Do boat builders ever apply patinas to bronze hardware ?
Do boat builders ever apply patinas to bronze hardware ?
Pee on it, embarrassing to say but it turns things the required green. It used to be used by jewellers, they would bury items in sawdust dampened with urine .The good old days.
Perfect is the enemy of good.
I have read about builders peeing on the wood they plan to build with . I am starting to acquirer cast parts for Emma , Well think I will start to pee in a bucket for the next few days ..
I used to have a few formulae good enough to fool antiquities experts (heh, heh) but that's another story.
It's why boat builders drink so much beer.
I like the more subtle results John Lebens got on his bronze by coating with Penetrol.
John - do you have fotos?
"It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)
Polish that bronze up just as shiny as you can get it. Make sure you act like you want it to stay nice and shiny.
It'll be green in no time!
This works every time for me.
I wish I could learn to love the look of ratty old water-stained wood as much as I love the look of seasoned bronze. Boat maintenance would be a lot easier.
Just out of curiosity, why do you need to give Mother Nature an assist with something she does so well on her own.
Schooner Captains Love to Get Blown Offshore
If you don't have the patience to let time and seawater do their work, there is a cold patina product called M20 from Birchwood Casey that will darken bronze, resulting in a brown color something like this:
Brown is an intermediate step on the way to green. This can be helpful if you have a combination of new, shiny hardware that you're trying to match with older hardware that has a patina already. Dilute the M20 5:1 with fresh water, apply with a rag or spray bottle, rinse off when the desired color is reached. Higher concentrations will darken the bronze almost immediately, so it works better to use a dilute solution and sneak up on the color that you want. Sculpt Nouveau sells M20 in smaller amounts - it doesn't take very much.
Your wife have African Violets? Spray a little of that plant food (diluted) on the brass, copper etc. and it'll take on the mottled green look of aged, sea spray'd brass in no time.
Here are a few formulae for creating patina on bronze and copper.
Remember too, that "bronze" aboard ship can mean a variety of metals. Silicon bronzes are the ones that turn that nice greenish color. Manganese bronze (a high strength yellow brass) is very common on boats and can be found in lifeline stantions, winch components, binnacles, steering system parts, sometimes chocks and cleats, and all manner of other goodies. Mang. bronze usually darkens to a brown/rust hue. Alum. bronzes and alum. nickel bronzes are yet another look.
I just (CENSORED) LOVE this Forum!
OK: How about [other than drinking vast amounts of beer and awaiting the inevitable... great for Pea Coats, incidentally] some fookin' recipes for these "magik elixirs" then?
Cough it up. lads!
Last edited by Vince Brennan; 07-30-2012 at 10:37 PM.
"These damned cockaroaches are messing up my vibrissae!"
Frayed Knot Arts: Fancywork and Rope Jewelry
displayed for your amusement:
^ They won't be shiny for long. It takes a while to turn green, but they'll be dull brown before you know it.
Peeing on them isn't a bad idea. Turns a nice green. When I helped out in an art bronze foundry years ago, we used to
have a corner behind the furnace shed that always had a piece or two of sculpture sitting there. If you needed to go while working you
just walked around the shed and peed on it. With that said though, no chemical patination process ever looks as good as letting it happen naturally.
Once you have the patina you want Armor All is what a lot of the museums use to keep the bronze outdoor statues looking nice. It can shine up nice but leave the brown color a little more even. I have been trying a little on my bell and so far seems to help some.
Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb trees it will think it is stupid its whole life.
Better late than never -
Pete at the Port Townsend Foundry, which manufactures very fine bronze parts for boats, has recommended Penetrol to us a couple of times. Of course Penetrol is that paint additive used to extend drying time and to flatten brush strokes. On the can, they also recommend it for sealing metal. Pete said he likes it because it allows bronze to change color slowly and evenly. He said that with Penetrol it's easier to polish if you want to. Apparently it fills the metal pores and leaves a oil finish on the metal. We are finding that salt air turns bronze much faster than fresh air.
we recently heard about a coating called Sharkhide that is supposed to be a great sealer. We tried clear powder coat on a couple of small pieces and it's working well so far. A local high-end autobody shop recommended "POR 15 Glisten" to preserve the shine on bare metal. All of these coatings will fail sooner or later and have to be replaced, though I have seen some very shiny bronze on saltwater boats and the owner claimed it had been five years since he used a two-part lacquer.
In the end, I am beginning to appreciate the idea of simply letting bronze be bronze, but using Penetrol to slow the tarnishing process.
Photos? I hate to admit it but I'm a luddite in this area. I haven't taken the time to figure out how to post them.
Last edited by John P Lebens; 08-11-2012 at 12:08 AM.
Duckworks was out of bronze ribbed horned oarlocks so's I ordered the brass ones instead. They are quite shiny. Would pissing on them yield a patina similar to bronze? If I could get a nice color some sort of sealer might preserve the look.
The standard reference work is Richard Huges' and Michael Rowe's The Colouring, Bronzing and Patination of Metals, though this slightly more specialized tome looks interesting: Patinas for Silicon Bronze.
Happy poisoning yourself!
FWIW, an old-school recipe for patinating bronze is basically this:
- polish the piece
- seriously degrease it (lest you get splotchy results)
- heat it up
- cover it in urine and expose it to air.
If you're more patient...
- polish it
- degrease it
Then wait for Mother Nature to do her bit. Exposure to salt is likely to help.
You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)
The brass oarlocks didn't respond well to attempts at patinating, possibly because they are built to resist corrosion.
"The alloy is an engineered high class brass for increased durability and corrosion resistance. The chemical composition of this brass is close to 464 Naval Brass with the addition of aluminum and nickel. "
RUST-OLEUM Dark Bronze Hammered Paint & Primer In One to the rescue. It feels like cheating but one very light coat and you have to get close to tell them from the bronze oarlock sockets.
While adding an faux patina to a bronze sculpture may be an artist's prerogative (it's makes them look old, which some thing increases the value), I can't imagine why anyone would do so on a working part on a boat. The whole point of "patina" is a that it is a naturally occurring appearance that bespeaks age and exposure to the weather. Leave bare bronze alone and it will certainly always look as it should. Treating cleats and the like witih chemicals to create a fake patina makes about as much sense as paying more for half worn out jeans with holes in the knees and the too long cuffs all frayed in the name of "fashion."... but people do strange things, I guess.
I think I might agree with Bob on this one. All of the hardware on my latest boat is salvaged bronze and it had been painted numerous times by the previous owner. I had to use aircraft paint remover to get rid of the paint, then because it had weathered here and there where the paint had chipped off I had to polish it all to get rid of the blotchiness and now I am waiting... it might be a while... but its gonna be beautiful.
Oldad not known for his patience.
If the store would have had bronze in stock this wouldn't be an issue but the yellow brass oarlocks looked like hell on the nicely aged bronze sockets. The usual ways to age brass didn't work or looked bad. The alloy which is designed to resist corrosion did it's job. Down the road the issue will be dealt with but for now this is what I have.
They were lacquered, a wire brush took care of that. The torch idea has merit. They were put in an oven with solution on the horns but not the shaft, that was only 400 degrees though. I'll put a torch on the shaft and see how it looks.
If they are destroyed then I'll buy just bronze like I should have in the first place.
You'd be surprised and possibly dismayed how well the paint worked. You have to get very close to tell the difference. It sticks to the surface in clumps giving an aged, two tone, light and dark effect. It's not just a cheesy solid color. I can't justify buying more oarlocks right now. Christmas is coming though, time to drop some hints I 'spose.
Last edited by Autonomous; 08-31-2012 at 08:38 PM.