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Chad Fricke

Acid etch/patina idea

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So I did some testing for a gray patina with vinegar on a 5160 blade I'm working on. I'm going for a solid dark gray look and so far, I'm pleased. 

So here's the idea. I sure we all love waiting half an hour to gently scrub away oxides, but if you know you're going to need at least 3 hours soak time, can you get around that? The idea was to put an aquarium air diffuser at the bottom of the etch tank. Would this amount if agitation help keep the oxide buildup down? Or think it'd have an adverse affect on the etch? Or is this just the dumbest idea you've ever read? 

Also, preferred methods to get a uniform matte finish. I don't want to see any visible grit lines if at all possible.

Edited by Chad Fricke

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I use that sort of agitation in plating tanks, and when etching printed circuit boards, but I don't think it would be agressive enough to remmove the oxides that form while etching a blade. 

It wouldn't hurt to try though...

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I did give it a whirl last night and theres no bad result.

I left the blade in cool cider vinegar for 3 hours and compared it to a blade i did the night before, rinsing every half hour. Regretably, it didn't scrub the buildup away and keep etching. It only darkened about as much as a 30 minute etch. Good news though is that there were no dark bubble spots!

So while it didn't speed up the etching process at all, it did create a very smooth patina, no spots or streaks. Great if youre looking to do a forced patina, which i plan on doing more of. So while it wasn't quite the result I had hoped for, it was enough for me to go ahead and keep the bubblers in my etch/patina tank. I can only imagine the result will be the same for any other acids.  

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Good to know!

If you started with a Scotchbrite belt finish that might help.  Otherwise there's bead blasting. 

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I bought a scotch brite belt but havent gotten around to using it yet. Have to cut back the guard on my grinder for it to fit and been busy experimenting with patinas and buildng an electro-etcher from a pc power supply. Any particular grit I should take the blade to before finishing with the belt? Or will it take out course grits pretty well on its own.

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I'd go to at least 220 or A45.  They're not fast metal removers, they just do a satin finish.

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