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I Forge Iron

Talitha Davis

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    Moscow Idaho

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  1. . Update: after trying some things and reading up this is what worked for me. Frosty the Lucky, turns out you don't need a battery! mixing copper sulfate with distilled water and spraying in on. That without any electricity actually did decently. You can also mix in a very small amount of sulfuric acid ( Be careful this stuff is pretty nasty) and it helps the copper bond a little better in places you couldn't clean as thoughly. The metal does have to be pretty well with brushed so if anyone else tries this I recommend sand blasting. Also avoid getting the piece wet otherwise white powder forms over the top and you have to brush it off. The copper later is pretty thin so don't wore brush otherwise it will come right off. On my test piece I found that wiping the piece down with salt and viniger, letting it dry and then doing a gloss clear coat gives the copper a nice clean pollished look. I actually liked some of the white powder formation. Formulas: For the copper sulfate you want to boil some distilled water to a rolling boil or simmer and then take it outside away from grass. ( I did all my mixing on a large congrete pad with heavy duty gloves and a high grade fume mask just to be safe). Basically just slowly add copper sulfate crystals into the water and stir with a plastic utensil . You can crush the sulfate before had to speed up this process but the small crystals dissolve fairly well. Keep adding crystals until no more will dissolve. If youre pieces is really clean , you can paint in on right away with a foam brushes or with a sprayer. and then clear coat to seal it. If you decide to try adding sulfuric acid you want to use a glass bowl or large plastic bucket. And mix 1:6 or less parts sulfuric acid to you're copper sulfate solution. The reaction that happens gets veryyyy hot and will dissolve/ eat foam brushes. You have to wear a mask because this stuff gives off some nasty fumes. Put this in a chemical grade sprayer ( you can get a high grade sprayer bottle at Ace and other hardware stores for like $5). And spray away! The copper will form pretty well except in really greased up areas. Let this sit in the sun for a while before cleaning or sealing. When your done make sure to bottle up any remaining solution. You don't want to dump it out anywhere because this is bad for the grass and environment in general. As for your mixing bowls and sprayer, empty out as much as possible, do a gloved wipedown and a water rinse. I made sure to rinse on our gravel road where any remenants wouldn't cause harm. Happy plating!
  2. I will be indoors and I plan on doing a auto body grade clear coat over the top.
  3. Hey guys, I've been looking online and I've seen a few videos on various methods of how to copper plate brass and other things without the need of electricity. I am making a large wire sculpture and wanted to try copper platting, but since the sculpture is huge (6 ft long and 2.5 ft wide) electroplating and chemical baths submersion seem difficult. I've seen a lot about copper sulfate , but is there a formula where you can make a spray/ paint on solution to copper plate steel wire? I'm using 9 guage cold rolled steel. I have already heavily wire brushed it and applied non reactive degreaser. Thanks!
  4. Thank you so much for you input! getting it powder coated at a local store is a really good idea. I am new into the whole selling my art so it's all a learning process for me. Currently I am doing larger scale for local public art works, looking to do smaller scale for public sale at farmers markets and online in the future. Long term I'm doing welding for a living and having my art as my passion/ hobby/ small side business. Until I am more financially stable and no longer in school looking into the cheaper but decent quailty for the small amount of customers that I have. Thank you so much for your advice!
  5. Hello, I am a bit new to the forum but as much of my searches led me here, I figured I would go ahead and give this a go. I am a metal sculptor who words with mild steel 9 and 6 Gage wire. I've been looking into ways to color my sculptures that are more natural and diverse than just rattlecans, but that are also affordable. As a student I can afford many of the premade solutions and chemical collerants available online. Because of what I make and how I make it a lot of traditional methods don't work for me. I'm looking for advice on best ways to clean, prime and paint my works. I've been researching a lot via the book "Patina" by Matthew Runfola, and was wondering what are going to be the most cost effective ways to prepp and paint my artworks. Since my artworks are welded wire, cleaning is difficult, wire brushing doesn't always cover every nook and cranny while paint primers often are costly and take a large amount to fully coat. My sculptures tend toy be pretty big as well, from 4 to 6 feet so acid baths aren't resonable. I have considered just hand wiping done with acetone. Or possibly investing in a sand blaster, but again, am worried about cost and efficiency. For many coloration options due to the size methods such as eletroplating and chemical baths are again out of the question due to cost. Thus I am mainly looking into suggestions for best cold wipe on or spray on chemical processes. I have access to some heat oxidation options as well, but so far cold brush and spray on application seem the best fit. Does anyone have any formulas for various cold process using things like bismuth, ferric nitrate, copper sulfates, ect? I want to do colors like reds, yellows, greens, browns, etc. Any advice on brands, shopping places, and so on are greatly appreciated. I have included pictures of my work to give idea of size/ problems I'm working around. Thanks so much for any help!!!! Background: I know some basics from other forums of what chemicals do which colors and cheap ways to get some chemicals, like root killer and drain solution for copper sulfate and such. Biggest issue is formulas and amounts/ application advice.
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