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I Forge Iron

Finish for a dinner bell/triangle


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What do y’all use to finish a dinner bell/triangle? I tried BLO but it developed rust spots after the first rain. I’m debating using a clear coat. My concerns are:

1) The clear coat being damaged/cracking when the bell is rung.

2) The thickness of the clear coat hampering the bell’s sound. 

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I like Trewax carnuba paste wax. Bowling Alley Wax is another  carnuba paste wax. Either is extremely tough, carnuba wax is why they have to SAND bowling alleys to strip the wax. I apply it to "fresh cup of coffee" temp steel/iron with the rag I keep in the can. Wipe it on and wipe the excess off with the other rag I keep in the can. When the "Wax Off" rag stops offing enough wax it becomes a "Wax On" rag.

I've had a number of forges steel plant hangers finished this way outside for getting close to 20 years and there's no rust, not even where hanging pots or sign rests on the hook and swings in the wind.

Carnuba is very hard so if there are thick spots it can and will chip. By excess I mean just short of exposing bare metal, "Wax Offing" it.

I also have forgings outside finished with the "wax, soot and turpentine" recipe in "The Art Of Blacksmithing" by Alex Bealer. and it's holding up well. Almost.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I apply blo, turps, and beeswax mix hot. Depending on location, it's pretty durable. However, treat it like a piece of outside furniture and give it a quick rub down with a good carnuba based furniture/car polish like Frosty says, when needed and after a bit of time, the finish will not rust.

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Thank you Frosty and Anvil. I think I have a can of Meguiars carnuba based wax in my car washing stuff.

On 7/3/2021 at 12:29 PM, Frosty said:

I also have forgings outside finished with the "wax, soot and turpentine" recipe in "The Art Of Blacksmithing" by Alex Bealer.

Frosty, can you explain this mix? I don’t have that book yet. 

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Yeah. Bealer supplied a recipe without more than approximations for proportions nor how he measured them. 1/3 soot (lamp black in the book) 1/3 wax, not specified I used paraffin and later bees. and 1/3 turpentine. 

He melted the wax and gradually added the turps and lastly mixed the soot until it was thoroughly mixed.

He didn't mention a double boiler either, I HIGHLY recommend using one if you're adding a volatile solvent to melted wax!

I tested the consistency by cooling a little and stopped adding turps when it was a stiff paste wax consistency. I burned a BUNCH of acet generating soot so the first can was B L A C K but excess didn't wipe off as well as I'd like. The small batch I tried with bees wax and art store carbon black made a nicer paste with less turps and the excess wiped of cleaner. Both have held up well.

I've never used car wax containing carnuba, nor the Johnson's paste wax containing carnuba. My experience is with Trewax which is JUST carnuba and enough volatile solvents to soften it into paste wax consistency. I tried Bowling Alley wax once from another smith's tin and couldn't tell the difference in the can or on the finished piece.

Frosty The Lucky.

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