Author Topic: Color Case Hardening  (Read 18946 times)

Offline Powder Keg

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Color Case Hardening
« on: March 12, 2011, 09:10:15 PM »
I decided to start a new topic on this. Here I'll post my findings.

One of the ingredients used to pack parts in is charcoal. I've read that wood, bone, leather, and horn have been used. Really it is a mixture of wood charcoal with the bone/leather/ or horn. So the first thing I'm going to do is make my own charcoal. I started with a popcorn tin. I drilled a few 1/8" holes to let out any gas so the lid wouldn't pop off. I've been saving hardwood scraps for a little while. I sawed them into small pieces and put them into my tin.





I put the lid on and put the can into my barbecue.



After an hour and a half the can quit smoking. So I turned the gas off and let things cool down. When I could touch it I picked it up. I thought that the whole lot had turned to ash. It didn't hardly weigh anything. But when I opened it up, Success!!!



Perfect Charcoal!!!



I had a few guys from work save their old leather work gloves. I'm going to cut them up and turn them into charcoal tomorrow.

Stay tuned :wave:
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Bernd

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2011, 01:27:03 PM »
I had a few guys from work save their old leather work gloves. I'm going to cut them up and turn them into charcoal tomorrow.

Stay tuned :wave:

Owwww.................... that ought to smell nice. Glad I don't have smell-a-vision monitor.  :lol:

Bernd
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Offline saw

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2011, 01:53:38 PM »
I am very suprising that it work't for you.  :dremel:
The old way is far from that... :nrocks:
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Offline Powder Keg

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2011, 05:28:07 PM »
So far it is working\o/ I have the leather cooking now. I'll shut it off as soon as it quits smoking, and take some pictures.
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Jonny

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2011, 07:32:48 PM »
Careful what parts you put in dont warp. Even the two pros the St Ledgers cannot guarantee. :bugeye:

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2011, 09:08:05 PM »
Thanks. It's one of the chances I'm willing to take for Color Case Hardened parts. :ddb:

Today I turned leather into charcoal. The leather I used was from gloves. I had some of the guys from work donate their old ones to my cause. I first cut up the gloves. I removed the linings and elastic from the inside.



Into the Barb Q. It took about 3 hours for them to quit smoking. It stinks, But not as bad as I imagined...



The lid removed.



The pieces crumble up really good. I should be able to grind it up pretty easily.

I think I might try using Apricot pits to make some charcoal out of also. I've heard of them being used. This is all an experiment so I'm going to try a lot of different things. I've been saving bones to make charcoal out of also. Maybe next weekend?

I need to make a container to pack the parts in. My furnace is fairly small, But I think I can do most of my parts fine. I'll be welding one up soon. That and some tongs to remove the container while hot.

More later... :wave:
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline jerrschmitt

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2011, 09:11:05 PM »
Any updates?  How's the project coming?

Offline bry1975

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #7 on: July 03, 2011, 07:47:55 AM »
How about making activated charcoal?

http://www.ehow.co.uk/how_4827208_make-activated-charcoal.html

From what I've read adding certain carbonates will help the carbon enriching process, you get some amazing colours with some of them fire work carbonates just be careful barium carbonate can be toxic along with others.


Offline Pappy Frank

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #8 on: July 06, 2011, 12:35:31 AM »
I read an interesting article about making charcoal. You fill a barrel with hard wood, any length will do as long as it does not stick out of the barrel. Put the barrel on its side and raise it up a bit. Put the top on with the large bung hole at the top, plug the bottom hole. Run pipe out of the top hole, down and under the barrel. Plug the end of the pipe and drill holes along the 'top' of the pipe. Start a wood fire under the barrel, when the gasses come off the wood inside, they ignight and finish burning the charcoal inside. The way I understood it, you did not need to keep adding wood to the fire, just let the gasses do the job. Never tried it, but it sounds like it has possibilities.  :mmr: :D :D :D

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #9 on: December 19, 2011, 07:48:53 PM »
Getting back in the shop finally:o) This weekend I filled my can with some beef bones. My uncle feeds his dog meat bones from the butcher and we picked these up out of his yard. I guess it took about 4 hours to convert them into Charcoal. I put the can in my BBQ and when it quit smoking I shut it off and let it cool off over night.



The Crackshots are going to be sacrificed to the gods of color soon.

Later,

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Rob.Wilson

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #10 on: December 22, 2011, 05:02:49 AM »
Hi Wes


Watching this one with interest ,,,,, did you get a chance to  give the process ago on the gun parts ?  :)


Rob   

Offline andyf

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #11 on: December 22, 2011, 08:13:56 AM »
A question, if I may.

Folk make their own case-hardening charcoal from bones, leather or hardwood, rather than simply using powdered barbecue charcoal. What are the advantages of making your own? I realise there must be advantages, or people wouldn't bother doing it.

Andy
Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2011, 11:50:59 PM »
Whats in commercial charcoal? Glue? Fillers? lighter fluid? clay? They have a lot of extra "stuff" in them. This way I know what I'm working with.

A local guy makes Black powder. The main ingredient is charcoal. He started out using charcoal briquets.. The stuff he made worked. But it wasn't very potent. He buys unprocessed charcoal now with good results.

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline andyf

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #13 on: December 23, 2011, 02:47:28 AM »
Thanks, Wesley; point taken.

A UK ad for "restaurant grade charcoal" says "Unlike most mass market charcoal, this is totally free from binders, accelerators and any other additives such as coal dust or sodium nitrate used in mechanically processed factory made charcoal", so that would probably be OK. It's GBP24 (~$36) for a 10 kg sack, though, including delivery.

Andy

Sale, Cheshire
I've cut the end off it twice, but it's still too short

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2011, 07:29:06 AM »
Yes. That would probably work. I think it is cheaper to make your own. If you can find the stuff. The hardwood is scrap from my projects. Leather was free from guys from work. And I got enough bones to fill my can twice from my uncle. I'll pick up some more next time I'm over there also:o)

After the holidays I plan on crushing my charcoal. Stay tuned..... I have a plan :proj:

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline 75Plus

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #15 on: December 23, 2011, 10:16:17 AM »
Without a variety of charcoals there would be very little color. The more types you can use the better the result.

An airline submerged in the quenching tank, generating lots of bubbles, will also improve the color.

Joe

Offline Bernd

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2011, 09:14:22 AM »
An airline submerged in the quenching tank, generating lots of bubbles, will also improve the color.

Joe

I just have to quote this becasue I miss read it. For some reason I read airline as "airliner". I wondered why you need to submerge an airplane to get bubbles. I guess 9:00AM is a bit eary for the brain to function properly.  :lol:  :lol:

Bernd
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Offline Powder Keg

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #17 on: December 26, 2011, 10:21:03 AM »
Yea Bernd. Just think how big the tank would have to be :lol: :lol: :lol:
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline Jonny

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #18 on: December 26, 2011, 04:02:21 PM »
How about some results.

Just a semi controllable heat source is adequate but can be hit and miss.
Smith and Wesson dont use any charcoal, just pure heat and a hush hush sealing process.
The old English actions are a different process only a few know how and wont share. Bone meal? Kilns?

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #19 on: December 27, 2011, 03:46:06 AM »

A lot of the 'oldies' used old engine oil, common salt - and nitrates. Probably they simply 'pissed' on some jobs to get colour.

We now live in one of those clinically clean worlds but in another world- not so long ago, areas collected human urine, dried it and it went for export.

Most of us have heard of 'carrying coals to Newcastle' but Newcastle's second most important export wasn't coal or machinery or ships, it was 'piss'

Continuing the use of leather, doesn't anyone know how it was tanned?  It was probably done in 'dog faeces'.

I'll leave it at that as some will already be quite horrified.

Offline rleete

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #20 on: December 27, 2011, 10:39:25 AM »
Urine (both human and animal) has been used in tanning leathers and other processes for thousands of years.  Ammonia is a critical component of many processes, and they didn't have large chemical plants to make it.

The only reason we don't still use piss is because the ammonia content varies, and it's better to add a specified amount for tighter control.
Creating scrap, one part at a time

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #21 on: December 27, 2011, 12:06:57 PM »
No interest? Ah, well
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 04:30:31 AM by Fergus OMore »

Offline Jonny

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #22 on: December 28, 2011, 02:09:14 PM »
Very interested Fegus, to be honest i have heard first hand from my old gaffer and his dad, jobs were pissed on. No one knows for sure and cant prove it works or not.
Funny though. Maybe its time for using this smile  :worthless:

Offline Fergus OMore

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #23 on: December 28, 2011, 03:41:27 PM »
Sorry no pictures of 'The Phantom Piddler strikes again' but someone could find the bit in 'Clochemerle' But this is not the British film version but the earlier French one!

M Le Maire et Moi DO suffer the same problem. ( Dammit, it's the New Year and time for a laugh)

But seriously, all that one is doing peeing on steel is adding hardening carbons and nitrates-- and creating a helluva stink.

Last night, there was a severe gale. No shed etc and I was confined to British TV.  Not bad, a series on a trio of comedians and one visits the old Nantucket light vessel!  Off topic? Not really, if one recalls 'Moby Dick' and the tempering of harpoons-- in the harpooners'  blood.

'Call me Ismael. I alone am left'  and it  was Christmas when they set sail.

Happy New Year
« Last Edit: December 29, 2011, 03:26:40 AM by Fergus OMore »

Offline airstream

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #24 on: December 29, 2011, 01:47:01 PM »
i have done a bit of colour case hardening, my findings are wood charcoal was not much good, bone and leather charcoal was best and gave the best colours, but it smells like your burning  some ones body when making it  :bugeye:. here is a link to some i have done, i will try and find some more pics  http://www.isp-airrifles.com/page8.htm

Offline Powder Keg

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2011, 02:46:05 PM »
Very nice work!!!

I think they combine the bone charcoal with the wood charcoal is so you don't use up so much of the bone charcoal? just a theory though.

~Wes~
Wesley P
A Gismo ??? If it has a flywheel or spins and is made with small parts. I'll take one! If it makes noise, moves, or requires frequent oiling and dusting it's a better deal yet. It's especially right if its shiny and bright; but if it's dirty and dull it wont mater at all...

Offline airstream

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2011, 07:33:36 PM »
Very nice work!!!

I think they combine the bone charcoal with the wood charcoal is so you don't use up so much of the bone charcoal? just a theory though.

~Wes~

as you say they combine it, using the wood charcoal to fill most of the box, and use the bone char around the actual parts, when i used a lot of wood char as packing i found i only got mostly blue colours, much better using all bone and leather char if you want a variety of colours, but with colour hardening your in the lap of the gods as it where, sometimes its good other time not so good, temperature is also critical, to cool no colour to hot the same, you need a temperature controlled kiln to do any good, pointless trying to do it in a forge of coal fire ect , very hit and miss, been there done that.

one more thing thats critical is the speed the parts exit the box into the water, you need to devise a way of removing the lid very quickly, if to slow the parts will become exposed to the air and oxidise, work ruined. also remember to brace your work as best you can to try and minimise warping. 

there is very little information available on colour hardening,  all  trade secrets ect,  most of what you read in gunsmithing books is usless, always critical info missing.

hope your successful, as proper bone colour hardening looks class compared to the modern cyanide hardening found on modern replicas, awful

Offline Henning

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Re: Color Case Hardening
« Reply #27 on: January 05, 2012, 06:15:06 AM »
When i was taught color case hardening in gunsmithing school, we used a closed steel cylinder filled with crushed charcoal of the barbecue variant. I think something like 1 out of 10 pieces didn't turn out very well, and 2 out of the 9 left became fantastic. Noone knew exactly WHY any of them, though, so a bit hit and miss. Did turn out absolutely fantastic on some pieces, though. I think i still have an end piece off of a Mauser bolt at home, will see if i can dig it out and take a picture.
Henning

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