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Black metal finish for high use items


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Greetings fellow blacksmiths, I am having troubles finding a metal finish that works well for what I’m making.

The products I’m making are handles and knobs, given the nature of the items, they will be used often and need to have a durable coating to prevent wear.

I have been using BLO method, but due to the high volume of orders I am looking for a more efficient method.

I have tried ebony black wax, black wood stain + lacquer, and chemical bluing; but none of the following produce a dark enough finish with sufficient protection.

So my question is; is there a finish you know of that:

*Is efficiently applied (preferably a cold dip solution)

*Darkens the metal to a black colour 

*Is tough enough to protect against constant use

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I build automated metal finishing machines for a living, with that being said what type of metal?  Kinda hard to answer without that info. But like irondragon said look into japanning or if your in the usa Google toleware.

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7 minutes ago, Lerms said:

I build automated metal finishing machines for a living, with that being said what type of metal?  Kinda hard to answer without that info. But like irondragon said look into japanning or if your in the usa Google toleware.

That is interesting, I would like to know more about the machines you build. All my products are made from hot rolled mild steel. 

 

4 minutes ago, Irondragon ForgeClay Works said:

Black Japanning has been used for a long time on hand tools. It wears like iron.

Thank you, this is definitely a technique I will be looking into further.

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I work for a company called jessup systems.  We build every kind of automated finishing system you can think of.  I'm a millwright by trade but from years of doing this kind of work I have pretty decent knowledge of the processes involved.  I even have a anodizing line in my home shop and not one of them 5 gallon bucket jobs lol.  I'm one step maybe 2 from doing hard coat aka type 3 at home on peices up to 40" long and 2" diameter. 

If your doing this at home and don't want to outsource this part than japanning aka toleware would be a good start.

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I made forged door and cabinet hardware for a long time. BLO by itself is not an efficient finish. I use blo and turps 50/50 with beeswax added. I usually mix a quart of each and add a walnut size piece of beeswax to it. Then apply at a black heat. Clean with alcohol and apply a carnuba based furniture polish or car wax cold and buff it up.

Add more beeswax if you want a paste. 

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