I recently started a small forge and I am learning lots. I have a few old looking finnish and scandinavian axes that I am restoring. I have polished, reground and removed knicks and bits in some of them. As a result of that, some heads are left with new shiny and original dark patina on them.
I would like to take care of that by either retempering some of the heads (which needs to be done anyway in some cases) and/or finnishing the heads with beeswax to achieve a more homogenous black look. Now here’s my question:
Because the steel needs to be rather hot (100 ºC - 150 ºC) for the beeswax finnish to soak in, would you say that could negatively affect the current temper of the tool?
For heads that don’t need to be retempered, I was thinking about heating them in the oven until them reaching 100ºC or so, and then coating with wax. What do some of the more experienced smiths think about this approach?
Hope this question is interesting to some of you!