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Heat treating copper plates.

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I plan to use heat treated plates on my next coppered hull.  I am still researching the idea, but it seems to be a simple heat and quench technique. The result is a lovely patchwork of colors that give the hull a beautiful 'glow'


I found some pictures of a finished hull here   http://modelshipbuilder.com/page.php?39    and the results are (I think) extremely attractive.


Has anyone tried it, or heard of it..?



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I've done it a couple of times with varying success. I think it has quite a bit to do with the plates themselves. 


I've had it come out beautiful and another time the plates became very rigid afterwords and actually flaked a bit. I'm guessing that the flaking may have been some type of coating from production I was unaware of.


The plates came from different manufacturers so it's plausable.


I'd run some tests to develop a process and finish you're comfortable with first.  Mine was straight forward - I took a propane torch and after laying out a handful of plates I just "cooked" them until I liked the color.


Post some pics when you're done







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Hi Dan,


I've done this a few times myself. As Sam mentioned, sometimes plates come out a little odd and I too have had plates flake a bit. I'm not sure what that is either. It's been years since I've done it and usually ended up heating small batches of plates in a pie tin. This way, you get a large variety of colored plates. You should experiment with it a bit to get a feel for how to heat the plates evenly. That's one issue that I had was that some plates laying on top of other plates lead to uneven heating. The patchwork coloring is nice, but it was only like that initially in the dockyard. Once the ship was in operation, the coloring evened out.


Good luck with the technique!



Clare Hess

He's a -> "HE"

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  • 1 year later...

I have treated individual copper plates by holding each plate with tweezers and holding it for just a couple of seconds in a flame then tossing it in a pie tin to cool. You could try quenching in water for a different effect. Tedious but it works. You can't do this with copper tape because of the adhesive backing.


The plates come out a variety of darks that looks attractive but not realistic. In sea water the copper plates turned green, much as a copper roof looks.


Best of luck



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