View Full Version : How Do I Tarnish Brass??
05-26-2003, 12:53 PM
I am restoring some old Stanley wooden levels. The screws that hold the brass plate over the bubble glass are shot and need replacing. The problem is that the plate is tarnished and the screws are new. It just doesn't look right.
Is there a way to tarnish/darken brass using chemicals or any other method?? Any info would be appreciated!
05-26-2003, 01:21 PM
as one who polices the area after an afternoon of shooting at a friends farm there seemt to be a couple or two empties that can't be found. However, there are some pretty dark pieces that are found when looking for your just fired ones. Leave the stuff outside, on the ground where you can find them and see what the degree of tarnish you get will be. Won't cost a thing except to wait.
05-26-2003, 02:05 PM
Gordon, the best way I've found is to try and keep the brass polished. This always seems to ensure rapid (rabed) tarneshing. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//biggrin.gif
The screws are most likley laquerd. Remove any protective finish. Try lemmon juice. Check out the 'Oldtools' list server, lots of good info there. http://galoots.law.cornell.edu/cgi-bin/lyris.pl?enter=oldtools
05-26-2003, 03:20 PM
Urine. Take a Q-tip into the john with you. collect a few drops of magic tarnishing fluid. Several beers helps. Caution, supply may exceed capacity of Q-tip. Have alternative receptacle handy.
Remove laquer coating from new screws, apply magic tarnishing fluid leave in baggie until flies show interest. Screws should appear nicely antiqued.
05-26-2003, 03:26 PM
I don`t even want to know how you figured that out !!!!
05-26-2003, 04:46 PM
It'll also dissolve powder fouling in a ML barrel.
05-26-2003, 06:13 PM
Put some sweat on it. Works like a charm.
05-26-2003, 07:30 PM
If you don't want Forrest to tinkle on it you could buy some "Brass Black" from any gun shop - it is made by Birchwood Casey.
Works on Brass, Bronze & Copper. It has Selenium Dioxide (Poisonous) so wear latex or similar gloves.
05-26-2003, 09:54 PM
It seems to me that urine would have amonia in it and would "shine" the brass. You will have to remove the lacquer coating on the screws. They'll turn green naturally in about two years. You can speed this up by exposing them to sulfur. Battery acid "fumes" might work. Better yet, poke 'em into a hardboiled egg yoke and let it set for a few days.
05-27-2003, 08:48 AM
If you have any black gunpowder, you can burn some of it and use the residue,(mixed with water), to tarnish or just tone down brass or copper.
05-27-2003, 07:51 PM
Thanks for all the great ideas! Especially the urine trick, Forrest. Anything requiring beer drinking is OK with me! http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//tongue.gif
I will let you all know what works best.
05-27-2003, 08:32 PM
I will assure the the urine trick works like a charm. Puts the nicest green verdigris finish you have ever seen. And -for whoever wanted to know how it might have been learned - I flicked some on my US Army highly polished belt buckle once. The green spot took months to polish out and you could still see a slightly pitted spot even then. Experience taught us that cigarette ashes make an excellent brass polishing compound too.
I'm available to provide brass tarnishing services for anyone who's buying the beer. http://bbs.homeshopmachinist.net//smile.gif
05-29-2003, 03:42 AM
To tarnish dip it in saltwater, To restore everything to like new dip it in citric acid
(cherry flavored kool-aid)this will clean brass to like new. The navy protects brass by lightly rubbing silicone grease onto it.
05-29-2003, 01:31 PM
Liquid soldering flux will also corrode or tarnish the brass if you leave it on. I'm usually trying to do the opposite. get the flux off so I can polish and make shiny, but occasionally I'll forget to clean it off and the brass will look like crap in a day or two.