View Full Version : Dicropan IM Blues....

Regal Beagal
February 22, 2009, 20:39
Hey Folks,
Just wondering how many of you have used Brownell's Dicropan IM? I have used it a few times now on different rifles and pistols, my latest a JC Higgin's model 29 .22. Each time I have used this product I still get spotting on the metal. I have followed the instructions to the T in fact, I can do it my sleep. I have always thought that it might be a water issue and have switched to using distilled water only to remove any metals that can contaminate the bluing. Now, in the first step they say to boil the parts before applying the first liberal coat, which I do and they say to card off any rust that may form on the surface due to flash drying. After the 5 min. of boil I always have a little rust and staining occur. They say all you have to do is add a little elbow grease and the rust/staining should be removed. In my case the rust is removed but the staining usually remains. They say not to panic that this is usually normal and as you apply consecutive coats they should blend in. NOT!!! They also say that with aging the staining or discoloration should blend in. In one case it did but it took awhile for the color to even out. Now, they say that you can polish up to 400 grit and that usually gives the best results. I did it with this rifle and it still looks like the Dicropan didn't fully penitrate the metal....Now, I have had this bottle for over 10 years and I am beginning to think that this stuff might have a shelf life and that may be my problem...Any of you folks run into the same situation and what have you done to rectify the problem? Now, I have spoken with the techs at Brownell's about the problem and all they can figure out is it is either minerals or oil causing the problem. I can tell you that it isn't oil contaminatig the water. It could still be the water but now that I am using distilled rather than tap I would think that wouldn't be a problem. Thanks! RB

February 23, 2009, 13:28
"Now, I have had this bottle for over 10 years and I am beginning to think that this stuff might have a shelf life and that may be my problem"

I'm no expert here, but did you mention this to Brownell's techs? Its been many years since I've used this stuff. It does sound like surface oil or water contaminated with minerals. I would always solvent clean the metal before boiling, but can't say your method wouldn't work.
I'd check out the age issue first.

Regal Beagal
February 23, 2009, 17:21
Thanks for the reply... I also solvent clean all of the parts before bluing. I clean the metal with acetone and break cleaner. Basically, I use the break cleaner to flush out any tight areas. I have used this cleaning method with parkerizing, rust bluing and hot bluing and have never had an issue. I use a stainless tank and not an iron tank, like the ones I use for hot bluing. For the life of me I can't figure out what is causing the staining during the initial boiling. I have also noticed that after carding and the next coat of Dicropan is applied that I get white spots on the metal. I figured that it was the Dicropan flash drying from the heat which I figured was normal but I have noticed that these spots tend to stay after boiling and carding. I plan on calling Brownell's tomorrow to ask them about this and to see if there may be an aging problem.... For the life of me I can't figure it out. I have done plenty of rust bluing, parkerizing and hot bluing without any problems..... Thanks Again! RB

February 23, 2009, 17:26
dicropan im is poo poo imho, mark lees and belgian blue much more forgiving.

February 23, 2009, 21:40
Some brands of brake cleaner do leave a residue. That might be your problem if it is the last step.

I would go with this - hot - 150*+ soapy water (using a good degreaser like purple power), then rinse. Then dip the part in alcohol to remove the water and any remaining oils. Dip in acetone to remove the alcohol. Don't wash or spray the part with the alcohol or acetone, they evaporate too fast to allow the removal of the contaminants. Dip the part only. And get rid of that old bottle of blueing. No telling what kind of reaction may be occuring with anything that could have gotten into it over the years.

Regal Beagal
February 24, 2009, 21:54
After I thought about it, I have had other items that I have cleaned with break cleaner actually stain, like break rotors......Duh.....!!! I will give your method a try. I have also decided to ditch the Dicropan IM and go to Laural Mountains rust blue, which I just used on a Remington 1100 LT 20. It came out exceptionally well and the final outcome was a deep blue/black color with no staining. Of course, I removed pitting with a file and then sanded and polished to 400 grit. I then bead blasted it because I wanted a more matte finish to reduce glare and flash when dove hunting. Anyway, I have stripped the barrel and have polished to 400 grit and will give the rust blue a go to see how it turns out. I plan on getting started on it tomorrow so when I am done I will report back with the outcome. Thanks for the tip. RB

Para Driver
February 26, 2009, 09:54
I'd suspect the 10 year old stuff.. could have a chemical breakdown of somekind... start with fresh stuff.

March 02, 2009, 22:05
If I may suggest a couple of things about the spotting; I have noticed that any spotting on the barrel prior to blueing will remain. I had some thing touch the cleaned barrel and leave a spot. I cleaned it with brake cleaner but the spot remained.

Are you using distilled water? That is a biggy.

Did you get some of the carded junk on the gun after the first application. Remember the directions state that you should change your paper towels or what ever your metal is sitting on when you finish your first carding.

Subsequent applications have to be placed on totally dried metal. No residual water drops remaining. In other words make sure it is dry before you start each additional application.

did you degrease your steel wool?

Hope that helps.