— Brass steel-blue patination —

Many brands, such as Bing, Ernst Plank, etc., patinated the brass boilers steel blue, also know as blueing.

It was fashionable to patinate the boilers in this way.

It is also particular to the German brands.

In the UK, however, it was preferred to polish the boiler high shine brass, and in the US chrome was more in fashion.

A steel blue boiler is nice but the patina is fragile.

Although the patina was protected by a fine varnish, we often we find boilers where the patina is partly or completely vanished.

What we also often find, is that people who know nothing about these engines, think that the patina is no more than a dirt layer and they just polish away.

My advice is NEVER ever do this.

If you do this, the machine loses its identity and value, and is a real horror scene to serious collectors.

That is why it is important to keep this patina as much as possible during a restoration.

However, this is not always possible, sometimes it is necessary to carry out a repair to the boiler, as a result of which the patina is destroyed.

You then have 2 choices, or you leave it as it became or you are going to repair the steel blue patina.

What do you need for this:

-Water from the tap

-Two empty bottles

- Steel wool 000

-Latex gloves and safety glasses

-Concentrate of the patination product

-Sometimes Tamiya masking tape

What does steel blue patina mean?

It is actually no more than a chemical reaction between a patination liquid and the brass, making the brass look like steel blue.

Before you start this technique there are a few rules that you should definitely follow.

First and foremost there is safety for yourself, others and the environment.

Start with yourself, make sure that products do not come into contact with your skin and eyes, and always work in a well-ventilated room.

Be sure to keep children and animals away when you are soaking with these products.

And dispose of the waste in a responsible manner.

The patineering product is available from different manufacturers.

I have tried these from Tiffoo, Bridgewood and Ballistol and they are all of the same quality.

The efectiveness of the product depends on the concentration and temperature.

It is best to dilute the product 1 part on 9 parts water.

The higher the concentrate the more aggressive the effect.

That is why it is important to keep the concentration low in order to keep control of the process.

You can use the product more times and store it in a dark bottle or in a dark warm place.

The preparation of the object to be treated is of great importance.

For example, the object must not have grease stains on its surface.

Even fat that comes to our skin leaves stains in the form of fingerprints.

Personally I wear thin latex gloves and use a solid household degreaser.

For very greasy surfaces, you can pre-treat with acetone.

If you have a surface that still has old patina on it, it can remain.

As long as there is no more varnish present.

The old patina will slowly blend in with the new one.

This way you can also reinforce old patinas.

Unevenness in the metal remains, if you want to have this way you must first polish it out.

When patenting a boiler, it is of great importance that you  submerge the boiler completely in the liquid.

If you only partially submerge, you will get stains and stripes.

How do you proceed?

Dump the boiler completely into the liquid, you will see it gradually darkening.

Remove it from the liquid, drain it as much as possible and rinse in a bucket of pure water.

This water can best be taken to a container park afterwards, where these polluted substances are professionally cleaned up.

Rub gently, do sand, and always in the same direction with steel wool 000.

Of course you take most of the patina away again.

But in repeating this procedure, a nice smooth blue steel surface is finally form.

Sometimes it can also be that you use the product pure, with scratches, for example you can put the product on a cotton swab, and wash it off again.

after a successful treatment you can apply a new varnish layer over the patina or protect it with a fine colorless oil.

Should there be nickeled parts, these must be covered up during the process.

For this you use Tamiya masking tape, and make really sure that these areas are covered properly.