Raven Finished Hardware

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Original Smith
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Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Original Smith » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:17 pm

Did Ford use raven finishing during the brass era? Does anyone know when they adopted this process? It was used on nuts and bolts, and small items that required a black finish.


Dropacent
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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Dropacent » Mon Feb 11, 2019 12:54 pm

This doesn’t answer your question, Larry, but carbs were finished like this. I have yet to ever see a rebuilt carb with this finish, and it’s actually easier than painting them.


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Rich Bingham » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:39 pm

So, what, exactly is "Raven Finish" ?? not paint . . . ?!?
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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by RajoRacer » Mon Feb 11, 2019 2:58 pm

I understand it to be similar to "gun bluing".


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Dropacent » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:00 pm

Today I think it would be called black phosphate, or black oxide. It’s a form of controlled oxidation . Gun bluing is a form of controlled oxidation also. ( controlled rust is another term for both )


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Rich Bingham » Mon Feb 11, 2019 4:09 pm

So, is this something the "home restorer" can produce on refurbished parts ?
Regarding whether it was used on the brass era cars, perhaps the process itself might lend some clues ?
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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Mike Thomas » Mon Feb 11, 2019 6:32 pm

I think Caswell offers this type of finish. I have used their other products and have been very satisfied.


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Marc Roberts » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:37 pm

Gun parts companies like Brownell's have parkerizing kits that are easy to use, but you may want to boil the parts on a camp stove outside to avoid the fumes. Just like a gun lef t outside, this finish is somewhat rust resistant, but will rust. I am still learning my technique, and have tried burned on oil as an additional step to fight the tendency to rust. l on my next batch I also plan to go over the parts with stove polish or black shoe polish to try to improve rust resistance.


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Original Smith » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:42 pm

I'm still waiting for a logical answer! There is far to much B.S. on this forum that doesn't pertain to Model T's at all!


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Dropacent » Mon Feb 11, 2019 9:57 pm

Larry, I think everyone has been discussing what you brought up. Companies that had thousands and later millions of parts staged for assembly would surely devise a quick simple finish to preserve those parts. Something that would last until the “new car” was worn off. Something that would last on repair and replacement parts at the dealer. foMoCo wouldn’t have added a needless step. The “ Raven “ finish you asked about is what is being described. It’s been called many names over the years, but basically black oxide. Not sure you would ever be able to pin down when ford started doing it, but likely the finish called for on the prints would tell. My guess Is early on and continually through production of all cars, and even today it is still used, ( a friend in Cleveland owns a company that does this ) but that is just a guess.


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by sweet23 » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:22 pm

Back to the original question. The book on Ford methods, in the chassis assembly section, states the touch up of nuts and bolts with paint, leading me to believe there was no finish on the hardware. Otherwise why would they have taken the time to paint them.


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Marc Roberts » Mon Feb 11, 2019 10:55 pm

Trent Boggess wrote a piece on Ford keys that put the change date from brass plating to Raven Finish for that part at December 19, 1916, after the brass era. Short of doing the reseach yourself, he is certainly among the best people to ask.

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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Kaiser » Tue Feb 12, 2019 6:59 am

As a retired gunsmith i should know...
'Blueing' and 'Browning' are very old methods to make steel more resistant to rusting, but both finishes are oxidation processes. The general idea is to have a thin layer of oxide on the metal to close off the surface and prevent further oxidation.
If one allows free oxigen to participate in the process it results in a brown finish, if a anearobic process is used it leads to a blue or blackish finish.
there are several ways to accomplish a black oxide finish, all including corrosive and more or less toxic chemicals. one popular way is boiling in a Caustic soda solution at around 140*C, not for the home enthousiast certainly !
In Firearms manufacture Phosfating is a much used proces, it leaves a matte black/greyish finish.
The kits for the hobbyist mostly do not contain the more agressive chemicals needed to obtain a durable enough finish, but are more for cosmetic purposes.
Hope to have been of help.
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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by D Stroud » Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 am

Why not just paint them flat black or semi gloss black and be done with it? I seriously doubt anyone notice the difference. JMHO Dave
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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Jeff Perkins » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:23 am

d stroud wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 am
Why not just paint them flat black or semi gloss black and be done with it? I seriously doubt anyone notice the difference. JMHO Dave
Amen Dave, Thank You for stating that on the forum. I have been skewered toooo many times for stating the practical on the forum. All the Larry Smiths of the world sometimes drive me nuts although we do need their dedication.
Regards, Jeff Perkins / Lakeland Mn.
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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by RustyFords » Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:43 am

Jeff Perkins wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 8:23 am
d stroud wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 am
Why not just paint them flat black or semi gloss black and be done with it? I seriously doubt anyone notice the difference. JMHO Dave
Amen Dave, Thank You for stating that on the forum. I have been skewered toooo many times for stating the practical on the forum. All the Larry Smiths of the world sometimes drive me nuts although we do need their dedication.
Regards, Jeff Perkins / Lakeland Mn.
One of the sayings I've used for years after removing an old part and repairing it is...."Paint it black, Put it back"
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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Humblej » Tue Feb 12, 2019 9:49 am

The question is was raven finish used during the brass era. Anything other than yes, no, or a year it was introduced is heading off in a tangent.

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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by BRENT in 10-uh-C » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:38 am

d stroud wrote:
Tue Feb 12, 2019 7:06 am
Why not just paint them flat black or semi gloss black and be done with it? I seriously doubt anyone notice the difference. JMHO Dave

Hey Dave, the simple answer to your comment is, --'Restorers' that are educated about the Model-T will know.

There often tends to be a great misunderstanding amongst Model-T owners as to specifically 'why' folks own a T. Outside of hobbyists that like to drive them, there are some who are 'Restorers', -some who are 'Repairers', and some who are Relagaters. Some people who might tend to call themselves "Restorers" when in reality they're really just 'Repairers & Repainters' since they really do not restore (-meaning returning something back to a condition equal to as when it was originally manufactured). For a true Restorer, they generally enjoy the challenge of replicating each component in both original aesthetics and specifications to exactly how Ford specified it to be. While this practice may seem silly to some hobbyists, it really is about how much of a challenge someone likes. To some hobbyists, it was/is considered a challenge to get a Model-T to start and drive reliably. To others, that task is no longer challenging enough for their abilities and so they have sought after a more demanding task. Using me as an example of this, I have owned Model-Ts for many years but really do not enjoy driving them, however I do enjoy restoring them. Because I have restored enough of them over the years, just repairing & repainting no longer offers a challenge for me --however, when I am learning by researching and experimenting how to return something to a state of how it originally looked, it makes me a better craftsman. So in a nutshell, I suppose it boils down to not everyone enjoys taking the easiest way out. Therefore, some enjoy a challenge that might seem trivial by some and go un-noticed by others. JMHO. :P

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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Steve Jelf » Tue Feb 12, 2019 10:42 am

7 IMG_5816 copy 2.JPG
If raven finish = gun bluing, this is one place it was used. I don't know when it was first applied to plugs.

IMG_2522 copy 2.JPG
The inevitable often happens.
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Original Smith
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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by Original Smith » Tue Feb 19, 2019 10:41 am

Eastwood products makes a decent kit for doing black oxide. I've used it quite a bit, and it seems to work ok.

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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by George Mills » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:32 pm

Use a Sharpie...haha

Works great. First coat just let it stick to what it sticks too and fully dry...2nd coat, don’t rub it on, dab it on. Bolts and the like on my Hack done that way

I have also used it on prewar Lionel die cast engines where hard edges have worn


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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by John M Maslack » Tue Feb 19, 2019 12:43 pm

Brownells makes a product called Oxpho blue. It is available in a creme formula and a liquid. They produce slightly different results and can be used together to get the exact shade you want. They are easy to apply and don't require absolute cleanliness to use, although the cleaner the better. It is a great product and is more durable than most cold blues...

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Re: Raven Finished Hardware

Post by TRDxB2 » Tue Feb 19, 2019 7:38 pm

Here is a very good article giving background to the process and a DO-IT-Yourself method. There is a reference to Birchwood Casey the company that makes all the metal coatings Bluing, etc https://www.mmsonline.com/articles/do-i ... blackening

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