antiquing/staining powderhorns

Discussion in 'General Muzzleloading' started by longshot47, Dec 5, 2004.

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  1. Dec 5, 2004 #1

    longshot47

    longshot47

    longshot47

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    What materials/techniques are effective for achieving the rich, antiqued, amber color tone, when working with a relatively new, light colored horn? Have tried the obvious --oil/water stain, tea, coffee, hair color, coppersulfate and other more obscure renderins', without success. A lead in the right direction would be much appreciated
     
  2. Dec 5, 2004 #2

    2172

    2172

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    Dear Longshot47, there's a product called, "Old Bones" that does the job, and does it quickly. I once put in a horn that was not totally immersed, and pulled it out to add more solution....the "up to here" immersion line from that few minutes was always visible. I think it is actually a common chemical (pottasium Chlorate?) but it isn't expensive to buy the prepared stuff.
    Do you shoot with the Sourland Mtn Rifles..are they still a going concern? Hank
     
  3. Dec 5, 2004 #3

    Joe Yanta

    Joe Yanta

    Joe Yanta

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    Hi Longshot, here is a picture of my horn. [​IMG]

    I used potassium permanganate. I read about this years ago in a knife making book. It is the chemical that CASE, KaBar and others used to stain their bone and antlered handles knives. I have later been told it is the chemical used in swimming pools and lakes to keep moss away (dont know for sure though). Just mix the stuff with water. It is very permanent, wont wash off, mix it as strong as you want. After mixing keeps forever in a jar so you can stain or antique when ever you want. Make sure you store it in a glass jar. I stored some in a plastic Nalgene bottle for a couple of years then the bottle shattered on me staining my hands and my wifes kitchen old bone color.

    Joe
     
  4. Dec 6, 2004 #4

    longshot47

    longshot47

    longshot47

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    Thanks much; you boys are a real 'flash-in-the-pan'. Is 'old bones' a weapons/reenactor type item or an artist/museum curator specialty ? I'll try the electronic dragline and see what I get. I seem to recall the permanganate from my chemistry set adventures -synthetic rubies?? That I 'spect I'll find local; with heed to the storage warning.
    Tho the Sourlands are just a few bumps southeast, I have not encountered the named rifle group.
     
  5. Dec 8, 2004 #5

    longshot47

    longshot47

    longshot47

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    Joe-
    Got the permanganate; mixed it about one teaspoon to 4 oz. warm water, and did some samples. WOW!! It's like having access to a time machine.
    I diluted the blend some, thinking it might lighten the result [as cure time is almost instantaneous], and will try some more samples as soon as i get hold of some rubber gloves.
    Ya pointed me right and I thank ya again. Longshot
     
  6. Dec 8, 2004 #6

    RussB

    RussB

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    Longshot, where ya find the permanganate? Ya came up with it fast enough, must have been local.

    Russ
     
  7. Dec 9, 2004 #7

    Griz

    Griz

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    I want to know where you found it also and does this mixture actually soak into the horn or does it scratch off easily?
     
  8. Dec 9, 2004 #8

    TwoShadows

    TwoShadows

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    cultivate the acquaintence of someone who works for the water company....they have the stuff by the 5 gallon bucket full.
     
  9. Dec 9, 2004 #9

    Griz

    Griz

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    I have been looking it up on the net and I see that is a common use in water treatment, so I am thinking Culligan. How about the penetration, does it get INTO a horn or is it a surface treatment that will scratch off easy? I am currently useing chromium trioxide and it is a really scary rpoduct, it does a great job for color but it is nasty crap. I was hoping this new stuff will soak in some and maybe i can get away from the acid. Anyone know if it soaks in?
     
  10. Dec 9, 2004 #10

    longshot47

    longshot47

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    Russ-
    Mentioned my need to my partner [nurse], who inquired thru a business related and friendly pharmasist. He did some checkin', and at her request ordered some up. [ I think it's a 6oz jar, --got it for $4 american] I 'spect you might follow a similar trail thru your local druggist.
    As to the questions raised by the other boys; the tone/color appears permanant in the semi-polished horns I tested, -seems to go deep. Bleach, soap and mineral spirits did not take it off my fingers -I sanded it and most of my fingerprint details off with 100 grit garnet paper [a lesson learnt]
    My recollection about the synthetic rubies was borne out. This stuff [my mix] goes on a purty intense red but cures out quick, damn near to the tone we're lookin' fer. I just wiped it on the outside of the horn, tho I'm thinkin' to try soakin an open horn in a milder blend to see how that goes.
    Note: I tried a polished bone powder measure and the result was not the same; somewhat different on antler -tho both still convincin'. Ya might want to test-fire this stuff a bit before dunkin yer favorite piece.
    Longshot
     

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