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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The workshop » » Removing Chrome and Aging Metal (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

disneywld
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Denver, CO
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I'm trying to remove a heavily chromed piece of metal and then age it. Acetone is not working at all. Any ideas? How do I quickly rust the bare steel?
The Magic of Christopher Manos
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tabman
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You need some acid. Why not just take it to a chrome shop and get them to remove it??
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

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Chance
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To remove the chrome: a sander, or sand blasting.

To create rust: salt water and sunlight.
disneywld
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It is a small haunted key - I have it in an acid bath right now, but nothing is happening. I thought there was some magical fluid. I might have to take Chance's advice since there is not a chrome shop nearby.
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Chance
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Dremel tool to the rescue!
disneywld
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One of the websites I googled indicated acetone. All that did was make it nice and shiny. I called a chrome shop and they said that muratic acid would work, or I could drive 40 miles and they would do it for free. I'll try the acid next.

Chance, thanks for mentioning Dremel. I was going to use my regular drill. I often forget what a winderful tool my Dremels are for small projects.

Acid first, Dremel next.
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Michael Baker
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Maybe etch it first with a wire wheel on a Dremel or drill, and the acid might bite in faster.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
disneywld
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Update: The acid is working quite well. I think at least a layer or two have come off. Lessons learned so far:

Use it outdoors as the instructions suggest.
DON'T look at the acid bath closely! It is nasty stuff.
DON'T breathe in when working with the acid.

I pulled the key out several time and brushed the flaked plating off (After rinsing the key with water).

I'm going to soak it overnight and report on the result. Then onto the salt bath for rusting.
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thegreatnippulini
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Chris, soaking metal in acid actually cleans it. What you need to do is put the acid in a glass. Place it on a table and put the key NEXT to the glass. What will happen is that the acid will evaporate, diffuse in the air and settle onto the metal. This should be done overnight. Put a plastic bin over it if doing outdoors. Oxygen is what causes rust, not acid. The evaporation/diffusion process loads the acid with oxygen, so the acid delivers the oxygen more efficiently, rapidly oxidizing the metal. You do not need to sand or grind the metal. The diffusion will take care of the surface. When done, all you need to do is clean the acid off with baking soda, then rub oil into the metal. This seals the rust and makes a nice patina. You can also use ferric chloride, which is what I use to etch my own made damascus steel, but that process is more advanced. Disregard any salt water solution, it's a waste of time.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
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tabman
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For a good antique patina, after the acid bath, bury the key in the yard in some damp soil for a few weeks if you have time.
...Your professional woodworking and "tender" loving care in the products you make, make the wait worthwhile. Thanks for all you do...

http://Sefalaljia.com
disneywld
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Thegreatnippulini - Great advice and I appreciate the explanation of why the process works. I am "cleaning" overnight to get rid, hopefully, of all the chrome. When I wake up, I hope to have a key left!

I'll do the acid/glass method next and check on it in a week when I return.

Thanks so much all!!

Oh, in Colorado we don't have a lot of moisture.


Posted: Oct 16, 2010 9:42am
--------------------------------
Update: - The Muratic Acid did the job. All chrome plating was removed after a 14 hour soak. The bare metal is slightly pitted which is perfect for the next process of rusting.
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jazzy snazzy
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Quote:
On 2010-10-15 19:32, thegreatnippulini wrote:
Chris, soaking metal in acid actually cleans it. What you need to do is put the acid in a glass. Place it on a table and put the key NEXT to the glass. What will happen is that the acid will evaporate, diffuse in the air and settle onto the metal. This should be done overnight. Put a plastic bin over it if doing outdoors. Oxygen is what causes rust, not acid. The evaporation/diffusion process loads the acid with oxygen, so the acid delivers the oxygen more efficiently, rapidly oxidizing the metal. You do not need to sand or grind the metal. The diffusion will take care of the surface. When done, all you need to do is clean the acid off with baking soda, then rub oil into the metal. This seals the rust and makes a nice patina. You can also use ferric chloride, which is what I use to etch my own made damascus steel, but that process is more advanced. Disregard any salt water solution, it's a waste of time.

Just remember to keep anything you DON'T want rusty out of the way.
"The secret of life is to look good from a distance."
-Charles Schulz
thegreatnippulini
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Jazzy Snazzy, that is 100% correct. Put away anything you DON'T want to rust out of the way.
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
AGMagic
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Just a thought...Why not paint the key with rust color paints? Model railroaders have lots of good aging paints for rust, soot etc in small quantities. If you actually age the key, the rust will eventually rub of through your handling of it. I guess paint will too, but you can always add more paint.
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disneywld
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Good tips. So far the rusting process is doing well, but not perfect yet. I checked out the rust paints and they look pretty good too.
The Magic of Christopher Manos
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thegreatnippulini
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From a post on Anvilfire.com today:

"A few posts back there was some conversation on how to make iron look old. I have a friend, a fine blacksmith/sculpter that would make antique door latches and hinges on request. He would bury then in a pile of chicken crap and in no time they would look a couple of hundred years old. "
The Great Nippulini: body piercer, Guinness World Record holder, blacksmith and man with The World's Strongest Nipples! Does the WORLD care? We shall see...
http://www.greatnippulini.com
disneywld
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Success! The key turned out to be an alloy which what subsequently triple plated. The rust appeared in patches, and the acid pitted the key - much to my satisfaction. An idea came to me to use gun bluing as this instantly turns metal dark. Bingo - you can see the results.

I completed another aging process with steel in a few hours time. It was a set of reproduction antique handcuffs that were painted black. I gave them a bath in muratic acid followed by some scrubbing with a wire brush. After thoroughly cleaning the cuffs I baked them in the oven 450 degrees for 5 minutes and let them cool down in the oven. A nice rust patina appeared on the cuffs. I then blued the cuffs and put them back in the oven for the same time. After washing them off with water, I put them back in the oven for a final time. Then I coated them with oil and let them sit for 24 hours. Wiping them off, I had a beautiful set of antique handcuffs.

Click here to view attached image.
The Magic of Christopher Manos
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raywitko
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western Pa
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Nice... I had luck with a liquid flux called stay-clean. It's a soldering & tinning flux. Came from Harris. J.W. Harris Co., Inc. http://www.jwharris.com
Came across it by accident. Was using plated magnets to hold down pieces while I soldered them. The flux got on the magnets and removed the plating and seemed to rust them.
Ray
Sometimes it seems there are more than one of me.

Tabman USA
magicdmv
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