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Anyone know?
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Posted on Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:13 am
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Anyone knowledgeable about altering the color of stainless steel with heat?
Is it possible, or even viable with any convenient method?

I'm not looking for any precise control, just something that has a different character then standard rings. I was hoping for a simple way to bake something, but if torching is the easiest, and least expensive method I'm ok with that.



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Posted on Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:15 am
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http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/subcat.cgi?key=13

Few different methods listed here with instructions.

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Posted on Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:36 am
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sioban wrote:
http://www.mailleartisans.org/articles/subcat.cgi?key=13

Few different methods listed here with instructions.



Thanks.



Joined: September 15, 2008
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Posted on Thu Jul 02, 2009 2:47 am
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No problem. Very Happy

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Posted on Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:19 pm
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I did some experimenting with this. I had acess to a Heat treat oven at school for a while. I found that 420C Gives Stainless a nice gold color.
As a bonus it doesnt matter if you leave it in too long, as long as you keep it at the same temp it wont change beyond that.

Unfortunatly most conventional ovens dont go up to that.

I didnt have time nor the precision in the oven I was using, but I think that the ideal sweet spot would be either 410-415C.

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Posted on Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:23 pm
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Well as an update I did manage to bake some stainless in the toaster over to get a nice bronze look. As well I ran some pieces through the barbecue to get a multicolored effect. Only trouble is they have a fairly matte finish, and I want to shine em up. Otherwise they have given me a variety to work with.
Baked a batch a rings to weave into my finger rings to create a two tone.

I'll be getting a hand torch next to try a make some more of the blue hues.



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Posted on Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:39 pm || Last edited by ZiLi on Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:43 pm; edited 1 time in total
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As I also collected experience with heat coloring of stainless steel, I'll give you a report of. In the kitchen oven (that is able to reach 275 deg C) I managed not more than a light bronze tone, but very consistently, as a couple of coils 'baken' reached an absolutely identical color.

A tempering oven is not yet available to me at home, but I have occasional access to one when visiting a kniefemakers friend (another of my hobbies). Given a well-regulated oven, very consistent results can be achieved here as well, but some colors in the violet to blue zone of temper colors need a VERY good regulation to result in consistent results. I use that for coils before cutting, but alternatively you may string your rings on a wire ring, or heat-treat a complete piece.

Using a torch is usually the easiest method available to heat-color rings, if a an assortment of differently colored rings is wished, or if some effort is invested after coloring to sort out the achieved colors.

Unfortunately heat treatment colors (basically oxide layers) on stainless are not as tough than on Titanium (I didn't work with Nb yet and so have no comparison to that), so don't expect results that hold up against daily wear rub-off over longer times, like seen on the very robust Titanium.

-ZiLi-
edit: typo removed - if anony finds another one or two, (s)he may use them for free Smile


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Posted on Sat Jul 04, 2009 11:44 pm
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Use thin layers of finger nail polish, several

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Posted on Sun Jul 05, 2009 7:14 pm
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using 302/304 grade i found heating it up till glowing red and then rapid cooling (NOT quenching in water) like holding it in front of the A/C vent till cool will give you a dull blackened finished that will polish to a shiny blackish grey

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Posted on Sun Jul 05, 2009 8:41 pm
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As Zili said, you can heat treat them as rings, coils or a complete piece. A good thing to remeber is that the bigger the cross section, say a single coil or a hauberk In a pile, the longer you have to keep it at the temperature to ensure an even coating.
(I prefer to do the entire piece method as then you have exact consistency.)

Unfortunatly the coating on Stainless wears off fairly easily. I did a glove and after having it on for a few minutes saw a noticible wearing of the color at some junction points.

As a side note, with the afor-mentioned glove after I heat colored it I felt a distinct change in the tightness/flexibilty of the glove. Does anyone know what happened there?

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Posted on Sun Jul 05, 2009 10:10 pm
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Cahojama wrote:

Unfortunatly the coating on Stainless wears off fairly easily. I did a glove and after having it on for a few minutes saw a noticible wearing of the color at some junction points.


Hmm. The items that I have baked do not seem to have any issues with loosing color. I have deliberately scratch tested a few, and can with effort remove the color, but I am getting no residue rub off as of yet, and they seem to hold up better then the anodized aluminum.



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Posted on Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:01 pm
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How long did you bake your pieces for Derailed?

I was in a rush when I did my glove (last day of school=limited time) and wasn't able to bake my glove as long as I wanted.

I never had a chance to test out whether or not time baked affects durability of coating but I bet it does.
(TRL also states they bake their stainless for an hour for a durable finish)

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Posted on Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:32 pm
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Cahojama wrote:
How long did you bake your pieces for Derailed?

I was in a rush when I did my glove (last day of school=limited time) and wasn't able to bake my glove as long as I wanted.

I never had a chance to test out whether or not time baked affects durability of coating but I bet it does.
(TRL also states they bake their stainless for an hour for a durable finish)


The ones that came out really bronze I baked in a toaster oven on max for 20 min. The same settings for 10 min got me the light brass color.

The multicolored ones I just dangled in the barbecue element.

My guess is if you bake longer you will create a thicker layer.



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Posted on Mon Jul 06, 2009 11:59 pm
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Derailed wrote:
Cahojama wrote:
How long did you bake your pieces for Derailed? ...


The ones that came out really bronze I baked in a toaster oven on max for 20 min. The same settings for 10 min got me the light brass color.

The multicolored ones I just dangled in the barbecue element.

My guess is if you bake longer you will create a thicker layer.


Well, I am relatively convinced, that the heat treatment DURATION has NOT the major influence on the color, but (maybe) on the coloring's durability. The color itself will be mostly dependent on the TEMPERATURE, provided a minimum hold time at a target temperature (preferably in an oxygen-rich atmosphere) is achieved. And based on my knifemaker's experience (there heat treatment and tempering are most important to make good blades) I am relatively sure, that the minimum hold time is in the low one-digit seconds range, maybe even below a second. Note: When torch-coloring you need to use an oxidizing flame, and not a reducing one - else you may experience longer times than wished to achieve reproducible, stable results.

-ZiLi-


Maille Code V2.0 T7.1 R5.6 Ep Fper MAl Ws$ Cpbsw$ G0.3-6.4 I1.0-30.0 N28.25 Ps Dacdejst Xagtw S08 Hip

Human societies are like chain mail.
A single link will be worth nothing.
A chain is of use, but will break at the weakest link.
A weak weave will have the need to replace weak links.
A strong weave will survive even with weak links included.
-'me

Joined: June 13, 2009
Posts: 490
Submissions: 153

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Posted on Tue Jul 07, 2009 12:15 am
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ZiLi wrote:
Derailed wrote:
Cahojama wrote:
How long did you bake your pieces for Derailed? ...


The ones that came out really bronze I baked in a toaster oven on max for 20 min. The same settings for 10 min got me the light brass color.

The multicolored ones I just dangled in the barbecue element.

My guess is if you bake longer you will create a thicker layer.


Well, I am relatively convinced, that the heat treatment DURATION has NOT the major influence on the color, but (maybe) on the coloring's durability. The color itself will be mostly dependent on the TEMPERATURE, provided a minimum hold time at a target temperature (preferably in an oxygen-rich atmosphere) is achieved. And based on my knifemaker's experience (there heat treatment and tempering are most important to make good blades) I am relatively sure, that the minimum hold time is in the low one-digit seconds range, maybe even below a second. Note: When torch-coloring you need to use an oxidizing flame, and not a reducing one - else you may experience longer times than wished to achieve reproducible, stable results.

-ZiLi-


That's exactly what I was attempting to get at. The longer at a maintained temperature the thicker the oxidized layer.

Any more info on proper flame setting as I just picked up a propane hand torch with the intention of discoloring some steel.



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