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    Default Spreading spotting media

    What do you use?

    I was never happy with the methods Connelly describes, so I have always used a printer's brayer (rubber roller used to spread ink for printing, especially woodblock prints).

    In my limited experience I found this quite satisfactory, especially when I wanted a very thin layer.

    However, all my work has been against a surface plate. I'm about to start working with straightedges, so a 6" wide brayer may not work as well. In particular I'm concerned with how best to apply media to dovetail masters. Should I make some narrow brayers or is there another method Connelly doesn't mention that I should use?

    Reg

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    My 6" rubber brayer works just fine on small and large straight edges. Using Canode.

    L7

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    Sometimes I might apply marking ink to the straight edge and roll it out with the brayer to start with, especially if I know there is a lot of scraping to do or milling machine tool marks to scrape out, heavy coats do not hinder roughing out at all. However typically I put the ink on the surface plate and use it is a reservoir so to speak, roll it out to get an even coat on the brayer, then transfer it to the straight edge. As you go along things thin out, which is what you want. Seems to work good for me. I use a 3" brayer because that is what I have.

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    I have three techniques

    Canode water soluble Blue or yellow- 3" wide white foam roller meant for paint bought at a big box store. I apply a bunch of dabs on the plate, squirt some windex on it and roll it out. You need to cut this product as it is too thick for precision work. Use on flat surfaces.

    Prussian Blue- 4" wide rubber brayer,i think i bought it from Mcmaster Carr. I apply the blue in small dots right to the surface plate and roll it out. For a one sq. foot area i might have 10 to 20 small dabs. I don't like a big puddle as it is a pain to spread in a thin and consistent layer. You want to be able to see the plate through the bluing. When inking up a straight edge, i'll put a heavy layer of blue on a surface plate, roll the brayer on it and roll the ink onto the straight edge.

    Red lead or canode yellow in a dovetail- i have a stiff piece of felt cut at an angle that i use to apply the contrasting media in a tight spot.

    Consistency is important so you do not get a false print. Also do a google search of this forum, this subject has has been debated for years.

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    Ive been spreading blue for 50 or so years and I have used a few methods. In the early days we used white hard felt as Matt mentioned. Not the soft black felt as it spreads lint. Back then we used a red rag folded in 3rds then rolled and wrapped with electric tape and we mixed the red lead to a paste that looked like shoe polish. Sometimes we used this method on large surfaces with Dykem Bluing too. Over the last 20 years I have used the soft 1" foam roller that Matt mentions. I never used the hard rubber roller or brayer until the last few years hobbyists brought to classes. I still don't use them. I use the foam roller and replace it when it get dirty. I also wash them out. I now use Canode and the French ink Tom Lipton introduced to me last year. I like mixing it and canoed 50/50. I use a clean part of the plate to spread it on or mix it on and then roll it on the straight-edge or plate.

    Two important things most miss or do wrong is they forget, no matter what kind if ink they use is to wipe the ink and dry part with their hands "TO FELL THE DIRT" you can't feel it with a ink roller or brayer. Only your fingers. Then they don't rub them together long enough rub the SE on the part or the SE to the plate to a count of 20. I have seen so many make mistakes and lay the part on the ink and rub it 2 seconds, sometime they hinge and walk away. Rubbing the parts longer polishes the ink off the super high spots and they either turn black or shine like a mirror. I also have used leather or a cut short bristles paint brush to get the ink down into narrow dovetails. There is not "Best" way or no best thickness as I spread it on thick in the beginning just incase there is a un-stoned burr or missed dirt and as I get more and more points I use less and as I said I rub it a longtime to see the "color" of the blue as it has 3 colors: lowest is same color as blue; med high is black and highest is shinny like a mirror. If anyone has bought one of my DVD's or watch the many You Tube shows my students have filmed you will see how I and they explain the right thickness is transparent so you can see through the ink and see under it. It takes practice for all. It doesn't just happen.

    In the old days when I used and loved Dykem High spot blue, my hands were always stained blue. If I scratched my nose or ink I had a blue nose, My mom used to complain because my hankerchief or underware were stained blue. I hated it, but I didn't scratch my SE's or plates. As I began to work with GM I had to use Canode Ink as GM had banned it's use in the plants as to many smartalecs had played games spreading it on phones, handles, etc. That started fist fights and lawsuits. I hated Canode at first but as I saw my fingers were clean I made myself learn to use it. Then when Tom showed me how the French ink was the same color as Dykem and also washed off with soup and water I fell in love with it. Over the years I also used Permatex, Diament (German), soot from wood stoves mixed with oil, paint pigments, etc. and like the methods ad inks I wrote about above
    Last edited by Richard King; 05-03-2019 at 10:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    Ive been spreading blue for 50 or so years and I have used a few methods. In the early days we used white hard felt as Matt mentioned. Not the soft black felt as it spreads lint. Back then we used a red rag folded in 3rds then rolled and wrapped with electric tape and we mixed the red lead to a paste that looked like shoe polish. Sometimes we used this method on large surfaces with Dykem Bluing too. Over the last 20 years I have used the soft 1" foam roller that Matt mentions. I never used the hard rubber roller or brayer until the last few years hobbyists brought to classes. I still don't use them. I use the foam roller and replace it when it get dirty. I also wash them out. I now use Canode and the French ink Tom Lipton introduced to me last year. I like mixing it and canoed 50/50. I use a clean part of the plate to spread it on or mix it on and then roll it on the straight-edge or plate.

    Two important things most miss or do wrong is they forget, no matter what kind if ink they use is to wipe the ink and dry part with their hands "TO FELL THE DIRT" you can't feel it with a ink roller or brayer. Only your fingers. Then they don't rub them together long enough rub the SE on the part or the SE to the plate to a count of 20. I have seen so many make mistakes and lay the part on the ink and rub it 2 seconds, sometime they hinge and walk away. Rubbing the parts longer polishes the ink off the super high spots and they either turn black or shine like a mirror. I also have used leather or a cut short bristles paint brush to get the ink down into narrow dovetails. There is not "Best" way or no best thickness as I spread it on thick in the beginning just incase there is a un-stoned burr or missed dirt and as I get more and more points I use less and as I said I rub it a longtime to see the "color" of the blue as it has 3 colors: lowest is same color as blue; med high is black and highest is shinny like a mirror. If anyone has bought one of my DVD's or watch the many You Tube shows my students have filmed you will see how I and they explain the right thickness is transparent so you can see through the ink and see under it. It takes practice for all. It doesn't just happen.
    First i have heard of the French ink. Does it wash off your hands? Does it thin out the Canode?

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    I use a rubber brayer as It was what I had when I started and I've grown used to it (but I'm definitely not against trying other methods). The next step for me is stealing one of my wife's fancy Tupperware to keep it in so It doesn't get dust and chips on it while I work or while it's in the tool-box.

    When I started learning a couple years ago, how thick or thin to spread the blue had me confused as I could get very different readings based off of how thick or thin it was. As others have said, how clean and uniform it spreads is important, but I learned quickly from using different plates that there was no specific color or tint to universally strive for. I use the same method regardless if it's black granite, light grey granite, polished iron, or old stained iron.

    The easiest way I've found is to just spread it out and see how it prints. Your print should show a variety of points, from thick blue ones on up to the silver shiners. If all I see are thick blue spots, it could be a little thinner. Your progression helps too, as in you'll start with bigger blue spots as you rough, and see more variety as your area increases and point count goes up. If you take your first print and just see 2 spots, try a little more blue. If they were actually THAT high, they'd be silver in the middle.

    The geometry of the surface is a whole other related topic, but in general, the proof is in the print.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MCritchley View Post
    I have three techniques

    Canode water soluble Blue or yellow- 3" wide white foam roller meant for paint bought at a big box store. I apply a bunch of dabs on the plate, squirt some windex on it and roll it out. You need to cut this product as it is too thick for precision work. Use on flat surfaces.

    Prussian Blue- 4" wide rubber brayer,i think i bought it from Mcmaster Carr. I apply the blue in small dots right to the surface plate and roll it out. For a one sq. foot area i might have 10 to 20 small dabs. I don't like a big puddle as it is a pain to spread in a thin and consistent layer. You want to be able to see the plate through the bluing. When inking up a straight edge, i'll put a heavy layer of blue on a surface plate, roll the brayer on it and roll the ink onto the straight edge.

    Red lead or canode yellow in a dovetail- i have a stiff piece of felt cut at an angle that i use to apply the contrasting media in a tight spot.

    Consistency is important so you do not get a false print. Also do a google search of this forum, this subject has has been debated for years.
    I used the Tupper Ware idea 20 yrs ago in Taiwan and must have mentioned it in class or GMTA. We cut a notch in one end and after the lid was shut it would stay wet overnight and when you needed it, you pulled off the lid rolled the roller on the ink inside the bottom, on the plate and back in the box with lid put on. The last class we had 2 weeks ago in CA the plate got dirty fast because we had the door open to get a breeze in the shop and the pollen, dirt, etc. dropped on the plate and we washed off the ink usually once or twice an hour after we felt the crud with our hands. Also down in Puerto Rico we used those covered rollers shown in the picture. Matt the French ink is sideways....lol Charbonnel Aqua Wash Etching Inks - BLICK art materials and a bottle of Yellow highlighter (same as bluing but different color) that I dilute with Windex. I only delute the bluing with Windex on 90+ F in the shop. Wide brayer in pic of plate in Austria. The ink is a bit thick now as we were roughing in the mill saddle on left.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 20180406_164554.jpg   2014-02-24_11-34-35_214.jpg   20150708_095340.jpg   20181115_155159.jpg  
    Last edited by Richard King; 05-04-2019 at 09:37 AM.

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    Hi Rich,

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard King View Post
    The ink is a bit thick now as we were roughing in the mill saddle on left.
    I did a double-take. That ain't no mill saddle -- it's the upper (rotatable) cross slide of my Studer cylindrical grinder!

    Cheers,
    Bruce

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    Quote Originally Posted by ballen View Post
    Hi Rich,



    I did a double-take. That ain't no mill saddle -- it's the upper (rotatable) cross slide of my Studer cylindrical grinder!

    Cheers,
    Bruce
    Ooops...stand corrected. Bruce how about to chime in on spreading bluing. You must have spread that blue on the plate?

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    Listen to what Richard says about rubbing it for 20 seconds. He also introduced me to the technique of moving the part to a "clean" spot on the plate and rubbing. It will burnish off the highest places. My eyes were opened to reading the different high spots, makes a world of difference.

    When the bluing is thick, you can also feel your bearing percentage. If it's a surface ground (and flat) part, it'll stick down so bad (in my case) I'd have a hard time even moving it back and forth. If the bearing is too light or it's really high somewhere, it'll skate easily.

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    Many thanks to all. I didn't log in for a few days. I should be doing some HVAC service right now, but it's pouring like mad so I'm going to go rough in the headstock to bed fit.

    Unfortunately, my MT 3 test bar got sent back because DHL couldn't figure out how to deliver it. But 4 days later the driver had no problem with another shipment. But I need the test bar more than the milling attachment.

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    The french ink sounds super. How is it for drying out?

    I find the Canode really dries out fast, especially in winter, and am hoping the french stuff is not like that. (the windex seems to make Canode really soupy, then there is like one minute in which it is pretty good, then it is too dry again..)

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    Got to admit, I don't like windex in Canode. Just plain Canode spread vigorously with a rubber brayer works well for me. Seems to last for about half a day worth of prints. Every few days of use the rubber brayer gets washed with plain soap n water to get rid of shop lint.

    Getting the right bluing is kinda like, chuckling to myself here, sex. Take your time, lots of practice, and you get good results...

    Lucky7 (!)

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    The french ink sounds super. How is it for drying out?

    I find the Canode really dries out fast, especially in winter, and am hoping the french stuff is not like that. (the windex seems to make Canode really soupy, then there is like one minute in which it is pretty good, then it is too dry again..)
    The Charbonel ink has a pretty good working life. I find it will stay viscous enough for three or four hours of work, By then you either have to clean the plate or add more/reapply anyway. I never tend to apply more to the plate than I need anyway. I also clean the plate often, somehow dirt always finds me!

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    Ive only used stuarts micrometer blue on my granite and straight edges - I spread either with a rubber roller, or rolled and wrapped rubber of cotton (it actually works pretty well once its been used a few times. On occasion Ive used my finger tips. Quickest has been the roller - up until it falls apart / wore out.

    On the rare occasion Ive needed a background colour - Ive striped the surface with sharpie, then added a drop of white spirit (mineral spirit) and rubbed that around with a bunched cotton cloth until Im happy its even shaded - then printed the face over the master with the micrometer blue.

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    Tyrone sent me some Stuarts plus I bought some. It came in a short can like shoe polish. I liked it and It also washed off with water. I gave it to test and they never got back yet. The last class we had last week in VT I would dab with my finger about 15 spots about 2" apart L to R and 8 T to B of straight Canode. Then dabbed the Charbonnehal between the other spots so it was 50/50 of each. Then used the soft roller and then a hard roller and rule # 4...wiped the ink with my hand to feel for the dirt. As Warren said some of the students were to careful and got the plate dirty, so we had to clean the plate and re-apply. I bought the Prussian Blue color and someone bought the lighter blue and we preferred the Prussian color. I did show the class how to lower the parts down slowly and listen when close as you can here the dirt get crunched if the plate is dirty.

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    I've got three bottles of Canode (red, yellow and blue), I use it as a contrast colour but don't get on with it as a spotting medium as I find that it dries out too fast. I use Stuart's Micrometer Blue as that's the most common Prussian Blue oil-based marking pigment in the UK. I Use a dauber/lint-free linen rag to apply the Cannode, but use a rubber brayer for the oil based blue.

    One very useful technique is to hold the brayer at an angle to the direction of travel. This makes it skid slightly and also redeposits any spots of blue that it picks up over to the side. If you change the "direction of lean" each time you move the brayer back and forth, you can move the marking out to the side in a controlled way.

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    Quote Originally Posted by M.B. Naegle View Post
    I use a rubber brayer as It was what I had when I started and I've grown used to it (but I'm definitely not against trying other methods). The next step for me is stealing one of my wife's fancy Tupperware to keep it in so It doesn't get dust and chips on it while I work or while it's in the tool-box.

    When I started learning a couple years ago, how thick or thin to spread the blue had me confused as I could get very different readings based off of how thick or thin it was. As others have said, how clean and uniform it spreads is important, but I learned quickly from using different plates that there was no specific color or tint to universally strive for. I use the same method regardless if it's black granite, light grey granite, polished iron, or old stained iron.

    The easiest way I've found is to just spread it out and see how it prints. Your print should show a variety of points, from thick blue ones on up to the silver shiners. If all I see are thick blue spots, it could be a little thinner. Your progression helps too, as in you'll start with bigger blue spots as you rough, and see more variety as your area increases and point count goes up. If you take your first print and just see 2 spots, try a little more blue. If they were actually THAT high, they'd be silver in the middle.

    The geometry of the surface is a whole other related topic, but in general, the proof is in the print.
    Take a look at pic 3 of this link. That was taken in the when I was teaching in Taiwan in 2009. GMTA about Tupper Ware...Rockford IL Rebuilding class set - August 18 - 22, 2019

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