Patina project

First posted
Thursday September 6, 2012 06:22
Friday October 19, 2012 12:21

Los Lunas Chili Festival, Sunday September 9, 2012 and large-scale solar generation of electricity fraud?

Patina is the right word for this fast rust project because the copper was added.

Dark steel Kokopelli, bear, and lizard silhouettes were about invisible when mounted on latilla fence designed to make electric, gas, Comcast, and DirectV [and antenna] meters invisible.

Painting silhouettes ruled out for aesthetic reasons

Seminal article on altering steel visibility: How to make steel rust quickly.

Author Hal Eckhart uses the word 'patina.'

Also helpful : How can I oxidize copper without the use of a patina?

Horsefly small roadrunner arrived by USPS while we were in Indiana.

Hanging 3d bat purchased in Nashville, IN on Friday October 5, 2012.

Quail were completely coated with muriatic acid/copper patina. This was a mistake not to be repeated with the roadrunner.

Battery acid [sulfuric] with swamp cooler tube sections stood for a week before applying on roadrunner.

Aluminum foil lined with seran wrap dish.

Patina was splashed on roadrunner leaving some sections uncoated.

Nitrile gloves used to wash roadrunner.

Road runner after first splashing.

Roadrunner seen the next day.

Rust starts.

Reverse side.

Next day roadrunner done to satisfafction with only two patina applications.

Roadrunner waxed and hand buffed.

Spade from large quail included in photograph for reason that wax effect compared to no wax is seen. Machine shop operator Eddie suggested wax application.

Backside of roadrunner.

Copper specks on roadrunner were seen in late afternnon sunlight on Sunday October 14, 2012.

Done! A fun learning experience.

Latillas installation to hide trash bin project running simulataneously with roadrunner patina project.

T4 Landscaping is sawing them off on Monday October 15, 2012.

Thursday September 27, 2012 09:05

Visibility is the larger part of what we are doing.

Silhouettes still invisible mounted on latillas on Tuesday September 11, 2012. So

Maybe we should have left them black? :)

Educational patina experience, however.

they are mounted on Anasazi wall.

Solar panel powered 'water feature' is fun to watch.

Solar-powered water pumping works well ... in this application.

Let's try for blue quail next using sulfuric acid. Lizards will be used for tests.

Landscaper Shane Block mounted Kokopelli, bear and lizard latilla/Anasazi wall

Silhouettes were so dark as to be practically invisible against latillas.

Here's a close-up

Silhouettes receipt.

Decision made to try to lighten-up silouettes. Googling revealed How to make steel rust quickly.

Cleaned with 42x1 inch medium grit Sears belt grinder.

Note zigzag in Kokopelli silhouette. Subtle? :)

'Maybe it's a female Kokopelli?' fishing buddy Robert commented when he stopped to collect Red and Green Delicious applies, tomatoes, green peppers, green beans, almonds, recently-caught coho, smoked pink salmon, and frozen peaches on Thursday September 6, 2012.

1/4 inch swamp cooler copper tube


Maximizing surface area may lead to faster acid dissolve?


100 cc of muriatic acid poured in jar. Double layer of Seran Wrap. Cap screwed in loosely.

Sunday September 2, 2012.

Gold appearance of muriatic acid is because photo was taken about a day after copper flakes added.

Muriatic acid was clear when 100 cc first placed in jar.

Several short 1/4" and one about 1 inch copper tube segments added.

Ratio-Rite used when bill zoomed from home on Suzuki RM125 dirt bike on Tramway and I-25 in the 1980s.

All desert then. All homes now.

Ratio-Rite has been very useful over 30 years. Recommend purchase.

Wednesday September 5, 2012.

Note stain from apparent outgassing of solution.

New Mexico sun is intense. Temperatures over 90o F each day.

Solution left in sun.

Quail ordered.

Increased optimism about results of 'patina' work.

Lots of lizards in front and back yards. New about 2 inch lizards are now appearing.

Posed Thursday September 6, 2012 15:55

Garden art work is final stage of over year long landscaping project of about 1/4 acre.

Interest rates are so bad that we decided to invest in landscaping.

Landscaper Shane Black of T4 Landscaping working on berm behind garage on Tuesday September 4, 2012.

Crusher pea gravel.

Tuesday September 11, 2012.

Rust is more of a surface effect than penetrating steel.

Yard3 of pecan shells.

Patina solution applied full strength to newly fabricated wind chimes tail on Saturday September 8, 2012. Bubbled, hissed, and smoked, then turned crusty black.

After washing.

Quail preparations. :)

Tuesday September 11. 2012

Lizard without grinding surface.

Muriatic acid/copper patina applied. About 6 hours later.

Wednesday September 12, 2012 morning.

Lizard washed. After drying.

Too regular rust.

Thursday morning.

Sulfuric acid.

100 cc measured.

Top of acid container can be cut to insert plastic tube.

Acid poured from screw cap instead.

Dry new pair of nitrile gloves use.

Jar broke when lifted by top.

Water from hose used to flush acid off drive way.

New solution made with similar jar.

Sufuric acid/copper will be left for a week before serious use. But Friday September 14, 2012 some applied to small steel plate.

Plate was shiny after belt grinder treatment.

Lizard treated with uncut muriatic/copper patina solution appears to have stabilized.

Log was sawed from Idaho forest by bill when we lived in Pullman, WA.

Small lizard posed.

Trailer hitch lock and solar water pump panel in foreground.

Friday September 14, 2012

arrived by



Quail feet edited with reciprocating saw and 42x1 belt grinder Monday September 17, 2012.

Friday September 21, 2012 07:15

Hello Mr Leon,

Here is a scan of your check.

As kind reciprocation please answer questions

1 What are the three dimensions of the steel bank used to produce the large quail?

2 What is the weight of the blank?

3 What cutting technology CNC machine is used to cut out the quail?

4 What are the name plate a) voltage and b) amps of that machine.

5 What are the company and model names?

6 How long does it take to cut out the quail?

7 What tool was used to burnish the quail?

8 What are the name plate a) voltage and b) amps of that tool?

9 How long does it is take to burnish a quail?

10 What is the weight of a finished quail?

11 What is the weight of the scap?

12 What is the current price of electricity in kWh in the Prescott Valley?

Could you email photos of the CNC machine a burnishing tool?

Thanks in advance.


No response from Mr Leon so we visited ABQ Manufacturing.

Water cutting machine is operated from a 75 horsepower electric pump attached to 480 volt 3-phase.

Minimum cutting charge is $200.

Minimum coating charge is $100.

Apparent machine shop operator suggested coating the quail with Johnson's wax to stabilize finish.

Quail treated with sulfuric acid/copper patina on Thursday September 20, 2012.

Second kokopelli is not rusting for whatever reason.

Cutting speeds

Crusher pea gavel behind wall.

Meters left to right comcast, directv, PNM electric, NMGGO gas.

New Mexico state fair projects diversion, Saturday September 15, 2012.

Experimenting with new sulfuric acid project. Three inches of copper tube in solution.

Full strength muriatic acid/copper treated


Bought kokopelli and bear Monday September 17, 2012 to complete the outdoor arts scene.

Construction of base for shed begun using treated 4x4x10s and 4x4x8s..

Super-accuracy required, Lifetime sheds, warned shed parts won't fit together if base not level and square.

Inside of rectangle will be filled with pea gravel.

Friday September 21, 2012.

Quail done to our liking.

Clear urethane should 'fix' the colors.

Lizard treated with sulfuric acid/copper patina did not appear to do much.

Kokopelli would not rust when muriatic acid/copper patina applied. Why, we do not know.


bought for shed.

Clear polyurethane sprayed on quail instead of using Eddie's Johnson wax idea.


Not good, Quail darkened.

Edges of quail roughened with grinder. Spray bottle contains water to be sprayed on quail in hopes that outline will rust to make quail more visible.

Two chrysocolla rocks and one section of Cerrillos turquoise mine track bought from Cerrillos Mining Museum for total of $55.

'Removing polyurethane' googled. Best way is to use flames.

Still dark so they were subjected to bath of straight muriatic acid.

Aluminum foil used to make shallow pan which was then lined with seran wrap.

Acid leaked on to aluminum foil on big quail. Smoked, sizzled, and left black residue.

About 1,000 pounds of cobblestones sunk trailer wheels into pea gravel and could not be moved by shane and bill. So we connected CR-V to trailer and pulled it to work site.

Weights of rock are about 2,000 pounds/yard2. Reason for mine cart railroads become more clear with this project. Loaded trailer cannot be moved up the slightest incline ... and can't be stopped when moving down the slightest incline!

Acid-cleaned Quail washed with hose, put in dishwasher, then placed in oven at 225o for several hours, cooled, then

Area to left of green line waxed. Slight darkening occurs.


Note visibility flagstone for mine rail. Pieces of turquoises added to bear and rail for viz reasons.

Kokopelli was sanded, then waxed.

Frame for shed seen.

Turquois viz moved from track to kokopelli.

Done with west art work.

Small roadrunner ordered for east art work.

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