finished! my first ribbon mic:

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johnny7
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Post by johnny7 » Thu Mar 25, 2010 7:32 pm

I have also used a chemical called Brass Ager for dark browns to almost black.
Steel wool any clear coat off first.
Johnny

rickshawrecords
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Post by rickshawrecords » Thu Mar 25, 2010 9:43 pm

Some patina experimenting on extra chassis parts this evening, after the kids were in bed:

BEFORE:
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... before.JPG

DURING:
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... during.JPG

AFTER
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... _after.JPG

On the Left, no change to the painted vinegar sample. None whatsoever. Worthless IMHO.
The other 2 pieces were heated and quenched in water about 10 times and nothing significant happened. They got dull, but that's it.
I then took one of them, and heated and quenched it in Vinegar, and after about 3 times, I could see green flames (from the Copper in Brass?) and it began to darken rapidly. More when I left it to cool, rather than soaking it immediately in the vinegar. Total time: 10 minutes.
It's NOT a uniform coloring like paint. It's slightly marbled with a few small spots. It looks like a 20-year old Copper water pipe that has never been cleaned.

The Ammonia-soaked-rag-in-the-bag test is still underway. Results later. My guess is it won't be nearly this effective.
Maybe quenching in Ammonia would bring out different patina?

- Rickshaw
Complete DIY Ribbon Mic Plans & Kits available from:
http://www.DIYRibbonMic.com

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pixeltarian
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Post by pixeltarian » Thu Mar 25, 2010 10:25 pm

rickshawrecords wrote: It looks like a 20-year old Copper water pipe that has never been cleaned.
that sounds great actually. right up my alley as far as looks go.
rickshawrecords wrote: Maybe quenching in Ammonia would bring out different patina?
just don't blow yourself up or get sick on ammonia fumes! ;)

Ammonia-soaked-rag-in-the-bag...
I'm thinking this will work nicely if you leave it sit for a day or two.
"Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to cut all sources of retreat."
- Napoleon Hill

http://www.jeffreyjamesmusic.com
spook folk

http://www.myspace.com/tonguesonpaper
electro atmospheric rock

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sears
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Post by sears » Fri Mar 26, 2010 4:07 am

I bought one of those steel brushes for a drill and gave them a brushed brass look which is gradually aging. My bandmates can't believe I built it.

rickshawrecords
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Post by rickshawrecords » Fri Mar 26, 2010 8:53 am

By Joe, Ammonia works!

Here's a final comparison:

BEFORE:
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... before.JPG

AFTER:
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... 0047_t.JPG

Left: With an Ammonia-soaked-rag in a Ziploc for ~12 hours.
Center: Vinegar "paint" - no effect at all
Right: heating and quenching in Vinegar about 10 times.

The Ammonia did the job, but even on this small piece, the bag stuck to the side and left a mark. Not a uniform finish, but this sample was not cleaned before hand. I don't know how you would accomplish a truly uniform finish with a complete, 6" mic tube, but if a marbled look is what you're after, this seems to work fine.
Ammonia also brought-out greens around the cut edges from the Copper component in Brass.

- Rickshaw
Complete DIY Ribbon Mic Plans & Kits available from:
http://www.DIYRibbonMic.com

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pixeltarian
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Post by pixeltarian » Fri Mar 26, 2010 9:04 am

rickshawrecords wrote:By Joe, Ammonia works!

Here's a final comparison:

BEFORE:
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... before.JPG

AFTER:
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... 0047_t.JPG

Left: With an Ammonia-soaked-rag in a Ziploc for ~12 hours.
Center: Vinegar "paint" - no effect at all
Right: heating and quenching in Vinegar about 10 times.

The Ammonia did the job, but even on this small piece, the bag stuck to the side and left a mark. Not a uniform finish, but this sample was not cleaned before hand. I don't know how you would accomplish a truly uniform finish with a complete, 6" mic tube, but if a marbled look is what you're after, this seems to work fine.
Ammonia also brought-out greens around the cut edges from the Copper component in Brass.

- Rickshaw
I would take a long noodle container, and put a platform in it with holes in it and put the rag underneath the platform. that way it won't touch the sides, you'll just have a little left over brass coloring on the rim of the bottom.


*edit*
or you could just dangle it by a string from the lid. attach the string to the inside so you don't see any outline where the string or tape was. that would be much easier.
"Every person who wins in any undertaking must be willing to cut all sources of retreat."
- Napoleon Hill

http://www.jeffreyjamesmusic.com
spook folk

http://www.myspace.com/tonguesonpaper
electro atmospheric rock

rickshawrecords
pluggin' in mics
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Joined: Tue Apr 10, 2007 1:06 pm

Post by rickshawrecords » Sun Mar 28, 2010 10:33 am

STOP THE PRESSES!
DO NOT USE AMMONIA FUMES TO COLOR YOUR BRASS!!

I just did an overnight experiment with a shiny new mic chassis and nicely soldered screen, and the whole thing is ruined. The ammonia turned the Brass extremely brittle, and the microphone chassis literally fell apart in my hands when I took it out.

http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... 0051_t.JPG
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... 0052_t.JPG
http://ribbonmic.rickshawrecords.com/im ... 0053_t.JPG

Now, instead of a shiny, machined microphone chassis, I have a worthless collection of brittle parts that are more like burned ash. The screen crumbled like a cookie, and the chassis is like a piece of burned-out firewood.

I just found this quote online:
Ammonia corrodes copper and brass into a blue-green salt.
...That's exactly what happened!

Again:
DO NOT USE AMMONIA FUMES TO COLOR YOUR BRASS!!
Complete DIY Ribbon Mic Plans & Kits available from:
http://www.DIYRibbonMic.com

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sears
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Post by sears » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:06 pm

I'm sorry Rick, but those pictures are awesome

rickshawrecords
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Post by rickshawrecords » Sun Mar 28, 2010 3:43 pm

sears wrote:I'm sorry Rick, but those pictures are awesome
Yea - "Learn from my mistakes" is a common theme in my plans.
3+ years of learning from my mistakes has resulted in my plans being easy to follow and the kits being pretty simple to build.

I don't like hassle.

- Rickshaw
Complete DIY Ribbon Mic Plans & Kits available from:
http://www.DIYRibbonMic.com

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millzners
ass engineer
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Post by millzners » Mon Mar 29, 2010 8:35 am

wow I'm really excited about building one of these. I was really close to buying a ribbon mic, probably a cheap Chinese one, then I thought twice and bought a decent condenser instead. Now after reading all of this and looking over the site, I REALLY want to get me some of that high-end Lundahl kit. I'd love to have a high-end ribbon I built myself, and I have a nice lab at work I can take advantage of. Plus after couple years removed from my EE classes and I find myself compelled to tinker with electronics again so this dovetails nicely.

Give me a couple of months to receive the required spousal approval. Then I'm all over this.

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