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I hope this is the correct place for this, if not, please let me know for future reference.

 

So, I'm working on a chef's knife for a customer and he wants it darkened. It is a 52100 blade and I have it hand sanded to 1500 grit. I was curious about the possible different results between using ferric chloride and instant coffee. I plan on doing a couple of test pieces with scrap 52100 and deciding that way, but, first I wanted to pick y'all's brains a bit and see if anyone else has already done this and has some valuable information for me. Are there any suggestions or recommendations? Does anyone have any photos of these differences? What is your process for darkening 52100?

 

Thanks, guys!

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For my money instant coffee is good enough, but I seem to recall somebody mentioning a quick dip in ferric followed by a coffee etch gives even better results.

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Yea I have done a ferric soak at 10 mins followed by a 30 minute coffee etch and it yielded some decent results. It just didn't stay on the blade very well, which I'm assuming because I didn't clean it off well enough before the coffee soak. I'll experiment and see what I come up with and if I come to a good result, I'll share the process for anyone else who might be interested. 

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I’m sure someone on here said boiling in coffee helped the durability. Might be mistaken but worth a try.

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1 hour ago, Widney Burton said:

Yea I have done a ferric soak at 10 mins followed by a 30 minute coffee etch and it yielded some decent results. It just didn't stay on the blade very well, which I'm assuming because I didn't clean it off well enough before the coffee soak. I'll experiment and see what I come up with and if I come to a good result, I'll share the process for anyone else who might be interested. 

With coffee I leave the blade overnight at least, used a 52100 pairing knife very carelessly in my kitchen for months with no rust or issues, coffee etch is very durable on 52100

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