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  1. A 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.
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