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Cold bluing wrought iron


Joël Mercier

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I've done it.

Before bluing

Pre Bluing (3).jpg

 

Pre Bluing (4).jpg

 

After bluing

 

Post Bluing (1).jpg

 

Post Bluing (2).jpg

 

I have to say, my cold bluing technique is atypical. I don't just apply it to the piece. I apply it hot, like around 150-200F, wipe off the excess with a paper towel and bake it for 10 minutes. Repeat.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

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30 minutes ago, Joël Mercier said:

That is an interesting finish. On top of your own technique, which product are you using?

Birchwood Casey cold blue paste. Not the liquid. It comes in a tube.

These pieces were also etched in ferric before bluing. That brings the grain up.

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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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8 hours ago, Joshua States said:

Birchwood Casey cold blue paste. Not the liquid. It comes in a tube.

These pieces were also etched in ferric before bluing. That brings the grain up.

Okay, I've got Brownells oxpho blue liquid. It normally does a fine job on steel, but I don't know on wrought. I will try etching in ferric first, thanks!

 

6 hours ago, Jeff Amundson said:

so I don't know if it qualifies as cold bluing.

I believe it doesn't. Very beautiful piece nonetheless!

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Joel, I’ve had on hand two wrought iron bundles and one is more refined wrought as in this knife pictured.

You can let it sit in ferric longer than you’d think, can’t tell you how long but just keep it in an check it as you go. My other bundle does really nice topography

Ive used Birchwood Casey before, more recently Vans, (which I liked) and I just started Mark Lee’s Express Blue, still experimenting though, as the directions are quite detailed to produce the equivalent of hot blue.
Gary LT


 

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Edited by Gary LT
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"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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On 12/4/2022 at 5:01 PM, Joël Mercier said:

I did several ferric cycles

Time in the etch? Do you agitate the ferric?

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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On 12/7/2022 at 9:30 PM, Joël Mercier said:

5 minutes x3 and no agitation. 

I'm going to chime in on this in proxy for @Joshua States (sorry Josh...). Agitate the ferric. It makes a HUGE difference. Use a aquarium air pump. Piece of long tubing on the pump to send  the air down to the bottom of your ferric tank. I haven't noticed much of a difference if a diffuser stone is used or not. I also put a piece of wire in the tube to make sure the end stays down at the bottom as I kept having issues with it floating to the top. Full credit for this idea goes to Joshua.

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11 hours ago, Bill Schmalhofer said:

I also put a piece of wire in the tube to make sure the end stays down at the bottom

I drilled a 1/4” hole in a chunk of 416 SS and pushed the hose through the hole. It’s a tight squeeze and the weight is impervious to the ferric

 

giving credit where  it is due, I learned this from the late Tim Hancock

Edited by Joshua States
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“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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On 12/7/2022 at 7:30 PM, Joël Mercier said:

5 minutes x3 and no agitation. 

I also tend to use slightly longer (8-10 minute) cycles

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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It is rare I say something like this on here, but initial concentration of the ferric, how old it is, how much it has been used, and shop temperature have a huge impact, and make the direct comparisons of etch times difficult. 

 

I think I recall a newcomer a couple of years that ago took one of us at face value with his brand new ferric solution in the summer time and etched the crap out of his blade.

Edited by Brian Dougherty
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-Brian

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5 hours ago, Brian Dougherty said:

t is rare I say something like this on here, but initial concentration of the ferric, how old it is, how much it has been used, and shop temperature have a huge impact, and make the direct comparisons of etch times difficult. 

This is something we all tend to forget. Thanks for reminding us!

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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  • 6 months later...

I'm attempting to rust-blue a Hawk head using Rust-oleum Rust Reformer to convert the rust to black oxide. So far, so good.  I'm using the brush-on liquid.

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Update on above: The brush-on version of Rust Reformer was prolly a mistake - I got brushstrokes in the second application. Perhaps wiping it on with a rag would be better.

 

I'm not giving up because the color is a nice black.

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OK. . . - update: Do NOT try this. The product creates a layer of 'paint'. A sludge I'm going to have to wire-wheel of and then re-etch the piece, and then go back to peeing on it for weeks, and boiling, which is the proper procedure.  

 

The product is fine for preserving rusty shelves, body-work, etc. but it's not a shortcut to rust-bluing. 

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I use the Brownells oxphoblue on gun parts and find that it works much better if the part is warm to around to hot to hold in your hand.  Multiple applications can make for a darker piece.  Also, if the bluing solution is not wiped off and left on overnight it will etch the part some.  That may be desirable with wrought though. 

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50 minutes ago, Gazz said:

works much better if the part is warm to around to hot to hold in your hand.

 

This.  Makes what looks like a genuine charcoal blue on steel.  Rust blue being darker, multiple applications. 

 

If you want a faster true rust blue, Laurel Mountain Forge Barrel Brown and Degreaser will do it just as well as the urine method, and faster (relatively speaking. Still takes a few days, but that's better than weeks).  You just need a large enough pot of boiling water to fit the piece you're bluing.

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  • 4 weeks later...
On 6/23/2023 at 5:33 AM, Gazz said:

it works much better if the part is warm to around to hot to hold in your hand.

I always do cold bluing "hot". I will heat the piece/part/blade in my HT oven to 170-200 F and apply the bluing paste with a felt dauber.

Edited by Joshua States

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

http://www.dosgatosdesignsllc.com/#!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdJMFMqnbLYqv965xd64vYg

J.States Bladesmith | Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/dos.gatos.71

https://www.etsy.com/shop/JStatesBladesmith

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