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  #1  
Old 10-26-2021, 06:55 PM
anim8d anim8d is offline
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How to best finish the Damascus blade

Recently received this nice blade to make as a gift.

It seems to be a little rough on the final finish (dye to bring out pattern?). I ran the handle end through lacquer thinner and a buffer and the blade turns nice with the pattern still showing.

How would you recommend I deal with the black color, which comes off with lacquer thinner? My inkling is to remove as much black a possible and sand to a high polish. Thoughts?

Thanks!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1VJr...ew?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-MT...ew?usp=sharing
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Old 10-27-2021, 02:15 AM
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M&J M&J is offline
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That type of contrast is the usual finish on damascus and is a desirable trait to have. This is obtained through etching in some form of acid that dissolves the softer metal while leaving a darker contrast between the two metals after a bit of careful polishing.

Do you not like that look? This can be fully removed by sanding it down to a bare finish. The damascus adds more character IMO.

What type of steel is the blade made of?

This is a 440-C and AEB-L damascus blade of mine that the blade steel was made by Devin Thomas.



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Old 10-27-2021, 09:05 AM
rozysharma rozysharma is offline
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Heating and Finishing Apply a grit finish to the blade. Without pre-buffing, etch in 50/50 diluted solution of ferric chloride and distilled. Bring your Damascus to a 400 to 600 grit finish. If you're using muriatic acid, you can bring the Damascus up to 1200 grit, or you can leave it
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Old 10-27-2021, 09:05 AM
anim8d anim8d is offline
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Thanks for the reply,

The steels in the blade are:
3 Layers 52100
4 Layers 5160
3 Layers 203E
3 Layers 15n20

The issue I have is not the color - looks great! Its the finish - it seems to be etched before the blade was truly smooth. I see grinding/sanding marks, and an almost orange peel finish from some kind of sealer. You can see it in both photos where the tang meets the blade.
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Old 10-27-2021, 10:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anim8d View Post
I see grinding/sanding marks, and an almost orange peel finish from some kind of sealer. You can see it in both photos where the tang meets the blade.
I agree. Those look like whoever did the knife stopped grinding at 60 grit. You'll get some differing opinions, no doubt, but I normally hand sand my blades to 800 grit before etching. Although lately I've started playing around with etching at 400 grit and I'm not sure I see much of a difference. After the etch, I polish off the high spots with either 2000 or 5000 grit paper with a very hard sanding block.

If this isn't going to be used with food, and you plan on doing more damascus blades, you might want to consider using GunKote bake on enamels.
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Old 10-27-2021, 04:54 PM
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I may have misinterpreted the original post.

With that coarse a finish a refinish to 400-600 grit then etching would yield an improved result. I suggest going to 600. Rubbing them out again following an etch may yield varied results. Getting it right the first time and a consistent finish before etch is nearly as important as a basic hand rubbed satin finish.

I "experimented" being lazy how coarse I could go and on some tight patterns or even wider ones, the better the finish I noticed improved results. 220, 320 and on some patterns 400 may not be sufficient. This can be complex due to temperatures, dilution ratios, age of etchant etc.


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