I use the liquid stuff from Rio Grande, which I find more
reliable and less likely to go bad than liver of sulphur lumps.
I usually scrub the parts to be darkened with a denture brush and
pumice (used for wood finishing), the roughened surface takes
color better. If color doesn't take well, usually the metal
isn't fully clean.............
A very good post and points well taken .... I forgot to mention
the cleaning steps before you apply the blackening agent... we
normally clean with pickle, then soft wire brush mounted on an
old shoe polisher, if we are in a hurry. Toothbrush and lava
soap (pumice) works very well also. If we have more time, we may
place pieces in a tumbler with ceramic media+water+ammonia which
will really do some cleaning and give some fine texture over and
above the reticulation. If the piece has some extra solder
around in places, we cut that off with a dremel tool or pocket
knife to either make it clean or rough so it will take the black.
We do a lot of assembly line work building pieces for school
children (and teaching the children about silversmithing) and
adults at fairs.... turning out customized initial key chain type
pieces every 15 or 20 min. with people waiting in line. We love
the people, the pressure, and the silversmithing together.
Jerry Davis @jde
Rising Star, TX 76471
(under construction... very slowly)