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Call it oxidizing, call it sulfiding, call it blackening


Call it oxidizing, call it sulfiding, call it blackening… just
have fun doing it!

Hi Elizabeth and to many others in the oxidizer discussion… it
is amazing how one question can turn into volumes of information
isn’t it?

We (myself and the team of silversmiths I work with) were having
problems with depth of blackening and making it more permanent on

I found out that the permanence of the black on metal is
connected to the depth and extent of the chemical change that
occurs within the metal’s surface. Therefore some factors
(variables) are important to remember: (1) The amount of time the
agent remains on the metal (2) The quantity of blackening agent
being applied (3) The temperature of the metal during the
reaction of the agent with the metal (4) Texture of the metal
(such as reticulation) (Notice I didn’t mention which chemical to
use … because which chemical you use is not as important as the
method of application a that’s my opinion anywaya go ahead and
debate it) :wink:

The time and temperature variables are closely related and can
be simplified and controlled easily by a simple technique; use a
hot plate with a pad on top of it. We place the piece of metal
on top of a thermostatically controlled hot plate and leave it a
few minutes. We leave the piece on the plate until the
blackening agent has dried and we get a deep “burn”(dry black) on
the metal with the agent. The plate doesn’t have to be very hot
for this to work. You will find that by “burning in” the agent,
the reaction will go deeper into the metal and if after it cools
a little you see weak places in the color, apply some more of the
agent and put it back on the plate to cook.

Be sure and read John Burgess note a you are right a. And I am
glad to see you pointed out that it is a sulfide being produced
and not an oxidea thanks to you, John, I had to rewrite my note
and take out all references to it being an oxidizing agent. A
point well taken. Thanks for the reminder!

Sorry, I didn’t mean for this to turn into an essay. This is
my first note to Orchid and I want to say thanks to all
"Orchidians" that are reading and writing notes. I have really
enjoyed reading all the tips.

Enet staff member at and The Red Gap Silver Mine
at (under construction)

Cowboy Jerry email: @jde
or Jerry Davis
Rising Star, TX 76471