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Author Topic: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES  (Read 4578 times)

Offline dc7x64

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ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« on: February 27, 2014, 03:07:49 PM »
Does anybody have any suggestions and maybe photographs of techniques to antique metal? I've got my Walker project underway, and just haven't found too much info on antiquing firearms. I've heard bleach, Ospho metal treatment, sulfur of liver among a few. Also on a side note, the muzzle crown, or lack thereof, on my barrel looks like it was cut off with a pipe cutter! Completely flat and razor sharp! I would imagine original walkers were heavily beveled round like most real 19th century firearms? Any input would help!

Offline brazosdave

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2014, 03:57:43 PM »
I used paper towels soaked with vinegar to erode away the blue, and then rinsed good and put some baking soda on it to counteract some of the acid.  put on some of that paste blue crap, rinse it off, rub it down with bleach, vinegar again, repeat.  In other words, i kinda experimented with a couple different techniques that I had heard of.  The result was to my liking, so i rolled with it.  I can't really say if it was a combination of techniques, or if one of em would have had no effect, but the vinegar sure as hell takes off blueing!
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #2 on: March 01, 2014, 04:41:03 AM »
Depends on what you mean by antiquing.  I use a burnishing tool to remove markings I don't want on a piece of metal.  It pushes the stamped marks bark into place.  For removing a finish, the vinegar soak will work if you want the entire piece stripped.  I prefer to mimic the old worn look you see on pieces.  Envision a revolver in the holster and figure where on the piece the bluing will be removed from the holster wear.  I try to duplicate that. 

For the crown, the original C&B revolvers I have handled all had straight cuts, as I remember.  Never handled a Walker so, no comment.  Bore crowning can be done with a round headed bolt, billiard ball, etc.  To round over the muzzle, shoe shining with abrasive paper works.

If you have other questions let us know.
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #3 on: June 20, 2014, 10:24:29 AM »
Depends on what you mean by antiquing.  I use a burnishing tool to remove markings I don't want on a piece of metal.  It pushes the stamped marks back into place. 

StrawHat, can you post some photos of your burnishing tool and maybe a description of how you use it?
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #4 on: June 21, 2014, 03:58:34 AM »
I use a hardened metal rod for a burnishing tool.  Same one I use to steel my knives.  I'll get a photo of it and post it.  Any hardend piece of metal will do the trick.  I like the round rod because it allows me a little leeway when using it. 

To use it, I mount the work piece solidly in a vice or jig with the lettering or damage where I can easily get to it.  Take the burnisher in both hands and place it on the work piece.  I usually make one or two passes with NO pressure on the rod to make sure I can get to all the places I need and have clear access to the piece.  Now with light to moderate pressure I work the rod back and forth across the work piece.

The marks (lettering) on the barrel or frame are stamped in place.  Stamping causes the metal to flow away from the stamp and makes small bumps on the piece.  Burnishing, relocates the displaced metal back to where it started and fills the stamping voids.  As you work the burnisher over the piece you can feel the "lumps" smooth out.  The metal is flowing back to where it was prior to the stamping.  Light to moderate pressure is all it takes to do a good job.  Heavy pressure can damage the work piece or worse, if you slip it can damage your hands.  It usually takes me about 10-15 minutes to burnish the stampings from a round barrel (1860 or Pocket Police).  The bluing may or may not need to be touched up but if you are "antiquing" the piece, refinishing will be called for in some form.   Flat pieces require a steadier hand to maintain the form but is easily accomplished with practice.

I'll get photos posted when I find them.
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #5 on: June 21, 2014, 05:10:08 AM »
Hi StrawHat, thanks for the burnishing technique information. It is timely since I just added a ding to a revolver where that ding is distressing me to no end. Thank you.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #6 on: June 22, 2014, 03:39:03 AM »
Some photos





My burnishing rod, you can see the colors from the hardening process.

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Offline brazosdave

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #7 on: June 22, 2014, 04:05:55 AM »
I had never before heard of that technique, and am glad you posted!  That is a heckuva lot better than using a file or a dremel!
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #8 on: June 22, 2014, 04:36:15 AM »
Hi StrawHat, I'm amazed. Thanks for posting the photos.

Regards,
Richard
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Offline Captainkirk

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #9 on: June 22, 2014, 09:56:38 AM »
Awesome, SH! Thanks!
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2014, 05:00:23 AM »
Burnishing is an old technique, not something I came up with.  Filing removes the metal, making the part thinner and unless you really work the piece over, slightly mishapened.

The burnishing rod needs to be harder than the work piece for it to accomplish what you want to happen.

Try it on a cut off There is also a method using a peening tool but I have not mastered it.
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Offline ssb73q

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2014, 07:32:11 AM »
Burnishing is an old technique, not something I came up with.  Filing removes the metal, making the part thinner and unless you really work the piece over, slightly mishapened.

The burnishing rod needs to be harder than the work piece for it to accomplish what you want to happen.

Try it on a cut off There is also a method using a peening tool but I have not mastered it.

Hi StrawHat, do you think that the rear end of drill bits are hard enough and would work as burnishing tools?

Regards,
Richard
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Offline StrawHat

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2014, 03:51:55 AM »
...Hi StrawHat, do you think that the rear end of drill bits are hard enough and would work as burnishing tools?

Regards,
Richard...

Richard,

If a file will not cut the metal, it is hard enough.  I am not sure it will be long enough to use comfortably.  I should have included a scale reference in the photo.  The rod I use is about 15 inches long.  It doubles as a butchers steel for my job.  Long enough so I can use both hands and have good control over the tool.  This was hardened for me by a neighbor who worked in a machine shop.  He sent it out in a batch of stuff to be hardened.  I believe it is a mold pin for a plastic injection mold. 

I have not checked for other suitable options as I have had this for a couple of decades. 

Maybe if you mounted the drill bit in a handle of some sort?
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Offline jaxenro

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Re: ANTIQUING METAL TECHNIQUES
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2014, 05:57:24 AM »
I have a pdf file with instructions on "antiquing" a SAA. If you pm me your email I will send it to you if I remember correctly it included bluing and maybe browning solution
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