Gallons of distilled water and a pot to boil it in
A gallon or more of used (or new) motor oil
Lengths of 2 1/2" PVC pipe, sliced 1/3 deep lengthwise with caps glued on the ends after slicing to create troughs. You will need one to pour boiling water in, one for soaking in a washing solution, and one to soak in motor oil when finished.
A propane torch like for use with soldering copper pipe
Long Rubber gloves for working with the cleaners
Scott shop towel or similar lint free paper towel
Cold blue solution like Nu Blu
If there is rust, you'll need some Naval Jelly or Rust Away
9. Soak steel in used or new motor oil for several days. Slight warming of the oil can help get it soaked into the rust finish.
Lye comes in some drain opener products like this
Hydrochloric Acid sources:
Muriatic Acid is sold as a pool cleaner and to remove excess mortar from bricks and can be found in the garden or pool area of any big box hardware store. It averages around 31-34% acid. It can be diluted in equal amounts with water to reduce it's strength for a bath or used in spots full strength if needed to clean an area that just doesn't seem to want to sheet water. Remember to add acid to water, not the other way around.
You may also use any of these common cleaners:
Lysol Toilet Bowl Cleaner contains 9.5 percent hydrochloric acid
Sno Drops Toilet Bowl Cleaner contains 15 percent hydrochloric acid
Lime-A-Way Toilet Bowl Cleaner contains 14.5 percent hydrochloric acid.
Use gloves and eye protection when dealing with bases and acids in the cleaning and rusting process.
Strip old bluing either with Naval Jelly or soak in white vinegar for 30 to 60 minutes, then rub lightly with 000 steel wool.
Degreasing is the key to success. The steel must perfectly sheet water which will only occur if there is zero grease in the steel. If water pulls away in a spot o the steel, that's a spot that needs further degreasing. If water won't sheet in an area, neither will the cold bluing solution, and that area will not blue.
Degrease with acetone and a boil in a bath of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda. If there are stubborn areas that won't sheet water, try scrubbing that local area with a toilet bowl cleaner containing HCL (hydrochloric acid)
Dip parts in hot concentrated sodium hydroxide (lye) to saponify (to convert a fat into soap by treating with an alkali). After a water wash, a short dip in hot (not boiling) hydrochloric acid removes any inorganic surface contamination and rust.
Heat the steel with a propane torch to warm it. Use a lint free paper towel (Scott shop towel for example) folded into a square and wet with cold blue solution and rub continuously over the steel until the desired color is obtained. It may take ten or fifteen minutes of rubbing all over, re-wetting the cloth as you go. Take a break from rubbing and re-heat the metal every 30 seconds of rubbing or so.
Lightly buff the steel with 0000 oil free steel wool