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Ferric

Discussion in 'Fit & Finish' started by Ryan Ladurantaye, Feb 28, 2014.

  1. Ryan Ladurantaye

    Ryan Ladurantaye Active Member

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    Well I've had almost no luck finding some where local to get ferric chloride(somewhere I can walk into and not need to worry about shipping). Radio shack/ now circuit city, doesn't seem to stock or carry it anymore. But last nights internet search turned up something new.
    http://www.sayal.com, with locations around the GTA I think I might have a winner. Just waiting to check on prices. I'll post what I find out.
     
  2. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I couldn't find any around Windsor either. I got mine at radio shack in the US. Still haven't tried it yet though.
     
  3. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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  4. Rob W

    Rob W Active Member

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    Interior Electronics .............maybe see if there is one in your area as well
     
  5. metal99

    metal99 Member

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    I got mine from B&E electronics. Not sure if they are a canada wide company or not but it's worth a google search.
     
  6. stevebates

    stevebates Active Member

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    Check this out http://www.mgchemicals.com/distributors/canada/ab/. M&G Chemicals basically supplies all the ferric in Canada from what I gathered and you can see all distributors Canada Wide or by province, cities or retail stores. Hope this is of some help ;)
     
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  7. Marc Liss

    Marc Liss New Member

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    Very happy you posted that!
     
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  8. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    That was a few years ago. I see that MRO no longer carries ferric chloride as of July 2016.

    Active still does.
     
  9. Prevenge

    Prevenge Member

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    You guys don't make your own? I think I got enough stuff locally to make over 4l ....one stop at canadian tire and another at the drug store. Cost about 30$
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  10. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    If it's not readily available in your area, making FeCl3 is an option. This guy has a really easy to follow video.


    If a little high school chemistry is your thing, (IIRC) one could make about 12 litres of ferric chloride for around $50.

    Dan
     
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  11. Prevenge

    Prevenge Member

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    That is the exact video I used and was about to link lol ......Its very easy and relatively safe if you take the right precautions. I used goggles instead of glasses and kept my baking soda and water handy. It's also very satisfying ....especially the accelerated oxidization part.....stuff turns neon orange for a bit. And yeah yer right @dancom .....I paid i think 25 bucks for 4 liters of muriatic.
     
  12. krash-bang

    krash-bang Active Member

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    So just plain muriatic acid will not etch a blade? I was thinking of using some to etch a blade to bring out a hamon. Not a good idea?
     
  13. Prevenge

    Prevenge Member

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    I believe Muriatic is hydrochloric acid although of a lesser purity and strength .... it will etch. I think that people use ferric because it creates more contrast on damascus and a darker grey on monosteels? Try just using white pickling vinegar ... you can even heat it up to accelerate the process. Not much for hamons but I have had interesting results using alternating etchs in vinegar and instant coffee with some good rubbing in between. I should probably post a knife that I did that too ....since I have been loitering here for months and haven't shared anything yet lol
     
  14. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Muriatic acid is an old name for hydrochloric acid. Yup, the primary digestive acid in your stomach.

    I have used muriatic acid to etch AEB-L stainless, so it will etch steel. It will also pit and eat away steel at a good rate. Stainless etches to a medium-dark grey tone and takes a while (overnight to days) even at a strong acidic solution depending on the concentration and temperature. Carbon steel may be gone in the morning at the same concentration. Caveat emptor.

    My understanding is that there are tone variations with the different etchants on different steel. For example, on 1084, yellow mustard produces a blackish etch, while white vinegar makes a greyer tone.
    Some etchants are more complex (chemistry wise) than others, say like tomatoes have a unique chemical profile; they will oxidize at unique way. I've seen FeCl3 make plain old carbon steel black as night. This is why it's the de-facto standard for etching among the Damascus crowd. That carbon steel/nickel steel contrast is black and sliver. Amazing.

    Stonewash stainless may be fine with long muriatic acid bath. Stonewash carbon steel may be fine with a short muriatic bath. Ferric chloride and Damascus is a proven winner.

    Ferric chloride is also less reactive than pure hydrochloric acid. It's safer to use. I used it for years making printed circuit boards and my kid only has three thumbs.

    Dan
     
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  15. Roman

    Roman Best Leatherwork Best Build

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    Dan pretty much nailed it down. I can only add that working agent in ferric chloride is HCl, also known as hydrochloric acid. The rest is iron oxide and iron hydroxide. These compounds give it it's nice brown color, but they don't react with steel. Hidrochloric acid is what attacks steel. You could clearly see in the video what it does to steel wool. HCl is very aggressive to metals.

    It would be really interesting to see two identical blades etched in ferric chloride and in pure hydrochloric acid...
     
  16. krash-bang

    krash-bang Active Member

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    I'll give the muriatic acid a try. I can get it from an industrial cleaning product maker. It's at 20-30%. I won't let it soak too long.
     

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