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Electrochemical Etching volts/amps question
brendon.davies posted a topic in Fit and FinishHi everyone, Just starting out bladesmithing. I've searched the forum for answers to my question but haven't found any answers that take care of what I'm specifically looking for. I'm looking at getting a set up for etching my makers mark int my blades. I've seen loads of DIY build it yourself etchers, but I'd rather just buy a DC power source for it. This is the power supply I'm going to buy: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08DHZ2X2Q/ref=sspa_dk_detail_0?psc=1&pd_rd_i=B08DHZ2X2Q&pd_rd_w=SmtNz&pf_rd_p=085568d9-3b13-4ac1-8ae4-24a26c00cb0c&pd_rd_wg=8Q2g2&pf_rd_r=GV1HXHMGN5KE4RA1G355&pd_rd_r=5b0ccda2-5bed-4607-9174-4535b59c1eda&smid=A12APH4T5I08JR&spLa=ZW5jcnlwdGVkUXVhbGlmaWVyPUEyQU5DQkdPRkZKUU1SJmVuY3J5cHRlZElkPUEwNjcwNDkwMlpNWE5JWUhTQkcxUCZlbmNyeXB0ZWRBZElkPUEwOTgyNzUwMTE0NkJVSEhVV0ZQSiZ3aWRnZXROYW1lPXNwX2RldGFpbCZhY3Rpb249Y2xpY2tSZWRpcmVjdCZkb05vdExvZ0NsaWNrPXRydWU= It is an adjustable 5V 30Amp supply. My question is, because it is adjustable, how many volts/amps should I look to use when etching my blades? What effect does changing the volts/amps have when etching a blade? Any and all advice or information would be much appreciated, thanks in advance!
Advice on darkening damascus?
Gabriel Bonäs posted a topic in Beginners PlaceSorry if someone's already asked this. I couldn't find what i was looking for. Im very new at knifemaking but recently i got a premade damascus knife blade as a bday gift. The blade looked kinda dirty, and the pattern kinda dull. So, i started by polishing it with a dremel which made the upper steel really shiny. However the bottom steel looked kinda beige/light grey so i decided to etch it in coffee to darken it. After 5 hours, not much color change. The edge of the blade that was previously just shiny metal now showed a damascus pattern, so the etching did work. The shiny steel stayed shiny. However, the other steel kinda just turned beige with splotches of brown. I dont know if it just needs more time or what went wrong, any advice would be super helpful. The blade after my etch.
Paul Checa posted a topic in Non-Ferrous: fittings, alloys, patinasSo I'm etching my blade with a rechargeable small battery that I bought it has a 12v output. My question is, can I use a more powerful battery to etch quicker and deeper? If there is something better? please let me know because also I've noticed that it's not quite smooth on the inside of the etching unlike other etches I've seen. I don't have one to show now but it looks grainy. I do use vynil sticker to keep a nice clean etch.
Newbie San Mai EDC etch???
wking posted a topic in Design and CritiqueSo I'm a newbie and I was finally able to successfully crank out a small San Mai billet of 1084 core and 15N20 by hand. I was excited to see what I could do with it after looking at work by guys like Josh Fisher. I profiled the knife, put bevels on it, then threw it in ferric for the test etch which revealed a pretty neat pattern. I decided I'd like it to be fairly nice looking, being that it is my first San Mai blade, so I took it up to 3k grit with hand sanding. I then followed etching processes that I had researched, with very bad results in the ferric. The acid left the surface of the blade dingy and dirty looking. I switched to a less aggressive etchant, lemon juice with a drop of dish soap. The lemon juice seemed to leave the 15N20 a bit brighter and the 1084 a little cleaner. This is where I started having problems on the finish of the knife. Since I am so new I do not have a lot of experience with etchants and etching processes even though I have researched a lot online. When etching in lemon juice, I tried several rounds, rubbing with steel wool in between, then cleaning, then re-etching. I also tried several rounds using mother's mag polish in place of the steel wool. Both seemed to give the same result, wiping away the contrast between the 1084 and 15n20. After doing this several times, I couldn't tell what it was doing or when it was supposed to end so I abandoned it and decided to do my "final etch". It looked great out of the etchant, so I flooded the blade with Windex to neutralize the acid. When I wiped the blade it left lots of streaks on the finish. When oiling and attempting to remove the streaks, they didn't go anywhere. After oiling I used my thumb to try to rub the streaks away. When I rubbed the darker finish of the 1084, the dark grey turned to a very light dull grey and my thumb was dark. My question is, is there something wrong with my process? It seemed to get the best results as far as contrast, but it doesn't seem like the contrast is permanent if the dark finish of the 1084 can just rub off. I am very inexperienced, I welcome and greatly appreciate any advice, guidance or criticism on making this blade stand out! Thanks in advance Will King
steve bruechert posted a topic in Beginners PlaceFirst attempt at creating a hamon line.6" drop point 1075. Clay on spine heated to just past non magnetic cleaned scale polished up to 2000 wet sand. Etched using hot white vinegar soaked for 30 min.or so wiped clean re heated vinegar ..did this several times knife looks great from the spine to the temper line silky med grey tones & knife was very smooth to the touch ..but from temp.line to the edge it is much darker wich is good but looks like crackle paint finish and rough to the touch and very pitted ..why would this only be around temper line and not all over the entire blade
Playing with Ferric ChlorideA while back I posted some questions about ferric chloride, specifically the MG Chemicals brand since the Radio Shack in my area doesn't carry any. I did end up buying some from Amazon. Nobody seemed to be familiar with that brand, so I thought I would post the results of my attempt to etch a simple makers mark on a couple of blades. This stuff seemed quite inexpensive, at $12.95 for a liter on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/MG-Chemicals-Ferric-Chloride-Liquid/dp/B008UH3SAE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1418829234&sr=8-1&keywords=ferric+chloride It's even cheaper if you get a 4-liter container for $32.95. I have never used any kind of ferric chloride before, so I don't know much about it. This is labeled as a "ready to use solution," not straight-up ferric chloride. The ingredients listed are iron trichloride, iron dichloride, and hydrochloric acid. The label also says "42 degrees Baumé," which seems to be a measure of density. I coated a blade with beeswax, and probably put it on much too thick at first. I tried using a tool I made similar to a tiny chisel to scratch my initials in, but later discovered that it worked a lot better to just use an awl. Using a mason jar as my container, I poured in a little under 200 ml of the ferric chloride solution, then topped it up to about 800 ml with water. Those that use the Radio Shack solution usually recommend mixing it 1:4 with water, but my mixture was more like 1:3. Distilled water is usually recommended, but I couldn't find any at the store so I used tap water. I don't know if that might have made a difference in the results. This was the result of leaving the blade in the solution for an hour. Possibly because of surface tension or some other factor, the solution did not get down into the grooves in the wax and some areas were not etched at all. The un-etched areas were dry and shiny when I took the blade out. I scraped the wax off and reapplied a thinner layer and scratched out the marks again. When I checked it half an hour later, the same thing was happening. To try to fix it, I used the awl to drag beads of the solution onto the cuts in the wax and poke them down. Sounds desperate, but it actually worked. I also prepared another blade with a much thinner coat of wax than the first one. It's a little seax, so I used Saxon runes for my initials. I had to do the same trick with the awl on this one to get the solution down into the cuts. This was the result of etching both blades for another hour. The etching is not very deep. Deep enough, but considering that some parts of it etched for more than 2 hours, the solution probably did not need to be diluted that much. Which means it might not actually be a bargain compared to what Radio Shack carries. But it did work, and I can finally put my mark on my blades now. This was my first time trying to etch anything, so any advice on what I might have done wrong is appreciated.
My First Knife
Worth Baker posted a topic in Show and TellThis was the first knife I ever made a few years ago. It was inspired by a few aspects of the Lord of the Rings props. I didn't take very many photos of the process as it was not much of a process. At this point no one had taught me anything about bladesmithing and so everything that went into this knife was from my own experimentation. The steel is a 1095 file, the wood is cocobolo, and the pommel and guard are made of an alloy I was working on at the time that looks gold, doesn't oxidize, and is more wear-resistant than steel so it stays shiny (it is by no means as strong as steel though). You can see the difference between it and brass as the rivets in the handle are normal brass and have a different color.
Etching For a Newbie
Caleb Harris posted a topic in Beginners PlaceI've been experimenting with clay paste/hamon stuff, and long story short I've managed to make up my own paste that actually works (I tested hardness with a Mohs hardness tester). Anyway, I was wondering what solution I should use for etching, and where I can get it. I've got a year or so before I can drive, and not-too-willing parents-to-drive. Plus a very limited wallet. Help?