Brass fittings

rasret01

Well-Known Member
I have a good supply of brass which I use as knife furniture. What do you guys use to keep it from tarnishing? Will simple clear fingernail polish work long term?

Thanks.

Dick
 

EdCaffreyMS

"The Montana Bladesmith"
Nothing that I am aware of will work "long term". Fingernail polish will not produce a smooth finish, and will crack, chip, and peel in short order. The only real solution is routine polishing/waxing. Generally any coating/sealer tends to look poor, and doesn't work or last well. Non-ferrous alloys are gona tarnish...you just either accept it, or resolve that they will require routine maintenance.
 

James Terrio

Well-Known Member
Birchwood Casey makes stuff called "Brass Black" that turns it a nice, matte black color. It's not super durable but it could look cool on a tactical or combat knife.

Wish I had a better idea for you but yeah, brass kinda sucks that way. I've heard collectors and dealers say they won't even consider knives with brass (or nickel silver, for that matter).

There's a thread about forcing patinas on copper... I wonder if those techniques might work on brass as well?
 
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Bssc

Well-Known Member
instrument lacquer is about the best option for polished finish

brass black works but there are things that make it work and last better brass has to be super clean and have a matte finish also heating it to about 200f opens the pores a bit to let the black work better scratching the surface between coats is needed XXXX steel wool or white beartex it takes multiple coats for a good finish I have found 4-6 works for my needs and that finish is exposed to paintball paint that has polyglycol in it ( that stuff will kill auto finishes)
the gun in the picture below rt hand side barrel pointing away has seen over 5 years of being on the field finished in the was described above

favdrawer.jpg
 

murphda2

Super Moderator and KD Blade Show Boss
James, to answer your question about the forced patina on brass....... According to what I have read, yes it will work. Please keep in mind that I have "ZERO experience" in this theory. It is only what I have read.
 

Sunshadow

Member
I have found bronze to work better, especially manganese bronze. The only way to keep brass from tarnishing is to heavily gold plate it or polish and wax it regularly

-Page
 

Dwane Oliver

Well-Known Member
I have no idea. BUT I have a friend that I made a few knives for in the past. I lost alot of pictures and asked him to bring his knives over so I could get new pictures of them. He left them for a few days, and while I had them I polished them back up. Boy was he mad at me....said he liked the tarnished look brass had after a few years. All I could do was tell him to wait a few years to get it back and apologize.
 

John Andrews

Well-Known Member
I have no idea. BUT I have a friend that I made a few knives for in the past. I lost alot of pictures and asked him to bring his knives over so I could get new pictures of them. He left them for a few days, and while I had them I polished them back up. Boy was he mad at me....said he liked the tarnished look brass had after a few years. All I could do was tell him to wait a few years to get it back and apologize.

You just can't make some people happy!
I have a decent supply of bronze at home. I haven't tried it on any work yet, but it offers some potential as far as resisting tarnish much longer than brass. Maybe the bronze would be good for some period pieces, huh?
 
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