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Topic: Etching a spring to recieve paint
Message: Posted by: Scruffy the Clown (Apr 2, 2005 06:48AM)
I'm making a spring wand for myself and past attempts to get the paint to stay on have failed.I guess I need to chemically "Etch" the thing so the paint has something to grab. Does anyone have a good method for this ? what should I use?
Message: Posted by: Tyler_Magician (Apr 2, 2005 08:25AM)
What is it made of?
Message: Posted by: Leland Stone (Apr 2, 2005 08:41AM)
Hiya, Scruffy:

Even getting the paint to stick won't fix the problem entirely -- the spring and the paint film will have different levels of flexibility, so there's going to be flaking and peeling to some degree. Go light on the paint and you should have better success.

That being said, plain or galvanized springs (or any steel object) should first be washed with a good de-greaser; I use "Simple Green," but ammonia, dishwashing soap, or any good grease cutter will work. Rinse the soap off thoroughly, and then soak the item in "Jasco Metal Prep," a commercial brand of phosphoric acid available at Home Depot. Rinse the piece thoroughly in clean water, dry, and paint.

Look in the paint department at the depot for quart bottles of this green liquid, which sell for about eight bucks. It provides the etching necessary for paint adhesion on metal surfaces -- I use it extensively when prepping wrought ironwork for painting -- but it works on aluminum and other non-ferrous metals, too.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Scruffy the Clown (Apr 2, 2005 09:28AM)
What about muratic Acid? I have some left from painting my garage floor a few years ago? The other thought I had was the blackening that they use on muzzle loaders. I even be willing to try blueing it if It would work. from the front row, I doubt anyone could tell the difference.
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 3, 2005 01:16AM)
Gun bluing would not be a bad idea. Some of it is actually a dark black if you use enough of it. But don't use muriatic acid on your steel. It can get into the pores of the metal and cause problems later. You need a much gentler acid.

Go to a gun shop and get one of Birchwood Casey's bluing products. Get the stuff in a bottle. Also get some good wool applicators like you use to put leather dye on things. Follow the directions EXACTLY as they are on the bottle or it won't work. Trust me on this. I have used gun bluing before.
Message: Posted by: Scruffy the Clown (Apr 3, 2005 04:53PM)
Bill, I used the bluing. It does a bang up job. But it rubs off. I need to rough the steel up a little I think. I have some crocus cloth, So it thonk I'll try it. What about giving it a soak in just cheap toilet bowl cleaner like the works? It is hdracholic acid. Or is it still too strong? . BTW, How long does it take for the bluing to really dry?
Message: Posted by: Bill Palmer (Apr 3, 2005 10:42PM)
Try this one http://www.brownells.com/aspx/ns/store/ProductDetail.aspx?p=7604&title=BELGIAN+BLUE

It's not a single step process. You have to repeat it many times to get it to stay.

It uses hot water, so the drying time is not really important. But you must treat it with a light oil once it is done to protect it. Wait until you get the color you want. That will interfere with the white for the tips of course. So here's what you do. Once you have blued it and gotten it stable, clean the oil off the part where you want to have the tips and use wide plastic tape for them.
Message: Posted by: Scruffy the Clown (Apr 4, 2005 07:10AM)
Forthe tips, I cut and sanded two , 2 1/2" pieces of dowel ,andtapered one inch of it up to a shoulder. The ends were then painted white and lacquered. When the tips are finished you just twist them into the ends.
It did it this way beause the weight of the ends gives the sping a bit more "action".