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Photo Tutorial: Steel Wool Photography

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Steel Wool

Steel wool, also known as wire wool, is a bundle of strands of very fine soft steel filaments, used in finishing and repairing work to polish wood or metal objects, and for cleaning household cookware.

Steel wool is made from low-carbon steel (low enough to be close to plain iron). It is not made by drawing "steel wool wire" through a tapered die, but rather by a process more like broaching where a heavy steel wire is pulled through a toothed die that removes a thin wire shaving
Steel wool is commonly used by woodworkers and craftsmen working with paint, lacquer and varnish.

Steel wool should not be used on oak, because remaining traces of iron may react with tannins in the wood to produce blue or black iron stain. Bronze wool or stainless steel wool may be used to avoid this.

Often it is used for professional cleaning processes not only on wooden surfaces but also on glass, because it is softer than these materials. For household cleaning use in many countries steel wool is sold under various trade names as soap-impregnated pads.

Steel wool is acceptable for Ne'itzah (scouring) according to Orthodox Jewish laws of kashrut.

Another use of steel wool is in rodent control. Small holes are plugged with coarse grade steel wool which if gnawed on by rodents causes sharp pain in the mouth and, if ingested, severe internal damage leading to death.

When steel wool is heated it increases in mass due to the burning iron combining with the oxygen. Very fine steel wool is sometimes carried for use as tinder in emergency situations; it burns even when wet and can be ignited by fire, a spark, or by connecting a battery to produce joule heating.

(Source: Wikipedia.org)

 

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