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Liver of Sulpher question


#1

Hi all, I use multiple textures and finishes on my pieces to contrast
with each other. I would like to use Liver of Sulpher to bring out
the low parts of the texture, but I want to see the metal in the high
parts, if you get me. What is the best way to remove the L of S from
the high spots? I have tried just rouge which worked so-so, and I
also tried a 3m bristle wheel also with so-so results. The difficulty
is that the textured part is next to a non-textured part that I want
to leave shiny. Any suggestions?

Thanks very much!
Mary Barker


#2

Mary,

Try a bit of powdered pumice on your finger to highlight the areas
you want, then burnish with a brass platers brush, soap and water.

Steven Brixner Design - San Diego CA USA
mailto:brixner@att.net
http://www.brixnerdesign.com


#3

Hi, Mary-

Perhaps you could mask the parts which you wish to remain shiny
prior to treating with liver of sulphur?

Lee Einer
http://members.cox.net/appealsman/


#4
    What is the best way to remove the L of S from the high spots?
I have tried just rouge which worked so-so, and I also tried a 3m
bristle wheel also with so-so results. The difficulty is that the
textured part is next to a non-textured part that I want to leave
shiny. Any suggestions? 

Mary, go to a beauty supply and get some of those rectangular nail
finishing bars. They’re foam and have sanding or buffing media on one
or more sides. Because they’re relatively stiff, they tend to not
gouge the low parts of a textured finish, just buffing the top part.
They come in various grits, from a very coarse 60 grit to leather
chamois for buffing (just buff across your compound, then apply to
the metal). You can get a selection if you’re unsure, because you
will find uses for them. They do a terrific satin finish in the
medium grits. If these are too large, they also carry sticks,
similar to the old emery board sticks, but in the foam with the new media.


#5

you’re on the right track. try gray star or tripoli (it works very
quickly), then do the rouge for the high color(after washing the
other compound off of course).


#6

This is exactly what I do on the outside of some of my copper and
brass kaleidoscope tubes. My method may not work on your pieces if
they are not convexly curved to some degree. First I spray clear
lacquer on the piece, because that finish complements my work and I
have found that the inevitable excursions of the tools into the
darkened areas may do less damage if those areas are first protected
with a coating. Next I simply pass over the high spots with a fine
file. (Sometimes I clamp the tube between centers on a small lathe
and hand-hold the file against the tube as it turns.) Later, after
all my high spots are shiny, I apply more coats of lacquer which
protects the newly bared metal and fills-in minor tool-dings in the
low areas. The lacquer advantage is that each successive coat
partially “softens” the previous coat and bonds with it; tiny
imperfections are filled, and a high gloss and smooth finish (think
grand piano) can be obtained after many successive coats. This only
happens with lacquer, not with enamel or acrylic spray - and at the
general hardware-type store you will only find spray-lacquer in
black, clear, and maybe white. (For any other color you need the
automotive paint industry suppliers and possibly expensive
application equipment.) Lacquer dries so quickly that only 5 minutes
are needed between coats, if you keep each coat very light, and
texture can usually be seen and felt through the lacquer unless it
is extremely fine to start with. Note you can only thin or remove it
with lacquer thinner, not paint thinner, mineral spirits etc.
Experiment !! Also - high humidity during application can spoil a
lacquer finish!

Clearly this would not work for you if your “high areas” are not of
fairly uniform height or if they consist of irregular topography.
However, I just don’t think you will ever have the best success with
brushes or buffs since their flexible natures will allow them to
enter the “low” spots with very little change in tool pressure
against the workpiece. If your pieces are not flat or gently curved,
you may be able to use a “Mizzy” (TM?) wheel or very fine-grained
circular grinding stone in your rotary tool. You might be able to
clamp the tool into a fixed position, and then clamp the workpiece
into a moving jig that would slide past the tool at a fixed, and
minutely adjustable, distance. This would keep the tool from engaging
the work too deeply and would allow you to engage it just slightly
more, as needed, on successive passes. Such a custom arrangement
sounds like a major engineering project that might not be practical
for less than mass-production, but it might actually be possible to
create something suitable and flexible with off-the shelf parts, like
using a small “rolling knife” type paper-cutter as the foundation for
a sliding workpiece-holder, and a modified “Workmate” ™ table to
hold and advance the sliding jig toward the tool… Look for friends
with machining and / or woodworking experience who would like to help
you figure it out, or who have surplus or unused positioning devices,
if this approach would even work for your style of workpiece…

Please, PLEASE wear a good dust mask when removing the patinas from
the metal!! Even if filing by hand a very fine and noxious dust is
created. The few times I have been lazy and thought I wouldn’t endure
the mask discomfort for a very brief stint of work, I have always
experienced an unpleasant taste in my mouth and disgusting drainage
from nasal passages into throat, yuk! and probably toxic.

This is an intriguing challenge. Will you please post the best
solution you find? My approach is fairly time-consuming and I would
love to find a better way.

Michael Miron


#7

I have always pre-polished my pieces first, then treated them with
Liver of Sulfur, scrubbed thoroughly (with a soft brush) w/dilute
ammonia and liquid dish soap, dried thoroughly, and then simply
polished the raised surfaces again with a hard felt buff and a little
Zam - but just didn’t put a lot of pressure on the buff. That has
always worked for me. The buff doesn’t seem to remove the oxidation
from the indented areas at all. Washing it with a soft brush
afterwards removes what little remaining polish there might be.
Over time the oxidation seems to get darker anyway.


#8
         What is the best way to remove the L of S from the high
spots? I have tried just rouge which worked so-so, and I also tried
a 3m bristle wheel also with so-so results. The difficulty is that
the textured part is next to a non-textured part that I want to
leave shiny. Any suggestions? 

Mary, go to a beauty supply and get some of those rectangular nail
finishing bars. They’re foam and have sanding or buffing media on
one or more sides. Because they’re relatively stiff, they tend to not
gouge the low parts of a textured finish, just buffing the top part.
They come in various grits, from a very coarse 60 grit to leather
chamois for buffing (just buff across your compound, then apply to
the metal). You can get a selection if you’re unsure, because you
will find uses for them. They do a terrific satin finish in the
medium grits. If these are too large, they also carry sticks, similar
to the old emery board sticks, but in the foam with the new
media. steel wool works great!


#9

Use an easy to remove stop out such as nail polish or parrafin wax
over the areas you don’t want to oxidise. Apply the liver of sulphur
WARM - not hot. Wash thoroughly and then remove the varnish with a
solvent.

Incidentally, the black coloration is not liver of sulphur sticking
to the surface but a chemical change in the silver itslf. It combines
with the silver to form a sulphide on the surface.

Tony Konrath


#10

I watched a gentlemen polish fire agate with diamond paste on a
small bristle brush mounted in a foredom. Just a thought that might
work for you. Use the brush in your foredom and load it with
tripoli or zam. The brush held so that the bristles are vertical to
the work will allow you to polish only the areas you want to
polished. Might work. Another method might work. Place zam of
tripoli on a small hard felt wheel mounted in your foredom. You can
work the wheel on the surfaces you want polished.

Good Luck
Lee