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Help with wrought iron San Mai etch


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Good morning all. I hope your weekend is off to a good start! I’ve done a lot of reading on the form related to general etching of Damascus steel. Yet I haven’t found a lot related to San Mai. Also have no past experience damascus as I’m just now dabbling in forge welding . When I etched this knife I did about 5  1 minute long soaks in ferric chloride. Between soaks lightly scrubbing with a little bit of baking powder and neutralizing with Windex. Top pictures is the finished look. I used the knife over Fourth of July weekend to prepare a large batch of ceviche.  Second picture is after that weekend. Am I missing some thing that will help keep the etch  on the blade? 
     I’ve read about using cold gun blueing. Will that help with this problem? I’ve also read that people are liking a instan coffee soak after the FC. Dose this help retain the etch or just make it pop more. 

     Any and all tips related to etching wrought iron san mai is helpful! 

     Thanks all

Aaron 

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That's just patina.  If you use it, especially for food prep, it's gonna change color no matter what.  

 

I like to etch wrought quite a bit longer than you did, but that tends to cause rust issues since the etchant gets down into the grain.  Cold bluing after etching does keep the deep spots dark.  I haven't done the coffee etch myself, nor seen it on wrought, so I have no idea.  

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Thanks Allan,

     Never having made or used a etched blade I was not sure what to expect.

      So the cold blue will help keep the dark on the carbon steel longer? 

     I may buy some instant coffee just to see what that dose. This knife is going with my sister to Argentina. So having a simple and cheap way to keep it looking fresh would be ideal. 
     Aaron

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  • 2 weeks later...

I've never found cold gun blue to be very durable, and I would rather not have it rub off on my food.

 

I have great results with coffee on 52100, very dark and durable, less so on 1070 and useless on 5160 just like seemingly everything else.

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I’ve personally chased wrought iron etching for a few years.  I’ve found that adding a few cap fulls of peroxide to muriatic acid really brings out the grain of the wrought without affecting the carbon steel.  I wish you luck! I’m 

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Still haven’t tried the coffee yet. I did give the knife to my sister though. She seemed pleased! 

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On 7/22/2022 at 9:07 PM, Oberu said:

I’ve found that adding a few cap fulls of peroxide to muriatic acid really brings out the grain of the wrought without affecting the carbon steel.

OK. Somehow I have to remember this.

“So I'm lightin' out for the territory, ahead of the scared and the weak and the mean spirited, because Aunt Sally is fixin’ to adopt me and civilize me, and I can't stand it. I've been there before.”

The only bad experience is the one from which you learn nothing.  

 

Josh

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