This section is from the "Henley's Twentieth Century Formulas Recipes Processes" encyclopedia, by Norman W. Henley and others.
To brass small articles of iron or steel drop them into a quart of water and 0.5 ounce each of sulphate of copper and protochloride of tin. Stir the articles in this solution until desired color is obtained.
Brassing Zinc, Steel, Cast Iron, etc.—Acetate of copper, 100 parts, by weight; cyanide of potassium, 250 parts; bisulphite of soda, 200 parts; liquid ammonia, 100 parts; protochloride of zinc, 80 parts; distilled water, 10,000 parts. Dissolve the cyanide of potassium and the bisulphite of soda. On the other hand, dissolve the ammonia in three-fourths of the water and the protochloride of zinc in the remaining water; next, mix the two solutions. This bath is excellent for brassing zinc and is used cold.
Acetate of copper, 125 parts, by weight; cyanide of potassium, 400 parts; protochloride of zinc, 100 parts; liquid ammonia, 100 parts; distilled water, 8,000 to 10,000 parts. Proceed as above described.
Acetate of copper, 150 parts, by weight; carbonate of soda, 1,000 parts; cyanide of potassium, 550 parts; bisulphite of soda, 200 parts; protochloride of zinc, 100 parts. Proceed as above. This bath serves for iron, cast iron, and steel, and is used cold.
Dissolve 200 parts, by weight, of caustic potash in 2,000 parts of water and add SO parts of litharge. Boil this solution for half an hour, taking care that a little of the litharge remains undissolved. When cold, pour off the clear fluid; it is then ready for use. Move the object to and fro in the solution; a yellow-brown color appears, becoming in turn white, yellow, red, and finally a beautiful violet and blue. As soon as the desired color is obtained, remove the article quickly from the solution, rinse in clean water, ind dry in sawdust.