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Old January 29, 2020, 05:21 PM   #1
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“Aging” Metal?

Currently looking for a Webley lanyard ring. Since the original ones are pretty much impossible to find, it looks as though I’ll have to get a reproduction. Obviously since it’s new, the finish won’t match up with my 103 year old revolver. Is there a way I can age the finish of it to make it look original?

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Old January 29, 2020, 08:42 PM   #2
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You might want to ask a local gunsmith who does bluing, cerakote, etc about coloring the ring. You could blue the gun and the ring if that's an option you want to explore. To match the Webley's patina might be difficult.
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Old January 30, 2020, 08:16 AM   #3
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Check around and see if any local labs will let you buy some time in one of their Weatherometers.

Those machines run several thousand dollars and maybe for a couple bucks they'd let you stick your part in when they are running a test.
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Old January 30, 2020, 09:08 AM   #4
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There is an art to aging metal. I see a number of reproductions and fake antiques coming from India and Pakistan. They have gotten quite good at aging metal. However, the patina tends to be a bit thin. The metal itself tends to be a bit sharp with pits lacking the soft, rounded feel of genuine age. But, for a lanyard ring, I'd think you could make several and then play around with creating some age.

I'd probably try things like: multiple impacts on concrete, lemon juice and salt to rust it, some light metal-on-metal nicks. Then polish it out, repeat - you might end up with a good match.
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Old January 30, 2020, 05:46 PM   #5
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Shot peening followed by ceramic polishing, then repeat. You will wind up with a roughish-polished surface. Then give a few whacks with a cold chisel and hammer, and let it spend a few weeks or months in the rain to get a little rust. Then steel wool and oil and install it.
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Old January 31, 2020, 01:39 PM   #6
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"...looking for a Webley lanyard ring..." For which model? Gunparts has blued, repro, rings for Mk IV's(first in service during Boer War. The Mk VI was 1915.) at $16.50. Dunno if the threads are the same. Call 'em and ask.
It's not the metal you're aging. It's the finish. As I recall, you can age bluing by baking it. No idea where or when I saw that though.
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Old January 31, 2020, 06:12 PM   #7
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Onions, mustard, and dilute acetic acid (vinegar) also provide their own, unique affects on steel.
If you want it to look aged, you need some variety.
Don't even try it. It's even worse than the internet would lead you to believe.
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Old January 31, 2020, 10:46 PM   #8
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Mayo works too.
Don't leave it on for very long
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Old February 27, 2020, 09:17 PM   #9
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You can use a very dilute solution of vinegar, blue and rust remover (phosphoric acid), or naval jelly to dull the finish, but too strong a solution or too much time will strip the bluing altogether.

Reading some forum posts from engravers who do a "french gray" technique, I see a lot of talk about using a pink pencil eraser to polish gray finishes.

Just some thoughts.
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Old February 28, 2020, 04:10 PM   #10
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Steel wool will remove the blueing.
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Old March 1, 2020, 11:46 AM   #11
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Are you trying to add finish, or remove it?

I bought a repro ramrod for a muzzle loading musket, and to match the overall patina of the musket, I stood the ramrod in the corner of my shower for a week, then worked it over with fine steel wool, removing the rust but leaving some staining; looks great.

If you are trying to remove finish - bluing - I'd be very careful with chemicals, like muriatic acid, or naval jelly, as it's going to be all-or-nothing; very difficult to control.

Some kind of accelerated abrasion would be my first choice. Maybe rubbing it on a piece of well-used carpet, like a door mat?
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Old March 1, 2020, 12:40 PM   #12
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A few years back I was able to hand pick a number of the SOC contract WASR 10/63's bright back from Iraq & Afghanistan.
Utterly beautiful, naturally aged & worn rifles if a do say so myself.
The problem was that they looked like poop with non-appropriately worn magazines.

I tried a number of suggested methods and all as looked as fake as a porn star boobies.
So after I gave it some thought, I came up with a method that looks awesome and not at all fake.

I took a 5 gallon bucket and filled it about half way with
50d nails.
I took a brand new Romanian magazine and used multiple layers of electrical tape to cover the feed lips and reinforced area. I then took mueller tape and randomly wrapped sections of the mag body, avoiding the common wear area on AK mags where folks tend to grip.

I tossed it in the bucket cover it with nails, threw in some gritty sand, then put it in the bed of one of our ranch trucks. After a week of bouncing around it looked great! The mueller tape freys so there were no hard lines, I removed it then replaced it different sections. Tossed it back in the bucket along with another few handfuls of gritty sand.

After two weeks it looked spectacular, and utterly indistinguishable from naturally aged, highly used AK mags, and it matched perfectly. I ended up doing more so each rifle had a matching mag. I also experimented by spraying them with oil every other day, this helped the grit stick and gave a much more realistic finish.

A bit fiddly but they look nothing like the ugly, fake BFPU finishes many are applying now a days... and charging money for.

Something as small as you have, I would use an empty water bottle.
But the ring in with some gritty sand, a few nuts and bolts, then let it roll around for a week and see how it looks.
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