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Trying to decide on how to do a different finish on two parts of a celtic knot


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Hi everyone,

 

I've been working on this backplate for a coat rack through covid as an on-and-off time killer. So far I've chiseled, cut, drilled, filed, chased, carved, chiseled, undercut, inlaid, re-inlaid, re-re-re-inlaid, sanded, and brushed to get to this point. I've been considering a number of different finishes for each of the two ribbons of the knot; like now but buffed with a bit of steel wool, tempering brown, tempering blue, brushing with acid then oiling, etc. I've also looked at a few of the finishes from sculptnouveau.com, but I can't use any of the hot finishes because I'm worried about thermal expansion damaging the copper inlay. I'm not too worried about that with the tempering finished because the effect would be on a much smaller scale, but I won't be running this through a forge again. I'm also not sure if I want the ribbon with the copper inlay to be lighter or darker than the snake. I can imagine this looking good in a few different ways, but I need to make up my mind on which to go with.

 

Thanks!

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Cold blue as used to touch up firearms would give some contrast with the copper. As it is now, it is hard to see the copper. It works best if the part is warmed up some. You could even do just parts by brushing it on certain areas with a paintbrush.

Tempering oxides fade fairly fast. They do not hold up like case hardening colors do.

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It looks pretty good as is but I agree that contrast with the copper would improve it.  I'd try cold gun blue on a test piece and also on the copper to see if there is a reaction/color change there.  Without the copper I'd suggest oxidation blue  because it is a brighter color but that involves enough heat that you might pop a copper wire out.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Super cool weave. I'd love to know how you did it but do have an idea. 

If you do get it how you want cold and want to protect the finish, I'd recomend exhaust or engine clear coat. I prefer duplicolor engine paint or VHT exhaust paint. They have clear coats  from flat to shiny depending. I like the matte for metal work. I have no affiliation, just use their product with success and like it. You could even bake a piece like that for the full cure on the paint. 

Good luck. That is beautiful work. 

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That turned out darned nice, good job! 

I agree a cold bluing compound offers less risk though warm compounds generally mean fresh coffee warm if that.

Have you considered masking the copper? Clear fingernail polish USED to be a go to etching mask. I don't think fingernail polish has been enamel in decades so I can't say it's a good mask. Used to be though.

There are good products around even if you just open a can of clear paint. You want something that wets well so echant can't bleed under it and you want to be able to strip it without damaging the patina. That means a solvent and GOOD ventilation. 

I wouldn't use temper colors, they just don't last even if you seal them with a good clear coat like Das suggests.

Enamel would open worlds of colors and effects but it's a HOT process, either oven or torch but I have got to tell you I'm dieing to either slump colored glass beads in the chisel cuts and punch marks or torch enamel them. 

I really like this piece. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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  • 2 months later...
On 1/16/2022 at 7:17 PM, Frosty said:

Enamel would open worlds of colors and effects but it's a HOT process, either oven or torch but I have got to tell you I'm dieing to either slump colored glass beads in the chisel cuts and punch marks or torch enamel them. 

Just catching up with this thread after a couple of months; and it occurs to me that the little electric furnace I got several months ago is supposed to be good for enameling. Ideas, ideas, ideas…

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Oh YES ENAMELING John ENAMELING is fun and incredibly expressive! Just remember, pictures pictures pictures! :)

It's kind of strange this thread sort of sprouted from my screen bottom today and I re-read it for the first time in months.

I'd LOVE to see pics of what Trillium came up with.

Frosty The Lucky.

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