Blackening Stainless Steel Chain Mail--
I'm in the process of making a "Chain mail" (that's a type of medieval armor) shirt using spring tempered 302 stainless steel. What I want to do is turn the whole thing BLACK! (or as black as I possibly can...deep deep blue is acceptable).
Now here's my problem:
I don't know ANYTHING about how to do Blackening, not to mention how to do it to stainless steel without weakening the steel!
What I'm looking for a simple way of blackening it, or someone who can blacken it for me at a low cost, without degrading the steel's strength, temper, or corrosion resistance!
My thanks in advance for your assistance with my project problem,
Hi, Andrew. Your 2nd option is probably the more practical one for your circumstances. Blackening processes usually involve very hot (240° F+) caustic soda, plus nitrates, perhaps sulphides. They are not really for the person who "doesn't know anything" about metal finishing. Hopefully a supporting advertiser that does blackening of stainless will respond in private and offer to process the chain mail for you. If not, check plating shops in our Jobshops Directory.
Readers: please remember that this forum is only possible because the site's supporting advertisers pay the costs. Public responses should be limited to technical issues, not commercial issues like recommendations for particular shops.
The cost of setup would exceed the cost of commercial black. It is a significant safety concern also.
Black oxide will be the cheapest. Find a shop that does it on stainless (it is a different chemical than plain steel). Normally it is oiled. A sprayed on black wax over the black oxide will give it a very nice deep black high gloss finish.
Our company manufactures the water features and fountains that you see at places like Disneyland, Universal Studios, etc. To blacken SSTL hardware, we use a matte black patina processBill Newton
Andrew, look into gun blue (Birchwood-Casey Gun Blue). You can buy it relatively cheap and it works great. I suggest soaking the mail in the stuff for at least an hour, while stirring the mail around so that everything gets covered. You can buy the stuff in the little bottles and try it out, and if you like, then just search online and get a bigger bottle. Best of luck. HunterHunter Jones
- Nashville, Tennessee
You will find that gun bluing does not work on stainless steel although gun smithing suppliers offer some options. Personally I would suggest unless you have experience with these coatings that you have it professionally done or do lots of practice on scraps.Sean Duval
- Yuma, Arizona
Yes, I would like to make my shiny stainless black. Why would I want to do that you may ask? Well, I'm an amateur chainmailer, yes like medieval chainmail. I'm going to be making a bracelet and I want shiny and blackened rings, because it looks better. I've found 2 different ways to do this, heat the stainless to 1200 Fahrenheit or use a bluing agent, something like they use to color gun barrels. The heating up part I can probably do, if a propane torch can reach that high. the bluing agent, well, I wouldn't need that much, or I think I wouldn't. any help would be appreciated.Nicholas Fuller
Student - Bullhead City, Arizona
I am a medieval reinactor. I recently removed the galvanization from my chainmail, leaving mild steel. I am currently researching the best way to blacken it to prevent rusting. I have heard that broiling it with Pam olive oil spray can work, but seems time (and oven) intensive. The other method I have heard of is tannic acid, which from what I have heard, leaves a very dark grey rather than black coat, which is fine by me. How would I go about this? Boil my chainmail with acorns or teabags for a few hours? Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.
Washington University Student - Saint Louis, Missouri
March 27, 2008
I was informed of my information being falsely used.
- Masury Ohio
March 2, 2009
50 gm sulfuric acid, 200 gm sodium thiosulfate, 1 liter water, 30 deg C this should workRon Sandusky
- St Charles Iowa
October 16, 2011
I have found that Jax black for steel works great. I'm currently hunting a solution for sealing the patina however. Microcrystalline wax seems to work but I'm trying to find out the curing time. Lacquers and other waxes - floor and car are supposed to work as well. I would love to hear what solution you find for sealing the patina - if you go that route.
- Vancouver, BC, Canada
Jax Pewter Darkener