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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 06-26-2016, 02:16 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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grey finish

hey guys so i am curious about something i am wondering how a certain finish could be acheived i dont even know what its called buts its like a flat grey finish kinda like a stonewash but one consistent color not little flecks it almost looks like a grey powder coat if my assumptions are right there are probilly a few ways of doing this. i ask because one of my buddies showed me a knife and asked can you do this first answer was no mainly because its a manufactured knife and they have all sorts of coatings they put on blades BUT i have seen pictures of some custom knives with a very very similar finish so it got me thinking of how this could be accomplished maybe a etch but i had played around with that a while ago and didnt get anything that looked good but then again there are a million different etchants and dilutions maybe i just wasnt close to what works? any idea's guys i am all ears any ideas for black finish's would be cool too besides just wiping on gun blue
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2016, 03:48 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Try ferric chloride. Just dip the blade in a container of 1:4 ferric chloride to distilled water until you get the appearance that you want and then stop the reaction with something like Windex.

Doug


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  #3  
Old 06-26-2016, 06:00 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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The knife in the attached picture was grayed using the method Doug mentioned. This only works on carbon blades. If you want a clean finish like this the blade needs to be freshly ground with no finger prints or oils on it, i.e., very, very clean. Then etch in the same old FeCl you always use.

Another way to get a gray finish is by sand blasting. This will work on stainless or carbon. The gray is usually darker than the etched gray. Again, the blade needs to be quite clean and scratch free before you start although fingerprints and a little oil aren't much of a problem for a sand blaster.

Its really hard, maybe even impossible, to get a really good black finish by cold bluing. If you have hot bluing tanks available that will create a near black finish. Of course, bluing only works on carbon blades. As a practical matter, the only way to get a black finish on a blade in the average home shop is with Moly-Kote or a similar product. These are paints designed to be sprayed on metal parts and then baked on at 300 F. They provide a reasonable tough finish but the product is not cheap ....


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Last edited by Ray Rogers; 03-18-2018 at 01:21 PM.
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  #4  
Old 06-27-2016, 10:13 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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thanks yeh ray thats what i am looking for that flat grey as you said that only works on carbon blades but the sand blasting thing could be a option i dont know much about that tho have you heard of anyone making a set up at home without spending a bunch of money i guess it really consists of a box (wich i could make) but i dont know how the sprayer is set up ill have to do some research on this i took a look at harbor frieght just to see what it consists of and basicly box tank gun so i wonder maybe make a box buy the gun and maybe it can get hooked up to a air compressor i already have
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:32 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Sand blast set ups are pretty cheap from HF. I have two of their larger rigs and they were only $60 each when I bought them 17 years ago. They have smaller ones too . There are two basic types: one type is large enough to contain the sand so you can still have it to use again. The other type is smaller and you lose the sand because it gets blown all over the yard but its cheaper. That's not bad if you're only doing the occasional blade. Buy a 5 gallon bucket of sand, don't try to scoop it out of your back yard or off the beach. The 'sand' in the bucket is actually AO abrasive and its filtered to be sure it passes through the blast gun ...


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  #6  
Old 06-27-2016, 10:53 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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yeh i was actually just looking at them do you think this one would do the job http://www.harborfreight.com/abrasiv...net-42202.html

seems cheap enough and i think everything is included except the compressor and a "supply hose" i have the compressor so ill just have to get the hose....i have noticed on other sites there is many different kinds of abrasives this could spray what ever you put in it right or only the AO stuff
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Old 06-27-2016, 10:55 AM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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oh also will sand blasting do anything as far as "dulling" the grind lines
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Old 06-27-2016, 11:30 AM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Yes, that one will work fine - that's the one I have two of but the price has doubled. This one will also work:

http://www.harborfreight.com/portabl...kit-37025.html

Remember, this is something you will use only rarely and on a relatively small item so no need to dump huge amounts of cash on it. You will also need some media:
http://www.harborfreight.com/25-lb-b...dia-61871.html

Don't use the glass beads or walnut shell etc as those will not give the finish you are trying to get. Know also that everything comes with a price, nothing is free. By that I mean that when you blast a blade the gray finish comes from a billion tiny dents in the surface that break up the light but they also hold anything that touches the blade. That means water and other liquids will stick more than on a smooth blade and this can mean rust on a carbon blade and can even stain a stainless blade. So, it helps a lot if you immediately wipe the blade down with Ren Wax after the blasting is done. Don't even touch the blade with your fingers as the little dents will hold your fingerprint oil ....

PS

No, blasting won't do anything to your grind lines unless you way over do it. But, blasting won't hide scratches or imperfections either, in fact it might even enhance them. So, if you want that grey finish to look its best then you have to put the best finish on the blade that you can manage before blasting....


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Last edited by Ray Rogers; 06-27-2016 at 11:33 AM.
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  #9  
Old 06-27-2016, 01:35 PM
Doug Lester Doug Lester is offline
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Another point, if you have one of those sand blasters that spray compound all over the yard don't even think of using it without a good respirator and I don't mean a dust mask. If the sand blasting compound gets into your lungs it will slowly build up over time until you're walking around wearing an oxygen concentrater.

Doug


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Old 06-27-2016, 02:42 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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perfect thanks ray and doug thanks for the reminder! i ALWAYS were a respirator grinding or anytime small things are flying all over the place...i have smoked for many years (actually trying to quit now) and lest just say in my younger years (like i am that old 30) i put many harmfull substances in my body so now that i am a little older and ALOT wiser i try to prevent ANYTHING besides food going into my body. that being said i have a little bit of cash put away that is just ready to be spent and its probilly just enough for the cabinet and the blasting material....i think i would just make a mess with that portable one. keeping things clean is not one of my high points...is HF the best place to get the blasting material ray or were you just refering to get that type of matterial...thats another thing i was going to ask i did a lil looking and it seems to be that there is a endless list of materials to use are there certain types that knifemakers would use to get different types of finishes or should i just stick to the AO and the rest aint worth much? ray when you do this to a knife how high up in the grits do you go? satin finish? right of a belt or should you hand sand or do you have to go way up like polishing?
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  #11  
Old 06-27-2016, 03:22 PM
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You can get somewhat different effects with different materials but you won't find much use for the different effects. For instance, glass beads make a nice soft smoky effect on a mirror polished blade but by the time you put that much effort into a blade you don't want to use it. Stick with the AO.

A clean 400 grit finish is enough, however you want to get it. Mostly, don't count on blasting hiding any little scratches that you were too lazy to remove because it won't ...


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Old 06-27-2016, 05:54 PM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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Dave,
I responded to your private message regarding my finish.

For the masses: I used Duracoat firearms finish in Arctic Gray.

Blasting is also a cool finish. I don't even have a cabinet. I just do it outside and say sayonara to the abrasive.
A few hours in a media vibrator with different types of media can add to the cool effect.


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  #13  
Old 06-29-2016, 03:50 AM
jimmontg jimmontg is offline
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A sand blaster with an abrasive like the consistency of talcum powder will give a very fine grey finish. I have a gerber pocket knife with it and many manufacturers use it to dull their knives so the are not shiny. Google abrasive sandblasting media. Your typical glass bead media is a bit much for a knife I know from experience the heavy stuff will get rid of minor scratches and grind lines, but the finish looks sandblasted. I've seen baking soda used to etch glass and I wonder how nice it might look on a knife as it is very fine. Oh and yes sand blasting will dull the blade a bit.

I'll add something that I did to an old Norwegian laminated blade I had stored for many years. I bead blasted the rust spots off with heavier media to hide the rust spots and blued it with Birchwood Casey Super Blue. It helps to warm the blade up a bit btw. I then buffed it with 000 steel wool and it turned out real nice. You could see the laminated harder steel as well and it did hide the rust , but at the price of a heavy sandblast finish.
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Old 06-29-2016, 02:54 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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thanks guys andrew yes just read your message thanks i am going to try the sandblasting first and see what i can do for right now i ordered the AO sand ray had suggested maybe ill play with other stuff later. got another question ...... hot blueing and parkerizing same thing or different???
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  #15  
Old 06-29-2016, 03:20 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Completely different processes. Parkerizing looks OK on combat type guns but wouldn't be my choice for any knife. Although it is grey its also kind of rough and lumpy.

Hot blueing looks great but is expensive to set up, requires care and maintenance, and is too soft to last long on a blade ...


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