Sign in to follow this  
LastRonin

First Pattern Weld attempt

Recommended Posts

I wanted to try my hand at pattern welding. Had read several places that recommended starting with bandsaw blades and pallet strapping. I just recently stumbled on a small supply of each and went for it. I put together a stack, alternating 15 pieces of  sawblade and 14 pieces of strapping. I used 20 Mule Team Borax... probably more generously than necessary lol. But I did manage to forge weld it into a -cough- billet. I then put a gentle twist along it. Flattened it to about 1/4" by about 1/2" Curious s to how it had turned out, I ground a section basically smooth so I could try to see what sort of patterning I'd come up with. Here is the ground and slightly polished piece before etching.http://www.iforgeiron.com/uploads/gallery/category_2/gallery_28530_2_78218.jpg

Please forgive the inclusions and cold shunts... I believe I have seen where I screwed up and will try to do better on the next one. I still went on to etch and see the pattern.http://www.iforgeiron.com/uploads/gallery/category_2/gallery_28530_2_41846.jpg

I didn't have any of what I could find in the forums and online as etching agents and was about to hunt down a Radio Shack for some Ferric Chloride when I remembered an experiment I had seen, Putting several small balls of aluminum foil in a plastic bottle with about an inch-and-a-half of a certain brand toilet bowl cleaner.http://www.iforgeiron.com/uploads/gallery/category_2/gallery_28530_2_53092.jpg

The Works has 20% Hydrogen Chloride.

This is the result after fifteen minutes in the solution at room temperature. I used a buffing cone on my dremel to polish the surface somewhat. http://www.iforgeiron.com/uploads/gallery/category_2/gallery_28530_2_13978.jpg

I'm actually pretty happy with what I've learned and look forward to a more successful next attempt.

 

Any advice or comments? Anyone else used this cheap method for etching? Or is there an even cheaper method I don't know about?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm tempted to cut it in half and do a side by side comparison, vinegar vs. The Works. I'm really happy with the level of etching in only 15 minutes using the Works at room temperature. I know vinegar is cheap too, but if it is slower...  Anyway, like I've seen others on here suggest many times in the past... I'm going to make several test pieces and try different techniques and see how they each turn out. Then when I need to do some etching I'll have choices to choose from to get the best effect for that project. I'll post pics and info.

 

In the meantime, no one has answered with a yes or a no as to whether they have tried "The Works" toilet cleaner for etching... anyone?

 

 

(If you notice the change from 'cut it in half' to 'several test pieces'... halfway through typing my brain stepped ahead of my fingers and decided that two points of comparison weren't enough, so I'm going to section it into probably six to eight pieces.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Also... does anyone have any ideas for inexpensive etching/ contrasting techniques? Please post any ideas here that I might want to include in my comparison. I'll try to use as many of them as I can. If I don't use your suggestion, it might just be that it is outside my budget or skill level.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ferric is probably the most effective method I tried. And I made a lot of experiments. A pretty good solution, if you want to deep etch and then buff to mirror finish, is to use nitric acid. Use a solution of 1/3 acid and 2/3 distilled water and keep stirring using the damascus as stirring tool. In this way you won't have bubbles forming. Once in a while take it out and use a brush to gentle remove eventual bubbles and put it back. A couple of minutes can etch really deeply. Then sand with a 1200 paper on a little block of wood, gently. If you want you can buff.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hydrogen Chloride = Hydrochloric or Muriatic Acid all the same stuff. Putting it in a bottle with a few balls of aluminum foil is just plain STUPID it is a very unsafe practice

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this