Can Aluminum be blued?

kiddo

Active Member
hey guys, im working on making a sword right now from aluminum, and i want to blue the blade, as ther blade is described in the book as having a "blueish tint when you turn your head". I tried googling, but i got some conflicting answers, so i have two questions: is blueing what i need to do in this situation? and Can aluminum be blued? Thanks! (oh, and if it sounds like i have no idea what i should do, your completely right :lol)
 
"bluing" metal is mostly for steel. It creates an almost black look. It's a chemical process that reacts with the surface of the steel. This look can be mimicked with surface coat material they sell for steel, but it will not work on aluminum. Aluminum can be blue anodized though, or painted with an anodizing mimicked paint. But this is a completely different look, a more bright blue color. Are you looking for an almost black blade with a blue tint? Or a steel color blade with a blue tint?
 
As an example, here is blade that I made where the customer wanted the blade blue. So this is blued steel. Props to those who know what blade this is :)

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and here is a blue anodized paint: center of the shield, this is blue anodized aluminum.

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I was actually wondering something similar recently. I wondered if plated surfaces could be blued . . .

what type of plating? Probably not. Again, actual blueing is a heat and/or chemical process for the surface of steel. However, there are many other similar effects depending on what material surface you are working with. As an example, bronze and brass can be patina to an almost black finish as well, but there is no blue in it.
 
hey

the best way to achieve the blue look is to use a anodising company

they take the raw aluminium, pick the right pigment colour, add it into a bath. then the metal is lowered into the hot solution until it gradually stains the metal blue. this is how its done in the pro's
 
Bluing steel is actually a controlled for of rusting, and depending on the metallurgy of the steel, can cause a black, to blue-black, to very blue-purple appearance to the steel. It will not work on aluminum. They sell blackening products for aluminum, but they wont be good for your purpose. You would be better off with anodizing the blade, or even having the blade painted a flat dark grey, and having it sprayed with a pearl blue topcoat.
 
ther blade is described in the book as having a "blueish tint when you turn your head".

Typically, a blueish tint is created when the blade is being forged. The swordsmith quenches the red-hot blade in hot oil as opposed to water.
There are a few swordsmiths who offer this service (Paul Binns is the first one that springs to mind).
It looks very, very lovely!!
 
That's some great work Chris! How the hell ya' been anyway?

Wait wait.. is this Noeland Collins?? How have you been? I'm busy working on these Capt Shields :) and many other things.. like the space shuttle, and the next space shuttle replacement... you know, the little things :p
 
Typically, a blueish tint is created when the blade is being forged. The swordsmith quenches the red-hot blade in hot oil as opposed to water.
There are a few swordsmiths who offer this service (Paul Binns is the first one that springs to mind).
It looks very, very lovely!!

correction, the blueish tint is created when we temper the blade, regardless if it's oil or water or any other quench mechanism. Infact steel will get a blueish tint when it's heated to 550 - 600 F in general, no matter what else is being done to it. The color is due to the type of oxidation at the different temperatures.
 
Thanks guys! After looking at these posts, it sounds like what i really need is to use steel to give it the blueish tint as opposed to actually blueing the blade. Unfortuanely, i chose aluminum because it will be easy to cut, and i do not have the materials nescessary for steel (other than a hacksaw), so does anyone have any suggestions on a way to give the aluminum a blueish tint when looked at from a certain angle?
 
Thanks guys! After looking at these posts, it sounds like what i really need is to use steel to give it the blueish tint as opposed to actually blueing the blade. Unfortuanely, i chose aluminum because it will be easy to cut, and i do not have the materials nescessary for steel (other than a hacksaw), so does anyone have any suggestions on a way to give the aluminum a blueish tint when looked at from a certain angle?

I would lightly spray a translucent or pearlescent blue onto the blade, stressing the really lightly! that should work. Even the blueish tint in steel gives the steel an overall blue look, which does not sound like what the description was.
 
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