Blackening Stainless Steel?

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James Wells
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Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby James Wells » Wed Jan 24, 2018 11:45 pm

Is it possible to chemically blacken stainless?

I currently have a loco to weather (a Tower Brass 45XX Small Prairie) which has stainless steel buffer heads which shine brilliantly but look terribly toy like.

Aside from heat treatments (the buffers are pinned in place, possibly soldered) are there any chemical options? I've drawn a blank so far...

Philip Hall
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Re: Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby Philip Hall » Thu Jan 25, 2018 9:42 am

I have always used these for blackening, although beware they will rust mild steel like wheel tyres. I use them for blackening nickel silver wheel tyres, couplings, all manner of odd small parts where existing blackening has come off. I find them more convenient than gun blue and cotton buds, although that is better for mild steel tyres. I found by chance it works on stainless steel (at least Exactoscale tyres) and solder. I have obtained them from a variety of suppliers, usually going for the best price, but I always get the ones in the picture; as long as the oriental writing looks the same . Depending on the warmth of your workshop area, they can last a long time - my normal period is about six months.

Philip

https://uk.rs-online.com/web/p/products ... s%7CPaint_

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby Guy Rixon » Thu Jan 25, 2018 11:05 am

A spirt marker, such as a Sharpie, will black stainless steel. I use this for Exactoscale tyres. The ink goes on readily enough, but tends to rub off unless varnished over. By luck, the inking on some of my wheels has "weathered" by partial lifting so that it actually looks like steel in the early stages of corrosion, before red rust forms.

PS: tried Casey Gun Blue on Exactoscale tyres and it does nothing.

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RobM
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Re: Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby RobM » Thu Jan 25, 2018 5:30 pm

I use a permanent marker, the Sharpie as Guy suggests. It can be slightly transparent and can look a bit shiny. After applying the marker I paint on a matt varnish then paint with acrylics (nothing on the earths surface is totally black) then finish off with matt varnish.
Rob
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016

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James Wells
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Re: Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby James Wells » Sat Jan 27, 2018 10:01 am

Thank you for the replies!

Philip, the etching pen looks like it could be very useful!

Enigma
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Re: Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby Enigma » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:02 am

I've used some blackening agent I bought from Hobby Holidays. Seems to work on virtually anything (metallic that is!). Great on NS, White Metal, Solder, Brass and Mild Steel - provided of course that the items are both physically and 'chemically' clean. Can't say I've tried it on Stainless - which by definition is 'stainless? Lately I've used it as a precursor to priming loco bodies and chassis as it seems to give a good key to the paint.

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Guy Rixon
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Re: Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby Guy Rixon » Mon Jan 29, 2018 10:15 am

Stainless steel will corrode in some conditions, but the salts formed tend to be orange rather than black. I haven't tried it with soldering fluxes. It might be possible to rust the relevant parts and then paint over them.

The colour of the "blackened" metal will depend critically what is in the blackening solution other than hydrogen ions. We have a telescope dome at work that was reclad in copper a few years ago. It was supposed to go an attractive verdigris colour, but has turned black and stayed black. I think it has formed copper oxide instead of copper sulphate because the air is Cambridge is too clean.

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jim s-w
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Re: Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby jim s-w » Tue Jan 30, 2018 10:49 am

RobM wrote:(nothing on the earths surface is totally black) then finish off with matt


Nope, but then neither is paint! :D

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RobM
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Re: Blackening Stainless Steel?

Postby RobM » Tue Jan 30, 2018 5:25 pm

jim s-w wrote:
Nope, but then neither is paint! :D

.......and the same goes for white..... :twisted:
http://www.robmilliken.co.uk
Updated December 2016


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