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  1. #1
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    Default A Better French Gray

    I understand how to French Gray a pistol, but I'm seeing some results on the Internet that look much different than mine.

    For example on http://www.nutmegsports.com/ at the biotin of the page is a pistol with silver inlay.

    How does one keep the scrolls light gray while making the rest of the gun so dark.

  2. #2
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    I just finished such a project.

    Basically you only french gray the scrolls and leave the rest blued by masking it off. I use a traditional etchers hard ground. A lot of guys use lacquer or finger nail polish.

    I took pics of the process to do a tutorial on EngravingLessons.com . Give me a couple weeks and I should have that up and running.
    School of Fine Art Engraving
    rcoverengraving.com
    cover@sbcglobal.net
    My projects blog
    http://raycover.blogspot.com/

  3. #3
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  4. #4
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    Default

    Ray, thanks very much, I would to see that as well.

    Todd

  5. #5
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    Default

    What you use for a masking agent depends upon how fine the scroll. I have a couple of different etching grounds that I will use. One I will take a small brush and paint it on the area to protect. The other type of ground is poured over the area, heated and quenched. Then chipped out of the area that is to have the bluing removed leaving the background protected. With both of these you always have to be on look out for areas that did not get covered (masked off) that should be. This process of selective grey can get to be time consuming.

    If the area to be selective grey has a border or strong division of some sorts. Wax or nail polish works great. Any more I like to use the nail polish whenever I can. It is cheap and easy to buy. You can get it in bright colors which helps when painting it on. It also dries quick. I use it more like a dam.

    Sometime I will have to learn to post photos so I could show you.

    www.jimblairengraving.com

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  7. #6
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    Default

    Jim, is that how you accomplished the rifle on http://www.jimblairengraving.com/bio?

    This is the look I'm shooting for...

    Do you engrave the blued gun, then mask the unengraved areas, them gray? How do you remove the fingernail polish?

    Thanks in advance!

  8. #7
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    Default

    Yes that is how I accomplished the selective grey in that rifle and all the others. The blue needs to be removed before engraving. Polish bright to the finish that is needed. Engrave, blue and then selectively grey. All areas that you want to remain blue you have to mask off (protect from the chemical used to remove the blue).

    The grounds, wax and finger nail polish all can be removed with lacquer thinner, acetone, alcohol. I prefer lacquer thinner.

    When all finished and cleaned up, oil the parts. This will help protect and bring back the shine. Later I will use Renaissance Wax Polish on the gun.

    Here are some photos of a Colt recently finished. The photos show the selective grey areas. Not hard to do just time consuming. The train was the quickest and easiest. There I used the finger nail polish to protect the blue outside the gold line borders. The finger nail polish is put down more like a dam. I will use a small brush dipped in my bluing remover to apply the remover inside the dam where I want to grey.
    Attached Images

  9. #8
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    Default

    Jim, I love that wonderful 4-6-0 locomotive and the whole scene! Cool acanthus design too!
    Mark Sedlak

    "It infuriates me to be wrong when I know I'm right." Moliere

  10. #9
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    Default

    Very very nice indeed! I love the train also and the leaves on the revolver. There was another post on how a fella used fine line sharpies to keep the solution (whatever it is) where it was supposed to stay. I tried it on an old bluedpart and IT WORKS! very convieniant and easy to use. Sharpies of course can be purchased in a few different tip sizes. I used the ultra fine tip just to see what would happen....just draw a line on an old blued part and then put your solution down and it won't get thru the sharpie.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
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    Default

    Jim and Ray, thanks for the informational posts. You guys don't post often, but when you do it is well worth reading.

    Jim, I'm surprised that you are still considered a "Junior Member" just because you don't post often. I am sure you don't bother much about such things, as your work speaks for itself. But for the edification of new members and because you are such an accomplished master of the art of engraving, I would like to suggest that the moderators change that byline to "Elite Cafe Member" without delay. You deserve that appellation far more than someone like myself.

    Again, thanks for the post and photos, and pardon me, all of you, if you think my suggestion is silly.

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