About Me

About Jim Locksley

One day when I was walking around my college campus, I saw a group of people with these yellow tripods. At first I thought they might be photographers, but they sure looked like strange ones! I went up and asked them what they were doing, and it turns out they were a group of students from a construction class who were surveying the land for a project. I was fascinated. I was able to sign up for the class the next semester, and while it didn't stick or change my professional trajectory, it did create a new hobby for me! Ever since then, I've been interested in construction, from surveying to management to the actual building. I figured running a blog about it would give me a nice excuse to keep up my interests!

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About Jim Locksley

Hot Tempered Rainbows: Real Objects (Not Ska Bands) And How To Make Them

by Mike Brewer

Hot tempered rainbows are real things. They may sound like angry rainbows in the sky or like a Ska band, but in actuality they are something quite different. For more information, and how to make hot tempered rainbows of your own, the following should help.

What Hot Tempered Rainbows Are

Hot tempered rainbows are a fascinating effect created on a piece of steel. In fact, you can even get this effect on sword blades, which makes the swords even more interesting and fun to wield. The "rainbows" themselves start out straw- or wheat-colored, then slowly graduate into golden yellow, orange, magenta/purple, indigo blue, and bright electric blue before fading into an iconic steel blue-gray. The effect is achieved through heating the steel at numerous temperatures between 399 degrees Fahrenheit and 639 degrees Fahrenheit.

How You Can Create Your Own Hot Tempered Rainbows

Obviously, you will need an oven, forge, or furnace that can heat to the temperatures required to create these bands of color. Having some skill in black-smithing, thermal processing, or metallurgy helps too, but as long as you understand the risks, the precautionary measures, and the process, you can do this. Once you have all of the necessary equipment (both protective and process), you can begin.

The first thing you need to do is select your piece of steel. As a beginner, steel rods or long, narrow sheets of steel will work just fine until you get the hang of this.

  1. Heat your fire source to just under 400 degrees Fahrenheit, and insert the metal.
  2. Leave it sit there for a few minutes, then begin to pull it out of the fire a few inches at a time.
  3. In between these "emergings," stoke the fire to make the temperature rise higher. If your heat source is electric, turn the heat knob up another 100 degrees.
  4. Continue this process until the end of the rod or sheet has sat in temps around the 639-degree blue/blue gray mark.
  5. Now, pull your steel from the heat source all the way. 
  6. Flash-cool it in cold water. Some of the tempering you did at the very beginning will already be cool and showing its colors, but flash-cooling the steel piece will make it all one easy-to-handle temperature.

Lay the steel flat in a safe place until it is definitely cool enough to pick up with bare hands. Examine your work and your hot tempered rainbow. If you like what you see, repeat the process. If you do not, tweak what you did to get a different appearance. For more information, contact local professionals like Pacific Metallurgical Inc.