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Forum Index > Off-topic Talk > Blackening Stainless Steel Reply to topic
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Shawn Shaw




Location: Boston, MA USA
Joined: 07 Jan 2006

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject: Blackening Stainless Steel         Reply with quote

Okay folks-

Supposing I wanted to get a nice black finish on stainless steel (no, I don't know what kind of stainless steel I have), what could I do?

I know the traditional gun bluing stuff won't work. I don't know if boiled linseed oil will blacken stainless or not...

I'd rather not resort to painting it, since I don't think it will look as nice and I don't think paint is a very durable finish.

Any help would be appreciated!

Thanks,
Shawn
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David Martin




Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Joined: 11 Apr 2005

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 12:25 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

That's a tough one. I did a quick internet search and found a couple of reports that if you heat the stainless steel significantly, it will blacken, though I can't attest to the accuracy of this. I just checked Brownells, but didn't see anything listed online for this purpose.

Robar reportedly has a way of accomplishing this, but my guess is that it would be proprietary.

Good luck - let us know if you find a good way of doing this.

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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Shawn Shaw




Location: Boston, MA USA
Joined: 07 Jan 2006

Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 5:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Any guess what temperature the stainless will blacken?

As it's a knife, I would be a little concerned about annealing the blade, so maybe I could heat it in the forge to X degrees and then quench (with a 2nd heat and slow cool down to anneal afterwards)?
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Shane Allee
Industry Professional



Location: South Bend, IN
Joined: 29 Aug 2003

Posts: 506

PostPosted: Sun 17 Dec, 2006 6:43 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There are a few stainless steel blueing solutions out there. Can't remember the company name, but they either had one called something like Tru-black or they also made a blueing solution called Tru-black. Wish that I could remember more, but it has been a few years. They are out there though.

Shane
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Geoff Wood




Location: UK
Joined: 31 Aug 2003

Posts: 634

PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 2:41 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

You can get a nice, pretty solid, dark coat on stainless spoons. It isn't matt black or anything, still shiny and a lot darker than it started off. Best thing I found was leaving them in cooking mushy peas in a saucepan. I always have vinegar in there. Ive not tried vinegar on it's own, so I don't know if the peas play a role or not (sulphur in the proteins?). It doesn't happen straight off, takes a few meals to gradually build up. Normal hand washing has no effect on the coating/layer. I've not tried dishwasher (some of those detergents are pretty harsh, to judge from the effect on glass etc..). Probably not practical for your purposes.
Geoff
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David Martin




Location: Southeastern Pennsylvania
Joined: 11 Apr 2005

Posts: 162

PostPosted: Mon 18 Dec, 2006 5:40 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Shawn Shaw wrote:
Any guess what temperature the stainless will blacken?

As it's a knife, I would be a little concerned about annealing the blade, so maybe I could heat it in the forge to X degrees and then quench (with a 2nd heat and slow cool down to anneal afterwards)?


The last post on this thread indicates 1200 degrees (F): http://www.finishing.com/1000-1199/1039.shtml

Birchwood-Casey sells all kinds of metal finishes. Perhaps their customer service department could guide you.

Good luck!

"When war-gods meet to match their might,
who can tell the bravest born?
Many a hero never made a hole
in another man's breast."

- Sigurd, The Lay of Fafnir
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