Sax on the Web Forum banner
1 - 20 of 22 Posts

·
Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
Joined
·
3,354 Posts
Originally blued from tempering, now blued from a chemical process like a gun barrel, though it does not prevent rust and instead is I believe just to make it look like the old stuff.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
Most modern ones - and specifically those I bought a few years ago from Ferrees - are closer to black. If that was done by tempering then the springs would be softer and bendier than ones blued by tempering , i.e. black represents a higher temperature of tempering.

But they most certainly are not softer. The thicker ones in particular are excessively and precariously brittle, which means they were not sufficiently tempered - to the point of being pretty much unusable. When I break a couple during pre-tensioning I resort to polishing off the black, then tempering them blue, and they are just fine.

Like for so many things now, show presides over function.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
Everything said above pretty well nails it Paul

My contribution is this one, which came from a heat treater explaining and showing

http://api.viglink.com/api/click?fo...www.youtube.com/watch?v=hw4R...e_gdata_player

My one below is stainless steel, the colour difference between the handle and blade shows the heat treatment colour, I tempered this to 200 degrees celcius, so its more of a straw temp, if I had tempered it higher the colour would be more prominant and start to become more bluish

I suspect these days, springs are dipped blue or chemically blued, I regularly have to redo a tempering process on new springs

I tried to check the hardness one day to confirm, but the springs are just too small for my machines
 

Attachments

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
Originally blued from tempering, now blued from a chemical process like a gun barrel, though it does not prevent rust and instead is I believe just to make it look like the old stuff.
I don't think chemical blueing was ever intended to really prevent rust, just slow it down. On old guns, for instance, you were expected to keep them clean and oiled, especially in black-powder days. Black powder burned dirty, leaving a lot of residue. And IIRC some companies' blueing process was regarded as superior to others; Colt, for instance, was known for blueing that was beautiful and, relatively speaking, durable and protective - if you kept it clean.
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts
I thought the chemical gun bluing (or the black finish) - "nitriding?" - also seen on tools, offered just a little rust protection, but mainly modified a smooth surface to better retain a light coating of oil, which did offer better rust protection.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
Paul,

The guys explanation is way over the top, but I think for getting the gist of it, its pretty good.

Just got to put up with his voice and background choice. :), if your ever curious, you can send me some of your springs and I can heat treat them or temper them to whatever you want.

I thought the chemical gun bluing (or the black finish) - "nitriding?" - also seen on, offered just a little rust protection, but mainly modified a smooth surface to better retain a light coating of oil, which did offer better rust protection.
My mate owns and runs his own electroplating shop, I work experienced with him for 13 yrs doing plating, anodizing etc, your reply is pretty much what I was taught as well.

Steve
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
183 Posts
On this topic, my YTS-62 has springs which have a nice metallic blue finish. Should I take it these are not truly "blued" springs, but just painted blue?
 

·
Distinguished Technician & SOTW Columnist. RIP, Yo
Joined
·
17,204 Posts

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
3,410 Posts
Interesting thread. BTW I wonder why Yamaha changed from stainless springs to 'blue' steel? The old 21/23/25/32/61/62 models had superb springing and no rust or brittleness.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member/Technician
Joined
·
4,721 Posts
Interesting thread. BTW I wonder why Yamaha changed from stainless springs to 'blue' steel? The old 21/23/25/32/61/62 models had superb springing and no rust or brittleness.
Stainless also changes colour as its being tempered, so you can have a blue stainless steel spring, not saying that is what yamaha springs are, as I have really never paid that much attention to them. I am repadding a brand new 62 tomorrow, Ill have a good look at it.

Steve
 

·
Forum Contributor 2007-2012, Distinguished SOTW Te
Joined
·
3,354 Posts
Were they always? I use your springs and like them, but a single swipe of 600 grit paper will remove the blue, whereas on an older spring like off a 1930s Conn or 1950s Selmer you can sand off rust and still have blue underneath.

I haven't gotten a new set in over a year, so I wonder if your process has changed.



To be super clear, I like MusicMedic springs and use them as my main saxophone spring. I'm just curious here, and care less about how they got blue than how they work, which is very well.

PS: can you make some super strong (think Conn tenor) flat springs?
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Technician
Joined
·
1,425 Posts
Were they always? I use your springs and like them, but a single swipe of 600 grit paper will remove the blue, whereas on an older spring like off a 1930s Conn or 1950s Selmer you can sand off rust and still have blue underneath.

I haven't gotten a new set in over a year, so I wonder if your process has changed.



To be super clear, I like MusicMedic springs and use them as my main saxophone spring. I'm just curious here, and care less about how they got blue than how they work, which is very well.

PS: can you make some super strong (think Conn tenor) flat springs?
As far as I know they are heat treated and this is how they blue. We have a heat treating oven here but we don't do these in house so I can't tell you about your test and hownit relates.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2015-
Joined
·
35,493 Posts
The depth of the blue is a function of diffusion (atmosphere, time, and temperature). If you wanted to, you could conceivably polish any blued spring to a bright finish.

Rust is also diffusive, if covered by a barrier coating. Given the nature of rust's structure, it will diffuse through a porous barrier and not have much cohesion with the barrier, compared to rust on a native surface.
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member, Forum Contributor 2014
Joined
·
2,670 Posts
I'm going with the chemical process. Yes, you can blue steel using heat. But that type of bluing isn't required for needle springs and is actually difficult to do to tiny thin objects in a uniform manner. Chemical bluing, especially cold bluing, is usually selenium dioxide causing a blue oxidation of the steel rather than the normal rust-colored oxidation. It's a smooth uniform finish that resists further oxidation.

If your blued springs have tiny spots of rust on them, you can clean them back to shiny with steel wool and then use this to get them blue again. The selenium will slightly tarnish brass, silver, and german silver, but is easily polished off. It's more permanent on steel.

Mark
 

·
Distinguished SOTW Member
Joined
·
1,946 Posts
I thought the chemical gun bluing (or the black finish) - "nitriding?" - also seen on tools, offered just a little rust protection, but mainly modified a smooth surface to better retain a light coating of oil, which did offer better rust protection.
I think that's a more modern process. Blueing on old guns left the metal as smooth before treatment as after, and was (so far as I've seen) distinctly more blue than black. More or less as on the spring Matt posted a pic of above. Where I grew I knew people who deer hunted with surplus rifles from the WW I / WWII era; sometime in between those wars some countries started applying a rougher finish similar to what you describe, though not black in color, more like grey. "Phosphating", perhaps?
 
1 - 20 of 22 Posts
Top