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Author Topic: Good "inks" for various metals?  (Read 1205 times)
jringling
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« on: February 04, 2010, 04:46:47 pm »

Does anyone know a good recipe for a homemade ink that will stick to metal. If not homemade, at least readily available at a hardware store... I would like to try a cold gun blueing solution, but I have not been able to find one in the local stores (although I haven't looked in the Walmart hunting section yet... hmm...).

I am looking for something to wipe on and wipe off to stain the etched areas on some of my work. I know afew solutions to create a patina, but I am trying to just "highlight" the etched areas with a light coloring...

I have never used "india ink" for anything... does it work on metal?
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Narsil
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« Reply #1 on: February 04, 2010, 05:00:41 pm »

If you just want to emphasise the etched pattern then indian ink should work quite well. It depends a bit on what the etching and teh surrounding metal is like. On the plus side the etched surfaces should be quite rough which will provide a good' 'key' for whatever you want to use.

If you've got large areas to fill, like big letters, for example, you might be better off using paint and sanding off any overflow afterwards, another option is to try coloured wax eg shoe polish, which will give more of a mellow patinated effect.

If you want to achieve large blocks of colour then cold enamelling kits might be worth investigating.

« Last Edit: February 04, 2010, 05:03:55 pm by Narsil » Logged







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jringling
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2010, 05:07:05 pm »

Shoe polish! That's what I am looking for... now why didn't I think of that!

Okay, if that doesn't work, what else?
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 05:15:03 pm »

If you are getting the ink into your etched lines then Indian Ink works. Modelmakers enamel paints and acrylics also work well particularly if you are going to lacquer the work afterwards.  Commercial metal paints (e.g. Hammerite Smooth) is a good option.  If you can get it firegrate black (A proprietary brand is Zeebo or Zeebrite here in the UK) is great, enhances the lines and patinates the piece.

Best of luck with it Sir, I look forward to seeing the results as always.
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jringling
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 05:26:49 pm »

I typically use model paints or flat black primer for my pins and such, and then follow with a clear coat. I do not really like the look of the clear coat and the cold weather limits my application (I cannot spray it in the house... don't ask...). Paint also requires a follow-up of sanding.

For my current project, I am trying not to have to sand the etched plates as I have achieved an odd finish as a result of some contaminates in my bath. I am looking for a liquid or paste that I can wipe on and wipe off, so india ink or shoe polish sound good. The only potential problem will be if either is resistant to an application of Renaissance Wax. Since I have discovered this product, I use it on everything...
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TimeTinker
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 05:54:18 pm »

I know what you mean about clearcoat and similar finishes.  Leaves it all looking a bit artificial to me.  Indian Ink should be a favourite.

There are various sculptors patinating finishes.  I buy from Alec Taranti's but I am sure similar are available on your side of the pond.
http://www.tiranti.co.uk/subdivision_product_list.asp?Subcategory=66&Subdivision=272  One might be useful.  (Personally I like Cupra that gives a green patina to brass and copper)

Alternatively two of my favourite products are antique finish and hilighter by Fiebings.  They are alcohol based leather products, the former a wax and the latter a liquid.  I think they might do the job for you and work with your Renaissance Wax.  Might be time for an experiment. Grin

With  paints I generally have no problem with wipe on wipe off on etched or engraved surfaces and no need for sanding. The trick seems to be not put too much on and think about something like a squeegy rather than an absorbent cloth or paper to wipe off. (Providing you are working on the flat)  (Actually your finger works well!)  On complex shapes its a bit more difficult.  I have no intention of trying to teach you to suck eggs of course you probably already do this but sometimes it helps to spell things out for the lurkers.

Its a shame you are too far away for me to take you down to my workshop to have a play and experiment.

Tinker
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Mr. Boltneck
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 06:08:24 pm »

In signmaking, colored fills for etching are usually done by filling the low-lying spots with enamel (the oil-based stuff, like pinstripers use) in a syringe-bottle (the kind used for dispensing adhesives and sealents), letting it dry a bit, and then wiping the surface flush using a smooth hardwood block covered with lint-free cloth, slightly dampened with solvent. You might want to practice first.
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Moonracer
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 07:56:58 pm »

I know I have seen ink that can be used on metal at both Michale's & Jo-Ann fabric stores, it can usually be found near the scrapbooking stuff. If I recall rightly its in a bottle too, I think its called Distress, Distressed ink? Or some other odd name I haven't bought it myself though so I cannot vouche for its longevity. Hope this helps.
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jringling
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2010, 08:30:59 pm »

I know I have seen ink that can be used on metal at both Michale's & Jo-Ann fabric stores, it can usually be found near the scrapbooking stuff. If I recall rightly its in a bottle too, I think its called Distress, Distressed ink? Or some other odd name I haven't bought it myself though so I cannot vouche for its longevity. Hope this helps.

Thanks, I'll look at the local JoAnns. I searched the "Ranger" ink site, but cannot find anything that says it will work on metal...
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Narsil
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« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2010, 01:36:46 pm »

I typically use model paints or flat black primer for my pins and such, and then follow with a clear coat. I do not really like the look of the clear coat and the cold weather limits my application (I cannot spray it in the house... don't ask...). Paint also requires a follow-up of sanding.

For my current project, I am trying not to have to sand the etched plates as I have achieved an odd finish as a result of some contaminates in my bath. I am looking for a liquid or paste that I can wipe on and wipe off, so india ink or shoe polish sound good. The only potential problem will be if either is resistant to an application of Renaissance Wax. Since I have discovered this product, I use it on everything...

Both should be fine with ren wax. TimeTinker's suggestion of grate black is a very good one, it's a wax paste filled with graphite. It goes on black and can be polished to a dark grey sheen, its about the most steampunk finish that there is, it's excellent for picking out surface detail and texture.
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