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Etching Problems


Ben_C

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ive just started getting into Damascus in fact Im on my 4th knife. All has gone well except when I etched the most recent knife it turned black! :confused: After Etching it it was covered by a black substance. By the time I got it all off the pattern had been erased. Im Using radio shack PCB to etch with. I left it in for 30 minutes and it came out completey Black. Any suguestions on how I can prevent this?

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Ben the black is the oxides created by the ferric cloride. Just take it to the sink and scrub it with a bristle brush and some baking soda under hot water. It should clean up nice showing your pattern nicely. Dry it and then apply some oil to stop it from rusting.

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If you want your pattern to stand out more put it back in the etchant before you apply the oil. What dilution rate are you using? When I first started I was told 10 parts water to 1 part etchant but I found out you need more etchant.

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OTOH you don't want it too strong either as it tends to etch it all about the same rate and so not show much of the pattern. You want to dilute it so that some areas/alloys will etch more than others. 1:3 or 4 is a good place to start and then move it up or down depending on temp, alloys, time, age of solution, etc.

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