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Heat Treatment/Torching to Color Stainless Steel and Titanium

Discussion in 'Cosmetic Mods' started by Sero, Apr 24, 2013.

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  1. Sero

    Sero Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Lately, I've been seeing a lot of mods that are colored using the heat treatment/torching method. The results I've seen have varied greatly from spotty and poorly done to uniform, professional grade finishes. Some mods have many colors in the finish (JM 22) and some are finished in one uniform color like blue. (Nemesis)

    I would like to know if anyone has any insight on the processes for how this is done as I would like to do this myself one day. I have read things like a propane torch is best and that dipping in oil can affect color, but I can't confirm those things. I think how hot an area is treated can affect color as well. Any insights on how the coloring is controlled are welcome. I would also like to know if there is anyway the finish can be sealed or protected. I have read that sometimes the coloring can rub off very easily.

    If you own a heat treated mod or have heat treated some things before your contribution is much appreciated.
     
  2. Commie

    Commie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I believe Westamyx had some posts on the Reos Mods forum had some amazing success torching her SS atomizers (A7, Surface, ERA, Hornet), you may want to ask her. I had some horrible experiences with A7 -- I think I overheated it by a long shot, it actually glowed red. Looks fairly pretty now, but tastes like rust.

    http://www.e-cigarette-forum.com/forum/reos-mods/379892-home-torched-a7-warning.html

    This thread has pictures of her purple A7. She managed to match the colors to her mod.
     
  3. Sero

    Sero Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Interesting read commie, seems as though there will be a lot of trial and error involved. i'm going to get some SS tubes and a propane torch and test out some of the things I've read someday.
     
  4. Commie

    Commie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Kind of. Westamyx mainly did the trial, and I mainly did the error. The error was either overheating the steel, or water quenching it afterwards. There's no visible rust, but I can't get the horrible taste out of it still, and cleaning it with a napkin after a day, the napkin comes up with slight rust stains.
     
  5. TrainingDummy

    TrainingDummy Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    I posted this in the thread you linked, but figured I might as well post here too.
    AGA-T2 top cap and copper drip tip torched. Looks kind steam punkish. I dig it.
    That was my first attempt at coloring ss with flame too. Seems the AGA is made of some good quality stuff. The inside of the cap is a really vibrant brass color now.
    IMG_1293.jpg
     
  6. TrainingDummy

    TrainingDummy Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    My next attempt will be after I get my telescopic Kir Fanis tube and top cap for my eVic. That'll look dead sexy I bet. If only there was a way to hit the selector ring and button on the control head.
     
  7. Sero

    Sero Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Very cool TrainingDummy, The AGA-T may be something I do this with in the future. It seems the brass color is one of the possible colors you can get with torching. How hot did you get the AGA(glowing?), and did you heat it all at once or do small areas one by one?

    Here are some pics of mods I've found that have been torched. You can see how they vary greatly in how they turned out. This is why I want more info on the processes people use.

    Chi-You with a decent torch job
    [​IMG]

    JM-16 with a spotty, poor torch job
    [​IMG]

    Nemesis (note how instead of all the colors showing up in throughout the finish, they somehow manage to be able to control it and make it one uniform color)
    [​IMG]
     
  8. asdaq

    asdaq Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Sero, those uniform colorings might be the result of a nitro bath, dipping in molten salt.
     
  9. Sero

    Sero Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Interesting asdaq, I have heard of that method from a show about knife making. They would use the method to get a very pretty colored damascus grain pattern on knives. I will have to research it some more, but if it is possible with our tubes, we could get some interesting looks. It would definitely require a master craftsman though. This is pretty advanced stuff from what i gather.

    Here is the knife I'm talking about. It's titanium, but I think its possible with SS as well. Imagine a PV like this:
    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  10. Commie

    Commie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    That is freakin amazing!
     
  11. asdaq

    asdaq Vaping Master Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Yes, from Blade Brothers, that is where I got the idea. They did add a tobacco pipe to the melt, so other materials should be possible. :D

    As usual, discovery channel is thin on details, but I figured that pattern is somehow printed first, then 'etched' in the salt bath. It looks too computer graphic designed for just happening on it's own.
     
  12. Sero

    Sero Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    Hah, yeah that's the show. Yeah, it's hard to find info on the coloring processes for stuff like this. I know JM is especially secretive about how he does his heat treating for the JM-22 and JM-16 mods. It's like a trade secret or something. Each place has their own proprietary method. I think the Knife Brothers were selling that knife for like $6000, and that was low for what they sell. Puts the mod prices we have to deal with in perspective.
     
  13. Sero

    Sero Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    It appears the damascus mod has already been made! I'm talking about actual damascus not M3 mokum damascus which is a composite not metal. Here is a BBM mod in damascus and Pedro of caravela has considered using the material as well. It should be possible to make it different colors as well.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. TrainingDummy

    TrainingDummy Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Not a fan of that look. Maybe if it were colored. The mod itself is nice looking though.
     
  15. TrainingDummy

    TrainingDummy Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    IMG_1302.jpg IMG_1303.jpg

    The factory eVic coating reacts to the torch rather nicely. I got a little too aggressive though and bubbled it in a couple places. I think it looks nice though, and I jacked the threads up on the bottom of the tube so the battery cap doesnt screw in all the way, but it is still perfectly functional.
     
  16. Commie

    Commie Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I think it came out pretty awesome!
     
  17. Sero

    Sero Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    That combination is killer. You really took what is a run of the mill mod and made it into something special and custom.
     
  18. TrainingDummy

    TrainingDummy Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Thanks a ton.
    It looks even better now that it is finished.
    IMG_1309.jpg IMG_1306.jpg IMG_1307.jpg
     
  19. TrainingDummy

    TrainingDummy Senior Member ECF Veteran

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    Thank you very much.
     
  20. Sero

    Sero Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

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    I love how the blues and purples came out a little bit. That AGA looks cooler than some $300 attys out there.
     
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