I have some bits for Henrietta which need replacing and I would like to age them if possible. I can't find enough old spark plug terminals to make a whole set so I need to age some new ones. I am sure my son will want me to hide the new kingpin bush tops also.
This preservation/maintaining original appearance is a whole new game for me.
Allan from down under.
How old do you want the brass to look? :-)
If I polish a 110 year old brass lamp, it is still 110 years old when I am finished.
Allan. In the past I have successfully aged new brass by dipping it motor oil and burning off the oil with a torch. It may take more than one try to get the age look you are after. Good luck. Joe
I worked at a shop that made copper vent a hoods and even copper sinks sometimes for fancy houses and there was some stuff we sprayed from a squirt bottle on there and it "aged" it. Probably would do the same for brass. I remember while doing it thinking, if I paid a thousand or more for a copper hood, it'd better shine like a new penny.
Leave it in a closet with swimming pool chlorine.
how bad do you want it to look?
Vinegar or ammonia will artificially age brass, you keep applying it until you get the look you want.
Forgers of bronze "ancient artifacts" bury their wares in acidic barn yard manure for a few weeks and when they retrieve them they come out looking like they have been buried for millennia!
I seearched this a while back when doing reproduction brass data plate for my 42 jeep. It involved a cookie sheet, some vinegar, placing the plates on plastic caps so they were not in the vinegar, but exposed to the fumes and put in a low over. Watch them until you get the look you want.
I like mine medium well.
I looked into this years ago to age some brass house numbers prior to installation on a leather license plate for a 1906 car.
I learned there are Civil War reenactment enthusiasts (fanatics) good-naturedly referred to as "button-pissers", who will age the brass buttons of their uniforms by soaking them in human urine.
This is probably akin to the ammonia and manure referred by Dale W above. I would expect the buttons were not attached to the uniforms during the procedure.
Anyway, it worked for me.
Quickly tarnishing brass, bronze and copper with chemicals is done all the time by artists and jewelry makers.
In high school, I had a fantastic art teacher and we made cast bronze sculptures using the lost wax method. We brushed on a chemical to tarnish/oxidize the bronze give the sculptures patina. Unfortunately, I can't remember exactly what it was. It may have been some type of acid.
If you do a Google search, you will find there are many different methods to tarnish brass.
If you want that Green look, sulphur fumes will do it. Burning some yellow sulphur and containing the brassware in the fumes will do the trick.
BUT BE WARNED. IT WILL STINK AND THE FUMES WILL KILL YOU !! DEADER THAN DEAD !
stain Glass supply houses has a chemical for ageing copper. Just rub it on to start the ageing. Forget what it is called but ez to get.
Just for the record, copper is not brass, and vice-versa. Both will take on a patina in the presence of some chemistry, but not necessarily all. In general, ammonia in various forms will "color" brass, hence the use of urine or manure. Fumes are generally more effective than solutions.
Put the new parts on a shelf. Wait.
Sorry Rich, only partly right. Copper is not brass but Brass IS Copper, in fact an alloy of Copper and Zinc. Therefore they both tarnish in similar colorways - green based.
No need to be sorry, Brass TT, but here's an example of what I was trying to communicate. A liver of sulphur solution will turn copper black in seconds . . . put brass in the same solution, and . . . nothing ! I didn't say brass did not contain copper. Chemistry is a wonderful thing.
Rodin, Picasso, and Frank Lloyd Wright are all said to have had students or children urinate on copper, brass or bronze alloys to faux age them.
We age the brass housing on the lenses of early style reproduction cameras with liquid gun blueing. You must clean the brass first then wipe the stuff on. Can be done cold ... or for a darker hue ... heat up the metal after application.
I just use a little heat from a propane torch. You might want to experiment with a scrap to get the right discoloration.
I use black powder, sprinkle a bit over the brass and ignite. Aging brass or bronze is typically a 2 part process. The first ages it, this can be done artificially with a solution however it is more cosmetic and can come off. This is why I use black powder as it penetrates and does not come off easy like a solution typically. If left for a few days it will become nice and dark and can be smoothed out to a nice shade with steel wool. The piss test uses nitrogen to turn copper (much higher content usually in bronze vs brass) green. This can be a proper look if near a coast. Rather than piss I will use miracle grow or similar nitrogen based plant food. It is common to have to age brass when building old flintlocks out of new pieces . . .
Go to: www.micromark.com/hobby-supplies/weathering?page=2. and see the (3) JAX metal finishing solutions. There is the green patina, the pewter black, and the brown-black. Good luck. Let us know what you do and how it turns out. Jim Patrick
Not an answer to the question, but since someone mentioned Civil War reenactors, how many know that urine was one ingredient used in making black powder? Sorry, don't mean to highjack the thread.
Just leave it alone. It will age itself!
Yes, you can make potassium nitrate from a fermented and concentrated concoction of old grass clippings and stale urine, mix it with charcoal and sulfur and you have gunpowder!
The rebels collected chamber pot donations throughout The Civil War to make gunpowder and also mined any local caves they found that had highly concentrated, nitrate rich, bat guano-based soils in them.