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cable finish

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I've been running into a problem when bluing cable blades .
I'm doing edge quenches for the most part . After etching I use cold blue then sand with 1500 or 2000 grit paper backed by a rubber squeegee to bring out the highlights. The hardened edge of the blade always seems blurry or mottled. Anyone else run into this problem? Thanks bruce

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The reason your getting that mottled look is due to the differences in the way the hard edge and the softer spine etch out. Since cable is all one material, there is no depth difference as there are when two dissimilar materials are used. The edge quenching is whats causing most of your problems. I stopped edge quenching damascus blades some time ago because of the differences it caused in the etch. What really got me was when a customer was going to purchase a fairly high dollar bowie, and decided not to because he didn't like the difference in the etch. (that was the last time I edge quenched a damascus blade)

The pattern that is visible in cable is a result of the de-carb lines that come about when the individual wires are forge welded. OK, now to the bluing issue... I would recommend that you use something stiff/hard when sanding the bluing to achieve highlights. The way the highlights come about is from the bluing remaining in the low areas of the etch, and being sanded off the high areas. If you use something soft as a backing for your sandpaper, it has a tendency to "reach" down into the low areas and remove some or all the bluing from those areas as well as the high areas.

If you want a very dramatic highlighting, try using some gloss black baking lacquer from Brownell's. You spray it on and let it dry, bake the blade at 325F for about 30 mins, allow it to cool, the using 600-800 grit on a hard backing, lightly sand the baking lacquer off all the high areas of the topography. It will give you a contrast that you can see from across the room.

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Once its baked on per the instructions, about the only way to get it off is to sand it off. Before I ever offered a blade using it for sale, I carried one for testing for an entire Montana hunting season. Even after going through a 1/2 dozen big game animals and everything else that hunting season brings, the baking lacquer was as good as when I applied it. Of course there were a few stains on the blade from me not taking as much care of it as I should have. :)

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Put some water on to boil and set the muriatic acid in a glass container down in the water. I do this in an old electric fryer. I wait about 15 minutes before etching. It will etch a blade in about 60 seconds, after etching buff it then hit with the last grit paper that was used when you sanded. If its not as deep as you want degrease and go in the acid again. I am new at this so I am going to try some pics this way.





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LDW, put the photos into the IForgeIron.com Gallery. The gallery will automatically resize them for you to the proper size to fit the IFI Forum.

IForgeIron.com > Gallery
Click on upload photos
Select the photos you wish to upload from your computer (browse your hard drive)
Click on the photo you want (highlight) and click open

Enter a default title for the photo
Enter a description for the photo
Enter key words for the photo (what the search engine uses to find the photo)
Click Upload or submitt

Go to Linked Thumbnail below the photo in the gallery
Copy the entire URL
Paste the URL into the IFI Forum where you want the linked thumbnail to appear.

This is the way it appears in your post.

This will keep the file size and bandwidth small enough for those on dial-up to use the forum, is the easiest way to resize the image for the Forum, and creates a linked thumbnail for you.

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