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June 24, 2013 / Gregory Williams

Neglected Steel

These basic Bonsai tools were tucked away in storage for about four years, without a sufficient coat of oil. I found them today while looking for something else.

They have a blued finish. I didn’t realize this years ago when I bought them, but blue steel is something I’m aware of today thanks to some previous firearm refinishing projects. One of them is here.

Before the mid-twentieth century blueing was considered an excellent and affordable coating for carbon steel, supplanted later by Parkerizing, and today by polymer coatings. These days it is used mostly for its classlic look.

Rusting Bonsai Tools

Cleaning these up won’t be difficult. The goal will be to remove the rust and replace the missing finish.

Removing the rust can be done by a chemical process and a bit of steel wool. Touching up the blueing will require just a bit of cloth, a propane torch, and a bluing product I have on hand.

This time I’ll store them with a good coat of oil. The Vine Maples I have thickening up outside won’t be ready for a forest planting for at least another season.


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