Patina: Forced or Natural? Commercial or MacGyver Style?

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chinooker
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Patina: Forced or Natural? Commercial or MacGyver Style?

We have been playing around with the BLF copper A01 in that thread and got a bit off-topic by experimenting with ways to force the patina. So I figured we could benefit from a new thread dedicated to the subject and open it up to other metals and models.

Some love the natural patina developed over time(months, years, decades) while others fight any and all tarnish with lacquer or climate controlled safes.

I learned of a trick to hasten the development of patina on my A01 and really like its effect.

My wife hated this stuff and I had put it in the dispenser out in the garage. When I saw it mentioned online, I found it was still there. I just got a glob and started rubbing it into it. As it started to dry, I rinsed it off and applied more. After about 2 hours of flashturbation….patina fina. As I understand, it’s the sulpher compounds that do the tarnishing.

Palmolive® Original ingrediants
Ammonium lauryl sulfate
Ammonium laureth sulfate
Magnesium sulfate
sodium bisulfite

ReManG
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Either way, the patina is a natural reaction and will occur without any effort… All we do is speed it up with the different methods…

Maintenance to keep the copper clean will have to be regular and can actually be a nice routine in and of itself.

I like the palmolive patina, and most baby shampoos have the sulphates as well… I have neither and so will make a trip to the dollar store soon…

Word of the day: Flashturbation!

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chinooker
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I’ve started work on this Ultratac K18 brass. Needs a bit more TLC and burnishing with newspaper and finger rubbing, butt I kinda like its shipwreck character.

I hung it by thread in the top of a Dasani water bottle with a few inches of cider vinegar, capped it, and swirled the vinegar a few times a day. After a day and a half it was looking kinda Statue of Liberty green in places, So I decanted and applied Palmolive for awhile.

AlexGT
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Looks nice!!!

CRX
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I tend to use chemically forced methods

Birchwood Casey brass black.

chinooker
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Look great, butt dangerous. Isn’t it illegal to carry a pipebomb and a hand grenade? Wink

CRX
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Yeah, but i’m an outlaw. Wink

tekwyzrd
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@Chinooker Thanks for the tip. I’m trying Ajax dish liquid since the sulfates are common ingredients in dish detergents. Already seeing the color start to change after just a few minutes. Also applied to my daily use copper zippo that is very slow to develop a patina even after a few years of daily use. Both were cleaned with brake fluid, lighter fluid, and isopropyl to remove any protective coating.

chinooker
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Acetone I think was the consensus choice for easiest removal of the coating.
I used naval jelly, just because had it handy.
Be sure to post your results.

scrumpypaul
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Navel jelly? Like for your belly-button?

chinooker
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Well, iffn it’s rusty in there? Go for it.

chinooker
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Well, I think I’ll stop here on the K18 brass. Looks to be my new Keychain light. Knocking the Rey Tool Ti off to backup duty.


I kinda lost my bling on that one, ehh?

ReManG
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No sir, Rustic Bling is still bling…

Now I know what I will do with my Brass K18 when I get it…

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Gave up on the dish liquid on my copper blf a01 due to concerns about toxicity of CuSO4, cleaned it thoroughly, and switched to baking soda and water. Roughly 2 parts very hot water to 1 part baking soda. With the battery removed and head screwed down tight I tied a string through the keyring hole, set the light in the bottom of a sour cream container with about 2 inches of the baking soda/water mixture, swished it around and gently flipping it in different directions using the strong, then removed it from the mixture and stood it on a plastic lid. I repeated the process every ten minutes or so and occasionally gently rinsed the accumulated dry baking soda off by immersing the light in fresh water before starting the process again. After several hours the copper achieved a nice brownish color a bit brighter than an old penny.

scrumpypaul
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tekwyzrd wrote:
Gave up on the dish liquid on my copper blf a01 due to concerns about toxicity of CuSO4, cleaned it thoroughly, and switched to baking soda and water. Roughly 2 parts very hot water to 1 part baking soda. With the battery removed and head screwed down tight I tied a string through the keyring hole, set the light in the bottom of a sour cream container with about 2 inches of the baking soda/water mixture, swished it around and gently flipping it in different directions using the strong, then removed it from the mixture and stood it on a plastic lid. I repeated the process every ten minutes or so and occasionally gently rinsed the accumulated dry baking soda off by immersing the light in fresh water before starting the process again. After several hours the copper achieved a nice brownish color a bit brighter than an old penny.

A picture paints a thousand words mate…..

tekwyzrd
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@scrumpypaul I plan to post a photo of the light with a new penny and an old penny after the sun comes up to get a photo that accurately represents the results.

scrumpypaul
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cool – look forward to seeing it.

freefly
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Did an Astrolux SC recently. First I removed the coating (and cleaned/degreased) with acetone and a soft nylon brush. Then I hit it with some vinegar (mini spray bottle) and sea salt and sealed it in a Tupperware container. I taped over the heat-sink, and later polished it up:

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Freefly – that is lush. Makes me want to buy one…..

tekwyzrd
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Here’s the patinated A01 with a new penny and two with different levels of patination. New photo taken today in sunlight.

ReManG
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Very nice Tekwyzrd! That brown is a wonderful patina…. Maybe a roll in the gravel on mine for a rougher look…

I like this thread.

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Since my backup new Cu A01 came in, I went ahead and went a lil wild on this one. Out-rustics my antique brass K18. Won’t say everything I stuck it in… suffice to say I won’t be holding it in my mouth for handsfree lighting! Sick

scrumpypaul
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tekwyzrd and chinooker – both brilliant. nice pics.

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I like the look of the cold bluing on copper. There’s some products made for this, intended for use with guns made of non-ferrous metals, such as Birchwood Casey Perma Blue. On the Birchwood Casey website, they say that the product won’t work on ferrous metals, to include copper. And yet… I read a post by someone in a forum that they used this with success on copper.

Has anyone here tried it?

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tekwyzrd wrote:
Gave up on the dish liquid on my copper blf a01 due to concerns about toxicity of CuSO4

I had no idea that the dish liquid would make copper sulphate, thank you for this info!

freefly
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xevious wrote:
I like the look of the cold bluing on copper. There’s some products made for this, intended for use with guns made of non-ferrous metals, such as Birchwood Casey Perma Blue. On the Birchwood Casey website, they say that the product won’t work on ferrous metals, to include copper. And yet… I read a post by someone in a forum that they used this with success on copper.

Has anyone here tried it?


Yep, I’ve tried a couple:

Brownell’s “Oxpho-Blue” cream works pretty well, and is less aggressive.

Birchwood Casey “Aluminum Black” also works good, but is much more aggressive (will darken much quicker than the above).

Good old fashion heat (from a torch) can give some excellent results as well.

For the Astrolux SC I posted above, I used a mini spray bottle with white vinegar, lightly coated the light, then sprinkled sea salt over it and sealed it up in a Tupperware container for a couple hours (turning/spraying/salting a couple more times along the way). Beer

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chinooker wrote:
shipwreck character
That’s the meme that did it for me!

I really didn’t “get” Cu and Brass bodies until I read this thread, saw these amazing flashlights, and that comment closed the loop.

Thank you all for setting me straight! And for sharing these treasures!

In hopes I can be helpful, I found a cleaner called B12 Chemtool which cuts just about everything, including old paint, fresh-mixed fiberglass resin, even the oils in your skin. SWMBO & I recently did some fiberglass work, & B12 spray would literally rinse the resin off the 5mil Nitrile gloves like rinsing dust off your hands. Splashing some from a pour can onto a shop towel lets you wipe nasty goo off your hands equally easily. Not shilling. I love the stuff. It will rinse paint off your car almost as fast. If it were legal here, I’d wager the coatings on your flashlights would be similarly dispatched.

In your tank (from a pour can), add a similar volume of Marvel Mystery Oil (Naptha) for the full suite of fuel system cleaners at one time.

Ima shut up & stay subscribed now. HTH.

“There is no darkness but ignorance.”

chinooker
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Well, this is a bummer! All of the methods I have tried on the copper A01 have proven temporary and wear off extremely easily with only “worry-stone” rubbing in my hand, in only a day. Including my last nasty looking effort.

Now that the sun is up, I can see the effect is still there, just muted… maybe another treatment. Crazy

I’m not about subtlety.

chinooker
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OMG!!
Thank you tekwyzrd for the baking soda tip! It had little to no effect on my copper A01……butt on my K18 brass, it was amazing.

Admittedly my A01 has undergone major surface attacks by myriad caustic agents and some crystalline structure is visible in bright light. I tried very hard and long to get to the brown stage you exhibited, to no avail, only a rose/gold/bronze which is quite durable and I can live with that.

The real magic is what happened when I stuck the K18 brass, fresh(well, a day or so) out of the vinegar vapor treatment into the baking soda bath. It tried to turn everything dark brown/black, butt w/highlight/burnished areas standing out.

It’s kinda dark out now and artificial light won’t cut it. I promise a few pics that might get you looking for your Arm & Hammer.

chinooker
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Now that’s what I was looking for!

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I ‘worked’ on two copper A01 BLF special edition… Never did that before and never imagined i would do that to such a beautiful light… But then scrumpypaul started to show off he’s along with nice leather lanyards… and i was done!

This is the first one i did. After washing off the coating with acetone i buried it in crushed hard boiled egg for about an hour, changing it’s position a few times:

Not pictured is the gray leather lanyard with the same hand carved brazilian rosewood bead.

Here is the second one (i gave away the first one). This time i sort of painted the ends with dish washing liquid but did not see any oxidation after about ten minutes and wiped it off. I then buried it in hard boiled egg inside a bag for several hours, shuffling the inside a few times every hour or so:

Brown suede string with a hand carved bead in spalted boxwood i picked up not far from where i live.

I like to ‘bury’ my lights in the crushed egg because it does produce stains and texture… On the second one it seems the short dish washing treatment on the ends did produce some accented stains… not sure really. Wink

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