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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 10-18-2015, 05:36 PM
MSullivan MSullivan is offline
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first knives etched

Well my first 2 knives ever made have been etched now I used a mix of 2 parts hydrogen peroxide to 1 part muriatic acid. Soaked for 5 minutes, neutralized in watery baking soda and cleaned with acetone. I think for a first attempt they are coming out nice. Both are 1080.

First blade I etched. Only did 2 5 minute soaks and once I hit it with 1000grit I don't think it was deep enough. My second blade is on its 4th soak.



Etchant in action



On a side note, here is the logo I've chosen to go with. What do you guys think?

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  #2  
Old 10-18-2015, 06:16 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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I'm not sure how I feel about that etchant you're using but it seems to work . The logo looks good but I don't recognize the state - a lot of people probably won't. Since the main reason for having a logo is so that people can find you and order knives I would look for a way to spell out the state or add your first name since there could easily be more than one knife maker named Sullivan ....


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Old 10-19-2015, 02:03 PM
MSullivan MSullivan is offline
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How so on the etchant Ray? I did some research and it seemed to be a pretty accepted material/ratio, especially for PCM board etching. Which, of course is not what we're etching but I'm curious about your response to it.

I appreciate the feedback on the logo. I didn't even think about people not recognizing the state and since those that I asked all live here in Missouri with me they didn't see a problem with it. I'll rethink adding written location and at least my first initial.
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Old 10-19-2015, 02:23 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Muriatic acid is very strong stuff. Not saying you can't use it for knife etching - obviously you can - but its more aggressive than the ferric chloride I'm used to. When etching damascus (which is what I mostly do with it) a mild slow etch usually gives better results. The look of your etched blade is how ferric chloride looks when it is over done to the extreme and usually means there's some pitting and general metal loss that I would rather avoid.

Again, doesn't mean you can't do it if the results are what you want but that's why I reacted as I did...


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Old 10-19-2015, 04:01 PM
MSullivan MSullivan is offline
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Gotcha Ray. Thanks for the info. The very first soak I did did seem to etch very quickly. The etchant lost it's potency pretty quickly, to my inexperienced eyes atleast. I did a total of 7 soaks between 2 knives and by that last one it seemed to be working very slowly. I'll try the ferric chloride when I can get my hands on it. The closest radio shack to me is a poorly stocked corner of a hardware store

While the etching turned out nicely, I wouldn't mind if it was a lighter gray, more of a bead blasted/frosted look to it. Do you think that's from the harshness of the muriatic? my timing? or maybe just the 1080 I used?
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Old 10-19-2015, 04:22 PM
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Part of the dark color is the 1080, part the acid. When I etch a blade in 4:1 (water: FeCl) an etch of 15 to 30 seconds is usually enough for a nice grey color. Depending on the steel I might repeat that etch once, maybe twice but rarely ever more than that.

You can find FeCl on eBay in powder form ....


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Old 10-20-2015, 05:18 AM
MSullivan MSullivan is offline
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I will definitely look into that. Thanks for the help Ray.
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Old 10-22-2015, 08:04 AM
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Crex Crex is offline
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If you're just going for a light gray patina etch, why not just use distilled white vinegar with a spot lamp to warm it up? Much cheaper than FeCl or muratic and environmentally safe. Plus it won't damage your skin. It's a little slower but not by much.

Do you plan to use the etchant to produce your logo on your blade or use electronics for that?
You'll get a crisper/clearer logo etch with electronic etching.

Just a note: Put a biscuit of rubber gasket material in the bottom of your class container. If you ever accidentally let a blade slip and drop into the container you will immediately know why it's a good idea.


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Old 10-22-2015, 10:09 PM
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These days all of my knives get an etch to them. I use a 1:1 mix of water and ferric acid and they are bathed for about 45 minutes. I've been using the same ferric for well over a year now and it still works well. This one was bathed in it.
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  #10  
Old 10-23-2015, 05:58 AM
Ed of all trade Ed of all trade is offline
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Wazunkie Looks good, I like the tracks, what did you use to protect the blade in the tracks? Ed
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  #11  
Old 10-23-2015, 06:14 AM
MSullivan MSullivan is offline
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I'm also curious what you used as a resist. It looks good

Crex, I originally planned on just using distilled vinegar but sifting through threads I couldn't find info on if there was any kind of dilution ratio and what the timing should be. I definitely could have asked you guys but I'm interested in trying new things out anyway so I said to hell with it and tried the muriatic.

I do plan on using an electro etcher for my logo. In fact it is sitting next to me in pieces. I planned on putting it together today to make sure it didn't blow up on me before I tried to order stencils.
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Old 10-25-2015, 01:21 PM
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Andrew Garrett Andrew Garrett is offline
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Like Wazukie, I use 50/50 distilled water and FC. Same batch for many years. I use it at whetever the ambient temp is.

Where I differ is that I dont just dunk. I put on rubber gloves and wet sand the blade by hand with 1500 or 2000 grit. Dunk, sand, dunk, sand, dunk..., it goes on until I like the look.

What this does is brings out the grain of the steel. This has a great effect for differentially HT'd blades with a hamon.

A spray down with windex nuetralizes the FC and a rince in the spigot followed by a quick paper towell dry, makes it handlable.

But, it doesn't end there.

Now I step over to the buffer and using only risidual rouge left on the felt wheel (might even rake some off) I do a very quick and light buff just to put some glow into the highspots of the steel topography which was revealed by the etch. This tends to shine up the hard areas at the edge while leaving a lot of visible grain above the hamon. The high spots in the grain are now even more prominent.

This has become my signature finish on carbon blades.


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Old 10-25-2015, 01:25 PM
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A brand new Sharpie makes an excellent ground for etching designs and patterns. Alcohol takes it right off when finished.

I did blacked out black flames on a polished 1095 blade once. After the etch and Sharpie ink removal, I had polished steel flames against an etched background.


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Old 10-26-2015, 07:38 AM
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The white vinegar is best used for a slow overall patina etch. If you are looking to get some artistic pattern etches such as what Wazukie or Andy are talking about you will need the stronger faster etch solution they recommend. This will give you a crisper/cleaner design. The slower the etch the more likely the etchant will erode the edges of the resist.
Your best efforts will come with some practice on scrap steel to get the feel of timing and handling to get the results you want.
I'm glad that Andy mentioned the rubber gloves.....be smart and use them. The FeCl and muratic acids will be adsorbed through the skin and do epidural damage, not good. Even windex, alcohol, vinegar will remove natural skin oils and repeated use can cause some minor problems. We torture our hands enough just making knives always use protection where you can and rubber gloves are cheap. A lot of us also use acetone for certain things - will be adsorbed both through the skin and by breathing the fumes (lungs).

Take the time to know what you are handling and the risks, then protect yourself accordingly. Just makes good sense.


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