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Acid Etching

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by mark richardson, Nov 24, 2020.

  1. mark richardson

    mark richardson New Member

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    Fellow knife maker, I am using feric chloride to etch my blades made out of pieces of cable. I am having trouble making the pattern come out. Has anyone got any advise or secrets they can share.
     
  2. Griff

    Griff Active Member

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    Okay I have to ask the question, is cable inherently mixed alloy? If all the stands are the same alloy, making it a mono-steel cable, then there will be no contrast in etching?

    Or does forging a cable mean that the acid should bring out a pattern regardless?

    If the latter I would ask how long you’re etching for?

    I found on the San-Mai Bowie that several quick 1 minute dips, neutralize, clean, and re-etch worked best with a 50:50 FC and Distilled water mix.

    Could it be that it needs something more aggressive than Ferric Chloride?
     
  3. Grayzer86

    Grayzer86 Active Member

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    A lot of the pattern in cable Damascus comes from decarb in the outside surface of every strand. Good contrast seems to be a balancing act between decarbing enough for good contrast while not scaling it so much that you can’t flux and weld. Cable strand size can also make quite a difference in pattern. What strength are you using the FC at and how long are your etch cycles?
     
  4. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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  5. John Noon

    John Noon Well-Known Member

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    Cables are one alloy
    weld interface is visible when etched with any process
    Like Grazer mentioned there will be decarb, think of it as the heat affected zone when welding with electrical processes
     

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