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This is great! I was wondering if somebody could recommend a good patina formula for my copper/nickel mokume habaki I just made. I'm interested in a deep etch for texture.. but then a uniform dark patina across all alloys. I have a feeling cold blue will work for me.. but any other suggestions?

 

1546174_647311628643595_1991848262_n.jpg

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the nickel is very shiny actually. I want dark.. brown if possible. I have all sorts of ways to make copper brown. But not the nickel. This is what I'm shooting for... although I do not know the alloys in this mokume:

 

DSCN6829.JPG

 

edit: It just occurred to me.. Is this tsuba iron?? I just remembered that 'mokume' just means 'wood grain' and can also be applied to iron? There are no details other than 'fine old mokume tsuba with shakudo plugs'

Edited by Scott A. Roush
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Yes definitely iron that, which is a most welcome guest, in the non-ferrous realm.

 

Sorry Scott, I don't have anything to draw on with nickel. Maybe Jesus or Patrick have an idea.

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Very nice Scott! Have you checked jewelry suppliers. They often carry a variety of chemical patinas for various alloys. Rio Grande has one for nickel: http://www.riogrande.com/Product/Midas-Nickel-Oxidizer/331051?Pos=2. I'm sure Jax chemicals would probably have one too. Not sue how it would react with the copper though. If you're looking for something natural you can make yourself I can't help you there. Folks generally use nickel to resist patina ;) .

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Yes definitely iron that, which is a most welcome guest, in the non-ferrous realm.

 

Sorry Scott, I don't have anything to draw on with nickel. Maybe Jesus or Patrick have an idea.

Yeah when I first saw the picture I thought I saw subdued coppery tones.. and my Western mind immediately equates mokume to non-ferrous. Oh well. :-) I suppose the pitting should have given it away as well.. I don't think a non-ferrous tsuba would show that unless it had been severely distressed.

 

So far it's looking like cold blue will work.. it's just a matter of how resilient it is. I think I will also have to change my mind from 'uniform' to just two shades of dark.

 

Thanks Joshua.. I was looking at their stuff for nickel and it looks suspiciously like cold blue!

Edited by Scott A. Roush
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Is there a reason you want to cover up the nice shiny contrast of the nickel?
Why use nickel, if your wanting to cover it up?

I think the contrast looks nice.

 

 

Mark

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Is there a reason you want to cover up the nice shiny contrast of the nickel?

Why use nickel, if your wanting to cover it up?

 

I think the contrast looks nice.

 

 

Mark

Because I really want the texture more than the contrast. And I knew that nickel would resist the etching very well leading to dramatic surface relief on the surface of the habaki. I've never been a fan of the very bright, contrasty mokume-gane. But.. in the end.. I will probably opt for simply less contrast... i.e. dark grey on nickel and brown on copper. We shall see.....

Edited by Scott A. Roush
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Since I am just looking at a photo.... one possibilty is to total etch the copper to the underneath nickel layer.You would then only have the nickel to patinize and would give you more texture.

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Since I am just looking at a photo.... one possibilty is to total etch the copper to the underneath nickel layer.You would then only have the nickel to patinize and would give you more texture.

Yes Dan... that is what I'm doing right now. I'm using ferric chloride for the topographical etch. And I might just leave the copper the color that it develops from that.. and then cold blue the nickel to a dark grey.

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Sterling and Nickel Silver Mokume could get you the patina and pattern depth you are looking for. If you leave it in the ferric long enough the sterling will etch very deep and the nickel practically nil. I made it because I wanted a Mokume that would look like patterned steel but not rust like steel for my jewelry. Though it is by far the most unforgiving combination of Mokume i have ever made.


On a side note, everything I studied in college on Mokume Gane points to it only being used to reference non-ferrous materials. Maybe Ford will chime in on this and prove me wrong...

Edited by Gindling
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Sterling and Nickel Silver Mokume could get you the patina and pattern depth you are looking for. If you leave it in the ferric long enough the sterling will etch very deep and the nickel practically nil. I made it because I wanted a Mokume that would look like patterned steel but not rust like steel for my jewelry. Though it is by far the most unforgiving combination of Mokume i have ever made. I would post a pic but I haven't figured out how to do it on this forum yet. Seems every forum is different. Do i have to post them to the web first? PITA
On a side note, everything I studied in college on Mokume Gane points to it only being used to reference non-ferrous materials. Maybe Ford will chime in on this and prove me wrong...

The habaki was made with copper/nickel silver, a silver/nickel silver combination would etch the same for both types. The only way to get a deeper etch with more contrast would need to have the copper or silver layers thicker than the nickel silver. Depending on the thickness of the copper/silver layers there could be a problem with undercutting when etching

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Holy crap, I figured it out before I threw my computer out the window. Sorry for the slightly out of focus but photographing shiny things with macro is a pain. This has no patina or etch, its the end I cut off because of the de-lamination.

009.jpg

Edited by Gindling
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Well I've done a deep etch and am getting the topography I want.. but I doubt I will get the 'uniform' patina I was after. That is fine. It's gonna look good.

 

By the way.. I see now that it was assumed that what I have is 'nickel silver'. I do not. It is a 98% nickel alloy.. the other alloy must be iron as it is magnetic. I'm trying to find the name of the dealer that sold it to me...

 

This stuff also likes to delaminate. :-)

 

As to the mokume terminology.. I see it used in reference to sword blade hada quite often. I've just never seen it applied to tsuba.. which is what threw me off.

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Pure nickel is magnetic. Monel at about 65% Ni - 35% Cu is not (at least not that I could feel with my hand-held little magnet - better than a refrigerator magnet). I am not sure at what point Ni will loose its magnetic response, but given that the Cu-Ni phase diagram shows a curie temp for that composition at about 275 C it must have been magnetic, just too weak for my little magnet. Probably not too useful, but there is a little tid-bit to consider for those playing with Ni and its alloys. The diagram is useful for knowing what your melt point is for any given Cu-Ni composition

Cu-Ni_Phase_Diagram.JPG

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I should also have mentioned that your first picture looked really cool, but now this one is just amazing. I'm digging the texture you got. Also, I'm with Mark; I like shiny. B)

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I should also have mentioned that your first picture looked really cool, but now this one is just amazing. I'm digging the texture you got. Also, I'm with Mark; I like shiny. B)

Yeah I sold myself on that after a quick hit with the scotchbrite belt. :-) Not in my original plan.. but the patination hues available with nickel are just plain dull.

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