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Dumb question: can you brown/patina/tarnish stainless steel?

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by MatthewVanitas, Jan 15, 2006.

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  1. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Metallurgy is not one of my strong suits, but here goes:

    For aesthetic purposes, can you brown, patina, or tarnish stainless steel?

    Yes, I'm well aware that it's called "stainless" steel.

    There have been a few great pics in the semi forum recently of old patinaed Colt hammerless models, some of which have about zero bluing left, and have gone fully brown.

    Just curious as to whether this look can be replicated on stainless steel. If so, I take it that a little bit of Flitz would turn it back to blinging shine?

    Thanks for any info, I'm really not spun up on the whole finish concept, yet another reason that I favor stainless. -MV
     
  2. Herself

    Herself member

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    They call it "stainless" in the States, but the Brits -- excellent metalworkers despite that little government-mandated-hoplophobia thing -- call it "rust-resistant" steel. They're right. "Stainless" can be stained; ask any DeLorean owner.

    I don't know how easy it is to brown or blue the stuff but I am sure it can be done, Stainless will rust; not as quickly as other steels but it will do it.

    Classic blueing/browning is a very Dark Art, one calling for hot tanks of active chemcals and considerable practical experience. You'll want to ask a pro for the inside story.

    --Herself
     
  3. txgho1911

    txgho1911 Member

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    Herself a master in Light Art?

    I have a stainless 1911. I have a few spots of rust cleaned up in the past and one needing attention within a week or two when I break it down 100%. I will be wiping it down very well with one of the popular clear auto waxes to help prolong the time wearing and shooting between complete break downs for cleaning.
     
  4. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    All the Brits I deal with call it stainless. The Mexicans call it No Rust, I think.

    Some depends on the grade or alloy make up. But I would think that overall, it would be difficult to get good results trying to color an existing stainless steel barrel. Not that it couldn't be done but I think it would be hard to get it consistant.

    Maybe some kind of coating instead?
     
  5. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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  6. Barbara

    Barbara Member

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    Ha! Maybe this?

    http://www.bmfinishers.com/stainless_steel.html

    I was thinking maybe brown Delta Seal or something but I'm not sure you could even get a single piece done and I don't think it would be the results you were looking for.
     
  7. MatthewVanitas

    MatthewVanitas Member

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    Aah! I just can't find it on the Search engine. I could have sworn that someone in the BP forum used some sort of product to "age" his new stainless Rem 1858 clone. Looked really cool too...

    If someone doesn't bring up that product on this thread, I might go post the question in the BP thread in a bit.

    Basically, what I'm curious about is a product that can make stainless steel look "antiqued" without impeding the corrosion-resistance of SS.

    -MV
     
  8. Herself

    Herself member

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    I stand corrected. My source for that was some sixty years out of date. (see what comes of preferring older technology?) Checked a recent RSGB handbook and sure enough, "stainless." The term is still a misnomer.

    --H

    (If electronics is a "Light Art," then I can at least claim journeyman status, txgho1911).
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2006
  9. cracked butt

    cracked butt Member

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    Phosphoric acid will give some stainless alloys a black hue.
     
  10. mrmeval

    mrmeval Member

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    http://www.caswellplating.com/kits/black.htm#stainless

    Scroll down to
    Stainless Steel Blackener 370

    Dye oxide patinas
    http://www.sculptnouveau.com/patinas1.htmll

    Mil spec for stainless
    http://www.epi.com/black-oxide/hot-oxide-blackening.html

    more
    http://www.lincolnplating.com/black-oxide.html

    And a properly degreased and passivated and abraided surface should take primer and paint fine. Any good paint supplier should be able to guide you to the right stuff.


     
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