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S N Forrester




Location: UK
Joined: 15 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 11:43 am    Post subject: Darkening Steel         Reply with quote

I have a nice new olmutz style nasal helm. Problem is all armour seems to be supplied nice and shiny these days. Looking for use of the helm for the 12th century i would say mirror finish steel is a no no. Short of taking some scotchbrite to it, which i have already done does anyone know how i can darken the steel down?
"Does making a man a knight make him a better fighter?"......... "Yes!"
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Leo Todeschini
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 12:01 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

assuming it is not stainless, some lemon juice will do the job.

Tod

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S N Forrester




Location: UK
Joined: 15 Jan 2010

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 12:31 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks Tod, didnt realise it would be that simple! :o) dont think it is stainless steel, find out with a magnet. i'll give it a try.
"Does making a man a knight make him a better fighter?"......... "Yes!"
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
Joined: 26 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 12:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Depending on the gauge of helm and how much time you have invested in your padding you could heat blue it on the oven.

It is not that hard to do:

BUT....

Getting the helm to 'blue' evenly will be the difficulty because not all the parts will heat evenly. I suggest that you place your heaviest iron skillet on the bottom shelf of the oven, this will help stabilize the temperature of the oven when you open the door to put the helm in.

Tempering oxide colors: approximate C temp
390F Faint Straw 200C
445F Light Straw 230C
465F Dark Straw 240C
480F Brown 250C
500F Brown/Purple 260C
520F Purple 270C
540F Dark Purple 280C
575F Blue 300C
800F Dark gray 430C

Metal glowing color: with approximate C temps
1000F Very slight red, mostly gray 540C
1100F Slight red 600C
1200F Dull red 650C
1300F Medium red 700C
1400F Red 760C
1500F Bright red 815C
1600F Orange red 870C
1700F Orange 930C
1800F Orange yellow 980C
1900F Dark yellow 1050C
2000F Bright yellow 1100C

You could also use various gun bluing or browning products.

I also tried to heat blue a basket hilt that I did not know was stainless, I got a nice violet color by out of frustration hitting with a propane torch after the hilt was about about 550 degrees

Hope this helps

David L Smith
MSG (RET)
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,247

PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 12:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Why would a high polish not be right for the 12th century? But if a satin finish is what you want, I'd grab the Scotchbrite pad first off. It's just too quick and easy!

Matthew
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 12:56 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I also agree that high polish might be Right. Polished metal takes longer to rust, is easier to maintain and we Soldiers like our kit to look nice and professional

I can not find it, but I saw a painting done in the 15th century that depicted a kneeling man in Armour. Clearly painted in was the reflection of the people around him.

David L Smith
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Sean Flynt
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 1:08 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

vinegar will do it as well. I use Perma Blue for a deep black finish, but that might not be what you're looking for.
-Sean

"Everywhere I have searched for peace and nowhere found it, except in a corner with a book"- Thomas a Kempis (d. 1471)
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 1:27 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sean Flynt wrote:
vinegar will do it as well. I use Perma Blue for a deep black finish, but that might not be what you're looking for.


If you have rivets, you can use perma blue and polish the holy heck out of the rivets and it looks very dramatic. Keep in mind that even Perma Blue and bluing needs maintenance and preservation,

David L Smith
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S N Forrester




Location: UK
Joined: 15 Jan 2010

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 1:58 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys, to matthew, highly polished armour in the 12th century would cost a fortune to produce and the common soldier for instance would never have had polished armour!. And to Daniel, that as you said was 15th century not 12th, a few hundred years makes a difference.
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S N Forrester




Location: UK
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 2:11 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Sorry meant to say David not Daniel.
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David Lewis Smith




Location: NC
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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 2:33 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S N Forrester wrote:
Thanks guys, to matthew, highly polished armour in the 12th century would cost a fortune to produce and the common soldier for instance would never have had polished armour!. And to Daniel, that as you said was 15th century not 12th, a few hundred years makes a difference.


Its not a matter of cost, it is a matter of time. Our modern lives are filled, not full, but filled with all sorts of things to do that have nothing with the people we are. Games, TV, movies, APPs and books. A Soldier has (trust me 24 years as a Soldier with lots of time deployed I know) lots of time to fill. He also knows he has to maintain his gear. The simple process of cleaning rust would rub armor smooth, the same with weapons and weapon's fittings. Think about cleaning your armor every day for a year, rubbing away rust spots, making sure no new rusts grows. The more shiny a piece is the less surface area it has, less surface area and open pores the less opportunity for rust to take hold.

It is my opinion nothing more but it opinion based on personal experience and study.

Do I think and know that some things were oil blued in fires the same way we season an iron skillet? Yes, because that would be a time saver as well. It still has to be maintained though.

David L Smith
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Dean F. Marino




Location: Midland MI USA
Joined: 24 Aug 2011

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PostPosted: Tue 17 Sep, 2013 3:03 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I would consider Brownell's Oxpho-Blue for this... not a "kick ass shiney Blue" - far more muted, holds up VERY well on firearms. If you use it - warm the carbon steel just a bit. Apply with fine steel wool.
In edhil, hai edhil. In edain, hai edain.
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Matthew Amt




Location: Laurel, MD, USA
Joined: 17 Sep 2003

Posts: 1,247

PostPosted: Wed 18 Sep, 2013 7:44 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

S N Forrester wrote:
Thanks guys, to matthew, highly polished armour in the 12th century would cost a fortune to produce and the common soldier for instance would never have had polished armour!


A "fortune"? For an apprentice to spend a little time with a file and some abrasives? Not to mention that the majority of helmets were owned by men with several fortunes to fritter away. Sure, helmets and armor for common footmen was more likely to be left black from the forge, or even painted, but it still isn't hard to bring it up to a satin finish and keep it that way. Color illustrations from that general era should give a good idea of what was in use--do they show commoners in shiny helmets, or only in black or colored ones?

Matthew
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