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Old 10-30-2011, 01:34 PM
Ken W. Ken W. is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mosquito County, Florida
Posts: 43
"The Edinburgh Etch"

First off I want to thank Ray and all the rest of you who shared your knowledge with me in the thread I started about Blind Pinning. Just finished the knife in question and posted photos on the Gallery as "New Guy's......"

Came across an interesting article about using citric acid in the standard ferric chloride etching solution. Not having any "anhydrous citrate" on hand I pulled an immature grapefruit off the backyard tree and added about 1.5 oz. of fresh squeezed and filtered juice to a 5:1 dilution of ferric chloride from Radio Shack for a total volume of 34 ounces. Did two 20 minute soaks with a neutralizing bath and rub out with 1500 grit. Seemed to work real well on both the Mokume and the Devin Thomas SS blade as shown below.

Here's a link to the article. May be something useful for the knifemaker?

Edinburgh Etch

Ken W.
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Old 10-30-2011, 03:51 PM
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Ray Rogers Ray Rogers is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Wauconda, WA
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Looks good. Many things can be used as etchants, common among them are white viengar, lemon juice, and even pig urine (especially on mokume'). I might squeeze a grape fruit but I don't think I want to squeeze a pig ....


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Old 10-30-2011, 04:30 PM
Ken W. Ken W. is offline
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: Mosquito County, Florida
Posts: 43
Ray; What I gathered from the article was that the citric acid/anhydrous citrate bonds with the metal molecules as the etchant corrodes them loose from the mother source. Apparently this then traps the metal in the solution resulting in less scale buildup and a faster, cleaner etch.

Having absolutely no experience I'm in no position to judge whether my grapefruit did anything more than make the ferric chloride a more refreshing beverage.

Ken W.
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Old 10-30-2011, 11:46 PM
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TexasJack TexasJack is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Southeast Texas
Posts: 2,893
Those are really good articles (with real chemistry!) about the Edinburgh Etch and the Saline Sulfate Etch.

God bless Texas! Now let's secede!!
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Old 10-31-2011, 11:15 PM
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GHEzell GHEzell is offline
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: North Alabama
Posts: 591
I had read about the Edinburgh etch a few years back and thought it sounded like a very promising method... I do a bit of artistic etching on blades sometimes, and etch logos using ferric chloride.

I never followed through on testing it, too many irons in the fire, so to speak. It might make a good winter project this year....

A good friend told me one time about forging "What is there not to like, you get to break all the rules you were told as a kid, don't play with that it is sharp, don't play with fire, and don't beat on that"
Wade Holloway

See some of my work.
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Old 10-27-2021, 05:14 PM
desert.snake desert.snake is offline
Join Date: Feb 2016
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This is a great recipe! Thank you so much for that. The site works fine now.
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Old 10-28-2021, 12:21 AM
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M&J M&J is offline
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 623
Thanks for bumping this thread and letting me know PM! Glad the etch came out good, I'll have to try this as well.

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