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The Folding Knife (& Switchblade) Forum The materials, techniques and the designing of folding knives.

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  #1  
Old 05-13-2008, 05:57 PM
Don Robinson's Avatar
Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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How to etch Devin Thomas stainless damascus

I have two barlow blades finished and ready for etching. These are made of Devin Thomas stainless damascus, Reptilian pattern. The bar was marked ATS34.

Somebody please tell me what to use for etchant and how to etch the blades.

Quick, quick!!
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Old 05-13-2008, 06:55 PM
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I don't have a clue Don, but Larrin monitors this site pretty regularly and might jump in. Also, I recall seeing mention of this on Devin's site.


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Old 05-13-2008, 11:37 PM
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yep, that is right www.devinthomas.com , there are HT and finishing instructions for his damascus


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Old 05-13-2008, 11:39 PM
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I've always had good luck etching Devin's stainless Damascus in a 3 - 1 mix of Ferric Chloride and distilled water. I etch 3 times for 5 - 10 minutes each time, scrubbing with a toothbrush and soap and water between each etch. The first etch doesn't seem to do much, and you'll think it's not going to work right - but keep going for three etches, and it will look good.


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Old 05-14-2008, 09:12 AM
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Thanks, guys. Got it. The website Google found for Devin Thomas had been abandoned, but I finally found it with the aid of the guys on the K&G forum.

I have the first blade hand rubbed to 2000 grit, a mirror finish. Hope that doesn't interfere.
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Old 06-11-2008, 01:20 AM
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I learned this method from Jim Martin.

50-50 mix. Slightly warm the ferric chloride solution to about 75-80F. I have mine in jars so I place the jar in warm water to bring it up to temp. Take a temp reading from a non-contact IR thermometer and when it is within range, it is dunked. Usually not more than 5-7 minutes for a typical etch. Let the black sit there a few minutes before using the steel wool or such to clean it. The cooler the solution, the longer it takes and often I found the black oxides didn't adhere-set well in the steel. Since doing it this way, I get good contrast with pretty much all I've tried. YMMV so test first.

Warming it accelerates the process but with it, the solution will "breathe"/gas more so do this in a well ventilated area. Use safe handling and respiratory measures.


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