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Heat Coloring
(Oxidizing) Steel
Article © MAIL User: The Mad Mailler

Here is a relatively easy way to color either Steel or Stainless Steel. It requires only basic tools, which almost anybody would have. Make sure that the rings are free of oil and other gunk including human oils!!!

What You Will Need

Setting Up
Ok, now go outside. Sweep away flammable stuff. Now there’s a few different ways to do this, depending on what tools you have/decided to use.

With a Torch Hung on a Wire.
This is rather simple, pretty much idiot-proof!
1. String the links on the wire.
2. Light up the torch. Now, put the rings in the the flame, and shake the rings every once and awhile to get an even oxide coating.
3. When you like the color, stop and quench in water.

With Your Burning Fireplace Embers.
Get a fire going, until there are embers under the fireplace grate.
1. Thread as many rings on the wire you can fit, make sure it covers less area than the amount of embers in the fireplace.
2. Throw the thing in there…
3. Slow Roast until you like the color.
4. Dunk in water to cool.

With An Oven or Kiln.
This is also easy to do. Set the temperature, Bake, then cool. Just like making a pie.
1. Put the links on a pan or some holding device or your creation.
2. Here comes the *slightly* more complicated part. You need to set the temperature to get the color you want. Note that a conventional oven may not get the higher-temperature colors. Since the metal is a conductor, the heat may be conducted out of the steel than is is conducted into the steel. Here is a chart for the colors:

Here is a picture of the colors you will get. I tried to get the spectrum as drawn out as I could, but I couldn't make the purple show much. I ground and shined a broken file on a grinding wheel, so it isn't as shiny as it can be, and the picture also isn't as pretty as it is in real life.
Image: steelpatina.jpg

And That’s About It
Have fun with your colorful rings!
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