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I Forge Iron

Black Finish w/ Brass highlights


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How would I achieve the following:

Usually I bring the object up to 400-500 degrees and wipe it with Johnson's Paste Wax. This gives it that nice overall black finish and protects it from rusting. I'd like to hit just a few areas with some brass highlights. 

Would it work if I just hit those areas with a propane torch and then brushed with the brass brush? Or would the underlaying wax finish prevent the brass from sticking and I should wire-wheel the finish from those areas first?

I waited till the last minute to consider/ask this question but even if I don't have an answer in time, it would be good to know for future projects.

Nevermind - Just found the answer in another thread!


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I use that finish quite a bit. First apply the brass. The more you brush it, The more brassy it becomes. Then apply your hot oil finish. The finish settles in the low areas and the brass hits the highlights. It makes a really beautiful antique finish. Proper temp is an experience thang for me since its all done at a black heat, which is a pretty large temp range. With "S" hooks and small items, I can apply both in the same heat. I prefer beeswax, blo, and turps for my hot oil finish,

Actually, heres the rest of the steps I use. When cool, clean with denatured alcohol, then rub it with a carnuba based paste wax cold. Be aware that when you clean it and especially when you rub on the paste wax, it will remove some of the brass, depending on how hard and how long you rub it. This will remove some, not all, of the brass and adds britework highlights to the finish. 

The really cool thing is the infinite variations you can get are endless.  And its pretty durable, depending on situation. I've used it on anything from "S" hooks to, the largest, an exhaust hood for a 6 burner stove. The frame was made from forged angle covered with a forged strap facade, and sheetmetal. I applied this finish to the sheetmetal. The strap facade Had a hot oil(BLO, beeswax and turps) finish for contrast.It had an exhaust fan, lights, and an air filter system inboard as well. 

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Brass first, then oil or wax finish at the temp to produce the color you like.

I differ from Anvil in that I finish with Carnuba paste wax rather than BLO. It leaves a black finish at around 400-450 IIRC. When melted it becomes a very low viscosity liquid and penetrates very thoroughly. I expose the brass highlights by rubbing with a cotton cloth after it cools and apply another light coat of Trewax carnuba paste wax as the final finish. 

The same basic finish has been around for I don't know  how many centuries but quite a few.

Frosty The Lucky.

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Lol, few years on from asking that question and I’m still learning.  Good advice there.  I still find applying the brass brush finish like achieving alchemy.  I perhaps overdo it.  I was sitting contemplating life and staring at this old wood burning stove for a while last night.  I nipped through to the workshop and grabbed a brass brush and rubbed the casting on the stove.  


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Shaina, It must be coincidence that I was working on a project today and wanted to try the same finish that you were asking about. I'm not  satisfied with the flower, but I am happy with the finish and contrast. I brass brushed the flower and used the blo, turp&bees wax mix that Anvil was recommending


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/20/2023 at 11:33 AM, bubba682 said:

clean floor by the way..

Bubba, Thanks for the compliment,you wouldn't have said that I had a clean floor if I had taken the picture the opposite direction:o

Thanks Das, I saw this one somewhere and tried it out, fun easy project, but as usual I identified a couple of things to improve on the next one. 

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