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Second knife First Etch


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Here is the second knife Ive forged, and my first etch attempt. The steel is reclaimed 1095 that started out 7/16"X1"x6". After forging, grinding, heat treating, grinding to 400 grit, and cleaning with acetone I tested a spot on the tang with 3:1 Ferric Chloride and showed a dull smooth grey which would have been fine with me because a high polish finish would have clashed with the handle and the end user. When I etched the entire blade it seemed to leave somewhat of a faux Damascus look that I can't explain. The blade was cleaned thoroughly with acetone and I was wearing gloves I dipped into a piece of 2" PVC at 70degrees f for 10 minutes removed and brushed the blade with 000steel wool, wiped with a rag then repeated 2 more times. I did not take pics after each etch but now I wish I would have. The etch showed about twice as pronounced each time. Any ideas ?

Rough mock up before etching.

 

 

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After etching the blade.

 

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Edited by DBain
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I'm going to call that alloy banding until someone with more metallurgical knowledge says otherwise. You mentioned that the steel is repurposed... From what?

Edited by GEzell
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It is a chopper blade from a sugar cane harvester. I contacted the mfg and was told they use 1095 spring steel.

 

I certainly do not have a clue as to the cause but when I did a test spot on the tang there were no streaks, it was an even dull finish.

Edited by DBain
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Doesn't look like typical alloy banding to me. I know you said you cleaned it very well with acetone, and with gloves... I've found acetone does not do a very good job and leaves streaks that look suspiciously like what is pictured, when etched. I clean all my blades in hot water and dish soap, patted dry with paper towels. Never have streaks or problems with this method.

 

I like the knife! The kirinite is a nice touch. Just be careful about not slipping down over the edge with your fingers. :)

Edited by Austin_Lyles
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I think the key statement here is "brushed the blade with 000steel wool, wiped with a rag then repeated 2 more times." Don't do that. The rag may not be an issue as long as it was CLEAN. I use fresh paper towels, and sometimes even they streak a bit. The steel wool is what killed you, though. Steel wool is impregnated with oils to keep it from rusting until you use it. Unless you rinse it out with a strong solvent before using, it will transfer that oil to whatever you wipe with it. Therefore, I think what you are seeing is oil streaks interfering with a uniform etch. Plus it looks like a little auto-hamon going on as well.

 

Austin is also right about acetone, even though that's what I use. The trick is it takes multiple wipes with multiple new acetone-dipped paper towels to get all the oils off. One or two swipes with the same one just spreads the oil around. Wipe off your rubber-gloved fingers each time too, gloves will leave fingerprints if not degreased.

 

There is no reason to use an abrasive during the etch process, it just adds greatly to the potential to screw up the etch. You do want to gently wipe off the black stuff every few minutes, but any abrasives should be saved until after the etch is done.

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Ok, thank yall very much. This gives me some direction to move forward with. I thought I read this procedure somewhere, guess I gotta read and reread.

And I use blue shop paper towels, just call em rags for some reason.

Thanks

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