I enjoy doing restorations and repairs also, but don't do any hot bluing. I rust blue, and send out casehardening work to a gunsmith I am extremely happy with. His prices for casehardening on prepped parts are very reasonable!
Buying project guns makes my gun budget go farther too, and since I enjoy the work, that's a bonus! My last restoration was a Marlin Ballard Schuetzen rifle that some idiot hot blued, and over buffed. Had to take it all down to bare metal, and draw file the barrel to get the octagon flats sharp again. Also had numerous extra holes and dovetails I filled prior to restoring the rust bluing. It was a fun project, and much improved for very little expense.