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Ferric Chlorise

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by snailgixxer, Dec 6, 2015.

  1. snailgixxer

    snailgixxer Golf season is here:)!!!!

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    Damn it. Where do you find this stuff. The source doesn't even know what I'm talking about. Or at least the guy on the phone didn't.
     
  2. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Chris,

    Electronics parts supply places sell it. Example MRO Electronics in Edmonton. It's used for etching printed circuit boards.
    If you are way out in the boonies, there's always Amazon.ca.

    If you're really in a pinch (and fancy playing with chemicals) you can make your own with hydrochloric acid, steel wool and hydrogen peroxide.

    I miss the old Radio Shack stores.

    Dan
     
  3. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    Yah the source is nowhere near what it used to be when it was radio shack. I got mine at Radio shack in Michigan.
     
  4. Fred/A

    Fred/A Active Member

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  5. Roman

    Roman Active Member

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    Last week I did some blade etching for the first time in my life. Turned out to be a pretty easy process.
    But what I wanted to add to the discussion here is that the working agent in ferric chloride is actually hydrochloric acid. Also known as muriatic acid. I don't want to turn this discussion into chemistry class, but when you dissolve ferric chloride in water you get ferric oxide, ferric hydroxide and hydrochloric acid. Ferric hydroxide is that residue you need to filter out, ferric oxide is what gives the solution it's color, acid is what works on your steel.

    So, if you have access to hydrochloric (muriatic) acid - you can simply use it. You need to dilute it to about 5-10% though.

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    I've used hydrochloric acid (sold as toilet bowl cleaner) for etching. The brand is "Sparkel" Toilet Bowl Cleaner at my local Canadian Tire.
    Even works on AEB-L stainless given enough time.

    I spent a a few weeks reading labels on toilet bowl cleaners. Many are simply hydrochloric (muriatic) acid with dilutants, gels and scents added.
    Wife thought I was going loonie, but these research projects make grocery shopping more interesting. ;-)

    Also note that generic white vinegar is approximately 5% acetic acid. Many makers use this. Safe, inexpensive and smells good when warming it up.

    Dan
     
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  7. Roman

    Roman Active Member

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    Good idea about toilet bowl cleaners. Just check the concentration. If you get less that 5% hydrochloric acid it will take ages to etch well. Mine took about 3 hours in 5% hydrochloric acid.

    As to white vinegar - it does not always work. This blade above was first etched in white vinegar, but it didn't look really nice. Was dull and had not much contrast.
     
  8. PeterP

    PeterP Active Member

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    What about CLR...those it have enough % to be used for etching.....
     
  9. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    CLR is about the same concentration as Sparkel, only it is lactic acid instead of hydrochloric acid.
    I don't fully understand what the different acids and additives do the steel, but the strength should be fine.
    (Can you tell I deal with iron in my well water?)

    Dan
     
  10. PeterP

    PeterP Active Member

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    Lol, well right after posting this I went to Canadian tire looking for sparkle toilet bowl cleaner...they dint have it so got Lysol Brand Toilet Bowl 3X Cleaner Power, Complete Clean...according to the percent chart its between 10 to 20 %...so my question is how long do I leave it in for...
     
  11. PeterP

    PeterP Active Member

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  12. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    That's a very useful link.
    As far as time, goes plop it in and keep checking it. There are a few factors at play, time, steel types, temperature etc.
     
  13. PeterP

    PeterP Active Member

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    So I plopped it in at around 6:30pm its now 8:18pm and I don't really notice anything different, its a 01 blade, temperature is room.
    planning on letting it in till about 11pm and see, don't really feel like leaving it in all night just in case it eats away to much.
     
  14. snailgixxer

    snailgixxer Golf season is here:)!!!!

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    What's the verdict? Did it work? I still haven't picked anything up to try. Vacation starts today as I'm mid trip back east. I'm going to scour the city and see what I can come up with there. Seems to me, you could get hydrochloride acid from a pool. They should have that chemical on hand
     
  15. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    Correct. It's used to lower the ph of pool water.
     
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  16. snailgixxer

    snailgixxer Golf season is here:)!!!!

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    I guess a pool isn't likely to give you any, but a hot tub/pool store might sell it
     
  17. PeterP

    PeterP Active Member

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    Well after soaking all night and for about 6 hours today....lets say the results are less than impressive. I'm guessing Lysol toilet bowl cleaner lacks the ummp! Don't get me wrong, the blade is still very nice, but dint give me those nice patterns and discoloration I was looking for,[​IMG]
    so next there is two other stuff I feel like trying...commercial grade restaurant grill cleaner, and muriatic acid.
     
  18. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    What is the steel? O1?
     
  19. PeterP

    PeterP Active Member

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    Yeah 01 tool steel, now thinking maybe I dint do it right...I did the soak after the H.T. does it have to be before, or does it even mater.
     
  20. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker

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    It's not like O1 is loaded with chromium or anything. Makes me wonder about your solution. I would put a drop of vinegar on the tang and see what happens.
    Jon did a Nakiri in O1 and shot some Sriracha hot sauce on it and it went well. http://www.canadianknifemaker.ca/index.php?threads/first-knife.1407/
    @jonliss

    After heat treat is fine. Unless you are checking a pattern or looking for cracks etching before heat treatment is kind of a waste of time. The schmag has to get ground off after quenching/tempering and the blade re-etched.


    Dan
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015

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