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I Forge Iron

I am making my first knife ever. I need help.


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Hi, I am Jack I have just made my first knife and I used 52100 steel which it is good steel but my blade keeps oxidizing and turning rusty. I was wondering if there is any kind of food safe metal coating to prevent this rust? some galvenization process that will protect it from just turning into a rusty pile of junk?

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Welcome aboard, Jack, from 7500' in SE Wyoming.  Glad to have you.

If you put your general location in your profile we can better answer your questions.  Your present problem may be dependent on whether you are in a high humidity, salt water environment or the middle of a desert.  We don't know if you are in Lapland or Tasmania.

You are getting oxidation (rust) from oxidizing elements in the knife's environment such as water and atmospheric oxygen.  This is what steel does.  Iron is pretty chemically active and easily oxidizes.  The only way to prevent it is a barrier of some sort between the steel of the knife and the oxidizing elements in its environment.  These can range from a light coat of oil (vegetable or mineral), a drying oil like lindseed oil, or chemical treatments like parkerizing or gun blue (dilute phosporic acid).  And keeping your blade dry after every use.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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Well I am NE Alabama.  I just need to know of a food safe product that will work well with my metal to prevent rusting. I want it to be semi permanent treatment. 

Look I am a chef and would like to use the knife that I am making in the cooking of food and not have to worry about my blade rusting every other day.

 

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We won't remember your location once leaving this post, hence the suggestion to add it in your profile so it shows with every post. You are a chef and have never heard of oiling your knives? I'm not a chef but do a lot of cooking and washing and drying my hi-carbon knives keeps them from rusting after they have been seasoned with vegetable oil..

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I am not gonna lie every knife I have ever used before this was stainless steel. So I never had this issue. I do know how to season pans. I just didn't want to change the color of the blade to black in the seasoning process. I just thought there might be some kind of chemical bath or electrocoating method? I am sorry if I am asking dumb questions. Like I said at the start of the post. This is the first knife I have ever made.

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The only way to prevent oxidation is some sort of barrier layer.  Darker ones are semi-permanent.  Clear ones, like oiling a blade, have to be reapplied frequently.  No other choices that I know of.  No magic treatments that will give you a transparent barrier which will last.  Sorry, but that is the way of the world.  We're not dissing you but what you are asking for, as far as I know, does not exist.

"By hammer and hand all arts do stand."

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No worries, it's like that any time a person gets involved in something new. It takes a while to learn enough to ask good questions and understand the answers. Do it often enough and the frustration you feel eases off. Be careful if you use chlorine in the water you wipe things down with or it will rust the blade. Wipe it off to sterilize and clean it, rinse in fresh water, dry and oil it. A clean cloth with vegetable oil on it works nicely, that way you aren't making a mess trying to put a few drops on the blade, just wipe it with the lightly oiled cloth. 

How do you like using your knife? May we see pictures?

Stick around Iforge has some world class bladesmiths with how to books published on the subject on board. 

Frosty The Lucky.

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Hi Jack. I’m in south Alabama and a knife will rust lying on a counter top. I use mineral oil. It’s food safe and makes the wood handle shine like new money. You need to treat it every time you use it and from time to time when not in use. Post a picture. I love looking at knives.

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Food friendly ..bees wax. Gently warm to touch blade and apply. Rub in, being careful around edge. Not ment as sarcasm, I've nicked myself more than once doing this, wipe off any excess. With moderate care it should last month or so.

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My wife has taken several classes from world class knife makers and blacksmiths. When I asked her how she was taught to keep the hi-carbon knives from rusting she said along with wiping them with an oily cloth to warm the blade so the oil will penetrate just like using bees wax. Just don't make the blade too hot so as not to affect the heat treatment. Here a couple she has made. The 7 in. paring knife is made from spring steel and the 13 in. chefs knife is from 5160 been in use for a couple of years now.

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