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K Freier

Damascus Etch help?

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Alright, so heres the story. I was practicing forgewelding, and decided to do my first legitimate piece of pattern weld. I made a billet of 1095 and 15n20 and welded it up, made a low layer twist pattern, and shaped a knife. Attempted to grind the flats, and in the process caused some really deep grinder marks, Oh well, it was for me anyways.tried to fix it a little, but some marks were really deep. heat treat,temper. proceeded to finish it to about 400 grit. Said, "thats good enought" andwiped it with acetone(fingernail polish remover)allowed it to dry,then soaked it in some vinegar as an etch ,I know theres better stuff, but I am not yet that into patternwelding. check on it later, and some spots of what are dark layers, also are extremely bright, with the bright spots near the grind marks. I don't understand why this happened, and thats what I wanted to check out.

 

Photos from welding practice, the knife on my stove, is just post heat treat/tempering, on the paper is etched.

 

photos

 

Any ideas as to the non etch?

 

How to etch better?

 

Thanks for your time, and replies.

Karl

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You said the grinding was before HT? If so it could be decarb...

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From the pictures you posted on that link, it looks like etched low layer pattern welding. How thick were your beginning layers when you laid up the billet?

 

Vinegar will give a good etch. I'd recommend warming it up in a pan to just below the boiling point. It will cut much better warm. Otherwise you will do well to find some ferric chloride or make some. It's really nothing more than hydrochloric acid with iron filings dissolved in it.

 

that's a good first attempt.

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Radio Shack still sells Ferric Chloride as a circuit board etching solution. A 3/1 solution of water to FC works very well. Use Trisodium Phosphate solution as a neutralizer.

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Are the areas at the top of the tang end of the blade what you are refering to ? (the very bright areas?) - If you stick welded the starting layers together the stick weld often rears its ugly head as part of the finished knife !

 

P1010088.jpg

 

nice blade :D

 

(I recently lost half a billet of feathered 'w's as there was a smear of forge welded stick weld right down it like pigeon poo!)

Edited by John N

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well i think it looks good ! i think john has hit the nail there i bet its arc weld in it iv just dont similar on a peice .

try ferric chloride i bought some and etched 3 peices today . i made the billet with john n ! its amasing the differance . iv used vinigar cola brick cleaning acid all sorts but nothing comes close to the ferric chloride.

cool knife and pattern.

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Nope its not arc weld, I wired the billet with coat hangers. But yes I was refering to the areas on the top near the tang, the areas are very bright, almost as if polished, and it is really hard to take pictures of what I am trying to portray.

With Ferric cloride, are there any particular things i should be concerned about, like do I need glass containers to hold it, also about how much would it cost for a small container?

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Not sure about your shiny spots then! :blink:

 

I have found a spahgetti storage jar to be very handy for a ferric container, the ones with the rubber seal for the jar lid. In the UK we can buy ferric as granules that you disolve in water. Ive never been to fussy about the strength of the acid, when it starts etching weak I just chuck a bit more in!

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ebay its dead cheap ! i have mine in a plastic pint glass but could use something deeper .

its amasing stuff .

john the stuff i made with you looks great !

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I'd guess it's just a difference in surface finish and state of hardness pre-etch. If it's not HT'd it will etch differently than hardened and tempered also.

 

Most guys I know keep thier ferric in a length of PVC pipe with one end capped permanently and a screw-off cap on the other end. My short tube is 18 inches of 2" PVC set in a blind floor flange to make a freestanding base. My long tube is 54 inches of 4" PVC (had to be able to fit a curved sword blade in there!). I couldn't find a blind flange for that size, so it has a flat cap on one end and is strapped upright to the frame of my treadle hammer. Both tubes have screw caps to keep it clean and non-evaporated.

 

Larry Harley has a few 36 inch lengths of 2" PVC strapped to various posts and bench legs in his hot shop, outside shop, and grinding shop, none of which have lids. Whatever floats your boat, or in this case etches your steel. :)

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wiped it with acetone(fingernail polish remover)

Just as a side-note, many fingernail polish removers have stuff like protein and conditioners added to the acetone. That stuff will leave a film behind that could inhibit your etching solution. Denatured alcohol works well to get rid of heavier filth, but the denaturing additive in it will leave a film behind as well.

 

90% Isopropyl works well as a final cleaning agent, it's cheap, and leaves no film behind after it evaporates.

Edited by Sean McGrath

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Just as a side-note, many fingernail polish removers have stuff like protein and conditioners added to the acetone. That stuff will leave a film behind that could inhibit your etching solution. Denatured alcohol works well to get rid of heavier filth, but the denaturing additive in it will leave a film behind as well.

 

90% Isopropyl works well as a final cleaning agent, it's cheap, and leaves no film behind after it evaporates.

 

Ooh, good point about the fingernail polish remover. It usually has moisturizers in it. I like pure acetone, but you do have to wipe it down a few times with different parts of the cloth to get all the oils off. Wear rubber gloves! Fingerprints make a nice etching resist. ;)

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