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Forced hot vinegar patina on block plane.

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Forum topic by Lemwise posted 12-30-2016 11:38 PM 983 views 0 times favorited 16 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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Lemwise

71 posts in 454 days


12-30-2016 11:38 PM

So I have these weird hands that can make brass and cast iron rust very quickly. At work I’m not even allowed to touch brass fittings because they will turn black within 2-3 days of me touching them. So I was thinking why not force a patina on my block plane with the hot vinegar method to protect it from my rust inducing hands. Has anyone tried this before and how did it work out? I’m mostly concerned about warping the body because the vinegar is brought to the boil. I’ve given some of my carbon steel knives the hot vinegar treatment and it’s not only very corrosion resistant but it also looks very nice.


16 replies so far

View Tim's profile

Tim

3681 posts in 1799 days


#1 posted 12-31-2016 02:07 AM

I’m not familiar with a hot vinegar treatment, but vinegar is a water solution so it probably boils near the boiling point of water, 212. I’d be surprised if that was enough to warp cast iron. Do you have a cheaper one to test it out on? Can you give some details on the hot vinegar process?

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Don Broussard

3387 posts in 2089 days


#2 posted 12-31-2016 02:12 AM

Google tells me that the boiling point of vinegar is right at 245F. I’d like more info about the hot vinegar process too.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View mrbob's profile

mrbob

182 posts in 407 days


#3 posted 12-31-2016 02:54 AM



Google tells me that the boiling point of vinegar is right at 245F. I d like more info about the hot vinegar process too.

- Don Broussard

No way 245F for vinegar at normal 5% acetic acid. My nephew the Food Scientist is here, just ran it past him.
It would be whiten a degree a or 2, either way of 212
F.
Pure acetic acid boils at 244.6F, vinegar is 5% acetic acid the rest water.
Acetic acid /əˈsiːtᵻk/, systematically named ethanoic acid /ˌɛθəˈnoʊᵻk/, is a colourless liquid organic compound with the chemical formula CH₃COOH. When undiluted, it is sometimes called glacial acetic acid. Wikipedia
Brand names: Borofair, Vosol
Formula: CH3COOH
Molar mass: 60.05 g/mol
Density: 1.05 g/cm³
Boiling point: 244.6°F (118.1°C)
IUPAC ID: Acetic acid
Pacification is a way of putting a Patina on metal.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Passivation_(chemistry)

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Rick_M

10634 posts in 2218 days


#4 posted 12-31-2016 05:26 AM

I’ve heard of this technique but know little about it other than what I can suss out from the obvious, that you heat vinegar and put the metal in it. I have a carbon steel kitchen knife I’d like to use this method on.

As for the plane, I can’t see any reason it won’t work. Whether the boiling point is 244 or 212 you won’t be anywhere near hot enough to warp cast iron.

-- http://thewoodknack.blogspot.com/

View Lemwise's profile

Lemwise

71 posts in 454 days


#5 posted 12-31-2016 08:14 AM

The process is very simple and the heat acts as a catalyst. You bring vinegar to the boil and submerge whatever you want to treat in it (It doesn’t work on stainless steels) and let it sit for 15-20 minutes to let the hot vinegar do its thing. You will see a lot of bubbling action like when you pour Cola in a glass. After 15-20 minutes you take out the object and rinse it under a running tap to neutralise the vinegar and stop the process. You take a sponge and thoroughly clean it and you will see the top layer coming off but that’s okay. Underneath it is the layer of stable oxidation you want with a nice grey colour to it. You thoroughly dry it and repeat the process 3-4 more times to increase the thickness of the layer of stable oxidation and it will also make it darker. If you want to have a black finish you just do just as many times as it takes. Usually 5-6 times is enough for a black finish. And one thing is very important. You have to clean the object you want to treat with rubbing alcohol so it’s free of any oils and other contaminations. Once you’ve done that you don’t touch it with you fingers. If you do touch it after cleaning it the oil from your hands will cause your finger prints to show up in the patina. The nice thing about this method is that because vinegar isn’t toxic, the finish is non-toxic as well. It’s completely food safe.

Here’s a video that shows the process:
https://youtu.be/H-JNW2Y_tZc?t=4m14s

View Tim's profile

Tim

3681 posts in 1799 days


#6 posted 12-31-2016 01:30 PM

Thanks for the info. I may have to try that, but I’ll have to wait until warmer weather and do it outside.

Don must have gotten a result for pure acetic acid. For household vinegar (~5% acetic acid) I saw a few results at 213 once I finally googled.

View Lemwise's profile

Lemwise

71 posts in 454 days


#7 posted 12-31-2016 02:05 PM

I’ve e-mailed Veritas (it’s the Veritas LABP) whether or not the hot vinegar method will affect the powder coat. I highly doubt it will because your typical powder coat is baked on at at least 350F and not even acetone dissolves the powder coat on the LABP.

View Ron Aylor's profile

Ron Aylor

1786 posts in 485 days


#8 posted 12-31-2016 02:31 PM

I use vinegar to keep my files sharp. I don’t boil the vinegar, though; just let the files soak overnight. I can only assume boiling simply speeds up the process. I’ve been doing this for years and my files are all just as sharp as the day I bought them. I even tried this on some old, rusted, very dull files found at a flea market and they are as good as new!

-- Ron in Lilburn, Georgia.  Knowing how to use a tool is more important than the tool in and of itself.

View Lemwise's profile

Lemwise

71 posts in 454 days


#9 posted 12-31-2016 05:26 PM

I’ve started the hot vinegar process and it’s now bubbling away for the second time. It’s turning out very nicely and the powder coat finish is completely unaffected. I’ll post some pics when I’m done.

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Lemwise

71 posts in 454 days


#10 posted 12-31-2016 06:46 PM

So this is the result after 3 passes. The hot vinegar doesn’t react the same way with cast iron as it does with carbon steel. It’s a lot less reactive. Therefore the layer is not as thick and dark but it should be enough for decent corrosion protection.

View knockknock's profile

knockknock

421 posts in 2011 days


#11 posted 01-01-2017 01:43 AM

If you want to make it darker. You might try brushing on (or dipping in) some hot tannin tea after the vinegar, and then rinse off.

Hot tannin tea: boiling hot cup of tea made with 5 tea bags (regular or green tea), if you have instant coffee you can add a teaspoon of that, if you have wine tannin you can add a teaspoon of that.

View Don Broussard's profile

Don Broussard

3387 posts in 2089 days


#12 posted 01-01-2017 04:11 AM

212F sounds right for the boiling point of household strength vinegar. I had just googled “boiling point of vinegar” and it served up 245F. Glacial acetic acid must confuse google. You wouldn’t want to keep glacial acetic acid in your house due to its high concentration.

-- People say I hammer like lightning. It's not that I'm fast -- it's that I never hit the same place twice!

View papadan's profile

papadan

3584 posts in 3206 days


#13 posted 01-01-2017 04:31 AM

Temp. of the dip makes no difference, boiling wont warp cast iron or any other steel.

View Lemwise's profile

Lemwise

71 posts in 454 days


#14 posted 01-01-2017 10:44 AM

Here are two pictures in daylight that show the real colour. The goal wasn’t to get it darker, I wanted a thicker layer. As the layer gets thicker it also gets darker. I have some carbon steel knives that are completely black. For some reason this is where it stops, the layer doesn’t get any thicker. Btw, you can do the same process with cold vinegar but it takes much, much longer. With hot vinegar each pass takes 20 minutes but with cold vinegar each pass takes at least 5 hours.

Right click>show image to see the pull pics.

View Picklehead's profile

Picklehead

1040 posts in 1767 days


#15 posted 01-01-2017 09:10 PM



If you do touch it after cleaning it the oil from your hands will cause your finger prints to show up in the patina.

- Lemwise

Might be a good way to positively identify tools in the event of theft. Now I’ve just gotta find a pot big enough for my tablesaw!

-- You've got to be smarter than the tree.

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