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Author Topic: Blackening / darkening aluminum??  (Read 51140 times)
lab-dad
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« on: May 28, 2012, 04:07:37 PM »

I need to slightly darken the aluminum pulleys on my drill press.
Everything I have has failed me.
The chemicals i have do darken bur also pit.
I dont want them black but the polished finish is too bright.
Oils?
Goache?

Marty
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Mr Potato Head
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« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2012, 10:50:30 PM »

Go to your local industrial metal supply place they'll have the blackener you need, itís cheap too, a concentrated quart will last you a lifetime!
MPH
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Gil Flores
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« Reply #2 on: May 29, 2012, 01:57:35 AM »

Didn't want to say anything for fear of getting it wrong! - But, have you tried "Oven cleaner"? Every time I've got any near ally' it has darkened it considerably, almost a deep gunmetal.

Just thinking.
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KBO..................... Andi.
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« Reply #3 on: May 29, 2012, 04:20:37 AM »

Hi Marty,

i think ALUMINUM-BLACKthe best way for your part.
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chester
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« Reply #4 on: May 29, 2012, 07:21:57 AM »

Marty, had some luck by using Muriatic acid and Hydrogen Peroxide 50/50. Not quite as potent on aluminum as most chemical etchants and can be weakened by using more peroxide.
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marc_reusser
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« Reply #5 on: May 29, 2012, 05:16:12 PM »

Pee?  Roll Eyes
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finescalerr
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« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2012, 01:41:25 AM »

Okay, Marc. Your turn. Go stand in the corner. -- Russ
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lab-dad
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« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2012, 06:08:50 AM »

Marc,
Tried that - turned yellow..........
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chester
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« Reply #8 on: May 30, 2012, 07:55:07 AM »

A little off the subject but when I was young I would help my grandfather in his construction business. One Saturday I was given a can full of pee (donor unknown) and told to "paint" the galvanized gutters with it before the finish paint went on. I suspect the thought was it would etch the metal. I have no idea if this is so. I washed my hands thoroughly before lunch that day.
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lab-dad
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« Reply #9 on: May 30, 2012, 08:51:48 AM »

I have heard of the urine helping to promote the green on copper.

At this point i think I am going to leave the pulleys alone, they look pretty good "as-is".
May be just a hint of surface rust on the ones not used often, recently.......
It is coming along, pics soon.

-Marty
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shropshire lad
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« Reply #10 on: May 30, 2012, 10:10:41 AM »

Horse pee will blacken oak shavings , something to do with the ammonia in the pee . Though I suspect you will have to have some pretty potent pee to blacken aluminium .

  Do you want me to send you a pint or two of horse pee to have a bit of an experiment ? ! ? Or is your own toxic enough ?

   Nick
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chester
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« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2012, 06:50:28 AM »

It would be the ammonia if it were white oak. I built some wh. oak furniture that we tented and put ammonia gas into the tent to get a black color. Lye does a number on cherry too.
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eTraxx
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« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2012, 09:00:20 AM »

A while back I got a sample of InstaBlak A384. You can see from the pic this enough of a 'sample' to last me quite a while .. probably forever. The company shows a InstaBlak A385 also - http://www.epi.com/c/black-oxide/aluminum .. there is a button below each where you can request a sample. Might be worth the time.



* A384.jpg (71.25 KB, 201x300 - viewed 15012 times.)
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Ed Traxler

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lab-dad
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« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2012, 03:20:58 PM »

Thanks Ed,
Dont use the regular (insta black) stuff on aluminum - pitted the hell out of the piece I did.
-Marty
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Malachi Constant
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« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2012, 04:28:12 PM »

For an alternative to the chemical treatments ... some acrylic glaze medium (Vallejo or craft store stuff) and a touch of deep gray acrylic paint.  Mixing the paint with glaze medium makes a transparent paint layer -- TINY touch of paint on the first round to check the effect ... let dry for several hours (takes a lot longer with glaze medium) ... go back with a slightly denser coat if needed.  And, for even more transparent coat ... touch of Vallejo black ink in glaze medium ... there won't be any opacity to the color, just a tinting effect like looking at it thru sunglasses.  Cool -- Dallas
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