Advice on torching
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  1. #1
    Full Member umidontknow's Avatar
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    Default Advice on torching

    So I bought a cheap SS sigelie mod for $10. I tried torchig it and got to this point. Im not getting the bright blue like i am wanting and i dont know whether to keep torching it to get the vivid blue or do i need to polish it back down and start over again. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks


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    Ultra Member ECF Veteran MorpheusPA's Avatar
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    Mind you, I think that's really attractive and absolutely no barrier to use. The coloration and antique look are beautiful.

    Color of SS when heated is directly related to temperature: Article: Heat tint (temper) colours on stainless steel surfaces heated in air

    For blue, 540 to 600 C is required, and from the looks of things, you aren't getting over 450 (purple). I'm not sure what you're torching it with, but either the flame isn't hot enough or you're not holding it on the device long enough to heat the metal.

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    Full Member umidontknow's Avatar
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    Im not holding it in the flame too long. I am using a small butane torch. I am on the fence on leaving it alone, i am also liking the antiquey look of it. I guess now that you think it looks cool i might leave this one alone and torch another for the bright blues i am wanting. Thanks
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    Ultra Member ECF Veteran MorpheusPA's Avatar
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    Butane torches can, allegedly, reach 1400 C. That's not much below the 1500 C melting temperature of SS, but it IS below it. Still, take great care. Some sources claim flame temperatures much higher, but that's probably large torches with much better air flow.

    By all means, if it doesn't make you happy, heat it again. Personally, I like the look you got and think it's awesome, but...

    Yeah, I know you know this...but let's repeat for those who are having a Senior Moment, as I so often do. Remove the battery before torching the mod, or you'll find out what an exploding lithium battery looks like really fast.

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    Full Member umidontknow's Avatar
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    What, you mean i should take it apart first??? hahahaha, yeah I know but yes we should mention that. I can just see people melting derlins, and swelling batteries thinking they are doing good. Yeah you sold me I am leaving this one as is. My goal was to get a irregular color pattern and now that i am holding it in my hand looking at it, I decided its perfect. I will torch a jm mod to try to get some vivid colors out of it.

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    Full Member Verified Member propofokgov's Avatar
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    I'm thinking if I can get access to a kiln, I can get an even heating of the SS to get an even color.
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    Ultra Member ECF Veteran nicotime's Avatar
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    The type of flame your using will alter the colors differently also. Try experimenting with a carburizing, oxidizing or neutral flame to get the desired color.
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    Full Member umidontknow's Avatar
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    I tried playing around on some old tubing stock from work. it was all 316 ss. I tried using a industrial oven(like roasting 1000 whole chickens an hour type) I tried butane, mapp gas, acetylene, and propane. I have decided that heating the tubes from the inside, not the outside created the most vibrant colors without much oxidation. Seems the colors come out better if there is lack of oxygen. If i torch on the outside it tarnishes or rusts. If i put the torch in the tube then the colors on the outside are bright as hell. Im waitin on some mods to get here from fasttech to see how they react to having the heat applied from the inside. Im hoping that the thickness difference in the threaded areas as opposed to the thicker no threaded areas wont offset my colors too much. Trial and error.

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    Ultra Member ECF Veteran nicotime's Avatar
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    Probably because when using a torch on the outside you will be adding carbon (carburizing flame) or oxidizing it with an oxidizing flame. You must be looking for that sweet color you get on a nice set of chrome exhaust pipes near the port. (heated from the inside as well) Also...you get some brilliant colors at the edges of a nice weld...again since the welding gas shields the weld from oxygen. Good luck.
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    The blue color comes when the metal just starts to glow red. You have to remove the flame quickly at that point or else it'll start to turn that greyish color. It's a very sensitive process, and you can't leave the flame in one spot then move to another and think it'll all heat and color evenly. When I do it, I stare very closely and examine as the color is changing and apply or remove heat as necessary to every spot on the metal to try and blend it all and keep it as even as possible.

    So basically, as you're torching/watching one spot, remove the flame, check, see what the color is, and apply flame again if necessary to achieve desired color. One thing to note, the color appears faded when the flame's directly applied. When you remove the flame, you'll notice the color gets more vivid. So it's important to keep checking the areas you're torching by removing the flame.

    Ideally, a kiln is by far the best method. If I had $300 laying around, I'd get myself a digital table top kiln. Interior dimensions are 4" x 2".
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