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Using Ferric Chloride to darken blade

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by extensive, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. extensive

    extensive

    27
    Jul 26, 2012
    really want this look from prime77s knife (already commented him to see if he can answer me directly)
    [​IMG]
    i have read probably 20 threads on here about etching but none that i saw are specifically for stainless steel and darkening the blade. i already bought some PCB etchant solution (ferric chloride) and now i just need to know what mixture i need. can anybody help?
     
  2. JSMcustoms

    JSMcustoms

    Feb 2, 2012
    I'm not sure, but I think you just use the stuff as is (suspend the blade in the solution with a piece of stainless wire). I love the look of this too. Would be interested in doing this to my para 2.
     
  3. Misanthropia

    Misanthropia Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    I'm interested in hearing an answer as well, I love that look when combined with a stonewash.
     
  4. DJG097

    DJG097

    Apr 19, 2009
    Id mix it about 2:1 ratio, The 2 would be water. Just etchant would probably be to strong.
     
  5. razor-edge-knives

    razor-edge-knives KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Apr 3, 2011
    Keep us posted with the results!
     
  6. prime77

    prime77

    376
    Oct 11, 2006
    Hey extensive. When I did that knife I just used straight acid. It doesn't take long in the acid to darken the blade, 10 to 20 seconds will do. I have read that adding just a splash of water makes the acid work faster and guys get darker blades. I do recommend getting some gorilla tape and taping up the pivot area and any area that works with the lock depending on the knife.
     
  7. extensive

    extensive

    27
    Jul 26, 2012
    thanks prime! i will let you guys know how it turns out.
     
  8. extensive

    extensive

    27
    Jul 26, 2012
    oh one more thing prime, did you etch or stonewash first?
     
  9. Misanthropia

    Misanthropia Gold Member Gold Member

    Jul 10, 2011
    Does anyone know if it's an issue to to try and do this without removing the blade from the handle first? I have some knives that I would like to try this on but fear/can't disassemble them. Would it damage the pivot or handle scales at all?
     
  10. JSMcustoms

    JSMcustoms

    Feb 2, 2012
    I might end up taking the scales off one of my coated fixed blades that the coating is about gone from anyhow and give this a shot on it. It should look really good. It's a Tops fixed blade that I've put through a lot of use... I likely won't stone wash it though. Just the acid etch. And what's good to put the stuff in that it won't eat through???
     
  11. GuinnessSynd

    GuinnessSynd

    545
    Aug 25, 2011
    stonewash after the acid. i did this to my tenacious and para 2. the para 2 is amazing looking
     
  12. prime77

    prime77

    376
    Oct 11, 2006
    Etch first to darken the blade then stonewash to scratch to the shiny metal underneath.
     
  13. robotech

    robotech Banned BANNED

    Feb 22, 2009
    You can also paint some nail polish over anything you don't want etched.
    Then use acetate or nail polish remover to cut the polish off.
    Or, if you are going to stonewash the hardware after the etch, just leave it on and that will knock it off, while saving what's under the polish.
    See this thread
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/s...pyderco-PPT-Outlander?p=10625856#post10625856
    I etched and stonewashed every steel part on those two projects.
    As far as time and mixture, I used the ferric full strength. Then using nitrate gloves, just "massaged" the stuff, then water rinsed. If it wasn't dark enough, back in the acid. Took maybe 3-4 minutes. trick is, to keep it moving in the bath. Hanging it from a thread or what ever is OK, but there's no need as long as you swish and turn the parts, AND WEAR GLOVES. And clean the parts 1st with soapy water and rinse, while wearing gloves. Any oil spots (fingerprints, etc) will not allow a consistent finish!
    Make sure you rinse the finished parts really well, then immerse them in a warm bath of water (about a quart), and about 3 TABLESPOONS of baking soda (NOT baking powder). Turn and swish the parts and let sit for several minutes.
    The reason to do this is because the ferric RUSTS the metal (like bluing) and it will continue even after rinsing. Hard to put an edge on when 2 hours later, that fresh edge is "rusty" The soda will help slow that down a LOT. Even with that, you will see some edge darkening for a few days.
    Make no mistake, acid bath and stonewash is DAMAGING the blade. A controlled damage, but make sure you want to do this as it takes a LOT of work, and takes off a lot of steel, to get back to a polished finish, even with just a stonewash.
    This is my experience, and I have done 6-8 knives like this.
    http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php/929524-My-Spyderco-Mods
    And take note, each steel type will give a different result. S30V will not be exactly like VG-10, or 440C, etc.
    Stonewashing instructions would take another big post, at least MY way of doing it would.
     
  14. robotech

    robotech Banned BANNED

    Feb 22, 2009
  15. uxo2

    uxo2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 3, 2013
    To much information.

    Makes for a easy to do pimp job.
     

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