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#6414 - 05/07/06 08:50 AM Re: Damascus Etching
Ian Nixon Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 758
Loc: eastern Ontario, Canada
JimfromTrafalgar: "but I believe it was Doug Mann who brushes on the etchant instead".
Working from memory now - I believe that was Doug Miller from British Columbia.

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#6415 - 05/07/06 09:53 AM Re: Damascus Etching
Tinker Offline
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Registered: 01/09/05
Posts: 802
Loc: Palomino Valley, NV
Jim-

I'd like to hear what your rusting box setup is like. What are you using to monitor and control humidity?


--Tinker

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#6416 - 05/07/06 10:34 AM Re: Damascus Etching
JimfromTrafalgar Offline
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 482
Loc: Trafalgar,IN
Tinker,
For starters, if you wish, I can send you some pictures.
___
Picture a normal sized wooden rusting chamber, with a plexiglass front.
A large, 300 watt, lightbulb in the top right hand corner, for heat.
A foot or so from the bottom is mounted an odd shaped shelf that holds the various stands I've made, for barrels and small parts.
Below that is a 5 or 6" fan, set at an angle, to circulate air.
Below that, a heated pan, normally used for condensate removal in commercial refrigeration. It's temperature limited, with a safety, so that if I accidentally run it dry, it won't cause problems. It sits on a stainless steel bottom liner, that is insulated below,to protect the wood.
Left and from the top, is a hook for hanging barrels.
On the right, outside, the controls are mounted:
An electronic temperature control, with an LRD readout, and remote sensor,[located inside,right, rear], that controls the light bulb.
A box holding the relay that turns the de-humidity control,[mounted inside,front right], into a humidistat.
Down low, the main switch, which energizes the fan, as well as the two control circuits.
Up high, a series of three switches that energize the heat and humidity circuits and bypass the heat in case you want to see things on an "off" cycle for heat.
That about sums it up. The humidity control is a bit crude, with some overshoot that must be accounted for because the water pan and water in it remain hot, even after the stat quits calling. The only solution I could think of to remedy this was steam injection, which gets quite expensive. A little fine tuning of the control settings and this is not a problem, however.
I can rust quite quickly by kicking up both heat and humidity, or I can leave the humidity circuit off, and with water in the pan, get slower results if I need to be away, and can't monitor the process.
I can also remove the water pan, and use the contraption as a drying box, for stock refinishing. It keeps dust out fairly well, and the heat and air circulation speed drying time considerably.
The reason I offered to send pics, rather than post them here, is that I just haven't gotten around to opening an account with Photo-Bucket. Should anybody wish to do so, I can e-mail pics, and I don't mind if you post them. I will get around to setting up and figuring the process out, soon, I hope.
Jim
Oh, I don't have a wiring diagram for this thing. It's fairly simple,I just added circuits based on what was required for operation.

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#6417 - 05/07/06 08:07 PM Re: Damascus Etching
vh20 Offline
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Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 180
Loc: Alabama
Jim,

Regarding your comments on why the bores would need to be plugged during boiling, I can shed a little light, but not much. The mention of this in Oscar's process only comes up after the usage of the logwood in the boil bath came into play. I do not know what problem this mixture of logwood and copperas would cause in the bores, but that is where the vented plugs came into use. I don't think he ever plugged them when boiling in plain distilled water. I, like you, have boiled quite a few sets in plain water with no problems, but I have not used logwood as of yet. We do plug the bores for the etchant, though.
I am curious about how you go about coating the bores with shellac. How do you do it without getting some on the outside? Does it survive the many boilings without having to be re-applied between cycles? We have always needed a very light bore-honing after completing a set. Will the shellac eliminate this need? How do you get the shellac out of the bores afterwards? Thanks,

Jim

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#6418 - 05/08/06 03:58 AM Re: Damascus Etching
JimfromTrafalgar Offline
Sidelock
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Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 482
Loc: Trafalgar,IN
Jim,
I put a patch in a cleaning loop, soak it in shellac, run it down the bores, then wipe the breech and muzzles. Let it dry, and repeat, twice.
It does seem to change with the heat of boiling, but doesn't come off or appear to break down. In fact, it seems to get very tough. I remove it by running a patch soaked with denatured alcohol down the bores. After it sits for a bit, I run a brush wrapped in steel wool, powered by a drill motor, through. I've made a rod that takes standard American brushes, with a guide that fits in the chamber, for this type of stuff.
Steven Dodd Hughes mentions some type of paint for this purpose when fume rusting. I'm thinking of trying that, as it may be easier to remove.
As far as getting any on the outside. If I had any doubts, a rag with a little acetone on it solves the problem.
Interesting that you plug the bores, but need to lap a bit when finished. I wondered how one could always be certain of a water tight fit, so decided on coating.
I don't think the plugs would be required for using logwood either. I'm not aware of anyone who plugs to hot tank single barrelled guns. You just wind up with a blued bore, which disappears quickly after a little shooting and cleaning. I would think the same true of logwood. I've only used it in the context of scalding browned barrels, and hadn't noticed the bores picking up much, if any, color from that process.
Jim

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#6419 - 05/08/06 10:29 AM Re: Damascus Etching
Fred Offline
Member
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Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 707
Loc: San Diego Area
Jim, thanks for the clarifications and additional info.

THe Fe2Cl3 concentration reduction resulted from a discussion with Oscar, to address issues I was having. (As you said, reaction rates double for every 10 deg C increase, and my conditions generally ran in the mid 80s.

My problems were slow/poor contrast development and unevenness, particularly "slower results" toward the breech, and also difficulty controlling the etching.

I was dipping into a PVC tube tank of Fe2Cl3 (stoppered bbls of course), holding the bbls by a coat hanger wire thru the hole in the rib extension. It was a quick dip to full immersion, nearly immediate removal and immediate hosing down (literally).

The muzzles had a longer residence time in the bath because they were "first in -- last out," and therefore results weakened going back toward the breech. With a short etch time this became siginficant.

I've been told (but not by Oscar) that he modified his process to use ~ 10% Fe2Cl3, in his later years. I have the impression that this improved contrast somewhat, as well as controlability. In any case it certainly did for me.

I'm about to start a set of Lefever G bbls, here in the moderate clime of So CA, and plan to start at 10%. If anyone has confirming (or conflicting) experience in this I'd appreciate hearing.

Also, I got good results (but needed over a dozen passes) by Fe2Cl3 etching every pass (rusting cycle) -- in the pre-logwood era. The Parker Factory Process states just one, fairly heavy etch at the outset, and Oscar's "Parker Factory - adapted" process implies just one. Does anyone have experience in using just one, pre-etch?
_________________________
Fred

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#6420 - 05/08/06 11:28 AM Re: Damascus Etching
JimfromTrafalgar Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 482
Loc: Trafalgar,IN
Fred,
My understanding of the idea behind the pre-etch was that it brought the metals to two different levels. Subsequent wet carding would then be more aggressive on the higher level, more or less skipping over the lower. I don't care for the premise, as it seems to indicate a very strong etching and a tectured finish when done. I didn't pay much attention after coming to that conclusion, so I'm not certain on the rest, but I believe that the normal etching process was followed beyond the first, heavy, pre-etch.
As I said, no experience with that process,but I've seen guns that were, to my mind, too heavily etched. I simply didn't care for the result. The procedures I'm following leave a smooth surface.
Jim

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#6421 - 05/08/06 12:16 PM Re: Damascus Etching
Fred Offline
Member
**

Registered: 01/01/02
Posts: 707
Loc: San Diego Area
Jim,
I agree that any different-depth etched look isn't right for American guns (particularly the very apparent different depths that were used on some German guns of the 19th century).

However, I've been fortunate to handle some very high-original condition guns, and have one set of late 1890s Parker D grade damascus bbls in high-original condition (obviously done by the original Parker factory process). There have been no detectable (to the naked eye, anyhow) depth differences in any of these.
_________________________
Fred

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#6422 - 05/08/06 01:33 PM Re: Damascus Etching
JimfromTrafalgar Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 05/02/03
Posts: 482
Loc: Trafalgar,IN
I don't doubt it. Just seeing the potential is what steered me away from that approach. Oscar mentioned that on some patterns, the pre-etch helped considerably. When I get on a pattern that gives trouble otherwise, I'll probably try an abreviated version of pre-etching, cautiously, however.
Jim

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#6423 - 05/08/06 06:35 PM Re: Damascus Etching
vh20 Offline
Sidelock
**

Registered: 08/31/05
Posts: 180
Loc: Alabama
[QUOTE]Originally posted by JimfromTrafalgar:
[QB] Jim,
Interesting that you plug the bores, but need to lap a bit when finished. I wondered how one could always be certain of a water tight fit, so decided on coating.

Jim,
I figured you would pick up on that. I don't know if the plugs leak during the etch dip/rinsing/wet carding or not. But constant immersion in the boil tank, neutralization tank, and rinse water (even with immediate drying) in our humid Alabama climate every day for over a week and no oil to protect them will result in some stuff growing in there regardless. We do unplug the bores for the neutralization tank and rinse water just in case the plugs did leak in the etchant tank. I like the idea of protecting the bores with a coating, and appreciate the advice.

Jim

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