A few years ago I picked up a product from Caswell Plating that appeared to give a true black color but have yet to try it.
Thanks again. The stuff I've been using lately is the Super Blue. I have some PermaBlue on hand too.
Funny about your Caswell Plating kit: I have an Eastwood Automotive blackening kit sitting on a shelf. The instructions say to dilute the blackening stuff. It makes a large amount and comes with a big container so you can submerge your parts in the liquid. So far I haven't been inclined to play chemist when the little bottles of Birchwood Casey stuff will do.
Interesting point by Gregr. If the wheels are hard to get off, I would think they might also be hard to press back on.
Would postwar wheels even fit?
I'm with Norton, clean them in place.
Getting these wheels back on (maybe because I have an arbor press and wheel cups) has not been an issue for me.
Original postwar (and remake) wheels are an exact dimensional match for many conventional classics, and Lionchief Plus products that share this same truck type including the F3, FT, Budd, GP-7/9, etc. The knurled axle ends are also an exact match.
You asked about whether the hollow axles on Lionchief products would be at risk of breakage during removal. The answer is no. The portion of the axle which is embedded into the wheel is solid. The hollow portion of the axle occurs between the wheels. Therefore, when you use a wheel pulling tool, a compression force is being applied to a solid axle end, with an equal and opposite reaction on the wheel flanges. No force is applied to the hollow axle during removal. A shear force parallel to the axle is only applied to the surface between the wheel and the solid axle end.