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Rusting Question


tsterling

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Yep, Daniel Brush's work IS eyecandy. For plastic he used (pink) bakelite. Years ago I went to the library to look up something and accidentally found Gold without Boundries. I lost track of time. When I came back to the here-and-now I wrote down the ISBN and hurried to the bookstore to order a copy.

That book also got me into chainmaking.HERE is a link to some clear tutorials. :rolleyes:

 

Sjoerd

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thanks for that reference, I know what that sort of spangle is, but I assumed Karl was referring to something he knows by its German name.

 

And there was me thinking Spangles were a hard candy that used to be produced by Mars :rolleyes:

 

Bluish-green galls, gathered before the insect escapes, are richest in gallotannic acid, though all galls contain 36-60% tannins.

 

Ah... Now that I didn't know. I've used oak galls/gall apples before now in preparing an iron tannate ink, which is nicely light-fast. I've generally left them until after the resident departs, however. There's a lot of tannins in the acorns of the native oaks here too (lots of changes of water if you're going to eat them) - my understanding was that the tanning process used to be based on the use of the bark, not galls.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Further rusting questions - I mixed up a batch of Ford's incredibly noxious potion (recipe in the earlier part in this thread). I was planning to hang the knife in question by the kitchen sink so it would be handy for washing and wiping the prescribed twice a day. As soon as I added the liquid to the dry chemicals, that idea instantly became a non-starter! :) Smells like well aged rotted pickled eggs...woof! Much worse than just liver of sulphur dissolved in water.

 

The questions:

1. A thick, nasty looking precipitate has formed, which settles out over night - do I just use the liquid, or agitate so some of the solids are in the wipe? By the way, settling doesn't improved the odor! :)

 

2. I've heard that liver of sulphur in solution doesn't last forever. Is there a shelf life on this mixed concoction?

 

Here are images of the knife:

post-11-1183655804.jpg

Before applying Ford's noxious potion...

 

post-11-1183655847.jpg

After two applications and overnight. Left image is before scrubbing with soap and toothbrush, right image is after scrubbing.

 

It seems to be working very well! After application, I'm hanging the knife in a large jar with a little water to keep the humidity high.

 

Thanks in advance!

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Hi Janel,

 

thanks for that reference, I know what that sort of spangle is, but I assumed Karl was referring to something he knows by its German name.

 

Thanks Karl, so it sounds like you use bug poo :):D , never mind, some of the Japanese mixes for patinating iron contain rat droppings, horse urine and crab innards! :) . The tricky part is getting the horse to stand still ;) Actually I think you may be referring to Oak gall, this was used with iron fillings to make black ink in the past. It also contains a lot of tannin, but then again so does red wine....hmmm :)

 

cheers, Ford

 

I've just found this, it sounds very interesting and I might do a little expementation on steel.

 

"An abnormal growth on trees, usually oaks (Quercus infectoria) in Europe and the Near East and on sumacs (Rhus semialata) in China and Japan. Galls are formed when gall-wasp eggs are deposited on tree branches. The nutlike gall grows until the larvae are completely enveloped. The mature insect bores a hole through the gall in order to escape. Bluish-green galls, gathered before the insect escapes, are richest in gallotannic acid, though all galls contain 36-60% tannins. The tannins have been used for centuries for vegetable tanning of leather. When galls are combined with ferrous sulfate, a black dye is produced; alone, they produce a gray dye. Gall extract was also used as a mordant in the preparation of writing inks.

See attached image(s).

Synonyms

galls; nutgalls; gallnuts; noix de galle; oak apples; oak gall nuts; huur nuts; tamarisk gallo; pistacia gall; aleppo gall; Chinese gall; gall-nuts; Gallapfel (Deut.); agallas (Esp.); galle (Fr.); galla (It.); galappel (Ned.); "

 

so it's not bug poo at least :D

 

 

We have many Oak trees here in the yard, The Oak galls are large green and juicy right now. Never thought about useing them for anything! The wasp actually inserts genes into the oak tree and reprograms the trees genetics to grow the gall structure. Nature is amazing. I have found that just about anything from the oak tree can yield plenty of tannins. We have many very old oak trees that have died and fall apart slowly. These old trees have lots of burl nodes near the base. I found that boiling this node material will make a very potent solution. The burl itself is not very useful as a decorative wood. It is generally wormy.

patrick

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Sjoerd'

 

I've only just noticed the link you posted to the chain mail tutorials. What an amazingly comprehensive resource, thanks so much for giving us the heads up. The great thing about that kind of work is that anyone, with the absolute bare minimum of tools or equipment, can produce so much remarkable work.

 

Thanks again, Ford :)

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  • 4 weeks later...
Ah, Ha! I knew you folks would come through for me. I think I see where this went wrong. Also, thanks for the recipes - looks like that minor in chemistry might finally pay off after 33 years...

 

Thanks, Ford. I was thinking an afternoon of rusting was a long time, and was looking for a thick coat of rust (and achieving it!). Slow down. Thinner coat of rust. I was concerned with the possibility of a thick coat of rust obliterating some of the detail I worked so hard for. Have liver of sulfur on hand. Now to find an easy source of copper sulphate.

 

 

Hi Tom, Just wondering if the stuff advertised on this Ebay link is the same Copper Sulphate mentioned in the thread?

 

Link: http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/COPPER-SULPHATE-500g...1QQcmdZViewItem

 

Regards

 

MikeMc

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Ah, Ha! I knew you folks would come through for me. I think I see where this went wrong. Also, thanks for the recipes - looks like that minor in chemistry might finally pay off after 33 years...

 

Thanks, Ford. I was thinking an afternoon of rusting was a long time, and was looking for a thick coat of rust (and achieving it!). Slow down. Thinner coat of rust. I was concerned with the possibility of a thick coat of rust obliterating some of the detail I worked so hard for. Have liver of sulfur on hand. Now to find an easy source of copper sulphate.

Just go to your local lawn and garden store. Copper Sulphate is a fungicide used for treating any number of foliage fungi.

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Hi Mike and Tom

 

Thanks for the info, I will be going on a shopping trip to my local gardening centre today to check out the Copper Sulphate fungicides.

 

I have a question for you both, Have you ever considered rusting patination using the natural elements. i.e. leaving the item outside and letting the weather create the rust. I am going to try this method because the area I live in in the UK. is quite damp and humid.

 

What are your thoughts on this?

 

MikeMc

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Hi Mc Mike,

 

yes of course it is possible it rust a piece of iron in an natural way.

 

Just make sure that it will rust evenly from all sides- you could leave it outdoor suspending it from a rope. It will take a quite a time. The other thing is that an very adherent layer of rust is formed only when its growth is very slowly. For that do not hang it up dirctly in the rain and if a layer grow srape it down with a piece of bone or horn.

Btw the quality of iron is a critical point in the whole prosses. Modern kinds of iron corrode differently from pre-war or pre industrial made iron.

But this is an other story ....:rolleyes:

 

Karl

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Hi Karl

 

Thanks for the tips, I am trying out 2 pieces... 1 is cast iron and the other is mild steel which have been cut for me into 3 inch x 5mm disks.

 

I am aware that these may vary in the time they take to process (form rust) and that it may take quite a while to get a decent result, I am however going to try pre-mixed chemicals to achieve various patination colour on other mild steel disks in the meantime.

 

Do you have a personal choice of products for achieving patination on tsuba? it would be interesting to see how others tackle the situation of different colours brown/black etc...

 

Every little helps :rolleyes:

 

Mike

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Mike, I'd go with Ford's noxious potion recipe from earlier in this post. It's pretty easy (if rather smelly), works very well, and if you keep scrubbing off the thick rust with a nylon brush (daily), and lather/rinse/repeat with the liquid, you'll build up a nice layer. Once the rust layer is as thick as you want, boiling in strong tea will give you a nice antique looking finish. I've found you can get anything from just old looking (grey), to a pretty uniform jet black covering, depending on how thick the final rust layer is. Then Renaissance wax.

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Hallo Mike,

 

it seems there is quite a kind of tunnel vision concerning things japanese here.

Of course it is one of the richest metalwork traditions in the world but its worth to take a look at others ;)

 

Berlin Iron

 

These things belong to the finest iron casting traditions of Europe.

 

Cut steel

 

These jewels were directly cut into steel to imitate diamonds. I think it was made in Britain. Try to take a short view into old metalworking books you may find there sophisticated european recipes you can tell us about. :)

 

regards

 

Karl

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Hi Mike,

 

If you are interested in alternate recipies, have a look at the reference that I mentioned in my post on this subject (post # 4). The recipies in this book are based on traditional European methods of browning or blackening arms and armour, particularly 18th and 19th century firearms. I have played around with many of these recipies over many years, and have found that quite a variety of colors from black to a reddish "fox brown" can be achieved. However, these finishes have been used primarily in the conservation and reproduction of European and North American arms and armour in a museum environment, and not specifically on Japanese sword fittings.

 

I have a lot of respect for purists who stick to the traditions of their art or craft. I have learned a lot from them, but don't always follow their methods. One of the most rigid sticklers to a particular tradition that I have ever met was an 80 year old Norwegian master gunsmith that I worked with, who believed (and constantly stated) that there was only one right way to do any task. When one develops a way of working that produces good results it is difficult, or perhaps unnecessary to change, particularly if that way of working comes down through several generations.

 

Although I find a lot of inspiration in Japanese design, and use Japanese-style tools occasionally (particularly saws), I also make use of techniques from a variety of cultures. I find that there are often many ways to accomplish a given task, and enjoy exploring different approaches. It is one of the most interesting parts of the path, and keeps the learning curve from flat-lining.

 

Phil

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Hi Karl,

 

I have a copy of Hiorn's book. It is actually very interesting reading. He details all sorts of trials he undertook to evaluate various methods he'd gathered from as many sources as he was able. Of course he has the highest opinion of the Japanese masters :) , the couple of pages he wrote about them and his feelings regarding their artistry are quite touching. His opinion of the average Englishman's artistic sensibility is pretty low though. ;)

 

There may be some tit-bits of useful information to be gleaned from this book but it is probably more of historic interest really.

 

Ford

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Hallo Ford,

 

you`re absolutly right regarding the japanese methods decribed within this book. But I wanted to draw some attention to the 19th century european processes. Of course they are not that sophisticated as the oriental stuff but have showed some beautiful results too. ;)

Here is an example of fine french animalier sculpture by Barye were I really like the colour.

 

Antoine Barye

 

This one is made by Jean Dampt (the teacher of the famous Jean Dunand) who was a sculptur and bijouteur and a master of coloured metalwork as well.

Knightly Kiss- Jean Dampt

 

He is one of the few european sculptors who carved figures in the round out of a lump of iron.

 

An other sculptor who made very colourful pieces was Sir Alfred Gilbert, who studied japanese techniques together with the metallurgist Roberts-Austen. He combinined european and japanese methods. Sometimes his asthetic is a bit crude. ;)

 

Alfred Gilbert

 

(Sorry, Janel this art history lesson it is a bit off the thread-but is on colors on metal anyway :) )

 

best regards

Karl :)

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Guest ford hallam

Hi Karl,

 

thanks for those links, great stuff. You're absolutely right, it is important not to lose sight of the fact that there have been some stunning art metalwork pieces made in Europe in the past and that there are other ways than the Japanese.

 

With regard to the wonderful colours that we sometimes see on the work of the French animaliers I believe the "secrets" of their methods have died with them. ;)

I remember reading an account by one of the sculptors of the period ( I forget who ) where he described the secrecy which shrouded the work of "le Patinateuers". ( forgive my mutilated spelling of the French language ). Apparently they even worked behind screens in their own studios to keep prying eyes out. I feel that many of the European methods were even more a matter of instinct than the oriental methods. As such written records of these processes are bound to be very much lacking.

 

 

Ford

 

p.s. Hi Phil, you are quite correct when you say there are often alternative ways of achieving the same result. I'll come out of the closet here :), and confess that I occasionally use a couple of modified old European iron patinating processes. The Florintine brown method being particularly good for replicating Meiji period russet iron. ;)

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I enjoy the history lessons, and the illustrations you find for us to learn from. If more bronze and patination discussion grows from this, the simple solution would be for me to add to the title/subject of this thread, which would help folks aim for the different flavors of the topics.

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Aloha All,

 

Thanks to Phil, Ford and especially Berlin Karl for discussing the fine European traditions of metal arts. I admit to a currently myopic view of the Japanese techniques. Work, such as the wonderful Jaguar and Hare, give me a perspective on masterworks in other cultures. Time to pull out my Hughes and Rowe text on patination.

 

KC

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Good stuff!

 

Some of my favorite artists have taken the best of a variety of cultures and applied techniques and materials to create something unique.

 

One of my favorite artists af all time was the late great Bill Reid, who was largely responsible for putting Haida art on the world stage. Bill Reid combined the art forms of the Haida with his European training in goldsmithing, and "breathed new life" into the ancient art form, which by the mid 1950s was hardly practiced by anyone.

 

Bill Reid

 

And let's not forget René Lalique

 

Phil

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Hi Phil,

 

thanks for the link to the stuff on Bill Reid. I loved the archived radio interviews. There was a lot there that I've been trying to clarify for myself of late. Lots to ponder today, thanks again.

Ford ;)

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