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I'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?

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lemon juice or cider vinegar works fine for bringing out a hamon. hand rub to at least 600 grit, degrease completely, and rub with lemon juice on paper towel until the hamon appears (about 10 minutes). rub out the oxides with metal polish, degrease again and repeat until you get the look you want...

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If you can's pop down to Radio Shack for some circuit board etchant you can get some white vinegar. Some even reduce it in a pot on the stove to increase the acid content. Use as Jake suggested.

 

Doug

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lemon juice or cider vinegar works fine for bringing out a hamon. hand rub to at least 600 grit, degrease completely, and rub with lemon juice on paper towel until the hamon appears (about 10 minutes). rub out the oxides with metal polish, degrease again and repeat until you get the look you want...

REALLY? Lemon juice? Thanks!!

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Cider vinegar seems to have a stronger version of the acetic acid solution (vinegar is usually 5%acetic acid to water ratio), probably from the distilling process used to purify white vinegar. I also suggest for an etch to put a touch of dish soap into the vinegar and dissolve fully. This breaks the surface tension of the vinegar so that is contacts the steal more uniformly. Just my $ .02

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I've used vinegar and/or lemon juice. A lot of times with vinegar I put it in a pan on a hot plate and brush the hot vinegar on the blade. I try to do it outside or at the forge because any time I try to do it in the kitchen I get"that smells terrible" although she will make pickles and it smells exactly the same :rolleyes: . I use different powdered abrasives (silicon carbide 600 mesh/ fine pumice/ ground forge scale mixed with oil) to take the oxides off after etching.

 

Matt

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Caleb, you can try doing differential hardening by doing an edge quench. Not quite the same as a hamon but it might give you a stronger line. Another thing that you can do is put the clay on the blade extra thick.

 

Doug

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Caleb, if you can get it. 1095 and w-2 are excellent steels for hamon making.

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