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hey guys so I got a couple pieces of damasteel to use for bolsters on a couple folding knives. so I saw a video with todd begg on how to etch it and it came out beautiful. (link to video below). so I heat treated the steel ( even tho I am only using it for bolsters I have read heat treating it will effect the etch. so I followed this video exactly starting with muriatic in a double boiler with the water at 160 deg. put it in there checking as I went. in the video he said it took 2-3 mins and you want it to fully etch one alloy and just start on the other. then I neutralized it and dipped it in a 50/50 mix of ferric and vinegar to darken it. so in the video as I said it came out beauticful I tried it a couple times and it always came out foggy, I did have this problem a couple times with regular carbon Damascus and a quick wipe with 5000 grit sanding pad (the stuff you get in any auto part store) fixed it with regular Damascus but with the dama steel it took away the foddy ness but its still left with not much contrast at all. it keeps coming out like a hologram where you can only see the pattern at the right angles and lights. I tried doing a quick couple passes on the buffer with a clean buff and got the same reults as the 5000 grit sanding pad......any help would really really be appreciated I want a real good contrast as in the video I watched again link below THANKS to any one that can help.....couldn't figure out how to put the link up it keeps putting the video itself on the post sorry


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Actually There is no real good contrast possible with Damasteel, because it is stainless.

Stainless is not supposed to take "contrast". 

Never black only versions of grey.

so it can be brought to contrast like the video showed but it is some effort and the result is not very durable because it has not washed out enough.

Take H2SO4 ( 38%) to deepen the Damasteel and then do the ferric vingear stuff .That finish and colors last longer.



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steve... good point I didn't dilute the ferric the stuff I used  is the pcb etch from radio shack I used that 50/50 with vinegar, to be honest I thought the 30% this is just how it comes because isn't muriatic acid just a dilute of sulfuric or hydrochloric one or the other. so I thought that was the same kinda thing but I will try again what do you think dilute it down to 30% with distilled water then 50/50it with vinegar??

temple hound .....yeh I know I wont get the contrast I could get with say 1084 and 15n2 that's a given but that video shows ALOT more contrast than what I am getting ill try it diluting the ferric then if its still not good ill give sulfuric a try



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Thanks steve!   I did try again I made a 30% ferric 70% distilled water then 50-50 that with vinegar. deffitinly a lil more contrast not as much as I video, I did notice when they pull it out its still wet and yeh that would deffinitly make it look different. if you scroll to the end of the video it shows another shot and it looks dry to me there. like I said a lil more contrast but not as much as in that last shot (the one that does look dry)  but its deffinitly foggy, everytime I try and get rid of the fogginess I end up taking away the contrast that is there. you have any ideas of either what will get rid of the fogginess without loosing the contrast or just more contrast to start? I have tried several methods of removing the fogginess and keeping the contrast (and its not like there is a lot of contrast to start so I don't want to loose what is there) not much luck with any

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