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I Forge Iron

need some advise on differnet ways to color iron


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I don't think that used motor oils are on the good side for finishes, they sometimes have odd combinations of chemicals in them. I have used linseed oil, cold gun blueing and browning solutions for different colors on finished iron work.
Also would you please update your profile so we can all see where your located, Thanks

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You might want to look at some of the patinas available for stained glass work. I've seen copper, black and antique brass... probably more out there.

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You will still have to apply a finish and I wouldn't use these chemicals on anything that will come in contact with food. Utensils can be seasoned with cooking oil or lard and heated... same as any cast iron cookware - gives them a nice black shiny finish that is safe.

Hope it helps!

Paul

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I have done hot bluing when I was was working everyday doing gunsmithing. I have a friend who does a bit of Parkerizing which is a military matte finish that comes in grays,black, and can be made green too. Just requires a boiling in the solution for just a few minutes.

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Both of these sites have good products. The Sculpt Nouveau site has more educational info IMHO.
Sur-Fin Chemicals http://www.surfinchemical.com/
Sculpt Nouveau http://www.sculptnouveau.com/
With most patina products it is VERY important to keep your work clean especially from oil and wax.I often polish with a flapdisk and then apply patina. It really shows highlights and gives a nice contrast to the dark millscale.

Johnny

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i have just used boiled linseed and then a coating of butchers wax or min wax dark polish...here lateley I ha been using just the linseed oil and a tourch ....if you take the piece and heat it with a propane torch after swabbing it with linseed ...different temps give different hues...I got a cool red color the other day just with the torch and linseed ....heat it a little longer nad you bring it to a brass or bronze color...so its more than just getting the piece to some hot temp and burning the oil...different temps and time change the hue u get...I also use mothers carnuba wax that removes oxidation ...so you can vary the color on a piece to highlight...guilders paste is cool too ..a little expensive but used sparingly goes a long way...again its a time and temp thing

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i have just used boiled linseed and then a coating of butchers wax or min wax dark polish...here lateley I ha been using just the linseed oil and a tourch ....if you take the piece and heat it with a propane torch after swabbing it with linseed ...different temps give different hues...I got a cool red color the other day just with the torch and linseed ....heat it a little longer nad you bring it to a brass or bronze color...so its more than just getting the piece to some hot temp and burning the oil...different temps and time change the hue u get...I also use mothers carnuba wax that removes oxidation ...so you can vary the color on a piece to highlight...guilders paste is cool too ..a little expensive but used sparingly goes a long way...again its a time and temp thing



How do you rub linseed on the metal?
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You can also try black shoe polish works great. Apply it hot as mentioned with other oils and waxes.
For chemical darkening I like Jaxchemicals it can be a little pricey since they have a hazardous shipping fee which is the same for 1 pint or five gallons so plan ahead.
I use the steel darkener and its great instant black on clean prepped metal. It works on steel, bronze, copper,nickle and solder connections.

I researched what is in cold blueing chemicals it seems to be just Selenium dioxide and water. Its prolly a little more complicated than that.

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My two cents......

I use a paste I learned about I believe here. It is 1 prt bees wax, 1/2 prt linseed oil, and 1 prt varsol. Apply to a warm piece and wipe excess off. Gives a nice old black "blacksmithed" look.

Here is where I learned about it......

http://www.youtube.com/user/purgatoryironworks#p/u/6/bcndMLZV7hs

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I like to cover the piece in soot- either the yellow flame of the fire or the acetylene flame from a torch. Too much heat burns the soot off. While the piece is still hot, I melt beeswax onto it, coating all of it. Then I let it cool a day or more - the wax hardens up. Gives it a dark -lamp black- look. The finish lasts a long time but not so good for outside in the weather- Very easy to retouch for that fresh look. - use a candle!

My other favorite is to make a piece and file it to bring out high-lights- then varnish it.

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Aloe, it's not just for burns anymore!
I discovered this when I used a machete to hack down a one-too-many aloe plant in our yard. I played with it and came up with the following for browning muzzleloading gun parts. It works on mild-to-high carb steel but on some alloys, not so good.

Smooth down the metal as much as you're going to do. This process works best on a smooth, shiny surface.

Wash the part in warm, soapy water to de-grease. A vinegar rinse won't hurt either. After the wash, wear cotton gloves or otherwise avoid getting oil from your hands on the piece.

Peel a 2 or 3 inch-long piece of an aloe leaf. It will be slippery and hard to hold on to. Again, the gloves will help or you can leave it attached to the un-peeled part for a better grip.

Rub the aloe on the metal surface. Try to coat it as evenly as possible. You may have to repeat this part the next day to get an even color if that's what you're after.

Hang the part up in a cool, dry, clean location for 24 to 48 hours. The metal will take on a thin layer of "rust".

Smooth the rust down with a piece of fine steel wool or a 3M pad. Have a care not to rub so hard as to expose shiny metal again.

If the color isn't deep enough for your liking, repeat the coat and hang part.

Give it another soapy water wash to remove all of the aloe.

Dry it quickly and thoroughly! Use a blow dryer, heat gun or a flame to make sure it's dry.

Wipe down with your favorite oil, wax or clear sealant. I use the traditional linseed oil or a mix of linseed oil and beeswax.

This works really well on octagon gun barrels and the like.

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I recently started making some "accent bowls"(mild steel) and want to put the gilders paste on some of them, but I got to thinking about the possibility of someone using them for candy bowls and did'nt know if it would be safe. I e-mailed the gilders paste company and asked them and they said the gilders paste is not FDA approved, but if I sealed it with an FDA approved clear sealant, it would be ok. I have not been able to find an FDA approved sealer. Does anyone know of anything? I like beeswax, but I live in South Texas and do outdoor shows, so that is not an option.
Thanks, Bob

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Hi,
In the past I've used a Brass wire brush.
You can get one at most Auto parts stores for cleaning white wall tires.
Heat to black heat, heat that will make a fir or pine stick smoke and char.
Then brush with the Brass brush.
This leaves a nice highlite on the high spots and defines detail.
Paulf

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Shellac can be a durable FDA safe finish. If you get food grade and use ethanol, not denatured, it can be applied _to_ food. In fact this is why candy is shiny.

Since the coating is durable and on a non-cooking vessel there should be no problem especially if you buy dry shellac flake and mix your own (not very difficult, but ends up mail order anymore) Lable hand wash only, and that it is a shellac finish and may be damaged by alcohol and heat.

Phil

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