Info Favorites Register Log in
myArmoury.com Discussion Forums

Forum index Memberlist Usergroups Spotlight Topics Search
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Bronzing steel? Reply to topic
This is a standard topic  
Author Message
Elisha James Baker





Joined: 19 Nov 2003

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 4:23 am    Post subject: Bronzing steel?         Reply with quote

Out of aesthetic curiosity

In the premodern, preindustrial world, were there any durable methods of achieving a bronze-like finish on tempered steel? Thinking of late medieval/renaissance armor in particular. Not bright gilding bronzing. Or perhaps coppering...

Do we have any examples?

Regards,
Elisha
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,290

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 7:50 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

I know that heating steel will turn it a goldish-bronze color, but also bluish to purple. That would be a tricky process, though, to get it a uniform color, and the color you want. Maybe a chemical process would be better, but I don't have it. Wish I did..........McM
View user's profile Send private message
Mark Moore




Location: East backwoods-assed Texas
Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Likes: 6 pages
Reading list: 1 book

Posts: 2,290

PostPosted: Sat 08 Jun, 2013 7:57 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Plating in bronze would be the only alternate I know. Lots of replica armour, mostly Greek and Roman styles, are bronze or brass plated steel. They seem pretty resilient, and look pretty good to me. KOA sells a ton of it, mostly from MRL. You might check into the plating process they use. ............McM
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun, 2013 10:30 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

a modern process to achieve plating one metal over another would be though electrolysis, known as elector-plating. but how far back that process was developed i don't know. being that it involves electricity, it's regarded as a modern process even though it is rather simple to pull off depending on what metals your using.

as Mark points out steel can be heated to give it colors, the straw yellow color is at the bottom the temperature scale for iron/steel, but to achieve this, it would be very hard to get a uniform finish.
View user's profile Send private message
Dave Leppo




Location: Dover, PA, USA
Joined: 24 Feb 2010

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Mon 10 Jun, 2013 11:13 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

There is a blacksmith finishing technique of brushing steel with a brass bristled brush while it is cooling from a colored heat. This deposits a thin layer of brass on the surface of the steel. I haven't personally done it, but it has to be fairly old - historic.
Any of the methods involving heat will affect the hardness of the steel, this would likely completely temper the steel, removing most hardness. The heat treating process is basically heating till bright red and quenching, which achieves maximum brittle hardness. This must then be tempered to whatever degree is appropriate. The tempering process will leave a color due to surface oxidation between yellowish to blue/purple. But this is very thin, and typically not serviceable for heavy use.

-Dave
View user's profile Send private message
Elisha James Baker





Joined: 19 Nov 2003

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Fri 14 Jun, 2013 3:15 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Thanks guys.

I'd like to see an armor deliberately colored to straw/browns via heat treatment, though I wonder how that would affect tempering...
View user's profile Send private message
Daniel Wallace




Location: Pennsylvania USA
Joined: 07 Aug 2011

Posts: 580

PostPosted: Sat 15 Jun, 2013 8:05 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

- to temper to a straw yellow, this would be a very low temper. normally you think of tempering iron/steel to blue to achieve the correct reduction in hardness. in Jim Hirsoulas's first book, he describes to bring steel to a straw yellow temper 3 times to give a sword a 'spring' like temper. but he also points out that this is depending on the alloy used as others Heat Treat at different temperatures for the best results.

I believe his description is made this way so that you reduce the hardness of the metal in a contorted limitation and gradually as it is very easy to over temper especially if your working on a sword that's taken you months to build and you possibly ruin it during the final process. to temper to blue is the norm (again depending on the alloy used) but the blue is at the high end of the color scale, and lasts over a wider range of degrees than the cooler colors.

between the straw colors and purples there's only about 20-50 degrees difference in heat so getting them to be a uniform color is really hard to do, below here i have an example of some of my heat blueing work. a little craft thing i picked up a while back making flowers from sheet metal. you'll see that i have a 'rain bowed' coloring happening to the rose, i got this by heating the steel to straw yellow, pulled the heat away, and the residual heat from the steel actually turned it to all the natural colors you see here. it may be easier to pull off a uniform straw yellow on just a single sheet of steel, but still really tricky.

and just as Dave points out, this finish is very light, you can scratch it off very easily.



 Attachment: 93.69 KB
DSCN2102.JPG

View user's profile Send private message
Elisha James Baker





Joined: 19 Nov 2003

Posts: 3

PostPosted: Tue 18 Jun, 2013 5:45 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Pretty. Wonder if a good treatment of urushi would keep the heat finish on for a bit.

Anyone know what kind of temperature is required for brushing on a layer of brass?
View user's profile Send private message
Dave Leppo




Location: Dover, PA, USA
Joined: 24 Feb 2010

Posts: 38

PostPosted: Wed 19 Jun, 2013 3:27 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

According to post #5 here, 400-800 deg F. What is described as a "black heat".

http://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/31700-brushed-brass-finish/

-Dave
View user's profile Send private message


Display posts from previous:   
Forum Index > Historical Arms Talk > Bronzing steel?
Page 1 of 1 Reply to topic
All times are GMT - 8 Hours

View previous topic :: View next topic
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum
You cannot attach files in this forum
You can download files in this forum






All contents © Copyright 2003-2019 myArmoury.com — All rights reserved
Discussion forums powered by phpBB © The phpBB Group
Switch to the Basic Low-bandwidth Version of the forum