Black and BLUED

Smoke

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I love tools. In fact between my professional career and my hobbies, I am a tool freak. Woodworking tools for my profession as well as my stand building, and my tools I use for bonsai. I love to spend good money on good Japanese tools for bonsai but do not like spending huge amounts of money on tools that will do the same job for less.

I have had some good Japanese spring pruners and spent as much as 125.00 for a good pair. Most of them do not do as good a job as My trusty Corona's. These are the pruners you can buy anywhere. A good nursery, big box stores, etc. They usually come with orange dipped handles and have rather blunt tips rounded over.

I take them and customize them for my use. The spring return is good and that is really important for me. The steel is good as they have been around as a company for over 75 years. I take them and remove the orange handles. They just slip off with some effort. I use a belt sander with a medium belt and sand the tip to a point. This does not hurt the pruner as I am sanding the outside of the blades not the cutting sides. I sand up the handles and get rid of mold seams and just make um pretty. I polish them with a wire brush in the grinder till they are as smooth as I can get them.

At this point they look pretty sick all bright and shiny. They need something to make them look Japanese and fit in with the rest of my tools.

At the gun shop I buy a bottle of "cold Blue", this is used for touching up gun barrels. It can be bought at Walmart. It is a product that will change the molecular structure of the steel and turn it black. Sort of like the oxidation on good silver or the green on copper. It is applied with a brush to the steel and it will turn black right before your eyes. Wear gloves as it contains selenium dioxide, which will cause cancer on prolonged contact. After blueing just rub in a good gun oil and wipe clean. Tool already for another year.

I do this cold blueing on all my tools, since even good Japanese tools will turn silver on the wear edges.

Cheers, Al

EDIT: BTW, this is my third set of Corona's!
 

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Vance Wood

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Good to know. I thought Coronas were a beer from south of the border.

Coronas are also cigars.

This reminds me of what we used to have to do when I first started growing bonsai. We were not even aware that anyone made bonsai specific bonsai tool. All we had seen were pictures in books. We would get your every-day side cutters from the hardware store, grind them smooth on the cutting side and use them in much the same way we use concave cutters. It was not pretty but it worked for the most part.
 

Smoke

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Good to know. I thought Coronas were a beer from south of the border.

The name of these shears was derived from the fact that mexicans pruning grape vines would use these to open their Corona's.

There now Obama and I have something in common. If you believe that story your gonna love tomorrow night!
 

Ashbarns

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The name of these shears was derived from the fact that mexicans pruning grape vines would use these to open their Corona's.

There now Obama and I have something in common. If you believe that story your gonna love tomorrow night!

Well I believe you Al and am looking forward to the release of your new book.

Ash
 

pwk5017

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I love coronas. Definitely one of the better garden shears out there. However, I have replaced my coronas with the masakuni m2010 pruning shear, and the coronas pale in comparison. I still use the coronas, but the weight, balance, and action of masakuni tools are unmatched in my opinion. I do like the finish and look of your coronas. If i wasnt so familar with that shear, i wouldnt have recognized it after your work. How long/$ did it take to achieve that finish?

Patrick

p.s. I still use my coronas as root pruners. Great tool no doubt.
 

flor1

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I love coronas. Definitely one of the better garden shears out there. However, I have replaced my coronas with the masakuni m2010 pruning shear, and the coronas pale in comparison. I still use the coronas, but the weight, balance, and action of masakuni tools are unmatched in my opinion. I do like the finish and look of your coronas. If i wasnt so familar with that shear, i wouldnt have recognized it after your work. How long/$ did it take to achieve that finish?

Patrick

p.s. I still use my coronas as root pruners. Great tool no doubt.

Coronas $12.00
Masakuni M2010 $92.95
Makes my decision.
 

Bill S

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Al what does the bluing do for you, is it more than looks?

I have a similar pair, I really like this type of shears.
 

Vance Wood

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Al what does the bluing do for you, is it more than looks?

I have a similar pair, I really like this type of shears.

I don't need or mean to answer for Al but this is what I know: Bluing on a gun barrel is basically a controlled corrosion. It changes the chemical composition of the surface upon which it is applied. In short it inhibits the standard kind of rust that can in time cause steel and iron to decompose into a rusty pile of powder.
 
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Stimmie1

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Sharpening Bonsai Tools

Anyone have any information of the sharpening of bonsai tools. I attended classes from Colin Lewis at Ron Martins Nursery in Summerville, SC. There was a gentleman there that sharpened our tools and gave us a handout with digrams of proper techniques for sharpinging.
Can anyone assist me with this topic?
Sincerely,
Stimmie1 Zone 7 Atlanta
 

Bill S

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Thanks Vance, your 2 cents is as good most others, and taken to heart more than most others.
Makes sense, and keeping the rust off is a pain so maybe I'll try this little trick.
 

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