View Full Version : etchable pins

01-30-2003, 08:52 AM
Another question! :) If I want to pin a damascus bolster or guard what kind of pin stock can I use that will darken in an etch? The only readily available ones it seems are nickel silver and stainless, both of which won't etch.

Thanks for any help!


Jamey Saunders
01-30-2003, 08:58 AM
As I recall, you have a few options. You can use hidden pins to hold the bolsters on, or you can choose a high-contrast metal to make the pins stand out. I'm sure there's a pin material that will etch, but I'm not sure what it is, or where to get it.

Ray Rogers
01-30-2003, 09:45 AM
Any non-stainless steel rod will etch. However, a plain steel rod will turn gray in etchant but, of course, it will not show a pattern since it doesn't have one and for that reason will still be visible against your damascus. A lot less visible that a stainless pin though. Also, different steels take different shades of gray when they etch so you may want to try several different materials to get a good match.

Pieces of drill rod are commonly made from O1, A1, and W2 and all will etch and are available from knife supply houses, steel suppliers, some hardware stores, and most any place that sells tooling. Ordinary steel welding rod (without the flux on it) will also etch ........

01-30-2003, 06:38 PM
Awesome! Thanks for the info. I've seen folks pin damascus guards and bolsters with some sort of etchable material, as they come out with that grey/black of the high carbon steels, and I kind of like the look, so I wasn't concerned about hiding them, I just didn't want the shiny look of nickel silver or stainless, which I think looks like "too much" on damascus. I'll hunt around for some drill rod.


01-31-2003, 09:24 AM