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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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  #1  
Old 07-06-2017, 11:08 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Etching

Hey guys so this is kinda a 2 part question.....

So first has any one had any luck etching STAINLESS Damascus? I know stainless doesntt have as much contrast as carbon. Thing is I did a small test piece that came out ok. Then I did a folder blade I made from stainless....the only reason I even used the stainless is I didn't have any regular steel left in that thickness so I used a small piece off of a bar I got from chad Nichols at the blade show....But I cant get it to etch anywhere near as good as that small test piece. It makes no sense but basically it come out light grey and SLIGHTLY darker grey and you have to catch it in the right light to even really see the pattern.......

Second Has anyone used SULFURIC acid in etching Damascus (BOTH CARBON OR STAINLESS) so I have had good luck before on carbon Damascus with both ferric or muriatic and even using both. But never used sulfuric and saw a video where he used heated sulfuric acid...it came out OK but its hard to get a realistic shot of Damascus in a video so I am wondering if anyone has tried it and how good it came out.

thanks guys
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  #2  
Old 07-06-2017, 01:00 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Generally, all methods of etching damascus take a slow approach to get a good etch. If you want to dissolve a piece of damascus then suphuric acid is a good place to start as it is very aggressive.

When it comes to stainless damascus most of the makers of the bar will have etching instructions available. If you're following those instructions and not getting the results Nichols gets then there should be something wrong with your process. No doubt, stainless damascus is tricky but a long slow etch on a buffed blade followed by very light application of very fine sandpaper will usually get the job done ...


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Old 07-06-2017, 01:02 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Only carbon Damascus under my belt and that with Radio Shack Ferric. But this makes me wonder, stainless damascus, what's the point if it won't etch well? I have seen some beautiful San Mai with carbon core sandwiched between stainless. But the carbon was etched near black with the stainless remaining white. Strong contrast.
Sulfuric acid can be some nasty stuff , be careful with it.

Sorry, I'm no help.


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Old 07-06-2017, 01:26 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Thanks guys, Ray I thought its not a good idea to buff a Damascus blade? is that different with stainless... I did follow what he did maybe I missed the buff? I even sent him a email and he said to help me he needs a picture. Wich I cant find the stupid wire that connects the camera to the laptop.....always something with this camera but hey started keeping it in the gun cabinet so my sis cant steel it any more lol

WNC GOATER.... radio shak ferric is what I get too....The real reason I got the stainless Damascus was for use in folders. With a folder you cant just wipe all of the blade dry without takig it apart so I think carbon would rust on the parts under the handle....eventually anyway. Yeh your right about the san mia stuff I met ed caffery at the blade show and that is what he did to keep the stainless part under the handle and they were great looking. I am getting a press soon so I may try to play with it but still want to take a run at what I got....

I just read a post on anther forum and this kid posted a pic of a knife.....etched with 1 gal. of coffee....it was carbon but its one of the pieces I have seen that has the most contrast to it anyone try this
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:40 PM
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It isn't a good idea to buff damascus to a high polish - this just smears the steels together and causes a blurry etch. But, a light buff before the etch and then a light buff after or the use of very fine sandpaper will remove the etch from the higher part of the damascus (the part that didn't etch as much) and give it a little shine which increases the contrast with the lower areas (which are low because the etchant ate the softer steel faster and probably left it darker). BTW, give the etch time to dry before buffing or sandpaper, at least an hour.

As for the coffee etch, no I haven't tried that. But, the fact that it worked merely serves to make me glad I never learned to drink coffee (although I imagine it might tastes marginally better than FeCl) ...


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Old 07-06-2017, 02:49 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Hmm ya know I use one of those 5000 grit pads its like a 3/116 sheet of foam with grit on one side...But do you think sand paper wrap around wood or g10 would be better. I was just thinking maybe the foam pad aint the best because it will push down in the low points as you try to sand the high points.
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Old 07-06-2017, 04:40 PM
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Yes, I'd go with a wood or other hard backing. And, don't forget to let the etch dry first - that's a critical part of the process since it makes the low areas harder to remove ...


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Old 07-06-2017, 04:54 PM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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There is Jasco Metal Prep which has phosphoric acid in it and it will etch stainless, also a three day soak in apple cider vinegar will do it too. The Metal Prep turns rust into iron phosphate or black iron and it will instantly etch aluminum. Most paint stores sell it, it is also called Ospho.

Tho the phosphoric acid is watered way down watch your blade as this stuff is aggressive.


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Old 07-07-2017, 07:46 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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Before using Jasco Metal Prep maybe you better Google phosphoric acid, it is one of the most powerful of the acid families and they put this stuff in Pepsi or Lipton iced tea for tartness (it is what eats the enamel off your teeth and prevents your body from absorbing calcium, just FYI). I have etched aluminum with Coca Cola for cleaning to weld before. It is more powerful than even nitric acid. Yes you can etch a knife with Coke, just takes awhile.

Is a great prep for paint and will turn any rusty object into black iron phosphate, I have used it on a boat I owned and where I sprayed it on the aluminum, the paint never peeled after 9 years.


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Old 07-07-2017, 01:20 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray Rogers View Post

As for the coffee etch, no I haven't tried that. But, the fact that it worked merely serves to make me glad I never learned to drink coffee (although I imagine it might tastes marginally better than FeCl) ...

Tsk, tsk. I had higher hopes for you. No cookie for you today.


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Old 07-07-2017, 03:45 PM
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QUOTE: Tsk, tsk. I had higher hopes for you. No cookie for you today.

I know, I know. Sometimes I feel so ashamed that I never was able to develop any of the socially acceptable forms of chemical dependence. No cigarettes, no alchohol, no weed. But, I do drink two soft drinks every day so that should count for something, right?

You're right though, I probably need professional help. Somehow it just doesn't seem right that I can wake up at 5 a.m. and be fully awake and ready to function without chemical help and the fact that my bowels function without help just adds insult to injury. Next New Year I'm going to resolve to acquire some bad habits, maybe even work my way up to a dependency! Keep your fingers crossed for me....


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Old 07-07-2017, 09:45 PM
WNC Goater WNC Goater is offline
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Lol! Maybe there's hope for you yet!


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Old 07-08-2017, 06:20 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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Haha....ok see now I know I am not alone...for a long time I wasn't used to waking up until afternoon....Now I wake up at 5-6 am....not that I want to trust me I wish I could sleep more I just cant maybe I too should go catch a habit again....lol .....nah bad idea...ill stick with my coffee and cigarettes
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Old 07-08-2017, 08:26 AM
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It's 6:18 a.m. here and I just got back in from coating my bridge with water proofing stuff since 5 this morning....


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Old 07-08-2017, 08:58 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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yeh I been up since 5 here tooo but deffinitly not coating a bridge....even tho I wake up early (again under no control of my own I would love to sleep better.) but yeh even tho I am awake I am next to useless until I get coffee in me...that's one major reason I hope sales pick up and make and sell some more knives, I can wake up throw on some slippers get some coffee and 1 flight of stairs and I am in the shop..
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acid, art, blade, blade show, carbon, chad nichols, damascus, etch, etching, folder, g10, help., knife, made, makers, pattern, polish, question, show, small, stainless, steel, thickness, video, white


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