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How to blacken brass?


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There is (was?) a model railroading product called Blacken It. It worked well, but I don’t know if it would be durable enough for susp3ner hardware.

 

Check with your local hobby shop.

Collecting 3rd Armored Division items of all kinds from all eras, specializing in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.

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It's the product we used to blacken boot eyelets, rank devices & belt buckles when I was in the Seabees.

 

Jon B.

Newaygo MI

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Always looking for information on the USMC from 1916 - 1920, exp the 11th Company in Haiti and in WW1, 4th 5th, HQ Company.

Calling an illegal alien an 'undocumented immigrant' is like calling a drug dealer an 'unlicensed pharmacist'

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Question:

 

Do those commercial products smell of ammonia?

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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When I used to relic hunt alot along Suwannee river I could buy a quart size container of yellow sulphur powder from an old time Druggest who still compounded Medicines (1970- -80) to put in my socks to keep red bugs (chiggers) out and if I recall it will tarnish silver. copper and brass. I believe you dampen the powder pour it in a small hole around your item and keep moist for a few days or just make a paste and paint on the item. Richard

Wanted: WWI ID'ed USMC Green Wool Uniform and ANYTHING documented to my Dad's Iwo Jima outfit: 21st Marines 3rd Div.

Items marked "Marquet, Marquett, or Marquette"

 

 

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M-Nu is basically a paint. There are other products that will blacken brass through a chemical process. The Blacken-It has a strong odor as I recall, but I don't recall if it was an ammonia odor. A google search turned up other products, too.

Collecting 3rd Armored Division items of all kinds from all eras, specializing in the 36th Armored Infantry Regiment.

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It would be interesting to experiment with commercial products vs ammonia.

I understand, but have never tried, that it will blacken brass.

HONORING FAMILY LtCol Wm Russell (1679-1757) VA Mil; Pvt Zachariah McKay (1714-97) Frederick VA Mil; BrigGen Evan Shelby, Jr (1719-94) VA Mil; Pvt Vincent Hobbs (1722-1808) Wythe VA Mil; Pvt Hugh Alexander (1724-77); Lt John R. Litton (1726-1804); Bvt BrigGen/Col Wm W. Russell (1735-93) 5th VA Rgmt; Lt James Scott (1736-1817); Capt John Murray, Sr (1747-1833); Capt John Sehorn, Sr (1748-1831) VA Mil; Pvt Corbin Lane (1750-1816) Franklin/TN Mil; Cpl Jesse D. Reynolds (1750-1836) 5th VA Rgmt; Capt. Solomon C. Litton (1751-1844); 1Lt Christopher Casey (1754-1840) SC Mil; Pvt Mark Adams (1755-1828); Pvt Randolph White (1755-1831) Bailey's Co. VA Rgmt; Capt. John R. Russell (1758-1838); Pvt Joseph T. Cooley (1767-1826) Fort Hempstead Mil; Pvt Thomas Barron (1776-1863) 1812; Capt. John Baumgardner (1787-1853) VA Mil; Pvt Joel Estep (1828-1864) Co B 5th KY Inf CSA & US; Pvt George B. Bell (1833-1910) Co C 47th IL Inf US; Cpl Daniel H. Barron (1838-1910) Co B 19th TN Rgmt Inf CSA; Capt Richard K. Kaufman (1908-1946) 7th PRG/3rd AF CCU; T-5 Vernon L. Bell (1926-95) 1802nd Spec Rgmt; PO2 Murray J. Heichman (1932-2019) HQSB/MCRD; PFC Jess Long (1934-2017) US Army; PFC Donald W. Johnson (1931-) 43rd ID HQ; A1C Keith W. Bell (1931-2011) 314th TCW; A3C Michael S. Bell (1946-) 3346th CMS; A1C Sam W. Lee (1954-2017) 2d BW; AW3 Keith J. Price (1975-) VP-10; 1Lt Matthew Wm Bell (1985-) 82nd Abn/SOC








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Directly related to what suwanneetrader posted above, years ago I used "liver of sulfur" which darkened brass/copper. Here's a link to it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Liver_of_sulfur I remember buying it from a pharmacy around 40 years ago, but no doubt you can get it online now. It works. The Wikipedia article tells you how to use it. As I remember though, it smells like old ripe farts!!

 

 

Steve

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  • 4 months later...

Here is the cheapest and easiest way. Get a plastic container you can seal. Fix a wire hanging from the lid to suspend your brass item on, not touching anything. Put a paper towel in the bottom and saturate it with household ammonia. Close the container for a few hours and then check for color you want. Most I have had to wait was overnight. Usually a few hours will do the trick. Naturally be sure your item is perfectly clean of any oil, finger prints etc. etc. Good luck.

Check out my website of Military Relics and Collectibles: http://www.ourboysof98.com
I try to update it by adding several new items each month, so keep checking back.

Thanks,
keith

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Look up a cheap way, eggs, patina. I used it some time ago for a huge load of brass WW2 cartridges that I used phosphoric and citric acid to clean bright and shiney. To shiney, put it a plastic bag and eggs, took a few days to darken, patina was excellent......I also heard chicken sh@t works well. Get back with us.

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I just reread your original question and my answer probably is not what you are looking for. The method I described, with the household ammonia, will put a patina on brass but, will not blacken it. Regards.

Check out my website of Military Relics and Collectibles: http://www.ourboysof98.com
I try to update it by adding several new items each month, so keep checking back.

Thanks,
keith

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