Q: How long does a kit last?
The life of the Blacking solution is directly related to the surface area of metal that has been treated. Something that is often overlooked is a rough surface such as cast iron has a much larger surface area than a similar sized piece of un-machined mild steel. If the Degreaser or Conditioner gets dirty then allow it to stand for a while and then decant off clearer liquid. The Dewatering Oil will slowly get used up.
All of the solutions can be purchased separately.
Q: How do I know if the kit is “worn out”?
A: The Blacking solution will take longer to work until the process stops working altogether. When this happens you should replace the Blacking solution. Do not add fresh Blacking solution to exhausted solution. Also see previous answer.
Q: I have just Blacked a part and I had to machine part of it again. Can I Black the whole part again?
Yes. You can process a part as many times as you like. Once the steel is blacked it will stop working in that area of the part. NOTE: Before recycling a part through the Black-It process you should make sure you thoroughly degrease it.
Q: I have a long bar to Black. Can I process the bar a section at a time?
Yes. Since the process will not “over black” then this method produces a finish with no perceptible joins. NOTE: If you are Blacking a large part in sections then SKIP the Dewatering Oil step until the part is completely Blacked.
Q: I don’t want to black all of my piece of metal; how can I prevent parts of the metal from being blacked?
Anything that will prevent the steel getting wet stop it being blacked. Good quality insulation tape has been used to good effect. You can also use nail varnish and remove it afterwards with acetone (or nail varnish remover). Shellac works too (Axminster in UK stock it) and use meths to remove it. Any paint should work too.
TIP!: Since the first process is Alkaline then, depending on your masking material, you might be better applying it directly to the surface to be blacked using a clean rag. After that you can proceed with normal immersion.
Q: I have a kit for Iron & steel. Will it work on Stainless steel?
A: No, the chromium will prevent the process working on all stainless steels.
Q: My kit suddenly stopped working and the Blacking Solution has gone milky.
A: The usual cause of this is the steel you are trying to black has been hardened using a cyanide process. You will need to replace the Blacking solution.
Does the Iron & Steel process work on any other metals?
A: There is a small effect on some brasses and white metal but the short answer is no.
Q: Do you have a process for Aluminum?
A: No. We were experimenting with one but the chemicals involved were not very “user friendly” and we decided not to release in on Health & Safety grounds.
Q: Can I use this process on Stainless Steel?
No. The presence of chromium in stainless steel means the metal surface always has an oxide coating which stops Black-it from working.
Q: Is the finish Rust-Proof?
We say that he finish is rust resistant but, as it is slightly porous, the underlying steel can still rust. The secret is the Dewatering Oil which effectively “fills” the pores and prevents any rusting. In external applications we recommend that the blacked item is wiped with a cloth that has been dipped in the Dewatering oil. The excess oil can be wiped off after 10 minutes. If the item is hard to reach, or no Dewatering oil is to hand, then WD-40 is quite effective too.