Author Topic: Aged Look  (Read 20886 times)

Berks Liberty

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Aged Look
« on: August 02, 2008, 04:18:32 AM »
What do you folks use to get an aged look to your horns?  I see a lot of horns with Black or Dark Brown necks.  Is that stain also?

Offline wpalongrifle

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2008, 05:12:17 PM »
hey berks, if your just starting out stick with stains.on the neck you can use everything from womens hair color to paint. on the body use light or dark brown leather dye, you don't need a lot. few drops go a long way.. some folks use rit dye "name brand" you have to soak horn in water solution.. i currently use acid
aquafortis. takes some time to get it just right, but looks correct. i try not to dye my horn tips. i try to pick horns that have a dark neck and white body "getting hard to find" usually i look inside the horn to see where the dark meets the body. this determines if i;m going to use it....
mike karkalla
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Berks Liberty

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #2 on: August 02, 2008, 11:44:07 PM »
Thanks for the tips wpalongrifle.  I would like to make a horn or two.  There are so many good looking ones out there which really look like you just stepped back into time. Thanks again.

Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #3 on: August 03, 2008, 02:30:13 AM »
I have never had much luck with hair dye. Leather dye is a possibility, and Rit dye is an old stand-by that many horners use. The trick is to find some colorant that has some wear resistance to it. I personally think that potassium permanganate, which many people recommend, doesn't produce a believeable color and is a surface dye at best.

Acid dyes can be used to produce a nice color on horn material Aqua Fortis produces a brown color on horn. Copper dissolved in nitric acid produces a green dye and silver or nickel dissolved in acid produces a black dye.

Horns can also be dyed in a hot walnut hull bath. Or simply rubbing fresh walnut hulls on a horn will give a brown color. 

There are so many things that will dye a powder horn, you just have to experiment to get a color you like.

One thing that will help preserve the color on any dyed horn is to give it a couple of good coats of paste wax meant for automobiles or hardwood floors. After that, apply a coat of wax every once in a while.

Randy Hedden

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Offline T*O*F

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #4 on: August 03, 2008, 03:14:07 AM »
Experiment on your fingernails.
They are the same as horn.
Wonder how silver nitrate would work?
Dave Kanger

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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #5 on: August 03, 2008, 03:26:25 PM »
  I find that no matter what you use if both the coloring and the horn are hot it penetrates better. Like in a boiling bath. I wouldn't want to do that with acid though.

Tim C.

Offline b bogart

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #6 on: August 03, 2008, 05:29:55 PM »
Dave
Does that mean take them to the salon and have an Asian lady do them??
Bruce :D

Berks Liberty

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #7 on: August 03, 2008, 07:43:51 PM »
I'll have to try the walnut bath to see what happens.  God knows my parents would love to get rid of some out of their yard every year. 

Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #8 on: August 04, 2008, 01:11:00 AM »
 That is a good color, at least to me.

Tim C.

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #9 on: August 04, 2008, 04:48:12 PM »
I am known as one of the best horners in the world!!! just kidding- but I have made many horns in the last 38 years. Favorite method is using old horns from barns that are not polished, many imperfections- don't overkill with trying to make a masterpiece. Now on to stains- This is a top trade secret so don't let it out- I use Laurel Mtn. Forge Maple stain, you can go from light to dark- its alcohol base and dries quickly- the trick for me to create a long lasting finish that does " NOT" wipe off- is" Buy a can of Satin Spray Polyurathane- many good ones out there - spray horn in light coats, usually 3 does it just fine, let dry overnite then lightly use 0000 steel wool, just to buff it lightly- I use the same on the spout or use a flat black Rust-o-leum primer to "oil Base" let dry- lightly steel wool- don't over do. Horn will look 18th century.

Warner

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #10 on: August 04, 2008, 11:08:05 PM »
One of the best and cheapest coloring agents for horn and antler is onion skins.
Put them into water and bring to a boil.put the horn or antler in and let it sit,you will get a wonderfull shade of almost mahogany.You can use it over and over if need be add more skins.I keep it in an old mason jar.
I go to our local store and ask if I can clean up the onion pile.They are now accustomed to my odd requests

William Worth

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #11 on: August 05, 2008, 09:14:08 PM »
Speaking of trying it out on your fingernails, I wonder how "Betadine Solution" would work? :P

Offline Habu

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #12 on: August 05, 2008, 09:38:37 PM »
TOF, silver nitrate turns horn black.  Seems fairly colorfast, but hot oil will "thin" it a little. 


Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2008, 09:43:36 PM »
Speaking of trying it out on your fingernails, I wonder how "Betadine Solution" would work? :P

William,

I have been making powder horns for many years. Years ago anyone who knew how to stain a powder horn seemed to regard that knowledge as a "trade secret". (See Don Wright's Powder horn article in the "Book Of Buckskinning") Therefore, I have, over the years, tried many different things to stain a powder horn. Your post about Betadine solution is ironic to me. Knowing how it stains your flesh, and even fingernails to a certain extent, I tried it on a couple of powder horns and found that it hardly changed the color of the horn at all. I guess it wouldn't hurt for someone else to try it, but I ruled it out many years ago for use on my powder horns.

Randy Hedden

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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2008, 03:48:19 AM »


William,

 Years ago anyone who knew how to stain a powder horn seemed to regard that knowledge as a "trade secret". (Randy Hedden

www.harddogrifles.com
[/quote]

Twenty plus years ago I asked a guy how he aged his horns, his answer was something like; I've been working on how to color for years....do you think I would just tell you. Right then and there I decided that if I ever figured out how to so something I would share the info. It may not be the best but it works for me. 

Tim C.   

Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2008, 06:56:05 AM »
Twenty plus years ago I asked a guy how he aged his horns, his answer was something like; I've been working on how to color for years....do you think I would just tell you. Right then and there I decided that if I ever figured out how to so something I would share the info. It may not be the best but it works for me. 

Tim C.   

Tim,

I see you know what I was talking about. A lot of guys have run into the same problem and not just about powder horns. Not surprising enough are the many craftsmen today who are not willing to share gained knowledge. That is whats so good about this board. I was one of the first to join this message board way back when Mark Elliott first started it. I have always shared any and all knowledge that I have with other members of this and other boards.

The only time I don't share is when I have an idea and haven't proven it to myself, so I hold back the info until I can try it a couple of times and make sure it works.

Randy Hedden

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Berks Liberty

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #16 on: August 07, 2008, 03:44:34 AM »
I really appreciate the info on this subject.  I built a horn a couple of years ago and attempted to age it but the stain really didn't take the way I wanted it to.  I can understand anyone who found their way of doing something by trial and error and really don't feel like handing their secret out.  Thanks for the tips and the added help as always. 

Offline sonny

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #17 on: August 12, 2008, 02:58:13 AM »
I talked with a horner who used color pigments from an art store for oil painting.He said you can mix the pigments for whatever degree of color you want the horn to look.When the stuff dries,it being oil base really holds it color to horn....sonny

Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #18 on: August 13, 2008, 12:13:45 AM »
Guys,

There are a lot of different things that you can use to color a powder horn. Many of these things have been mentioned here in this thread. The true test of a powder horn colorant is not whether it will color the horn, but whether it will withstand use without the color coming off the horn.

Some of the Tansel horns I have seen clearly show the polychrome colors on the horn even though they were made a couple of hundred years ago. Many of the old F&I period scrimshaw horns I have seen still show colors, red, green, and blues, that were applied to the horn. Sometimes a horn has been carried and used to the extent that all color and even part of the horn has been worn away where the horn rubbed against the hunting pouch and yet these well used and worn powder horns still show colors on the parts of the horn that were not rubbing on the hunting pouch.

For the colors to have lasted this long the color had to have been in the horn and not just on the outer surface of the horn. I believe the only way this is going to happen is if the horn is dyed in a hot dye bath or acids are used to color the horn.

Randy Hedden

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Offline Tim Crosby

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #19 on: August 13, 2008, 01:03:44 AM »
For the colors to have lasted this long the color had to have been in the horn and not just on the outer surface of the horn. I believe the only way this is going to happen is if the horn is dyed in a hot dye bath or acids are used to color the horn.

Randy Hedden


  You are right on the money. Of all the stuff I have tried I have found that the only way to really keep the color is to get it hot (the horn and the color) an get it in the horn not just on it.   

Tim C.

Offline Richard Snyder

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #20 on: August 16, 2008, 03:46:39 AM »
I have not tried it yet, but I have heard that boiling the horn with yellow onion skins works well.

Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #21 on: August 16, 2008, 08:24:44 AM »
I have not tried it yet, but I have heard that boiling the horn with yellow onion skins works well.

Richard,

As Warner mentioned earlier in this thread, onion skins will color a horn when used in a hot dye bath if that is the color you are looking for. When you look at several old horns together one of the first things I notice is that they are not all the same color. When I make horns I like them to be various colors so yellow onion skins only fills part of the bill.

Randy Hedden

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Offline Fullstock longrifle

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #22 on: August 19, 2008, 04:31:07 PM »
Guys, While at the CLA show I looked at all of the great contemporary horns around the room.  Many of them had a dry antique crusty look that I would like to try on my next horn.  There was even a built up of grunge on the wooden plugs. Scott Sibleys horns were especially well done.  Can anybody tell me how that look is achieved?  Thanks.

Frank

Offline Randy Hedden

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #23 on: August 19, 2008, 05:11:39 PM »
Frank,

According to Sibley's book, after dyeing the horn with Rit dye, he covers the horn with oil based walnut wood stain and then, while the stain is still wet,  he sprinkles black powdered tempera paint over the stain and wipes the whole mess off until he achieves the look he wants. Since Sibley's book was published a lot of horners are using this method to get that grungy look on their horns.

Randy Hedden

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Offline Fullstock longrifle

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Re: Aged Look
« Reply #24 on: August 19, 2008, 05:29:23 PM »
Thanks Randy, I guess I better buy the book!  ::) It's a great look, it might even work well on a gun stock.

Frank