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Knifemaker96 11-29-2013 09:17 PM

Is it possible to have a mirror finish and a nice patina? I would try it myself, but I need the mirror finish and I don't feel like having to remove the patina.

The patina I want to do is a kind of speckled. I use a mix of mustered and water then I put it on the blade with some bubble wrap. I did it on another knife if mine, but it was to dull to see if it made it duller or not.

Would it have a patina in some spots and mirror finish on others?
What if I do a light patina? Only letting work its magic for 15-25 minutes. Would it have a mirror finish on the patina?

Ray Rogers 11-30-2013 09:21 AM

A patina, by definition, is controlled rust. It would be conceivably possible to have spots of rust on a mirrored surface. The rust spots themselves though will always be duller in appearance than the untouched mirrored areas. You might get some mirrored effect in the rusted areas if you can stop the rusting process at the right moment but it would be tricky to do and even then it seems to me the blade would look like a mirror polished blade that had been allowed to get rust spots on it. I find it difficult to imagine this would be an attractive finish but maybe I'm not visualizing what you have in mind. Anyway, if you work it out be sure to post a picture .....

Crex 12-01-2013 06:34 AM

If you could explain in a little more detail what it is you are trying to accomplish, it would help.

Process I use:
Mirror finish the blade then use a good resist on the areas you want to remain mirrored. Etch the blade in vinegar or FeCl to achieve patina in the areas with no resist applied. A ragged feather or rough end of rope to apply the resist for a semi-random pattern, or be artistic and draw a design with the resist. Experiment on scrap steel with several different approaches and get comfortable with the process before you do a blade. Very much worth the extra effort.
This is done all the time, no biggie.

Eli Jensen 12-01-2013 01:07 PM

Controlled tarnish, or controlled oxidation. Rust? No. Rust is bad.

Knifemaker96 12-01-2013 02:01 PM

Okay what I can do is polish up a "test knife" and experiment with that.

Crex 12-02-2013 04:41 AM

K96, make sure you use the same steel. Different alloys respond differently to different etchants.

Eli, rust is oxidation of the Fe component in metals. It can be controlled via different methodologies - ie. Bluing, browning and many forms of chemical reactions creating various patinas.

Eli Jensen 12-14-2013 08:44 AM

Crex you're absolutely right. What I meant to express what that all rust is oxidation, but not all oxidation is rust.

Crex 12-14-2013 01:36 PM

Gotcha, I was just expressing that all rust is not bad.

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