Blackening for Wood or Metal
(taken from Photographic Facts and Formulas - 5th printing - Wall and Jordan
BLACK FOR WOOD AND METAL
Use vegetable black mixed with terebene or turpentine. When used on the inside of the bellows, the black is made into a stiff paste with raw linseed oil and then thinned down with turpentine.
BLACK FOR CAMERAS
This may be used for wood or leather, inside or out.
Nigrosine, spirit soluble . . . 2.5g
Bismarck Brown . . . 0.65g
Alcohol . . . 3.0cc
Aniline . . . 29.0cc
Heat the dyes with the alcohol until dissolved. Then add the aniline and apply with a brush and dry before a fire or in sunlight. For a dead mat varnish, lampblack may be rubbed up with gold size or shellac varnish, using as little of the liquid as possible. Then thin down with turpentine.
TO BLACKEN ALUMINUM
Clean perfectly free from grease by washing in soda solution, wash well and immerse in . . .
Ferrous sulphate . . . 1 part
Arsenious Acid . . . 1 part
Hydrochloric Acid . . . 12 parts
Water . . . 12 parts
When the color is deep enough, dry with fine sawdust, and then lacquer. This solution is intensely poisonous.
I have not used these formulas in any way. Just passing them along to APUG.
Thanks for posting.. I love these archaic formulas. I believe many modern analoggers problem's solutions (that's a mouthful) are found in old books by Wall and the like.
If you are the big tree, we are the small axe
Less archaic formula, but what I started using on the inside of ULF film holders, on any surface that might reflect light. Sharpie Permanent Marker. The idea came from an article written by Michael Mutmansky for View Camera magazine. The article compared available 7x17 wooden film holders. The purpose of using the marker was to improve the film holder's ability to keep out light.
I will recommend this formula to all my competitors
Originally Posted by Christopher Walrath
I use a black sharpie myself when making the matchbox pinholes and other minor interior stuff as well.
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Another use I had forgotten. Several years ago three 7x17 framed pictures came back from a group show. The frames were Nielsen black aluminum. The show must have used volunteer labor from prisoners who normally stamped out license plates. Each frame piece had scratches and scrapes. They were a mess and unusable for any future show. I inquired here or the LF Forum and several members suggested magic marker or sharpie pen. I tried and the frames looked almost new again.
Somewhere I've read that toners like sulfide or selenium can blacken brass (as in pinhole plates from shimstock) but my own attempts have been less than satisfactory; maybe I don't have the right ones.
I'm into model railroads as well as photography and there is a solution called Hobby Black #'s 1&2.It contains Selenium Dioxide,Nitric Acid and Methyl Alcohol.All you do is immerse the part/parts into this solution and in less than 2 minutes you have a pitch black matte surface that will last quite a long time.It works on nickel,brass,steel,copper etc.You can probably find it at any hobby store that carries model train materials or just model materials.
Gun stores also carry blackening solutions, such as Birchwood Casey Brass Black, that are effective for copper and brass. If you have a stained glass store nearby they also carry black patina solutions that are effective for copper materials. I've used both in making pinhole camera parts from copper. These produce a bonded layer with the surface but the layer can still be affected by scratches, etc.
To turn oak black,take some really rusty nails and other steel pieces and soak them in white distilled vinegar for a couple of days, then wipe on the wood. Gives oak a nice ebony look. Fuming white oak with amonia will also turn it a beautiful color(not black) its what the Stickley workshops used to color oak furniture. Fuming with amonia will even color varnished oak. I'll have to find my book on chemical staining for more examples.