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Joshua States

White Out as anti-scale

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Has anyone else ever tried this? On a total whim yesterday, I did this. The small Damascus blade had gotten a little too thin pre-HT for my liking and I didn't want a bunch of scale buildup causing it to get thinner in the finish grind. I've tried the Boric acid-Ferric oxide mixture before and it was a total disaster. (How applying rust mixed with boric acid prevents scale is something my brain didn't comprehend anyway.) So this is the blade after HT. It basically looked exactly like this after washing the white out off after the quench.

After HT (1).JPG

After HT (2).JPG

Edited by Joshua States
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Very interesting. Did you just paint it on, let it dry and then HT?

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Huh. I remember using it as a silver solder masking agent, while training as a goldsmith, but anti-scale is a new one on me.
I remember there being a bit of concern about fumes from it (nothing really specific), but I suspect I would have had my head rather closer to it, using a little propane torch, than you would with a forge. :)

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On 12/16/2018 at 8:26 AM, Charles du Preez said:

Very interesting. Did you just paint it on, let it dry and then HT?

Yep. It dried very quickly. Then I popped it into the oven and set the program for my standard quench for the 1095. Pulled it out at 1485*F and quenched. The white-out had turned yellowish and pretty much came right off with water and a paper towel.

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Cool!  White-out is just titanium dioxide in a binder fluid, and TiO2 is pretty darned refractory stuff.  That's why titaniferous magnetite is a bugger to smelt, the Ti get in the slag and freezes the stack if you're not careful.  I didn't know it would act as anti-scale or solder block, that's good to know!  

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Thanks Joshua. I’ll have to try that when I get set back up.

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The solder block will help me very very much, I dont know exactly what my braise rod is but files just skate over the stuff. Thanks!

Couldnt you just buy your own TiO2 powder and mix up your own goo?

I looked it up, its $6-15 a pound. 

I have a bag of red iron oxide powder, could that work as a solder block? I have some soldering to do soon so if nobody knows ill try it and see.

Edited by steven smith

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Noted and filed for future reference................;)

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10 hours ago, steven smith said:

I have a bag of red iron oxide powder, could that work as a solder block? I have some soldering to do soon so if nobody knows ill try it and see.

The traditional masking paste is yellow iron oxide powder, so it's worth a shot!

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17 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

White-out is just titanium dioxide in a binder fluid, 

What constitutes a binder fluid?

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2 hours ago, Joshua States said:

What constitutes a binder fluid?

According to almighty Google, "Current MSDSs list Liquid Paper as containing titanium dioxide, solvent naphtha, mineral spirits, resins, dispersant, and fragrances. Liquid Paper came under scrutiny in the 1980s, due to concerns over recreational sniffing of the product. The organic solvent 1,1,1-trichloroethane was used as a thinner in the product."

Presumably the resins are what bind the TiO2 to the paper (or steel) and keep it in place when fired.  Just what these resins may be seems to be a trade secret, unfortunately.  Might be as simple as gum arabic or gum tragacanth, might be who knows what.

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I havent put it to the test yet....but I have 2 cans that I have built up a whole lotta scale on in my forge while working on other blades. I will just have to deal with the lid I weld on the top.

 

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10 hours ago, Alan Longmire said:

According to almighty Google,

ACK! (as Bill the cat would say)

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Years ago there was a brief fad for blacksmiths to draw pretty pictures on a bit of mild steel with tippex, then leave it in a good and oxidizing gas forge.

"Fire etching" they called it. 

Isn't it a rather expensive option compared to commercial anti-scale compound?

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On ‎12‎/‎19‎/‎2018 at 2:31 AM, Dan P. said:

Isn't it a rather expensive option compared to commercial anti-scale compound?

What do those cost? The ones I have seen were not what I consider cheap,

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On 1/1/2019 at 1:05 AM, Joshua States said:

What do those cost? The ones I have seen were not what I consider cheap,

I imagine it depends on how much you buy, where you buy it from, and/or whether you can make it yourself.

The anti-scale compound I've used has a large component of carbon/graphite, and was made specifically to inhibit scale and decarb. Does whiteout stop decarb too? (a semi rhetorical question)

 

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7 hours ago, Dan P. said:

The anti-scale compound I've used has a large component of carbon/graphite, and was made specifically to inhibit scale and decarb. Does whiteout stop decarb too? (a semi rhetorical question)

JJ Simon asked me this same question yesterday and I had to say I am not sure. It occurs to me that if it inhibits scale production, it inhibits decarb as well, because they are essentially the same thing.

The blade pictured above is the same blade shown here on the right.

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It runs in my head that either Geoff Keys or someone on that episode used white out as a anti-scale!! Ask him about it! 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Joshua States said:

JJ Simon asked me this same question yesterday and I had to say I am not sure. It occurs to me that if it inhibits scale production, it inhibits decarb as well, because they are essentially the same thing.

The blade pictured above is the same blade shown here on the right.

My question was rhetorical because I'm guessing that nobody knows the answer. Did it work for you or not? i. e. Did the blade achieve the expected hardness? 

 

 

Edited by Dan P.
Sounded a bit arsey

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I used my hardness chisels on the edge, spine and the bottom of the ricasso. 58 skated, 60 started to cut.

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8 hours ago, Gary LT said:

Hi Joshua......white out sounds like a great idea. I’ve used Brownells clay and it really needs mixing a lot also after oil quench, really messy cleanup. But it does work for clay hardening-hamon quite well. Here’s an old thread on our site.

https://www.bladesmithsforum.com/index.php?/profile/1476-bennett/

That takes me to someone's profile page.

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Minor update. I have made two attempts to create a homemade version of Whiteout using TiO2 and Xanthan gum.  Well, 3 tries actually if you count the first one where I used mineral spirits as the dissolvent liquid, which didn't work. It appears that Xanthan gum needs to be warm to dissolve and it does so easily in warmed water. 

First, I took a 1" by 1/4 inch bar of 1095 and machine polished it to 400 grit.

Polished faces (1) V2.jpg

1/13/19: Test #1. This test had about 3 tbsp. TiO2 and 1 tsp X-gum in about 1/4 cup water. This produced a rather sticky and thick goo that stuck quite easily to the steel in globs that were somewhat spreadable.

Whiteout 1 V2.jpg

I let it dry and put it into the kiln. Heated it to 1485 and quenched. Failure #1 recorded. The scale on the surface, although easily cleaned off with a rubber disc sander and 400 grit paper, the result was not what I wanted. Some of the scale was quite thick, as if it was not protected at all.

Whiteout 1 fail V2.jpg

Then, at the Falchion class I was talking with Ryan Larson who told me he uses white acrylic paint and gets good results. So tonight, I decided to switch gears a little. I still used warm water as the dissolvent liquid, but I changed the ratio of materials. The result was more the consistency of water based house paint.

Mix 2.jpg

This was easily applied to the steel in a somewhat even coat.

Painted bar 2.jpg

I then put it in a copper baffle tube in the forge and heated to 1485 and quenched. The result was slightly cleaner than the first try but it totally failed to harden. My hardness chisels could easily gouge the surface of the bar, even the 50 HRC chisel, and even after I cleaned the surface down to shiny metal again.

Scratches (1) .jpg

Scratches (2) 2.jpg

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