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Hi all, 

 

Does anyone know how I got those "drops" on my blade after etching it in ferric chloride? 

I don't understand it looks like something splashed on it and the etch didn't take just in those places but I made sure to clean with acetone and then water before etching 

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That's some nice-looking steel, Paul!  Congratulations!

 

Something is getting on the blade somehow that is blocking the etch. It could be from the blade not being clean enough OR there being a little oil in the etch tank. Those are the two most common causes.  

 

It can also be as simple as air bubbles.  How are you doing the etch?  Do you pull the blade and wipe off the black every few minutes, or do you just let it sit in the tank for a long time?  If your solution is strong, it can form bubbles that will leave spots like that as well.  Wiping off the black stuff every few minutes will keep that effect to a minimum.

 

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Thanks Alan! Coming from. You it's a huge compliment! 

 

I left it for about 20 mins but I'm gonna do what you say and take it out every few. Clean it out and back in! 

 

Thanks again 

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So... Now that we've got that fixed I have one more question. 

 

As you can see there's the Damascus pattern but I want it to de more contrasted. I tried coffee but it darkens the whole steel not producing so Much contrast. 

 

I would love you guys imput on how to achieve the contrast from the second photo. 

 

 

Thanks, 

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The general advice I have seen here is that you etch it a bit on the deep side, darken it, then hit it with a fine sand paper on a hard backer.  The high spots will get shiny and the deeper valleys will stay dark.  

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A lot depends on the steels used.  A deep etch followed by darkening the whole thing, then sanding the high spots with a hard backing, is the usual way.  That pic you showed is a coffee etch done that way.  The really high contrast on "smooth" damascus is usually from hot-blueing a blade that used pure nickel foil as the bright layers, since it does not blue at all.

 

Glad you got the bubbles to go!

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Ohhh. Ok... Well I'm in coffee right now. Tomorrow I'll sand with a 3000 grit hard backing see if I succeed! 

 

We'll get back to the pure nickel steel later. Cause that sounds interesting. 

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