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I Forge Iron

finishes for steel


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After tempering pieces I would like to protect and maintain the colors. I want to keep the bright blues and the violets. Clear coat does NOT work. I have tried several brands. At best it is hit or miss, and tends to wash out the blues and makes them brown. I saw some work at the local Saturday market, asked the guy about it, he just smiled and said it was a secret. So I know it can be done. :confused: Thanks for your help.

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Temper colors are the result of oxide layers of differing depths depending on the temperature. The refracting layer is literally only molecules thick and applying a clear coat will alter the colors. Some more than others, some in predictable and compensable ways maybe eradicate them completely.

The thinner the better, you might try super glue to start. Take notes and before and after pictures so you know what's what. You may not like an effect for one piece that will be perfect for another.

Good luck, let us know what you find out.


Edited by Frosty
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One of the best protective coats I have used on my knifes is Briwax. A couple of years ago there was a comparative article in Blade Magazine and Briwax far out performed the other materials - including renaissance wax, various oils and I don't remember what all else but the difference was significant. Give it a try!

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