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Otto Frei's new Winox product


#1

I noticed the other day that Otto Frei now sells WinOx (silver & gold
oxidizer) in a powdered form that you mix with water to make the
solution. Has anyone tried it? I’m puzzled as to how this would work
with an acid-based product like this (I believe it’s muriatic acid
with some other chemicals).

Kate/Triskelt LLC
Celtic-Themed Jewelry Designs


#2

WinOx was the brand name of a liquid oxidizing agent produced by it
creator Bob Winston. In my humble opinion it was the best agent to
blacken silver. Maybe no the safest. it contained an acid and some
other chemicals. Bob Winston died several years ago and the product
disappeared off the market. There was some rumor he sold the product
to Gilbert Ortega before he died. Gilbert died several years ago.

The stuff gave off acidic fumes when there was high humidity… It was
best to wear gloves and a chemical mask when using WinOx.

I wonder how a powdered product mixed in water would work like the
original WinOx. One way to find out if it works is to buy the
product and try it out. It would make more sense to mix the powdered
mixture with an acid.

Lee Epperson


#3
I wonder how a powdered product mixed in water would work like the
original WinOx. One way to find out if it works is to buy the
product and try it out. It would make more sense to mix the
powdered mixture with an acid. 

Some acids could be powdered, or become acids when mixed with water.
Not muriatic, though.

Al Balmer
Sun City, AZ


#4

As far as I know, Bob Winston - my stepfather - did not pass his
formula along to Gilbert Ortega. There were various deals made during
the years, but none were finalized. On his death, his formula and the
use of the name WinOx as a brand passed along to my sister who is
producing and selling it to select suppliers, including Otto Frei
(where you can buy the classic WinOx formula in liquid form). Two
pluses of WinOx seem to be its long shelf life and fast-acting, very
dark patina. People comment on how long they’ve had their WinOx
bottles. Bob produced his batches of WinOx the old-fashioned way, by
carefully and methodically mixing and bottling the components by
hand at his bench, labeling and sealing each bottle individually. He
would box his shipments up, often toting them on his bicycle for
drop-off. He was quite a character!


#5

Hi Lee,

WinOx was the brand name of a liquid oxidizing agent produced by
it creator Bob Winston. In my humble opinion it was the best agent
to blacken silver. 

Why do you like it so much? How is it different than some common
ones like Black Max? I’ve been wanting to try some for years. I
think it may still be carried by Indian Jewelers Supply, although I
couldn’t find it on their site…

Allan
silvermason.com


#6

Back in the day WinOx was the standard for oxidation effect on silver
jewelry. I used this product extensively dating from the early 1970s.
Commonly applied to “western style” jewelry, large cowboy motif
pieces with stamped and incised designs, intricate overlay patterns,
twisted rope borders, shadow boxes around cabochons, etcetera. (I am
sure John D and Sam P made a lot of similar things during that era
too, probably more than a few others on this list as well).

It gave a durable black coloration that was stable and relaible. It
did posess a decidely pungent and caustic aroma and it seemed that a
bottle of it kept forever without diminishing in strength.

Its funny, I was thinking about this product just a month ago or so
when some of my students in Milwaukee were talking about the
difficulty they had getting consistent results with liver of
sulpher. None of the students had heard of WinOx. I couldn’t recall
when went off the market, I had not used it since the mid 1980s.

Michael David Sturlin
http://michaelsturlinstudio.ganoksin.com/blogs/


#7

Alan,

My use of oxidizing agents other than WinOx is limited.

As a beginning silversmith I started using liver of sulfur to
oxidize my silver. I was never happy with the results and especially
the smell.

I was introduced to WinOx when I met Bob Winston. He was the first
and only sales rep of our product Cupronil.

The use of WinOx on silver is like painting the project with a black
paint. It produces an instant dark black finish.

I agree WinOx has a long shelf live. When I heard Bob Passed away I
bought all the WinOx our local supply house had. I was not about to
be without WinOx. I still have some of those bottles stored in sealed
plastic containers.

I agree with Miss Khennesey, Bob’s Daughter in law. Bob was a REAL
character. I remember asking Bob how he did not get fire scale on
his cast silver. He would reply he used a reducing torch to melt the
silver then he would hold the flame on the button for a short while.

I would argue that that would not prevent fire scale. We would have
that discussion every time we met. He never buffed his silver as he
tumble polished all his castings.

One time after our many discussions I asked him to take one of his
cast bracelets and hit it with his buffing wheel. He walked across
his shop turned on his buffer and in about 10 seconds let out with a
long string of choice words. Buffing the bracelet exposed fire scale
that had been hidden by the tumbling process. He was shocked to say
the least

I wish I had been able to show him my simple method of preventing
fire scale on castings before he left us.

Lee Epperson


#8

Hello,

The only winox I could find on Otto Frei’s site is a power to be
mixed with water. Is there a liquid one too? Is the powder the same
as the liquid one everyone is talking about? After my experience with
the Liver of Sulfur; I want an oxidizing agent that will really work!

Thank you,
Jaynemarie Crawford


#9

If you can’t find it at Indian Jewelry Supply, try Thunderbird. One
or the other used to carry it.


#10

I bought a bottle of WinOx liquid solution off the shelf at the Otto
Frei store in Oakland, CA (off Jack London Square). They may not have
it as a mail order item due to haz mat shipping regulations, but I
know other places ship it with a haz mat surcharge ($20 is common).
You might try contacting Otto Frei.

Kathi Hennesey


#11

I used WinOx for years and I have to say I dearly loved it. What really helped was that it also would blacken gold if you used steel to apply it. I’m so happy to hear it’s available again!


#12

Never heard of Winox before and I’m 60. I use Muriatic acid 1-1 with distilled water and it works fine for me and it costs less than$5 a quart.