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What is the best way to force a patina?

Discussion in 'Maintenance, Tinkering & Embellishment' started by sisk61, Apr 28, 2012.

  1. sisk61


    Jun 24, 2011
    I was wondering what the best way to force a patina on a knife is. I know there is no "best" way because its based on opinion.

    Ive used vinegar, which is alright, it just makes the blade extremely dark. Ive also used mustard, by itself, it works pretty well to make a "tiger stripe" pattern or to make whatever pattern you want.

    Im trying to find a way that looks more natural than the above, Im too lazy to wait a few years.. ;)

    Thanks! Pictures are welcome!
  2. Steel130

    Steel130 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 17, 2010
    Acidic fruits are good. Lemons are probably most popular. Limes, onions, grapefruit. All good. Its fun to experiment.
  3. sisk61


    Jun 24, 2011
    Thanks! I tried a potato once, it didnt do anything. I believe that takes a day or two though.
  4. Phydeaux


    Mar 4, 2006
    Different steels will react differently can react differently to the same chemicals. If you let us know what type of steel you are creating a patina on, I'm sure that people here will have suggestions about what to use.

    For instance, if I put lemon juice on an 01 blade, I get a nice dark mark. I can put 01 in dilute phosphoric acid and get a very pale blueish/grey color.

  5. powernoodle

    powernoodle Power Member Gold Member

    Jul 21, 2004
    Stick it in an apple for a couple of hours, check as necessary, and keep at it until you like the look. This works pretty fast with a carbon or CV type steel. With stainless, not so much. :)

    You can see the dissected apple seed on this one.
  6. RemyKaze

    RemyKaze Gold Member Gold Member

    Mar 23, 2012
    I use lemon juice all the time. You can get the patina awfully dark, and if you find it less to your liking, you can get a little shine back to it easily.
  7. sisk61


    Jun 24, 2011
    I was planning on putting a patina on my case MiniTrapper, its CV, i already put one on with an orange and some vinegar, but i cant decide if i like it or not... it looks really cool, just not "natural"

    I love the look on Powernoodle's sodbuster. could i somehow get some of this coloring off to make it more "bland"?? all i could think of right now is taking it to a waterstone, but im not to keen on that idea unless its suggested.
  8. sqoon


    Jan 1, 2010
    I don't care for forced patinas. However, when I used my Case Canoe in CV to cut up a steak, and even with cleaning the blade, I still got a really nice looking patina as a result. The meat juices couldn't have been on the blade for more than a couple of minutes. Use your knife. If it is meant to have a patina, it will form one and have a story, if not simply a memory of a good steak behind it.
  9. videl


    Mar 24, 2012
    Fruit will do it, citrus or apples etc, you need to leave it to sit and dry for about 10 minutes or longer then rinse off and repeat. Meat is also good, I found that meat (spiced chicken) gave my superblue a good spectrum of colours, blues yellows etc, where as fruit just darkened the steel.
  10. Axisjoe


    Feb 25, 2012
    Check out the Becker Knife & Tool forum, there's some great how to's in there.
  11. SidC


    Apr 10, 2012
    I stuck my Cold Steel Carbon V Bird Knife into an onion and let it sit for 24 hours. It gave it a nice, even, patina with a cool, ringy pattern.
  12. sisk61


    Jun 24, 2011
    I didnt like the look that the orange made, so i poured some vinegar on a paper towel and wrapped it around the blade. it looks very good to me. nice and even patina
  13. hunter s thompson

    hunter s thompson

    Oct 17, 2007
    My method for forcing a patina goes like this, buy a large bag of apples, take one or two (depending on how well you like apples) to work come lunch time eat whatever you have for lunch then peel your apple for dessert, wipe the knife off with a paper towel or whatever repeat this everyday until the apples are gone and repeat you will have a nice natural looking patina in a matter of no time!
  14. Tripton


    May 26, 2008
    I do it the same way as HST.

    And, nothing cuts up an apple better than a quality slip joint.
  15. Skimo


    Mar 28, 2009
    I found that with boiling vinegar, the vapors seem to work almost instantaneously.

    Steak is probably the most satisfying way to put a patina on a knife.
  16. sisk61


    Jun 24, 2011
    If i used vinegar to force a patina, will it effect food if i use it for food prep? Or will the vinegar smell and sticky texture wear off with use?

    Thanks guys!
  17. hunter s thompson

    hunter s thompson

    Oct 17, 2007
    Ain't that the truth Trip? long time no see! I have a GEC Ben Hogan that is a light saber on a Granny Smith!
  18. JulianHayes


    Mar 17, 2012
    Sorry the pics are terrible, these are my results with case cv and a potato for about a day.
    edit pics didn't work.. still like the potato
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2012

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