We carry fasteners in several different finishes, specializing in black oxide and nickel plated steel. Here are the basics:
The bulk of our fasteners are made from mild steel and we stock many of them without a finish. Bare steel will rust! We try to keep a light coat of oil on our plain steel fasteners to inhibit rust but small amounts may be present.
Black Oxide is a traditional finish used by blacksmiths and other metal fabricators. While it has mild water resistance, be advised that black oxide steel will rust in a wet environment. If you are using these products in a moist environment we recommend coating them with a rust-inhibiting spray paint or varnish.
BLACK OXIDE ON STAINLESS STEEL
Depending on the manufacturing process, some stainless products will accept a black oxide finish, making them an excellent choice for the exterior. They will maintain the black oxidation but resist the familiar orange oxidation of ferrous steel.
Electro-plated nickel is also known as bright or polished nickel. Highly decorative, formal in appearance, and eye-catching, nickel is a traditional finish that has a warmer feel than hard chrome. Used by restorers of musical instruments and many others. Nickel plate is applied both to steel and to brass; the nickel-plated screws we stock are nickel over steel unless otherwise indicated.
Gold electro-plating is a popular choice with guitar builders for its corrosion resistance and warmth of color. Find our gold-plated screws HERE.
This is an electro-plating process also known as statuary bronze. The appearance of the screws varies from light to dark, just as with the solid bronze fasteners, but without the exorbitant price of solid silicon bronze. The advantage of this finish over black oxide is that Bronze Plate is highly rust-resistant, while black oxide is only mildly water-resistant. Our handful of bronze-plated items are HERE.
BRASS & COPPER PLATING
Black zinc offers the same moderate protection against the elements as the ubiquitous silver zinc plating found in big box stores. Not recommended for harsh marine environments. Our black zinc products are found HERE.
PLAIN SOLID BRASS AND BRONZE
Our plain solid brass and solid silicon bronze fasteners are generally unlaquered, so they will acquire a patina over time but will not rust away. We carry a large array of solid brass wood screws; our solid bronze fasteners are found HERE.
PLAIN STAINLESS STEEL
We stock many items in stainless steel, which, along with silicon bronze, remains the best choice for harsh exterior environments. Stainless steel will dull over time but shouldn't rust beyond a few specks.
REMOVING BLACK OXIDE
Many of our customers ask about removing black oxide from fasteners to get to the bare steel. If you only need a few pieces done you can simply soak them overnight in vinegar and then use a brush, scrub pad or rag to clean the residue off. The process can also be done quickly with muriatic acid but be advised that you will need heavy rubber gloves, eye protection and a well-ventilated space.
CUSTOM PLATING AND BLACK OXIDIZATION SERVICE
We work with local metal finishers and as such are happy to offer nickel-plating, gold-plating, zinc-plating and black oxide finishes on special orders. Obviously this only applies to large orders of fasteners, i.e. more than 10 pounds. Email for more details and estimates. Turnaround is about a month.