Peacock blue on steel

Colouring processes for metal and other materials.

Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Glen G » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:51 pm

That color photo came from Wikipedia. "AnvilFire" is a good BS resource too.
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Chris C » Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:32 am

Mr. ford,
I called a Chemist friend of mine who has her masters and she recommended Oxygenated ammonia. Evidently it will produce tetramminecopper(II) sulfate on the surface of pure copper. i am not sure what it will do to an alloy and she did not have a solid answer but said that it should just lighten the shade of blue as the copper content decreased. Here is a picture of the tetramminecopper(II) sulfate.
hope this helps
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Sage » Thu Mar 28, 2013 3:43 am

Hi Chris,

I'm very interested to see how this could be used on copper, but I'm afraid it won't help Ford in his search for blue on steel ;)
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Chris C » Thu Mar 28, 2013 10:36 am

Sorry, Missed the Carbon steel reference.
Thanks Chris C.
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Larry F » Wed May 01, 2013 4:03 am

About 15+ years ago a blade smith friend of mine from Sweden was hot blueing his damascus blades and he was getting some amazing golds and blues on his blades. He said his blueing solution got contaminated and caused the color variations. He wasn't sure what contaminated the solution.
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Dan T » Sat May 25, 2013 10:10 pm

I think Johan Gustafsson is the gentleman Larry is referring to. www.johanknives.com
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Larry F » Sun May 26, 2013 2:46 pm

Dan T, actually my friend is Kaj Embretsen who I first meet in 1988. He was really the first modern Swedish bladesmith to come to major knife shows here in the US. He probably helped more Swedish makers learn how to make damascus steel than any other smith.
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Dan T » Sun May 26, 2013 9:59 pm

Ooops, I shouldn't have assumed, my apologies.

Now I am going to look up Mr. Embretsen. I have read his name before, but I am not sure I have seen his work.
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby jhobson » Tue Aug 13, 2013 8:59 pm

Any conclusion on this? I just used hot blueing salts for the first time and the results were good and easy to achieve - for some reason I thought it was tricky but I'd encourage eveyone to try (with appropriate caution).
Ford - what was the problem with the usual hot salt approach - salt, heat?
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Dave R » Thu Oct 24, 2013 5:40 pm

He was drawn into the spell of precise craftsmanship as another might be charmed by words or incantations. - Annie Proulx
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Chris Tr » Thu Oct 24, 2013 6:55 pm

Robert Wilkinson Latham posted something about this blue and gilt sword process on sword forum a while ago... perhaps this is of use.

http://www.swordforum.com/forums/showth ... light=blue


the whole book is available as an e-book

http://books.google.com/books?id=Z4djCQ ... &q&f=false
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Larry F » Mon Oct 28, 2013 6:42 pm

Thanks Chris for the link. Since I make a few knives I really enjoy reading the old accounts of how they created these special blades. :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Albert R » Wed Aug 30, 2017 10:03 pm

Just found this today:
Niter bluing
Parts to be niter blued are steel which has been polished and cleaned, then immersed in a bath of molten salts; typically potassium nitrate and sodium nitrate (sometimes with 9.4 grams (0.33 oz) of manganese dioxide per lb of total nitrate). The mixture is heated to 310 to 321 °C (590 to 610 °F) and the parts are suspended in this solution with wire. The parts must be observed constantly for colour change. The cross section and size of parts will affect the outcome of the finish and time it takes to achieve. This method must not be used on critically heat-treated parts such as receivers, slides or springs. It is generally employed on smaller parts such as pins, screws, sights, etc. The colours will range through straw, gold, brown, purple, blue, teal, then black. Examples of this finish can be seen commonly on older pocket watches whose hands exhibit what is called "peacock blue", a rich iridescent blue.

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Re: Peacock blue on steel

Postby Mac » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:36 am

Good stuff , Mr. Albert.
Strangely enough, I've used molten potassium nitrate salts to temper large flat springs. You can also 'austemper' springs by quenching directly to the molten salt bath at the tempering temperature.
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