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topic 60337

Caustic black oxide without tank immersion - could this work?

November 29, 2016

Q. I have a friend who is a sculptor. She is working on this magnificent sculpture of a horse, made out of mild steel rods, welded together.

I was wondering; could she possibly have luck putting a black oxide coat on it by painting it with a solution of NaOH/NaNO3, and heating gently with a torch? I do not expect that this would produce the kind of uniform coat expected in a job shop production piece. In an art work this might not even be desirable.

Has anyone ever tried something like this?

dave wichern
Dave Wichern
Consultant - The Bronx, New York

November 2016

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A. Hi Dave. With millions of firearms black oxided and then touched up with cold blackening solutions, I think we'd have heard of it if it was practical to do hot black oxide without immersion. So I'd suggest experimenting with cold blackening.


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Ted Mooney, P.E. RET
Pine Beach, New Jersey
Striving to live "Aloha"

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