SCG Tests Eastwood's Metal Blackener
We've been waiting for a chance to test Eastwood's Metal Blackener on a meaningful project. We've had the solutions for several months and resisted testing them because the only objects we could come up with were some miscellaneous bolts and washers. In our opinion that's not very exciting nor useful, so we waited...
Anyway, the opportunity revealed itself to us recently in the form of our project T-Bird's distributor. The housing is aluminum, of course, and while rebuilding the assembly we polished it to a nice shine. In doing so we removed the two spring-steel clips that hold the distributor cap on. These clips were rusty but otherwise in very good condition and were originally blackened. (Hey! We have a blackening kit!)
Eastwood's Blackening Kit
We got out the plastic bottles of blackening liquid and sealer and read the instructions (yeah, we sometimes have to read instructions too). The kit includes two bottles of sealer and one of the blackening agent, plus two screw-cap plastic dipping canisters, gloves, goggles and detailed instructions.
The process seemed quite straightforward, so we prepared the clips for blackening. According to instructions the metal pieces must be free from dirt, grease and rust, so we wire-brushed and sanded away the oxides and dirt and cleaned everything up. Next, we washed the clips with distilled water (according to instructions) and dried them with a paper towel, being careful not to touch them with our fingers. Then we dipped each clip into the blackening solution (we made a little holder for them out of a paper clip) and left them in for the required 20-60 seconds.
We didn't feel the need to transfer the solution to the plastic tank, since the pieces were small.
We pulled them out and observed that the solution had deposited a gray-black finish to the metal surface, then rinsed the clips in distilled water. Once rinsed, the clips were immersed in the sealant solution for three minutes. After that we hung them to dry, again following instructions.
After rinsing, the clips were immersed in the sealant solution for three minutes and then hung to dry.
The results are very good! After the clips dried we gently wiped them with a paper towel and saw that the finish turned out to be a low-gloss black, very much like the clips would have looked when new. They give the distributor a nice, finished look and the whole process took less than ten minutes, not counting drying time
The difference between the blackened clip on the left andthe unfinished one on the right is significant.
Our "SCG Wrench Rating": 5 out of 5
This product works exactly as advertised and requires no special skills. It's perfect for doing parts like our clips. Other applications would be springs, fasteners, hinges or anything else that "shows" but wouldn't have been plated originally. We can't wait to use it again!
What is it?
For the junior/senior chemists among you, the blackening agent is a mixture of selenious acid, phosphoric acid, copper and nickel. The sealant is composed of Stoddard Solvent (whatever that is) and barium compound. These materials are obviously toxic and/or caustic and the instructions provide lots of detail about safety.