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questions on ferric chloride.


Dalton Israel
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ok guys i managed to weld up some cable for the first time it was only half inch so not a lot to work with,

but i am curios to see if there is a pattern there or not , i have been trying to etch using hot vinegar and there is a faint etch but im not getting much i was wondering if ferric chloride was the right way to go and if so where to buy it and how to use/mix it if needed.

as always any help would be greatly appreciated.

-Dalton Israel

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Vinegar will work, just takes longer.

Ferric will work a little quicker.

Muratic acid is a little faster.

Sulphuric [battery acid] is the fastest but you have be careful and leave it for no longer than 60 seconds and then neutralize it instantly.

 

Cable doesn't have the big dramatic pattern that you get from regular Damascus. If you post a clear pic we could be a little more help.

 

Good luck!

 

Dave

Dave Evans, Maker

http://WinDancerKnives.Com

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Best way to get cable pattern to show in my experience: Etch for a long time, apply cold gun blue, sand with a hard block w/ high grit sandpaper.

 

4:1 Water to Ferric Chloride mix for 1.5 hours, cleaning oxides off the blade with a stiff brush and running water every 15 minutes.

-----------------------------------------------

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly." -- Theodore Roosevelt

http://stephensforge.com

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I use muriatic as it is the easiest for me to find and get a hold of. Big stores often carry it as cleaner type thing for concrete. Place in small glass jar. Sit blade into it preferably outside by no one as acid fumes can be nasty. Took me about a half hour outside when it rained during september up here to etch my 3 blades (one being a cable blade). When happy with the pattern showing rinse thoroughly with water and baking soda (I use the stuff that has been in the fridge to long to use for baking). Clean the blade with like 2000 grit. Using a hard block is helpful but not necessary your just basically polishing the high spots left after the acid has eaten away at the metal. Don't do to much as then you will just undo the etching and will have to place it back in the acid and repeat what you have already done. This can also happen over time from use as well.

"Remember to live life to the fullest and without regret for the joy of life is that it ends." Me http://ipneto.deviantart.com/

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  • 4 weeks later...

Sulfuric followed by Dave's gun bluing and sanding works well. Neutralize imediately, as others have said.

It is very easy to find at any auto parts store, just ask for "battery electrolyte".

 

Much harder to aquire and hazardous if not used in a well ventilated space and with proper equipment (acid fume respirator and chem resist gloves); but also dramatically more effective, is a mix of nitric acid and sulfuric acid.

Works on similar principal as feric chloride, my best results are by etching in the mixed acid, rinsing in water and baking soda, then rubbing with a soft cloth and more baking soda rather than a brush.

 

No matter which etchant you use, i suggest imersing the piece in boiling water or steam for a few minutes immediately after neutralizing, and before any sanding. Take it out, dry it off, put on a touch of light oil (I use RemOil or WD40) and let it sit for a day or two to allow the oxides to set up. This converts the oxides to Magnatite and helps bond it into the surface of the steel and makes a very durrable finish.

James

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear. Except a creature be part coward it is not a compliment to say it is brave. ~Mark Twain

SageBrush BladeWorks (New website is in limbo...)

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  • 4 weeks later...

As you already know I am sure be careful with any kind of acid. Especially when diluting with water. Remember it acid to water!

 

http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/safety/faq/always-add-acid.shtml

 

Muratic Acid is used in cleaning brickwork so not hard to get at most hardware stores.

 

Ferric Chloride can be bought thru Radio Shack.

 

http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/safety/faq/always-add-acid.shtml

 

You can also make your own etchant with salt! Take boiling water (makes it easier to dissolve large amounts of salt) and stir a 5# bag of pool salt to 5 gallons of water. Let cool and you have a very strong etchant, also works as a weed killer and fireant killer! LOL

 

ant.

Edited by C Craft

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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interesting hadn't heard about salt. I have used muriatic and vinegar…now I will have to try salt.

Here is a goggle search on that subject!

 

https://www.google.com/search?q=etching+with+salt+water&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&aq=t&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&client=firefox-a&channel=fflb

C Craft Customs ~~~ With every custom knife I build I try to accomplish three things. I want that knife to look so good you just have to pick it up, feel so good in your hand you can't wait to try it, and once you use it, you never want to put it down ! If I capture those three factors in each knife I build, I am assured the knife will become a piece that is used and treasured by its owner! ~~~ C Craft

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