Oxidizing Using Gun Blue
by Karen Meador, Ph.D.
Have you tried oxidizing metal with liquid gun blue? I often use a product called Perma Blue on copper since it gives a slightly different look to the more commonly used liver of sulphur.
Instructions
The product is particularly useful when I have a piece of metal that is made of both sterling silver and copper as shown in the initial photo. I used to think I could just oxidize the copper and then solder on the silver pieces; however, as you likely well know, once the torch hits the metals the oxidation changes. Now, for these mixed metal pieces I use Perma Blue since it doesn't appear to affect the sterling silver, but does oxidize the copper. Although it's a bit difficult to see in a photos, following is a comparison first of copper and sterling silver scraps oxidized with liver of sulphur. You may note that both metals changed. The second photo is of similar scraps oxidized with Perma Blue. I see no change in the sterling silver scrap.
Karen Meador, Ph.D.'s Oxidizing Using Gun Blue - , General Education, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, gun blue
When using Perma Blue, I find that I need to leave the piece being oxidized in the liquid longer than with the liver of sulphur. If the copper has distress marks, the area around them will appear somewhat black with this method. This can be altered with a little fine sandpaper or steel wool or left for an interesting shadow effect.

Do not dilute the liquid gun blue. I reuse this product, but note that after several uses, it seems less effective. I purchase Perma Blue in the hunting section of a local sporting goods store. Although I've tried other bluing agents, I have the best luck with this one. See what you think.
Karen Meador, Ph.D.'s Oxidizing Using Gun Blue - , General Education, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, gun blue
Karen Meador, Ph.D.'s Oxidizing Using Gun Blue - , General Education, Oxidizing Wire, Oxidizing, Antiquing Wire, Antiquing, gun blue

Materials

22 Gauge 0.025 Dead Soft Copper Sheet Metal - 6x12 Inch
MET-705.22M
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $10.77
  • Gold Club Price: $8.07
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22 Gauge Dead Soft Sterling Silver Sheet - 6 Inches
H8-22SM6
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 1 Inch
  • Price: $23.51
  • Gold Club Price: $17.63
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Tools

French Shears - Curved Shear with Spring
SHR-531.01
  • SHR-531.01
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $29.97
  • Gold Club Price: $22.48
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French Shears, Straight, 7 Inch
SHR-530.00
  • SHR-530.00
  • Lesson Quantity: 1.00 pieces
  • Purchase Quantity: 1.00 each
  • Price: $17.44
  • Gold Club Price: $13.08
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  • Category: General Education
  • Technique(s): Oxidizing / Antiquing