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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
How well does Blacken-It work on brass? Does it work as well as on white metal? Does it need to sit in the solution longer/ shorter? I have eleven 3/16"w x 32"l x 1/32" thick tank straps to either Blacken-It or paint flat black - any suggestions?

Thanks, Tbug
 

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Go to Ur local gun shop and get Urself some Birchwood-Casey brass black,
its far superior to the hobby store crap... They have it for aluminum &
steel to, but I find that the brass black works just as well on steel or
aluminum...
Paul R...
 

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Tip re preparing brass for blackening. Mix any old vinegar (cheapest will do) and salt in a strong solution. Dip brass in solution until clean (not long), and then apply blackener. (From David Halfpenny who got it from someone else or so I believe)

Another trick is to dilute the blackener so that it slows in itas action. This helps prevent the flaky finish syndrome

I have used both these tips to good effect.

Sam e
 

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the vinegar fixes the chemical reaction. So if you use brass black with vinegar, it is permenent. Without it, over time the finish will fade and peel. I use a 10:1 dilution of brass black with water and a few drops of vinegar. It works fine. If it is too slow a process for you, heat the solution and it will speed up. All the stuff you buy is far too concentrated for what you want so make sure you dilute it some, even if you don't use my method. It is critical that the part be oil and dirt free. Clean them well, and DO NOT touch them with your hands until after they are blackened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for all the advice. I have used Blacken-It in the past. Worked very well, but seemed to lose its effectiveness after slight use. What is the reason for that? Because of that, it was cost-ineffective. Maybe I was using it wrongly. Still, I do prefer the results over paint. I will give it anoher try after htis thing called 'work' gets in the way.

Tbug
 

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Tbug, I used to use Blacken-it on brass and white metal (pewter) but I found something that works better, it's called Pewter-It. What I found with Blacken-It is that once used it doesn't work well again, but the Pewter-It I can use repeatedly - actually until it's pretty much used up. I also found that Blacken-It didn't do as good a job as Pewter-It as I would still see some brass spots after soaking items. I got mine at Caboose Hobbies and would recommend it over Blacken-It. I found out about it when I ordered some parts from Ozark Miniatures and that is what they recommended - so they may sell it also.
 

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there are many kinds of blacken solutions. Brass black and pewter black are different. Use pewter black for white metal. Brass black does not work well on anything buy copper and brass. I had made a few wooden ships. All the cast parts needed to be blackened. I got mine from BlueJacket Ship crafters, but model expo has it also. You can learn a whole lot about blackening by reading up on ship modeling.
 

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John, thanks for the tips on heating and vinegar, I'll give those a try next time. Also do you have a good link on blackening with ship modeling? I can try Google but I might go through a dozen sites before I find a good read.
 

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I bought several books on ship modeling years back. Why it was so long ago, I don't even think DARPA (or AL) had even invented the internet yet. So most of what I have comes from sources you will not find online. Look up Model expo and blue jacket ship crafters. You can wiz through their sights to find forums on ship building. From there you will find out way more than you would want to know.

The basics are simple. Clean with soap and water, the alcohol to remove water. Do not touch (ever) with you hands. In one of the previous posts someone mentioned that the blackening only works one time. That is probably because it got oil in it from the parts or the hands of the user. Do not put the pieces in the solution. Put some solution in a dish and add water to dilute it. Time how long you leave the piece in the solution so that it is repeatable. Then repeat. You can seal the blackening with an acrylic or laquer medium. I wash and rub the pieces before I seal them, as there is always a little bit of extra blackening that will rub off.

Its actually much easier than it sounds, and much easier than painting lots of small parts.
 

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I learned long ago that Blacken-It must be used and discarded. Use only the amount you need for the parts you are currently blackening in a small dish. When you are completely finished with the entire baatch, discard it. This keeps the solution in the bottle "virgin" so there is no chance (or little chance) of contamination. Never pour the used stuff back into the bottle, even though the cheapskates will always try to have zero used chemical. It just doesn't work and you chance ruining the entire bottle.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Okay, the Brass Black worked great on brass! Now to find and try Pewter-It.

Thanks to all for the advice.

Tbug
 

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One thing cool about brass blacken, when you're dun you can lightly rub the edges with a real fine steel wool and the base brass shines through. This is something you can do to bring up the edges and gives an authentic look to areas that get frequent handling - like handles, hand rails, steps, etc. Gives you that dry brush look to finished metal. Try it with some scrap.
 
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