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Etching Cable.


James R.Fuller
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Hey, I have been working on a cable Damascus blade and I cant seem to find any info on how to go about etching it. From what I CAN find, it does not etch the same as typical Damascus, but I cant find how it SHOULD be etched. Can anybody give me some info as to how I should etch it? I expect to finish it Saturday.... Assuming all goes well.

 

I greatly appreciate any help I can get on this.

 

JF

-=JF=-

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I have used muriatic acid for all of my etching. I have found no difference.

 

 

2 cable pieces

http://ipneto.deviantart.com/art/Cable-test-peice-403623604

http://ipneto.deviantart.com/art/Striking-knife-for-wood-work-403630540

not the best photos of them but best I can do at the time.

"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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I agree with Stephen that there is really not much difference between using a acid to etch cable and ferric chloride, except one small difference. Ferric Chloride will etch in such a way as to expose the decarburized boundaries between the welded cable fibers (this results in a white or shiny outline of the fibers). I recommend a soak in a 1:1 solution of muriatic acid (1 part acid to 1 part distilled water) or a the same ratio of battery electrolyte (you can find this at most autoparts stores; it's just sulfuric acid). SAFETY NOTE: use proper personal protection equipment when working with these chemicals, as they can be very dangerous.

After a 20-30 minute soak in the acid solution, rinse and neutralize the blade, lightly buff with a piece of steel wool, clean the blade thoroughly, then soak in a 1:3 solution of ferric chloride for 10 to 20 minutes. Rinse and lightly buff with steel wool, and repeat until desired result of depth is reached, then neutralize in TSP (a cleaning solution that is the exact chemical opposite of ferric chloride). Rinse, lightly buff with the steel wool one more time (not too rough, or you will remove the blackening effect from the reactions during the etch), then coat with gun oil to protect from rust.

 

Good luck.

“Fire and air, earth and water, were once considered the four elemental substances of our world. Among the ancients only the blacksmith worked with all four.” - From The Art of Blacksmithing by Alex W. Bealer

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I have a piece similar to what you show Stephen, it is prestressed bridge cable, with six outer over one center strand. It has cut my butt trying to weld! It tests high carbon by sparking, Inside the forge (propane) I am glowing almost yellow but upon removing it grows with scale and cools off so quickly I can't set the steel. A friend took a piece and over a coal fire welded a five inch blade, Damned if I know!

This is off the subject but if anyone can chime in, I'd be grateful,

 

Thanks in advance, GT

"I Never Met A Knife I Didn't Like", (Will Rogers)

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Are you fluxing? If so, watch for the flux to boil on the surface, than weld the ends. After you have welded the ends, bring the whole piece up to welding heat (When the flux boils), clamp one end in a vice, and twist the heck out of it. This twisting will do an initial weld on the inside and help the cable keep from unraveling. after that keep bringing it up to welding heat and weld as you would any normal Damascus... That's what I did, anyways.. Seems to have worked.

-=JF=-

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You can do the entire weld of cable with twisting then just work it into a bar at a welding heat. Thats how the marking knife I linked was made. Look up flux less welding. It is gaining some steam as of late. It has to do with the atmosphere inside the forge. Wrong atmosphere and you could have a very bright looking piece of steel that has oxide layers between the steel. Try it with a higher fuel to o2 ratio.

"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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