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Rust steel in jewelry

Hi everyone I have been experimenting with mild steel in my
jewellery (cold rolled)- which I have been trying to rust. I
have no idea how this metal is going to behave over a prolonged
period of time and this is not a good selling point to potential
buyers! Naturally I would like this rust to stop at a certain
point and I understand that generally once rust commences it
cannot be stopped by sealing etc. I have heard that there are
alloys which form a layer of rust which then acts as a
protective layer and is relatively stable. I am very ignorant
in this area and would appreciate any info. Thanks in advance
Christel van der Laan

I think that the type of steele you are looking for is called
"core-ten". I’m not sure of the spelling. You can probably find
it in the Thomas Register, online at:, or try the yellow pages. Joel

There is an alloy of steel for use in monuments, etc. called
"core-10", or “cor10”, or some similar spelling. The alloy
reputedly promotes limited corrosion, which seals itself, and
prevents deep pitting. Perhaps you could find a sculptor in
your area who works with this material, and talk with them about
its characteristics. Perhaps they might even have some small
pieces remainig from a larger project!

HI: Paint your metal with dilute hydrochloric (muratic acid)
available in hardware stores. This makes an impenetrable barrier
to rust by turning the oxides into an inert mask that prevents
Oxygen from continuing the process of burning the metal. I use
it on body work before I fix a rust area. It prevents the rust
from coming back but if you leave it in the weather it may wear
off the patina and start again at some future point. lacquer it
to last longer. Ringman JOHN HENRY

Christel, There are steels made that work similar to Aluminium
that they develop a protective coating on them. I suggest you
contact the technical advisors of a steel manufacturer near you
or a Steel Industry body in your country who should be able to
assist you with some technical detail /advice on steels that will
do this Tim

 I have heard that there are alloys which form a layer of rust
which then acts as a protective layer and is relatively stable.

As I recall, the alloy you refer to is called “Core-10” , or
something like that. Used for architectural steel, like bridges,
buildings, etc., and sculptors use it a good deal for outdoor
sculptural work. It forms a stable rust layer which then
protects the rest of the metal.

Peter Rowe

Core-10 is a kind of steel (used for lamp posts and sculptures)
which rusts and then stops. Never have rusty steel next to cloth,
the stains are pretty permanent (a reason to use stainless steel
for pinstems instead of piano wire). You can wire brush the back
of the steel where it comes in contact with the cloth and seal it
with clear auto enamel (works for the front too). This will
protect the wearer’s clothing. Waxes work as sealers too. The
least darkening of the color is with ‘Dead Clear Flat matt
Lacquer’, made by Star industries in Texas (try Ways of rusting steel fast include a spray
with salt water then put it into a humid atmosphere (like a
garbage bag with a pan of water in it) for a while. Ferric
chloride also does a great job of fast rust colors on steel,
painted on and again placed into a humid atmosphere. Charles

Charles Lewton-Brain
Box 1624, Ste M, Calgary, Alberta, T2P 2L7, Canada

Look at in the fabricating
forums. Cor 10 is a copper bearing steel used for external
structural work. You may be able to find small cutoffs from a
local structural steel shop- buiding structures bridges etc. It
weathers slowly maybe too slow for a jewelry process. Worth
trying if you can find some cutoffs. The Artmetal Project is a
worthy companion to Orchid. Jesse

Having “dabbled” with home gunsmithing I have used a product by
Birchwood Casey that is used to “brown” metal gun parts as
opposed to the more common “bluing”. You apply it after warming
the metal part and reapply it to obtain the depth colour you
desire, after that you then apply a light oil. What happens is
the chemicals cause the steel to oxidize and this was the method
our forefathers used with the old blackpowder guns. You should be
able to pick it up at any gunstore, plus even up here in Canada
it’s not expensive. Hope this sermon helps!

Hi, I asked my Uncle for help with the gun bluing. He’s the gun

His answer is as follows:

Any gun shop or shooting range (if you still have them in RI).
There are different kinds for different metals and colors. Also
you want the “cold” blue. Some are darker than others - generally
you use fine steel wool between applications and it will get
progressively darker. You can also dilute with water for lighter
apps - it is quite corrosive and you should prepre the surface to
be clean & grease or oil free, although not always necessary.
Make sure you rinse well with water and apply oil IMMEDIATELY or
rust may begin to form. Use rubber gloves and good ventilation.
Mask areas you don’t want affected of course. There is a supplier
in Iowa - Brownells - I think they are on the web now - they have
the largest supply of firearm related stuff in the world. Bill