I need to but Oxalic acid,  and potassium permanganate, and need to know were to look. 

 I also  have to age some brand new largish nuts and bolts to fit with the age of these 80 year old Kay Krafts that I am constantly working on. I would imagine that they are chrome? Should I be purchasing a wire wheel for my cordless drill and clamping them into the vice and starting the process with that, or ...? 

Then a high concentration salt bath, or CLR or straight vinegar or .. what? Old and rust is key!

Views: 1110

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Hi Kerry,

I was able to buy the oxalic acid from my local Sherwin Williams. It was really inexpensive. I think it was $5 for a 12 oz. The full 12 oz's was for dissolving in a gallon of water. So I'm sure you could get a lot of use out it. I'm not sure about the other stuff though....


My initial reaction (no pun intended) is that most hardware store nuts and bolts are not chromed, as there is usually a separate section for chrome and stainless. I would think that the original Kay Kraft stuff is nickel plated so aged nickel is what you're trying to copy.

Birchwood Casey sells various chemicals for bluing steel and darkening brass and aluminum. That would be a good place to start. You should also go online and see what Brownells sells. Brownells is to guns what Stew Mac is to luthiery and then some. I've used their Oxpho Blue for aging screws.


You're probably in for a bit of experimentation.

I've bought potassium permanganate and other finishing chemicals here -

I've bought oxalic acid at the corner hardware store. I recall seeing chemicals for aging and adding patina to metal so they are out here somewhere!

For what it's worth there is a wealth of information, (and misinformation), on the net about ageing and relicing guitars and their hardware. Not tried any myself. However when antiquing metal work to use with furniture I have buried objects in a compost heap and I am told that a midden works even quicker. As for KMnO4 its on Amazon.


Hey Kerry,

The oxalic acid and permanganate have their effect mainly on wood.

One of the tricks that gunmakers use to age the metal on reproductions is plain old clorox bleach.  Its cheap and readily available. If there is any plating, you'll have to remove it.   Try it on some inexpensive samples.  De-grease the metal, paint on the clorox, and leave it overnight.  You may need to use a more dilute solution, or conversely, another application.

Thanks for the amazedly fast responses!  

George, the two chemicals I need ARE for wood of course. I am also looking for info on doing these metal parts in. 

  I am already to start experiments. I have both muriatic acid and Ferric Chloride to try. I have used both of these before,  so I know what they are all about for the most part.  Let's see what the next hour brings... 

The local Walmart pharmacy was able to order the oxalic acid in for me the last time I needed it. As far as the PP goes, I think water conditioning retailers may have that. Good luck.  



So I first did all the hacksawing , grinding needed to get them to size,  then a bath in Muriatic acid for half hour, then  a bath is super saturated salt water for a further half hour, and here is were we are.

In  the last photo, you see the 80 year old parts I am trying to emulate, what the parts looked like an hour ago, and what they look like this min.

 Mission accomplished! 

Nice work Kerry! Thanks for sharing...

You nailed it, buddy. :) Very good work!!


© 2023   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service