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The Newbies Arena Are you new to knife making? Here is all the help you will need.

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Old 01-14-2006, 11:05 PM
bcpayne bcpayne is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Cool Damascus ( acid bath)

I'm starting my first damascus blade( finally got the balls to either make a beautiful knife or through all that money away for the damascus) anyway after final blade griding what kind of acid do i soak it in to bring the pattern back out. Also whlie I'm here what kind of finish to do (220,320,600,etc.)
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Old 01-15-2006, 04:05 AM
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Robert Mayo Robert Mayo is offline
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Renfrew Ont. in the heart of the Ottawa Valley
Posts: 676
Personaly i like to finnish to 600 before doing any etching or i find that the grind lines show up after. Ferric cloride is a good etchant mixed 1/2 with distilled water if it is warmed it will work faster.

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Old 01-15-2006, 07:48 AM
AwP AwP is offline
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 774
I like ferric chloride best too, though I mix it 4/1 water/fc. Pretty much any acid will work though, whether the safest ones like vinager and lemon juice to nasty scary ones like hydrochloric and sulphuric. They all give slightly different results.

~Andrew W. "NT Cough'n Monkey" Petkus
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Old 01-15-2006, 08:29 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
Posts: 9,790
Especially for a Newbie I would say Ferric Chloride. It's reasonably safe, easy to get, cheap, and easy to use. It's probably the most popular etchant. It can be purchased from Radio Shack as circuit board etchant.

As for the finish, that can depend on the damascus. Some works best with a relatively low finish like 600 grit but others work better when mirror polished first but these are in the minority. It may not be possible for anyone to give you specific directions (except the manufacturer of your damascus) because so much can depend on the etchant you use, the dilution of the etchant, temperature, and the etching process you use as well as the initial finish.

The safest way to proceed is mix you FC 4/1 with distilled water and etch your 600 grit blade for 15 seconds, and rinse in cool running water rubbing lightly with your fingers (some prefer 0000 or finer steel wool). Repeat that process until your etch is as developed as you want it to be - usually a maximum of 3 or 4 times. After the etch, pat the steel dry and let it set for at least an hour. Then, if you wish, you can use steel wool or very fine (1500 - 2000) sandpaper to hit just the high spots and increase the contrast.

Practicing on a scrap piece would be a good idea....


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Old 01-15-2006, 09:06 AM
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SVanderkolff SVanderkolff is offline
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Mildmay, Ontario, Canada
Posts: 2,472
First, I assume you arre using a carbon damascus, in which case the ferric chloride as suggested is your best bet. If on the other hand you are using stainless damascus then you need to go to some muriatic acid. As far as finishing, I orefer to take all of them to 1200 grit before etching, that way I am absolutely sure there will not be any grind lines to blur the clarity of the etched damascus. I also like to put my steel after etch into some baking soda. this nutrlalizes any acid that may be left over in the little crevices after washing. Not sure if it is the reason but it does seem t halp the dark etch be a little more permanent.
BTW if you ask any 6 maker how to do this you will get 7 answers.

Stephen Vanderkolff
Please come on over and check out my website.
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:37 PM
bcpayne bcpayne is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12
Where can I find muratic acid

When all else fails, try again
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Old 01-17-2006, 09:49 PM
Jakedog Jakedog is offline
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: central, NC
Posts: 68
Muratic Acid

They sell muratic acid at lowes/home depot. This stuff is also handy for cleaning concrete off of stone work.

From there to here,
from here to there,
funny things are everywhere.
TG - 1960
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blade, knife

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