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Blackened finish on wrought iron.

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Dislaimer:  I might rant here.


I've always been completely infatuated with wrought iron and it's resemblance to wood.   I typically use it for knife spines, furniture, and sheath parts.   (Edit.. tirade averted) Pretty structure is *usually* not very refined.  I've seen two finishes applied to wrought that give a blackened surface.  There is controling a rust and boiling it which I really like but the grain structure gets pitted.  ( Pitted surfaces can be awesome sauce! )  There is also heating and smoking out your sho.. I mean rubbing it with bee's wax.. bee's wax with lindseed oil.. or some other oil at a low heat.  


Rant concluded, and my question:  Do any of you know of a way to keep the nature of moderately etched wrought grain  and blacken the surface?  Is salt bluing a possible alternative?



What I've tried thus far:  I've etched and heat blackened with oil. I sadly don't have any pictures of rust/boiling blackened finishes but Walter Sorrels does a fine job of showing it.

Example:  Bugger.. no idea what order these will shop up in..



* lots of cursing and sorthing pictures later...*

So this first is etched,heated, oiled, and then rubbed back.

black wrought bolster.png

This one is etched more aggressively and then oiled.


The link.. arg.. is heated oiled and not rubbed back to iron.


Edited by Oberu
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If you want to keep the topography after etching, you can apply some cold gun blue and rub down the high spots, or if you want it low-contrast just polish the high spots, cold blue it, and call it good.  Boiled rust blackening does look cool, but it's a more involved process.  

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  • 3 weeks later...

Thanks @Alan Longmire. I took your advice and cold blued a piece I had etched. I believe this might be as close to what I wanted as I might be able to achieve.


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