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Old 13th January 2018, 03:38 PM   #3
thomas hauschild
Join Date: May 2017
Location: Germany
Posts: 121

As a knifemaker I do not use iron3chlorid anymore. I hate that. Every little difference in degreasing and difference in heat-treating is visible and any micron rest of the acid will result rust. After lots of oil you can have a red rust if you do not take care.

I have etched some pieces of wootz with nital, which works well. Instant coffee makes a good black colour and from my experience its makes a more ph-neutral surface which will not rust so easy.

At the end I have etched some hundred blades of different damascus-steels and every blade was different. Sometimes there were great different results even if the steel was from the same billet. There was often a situation that I decided to grind the etch away and to do everything again and then the result was much better. Every none uniform quenching will result clouds in the etching (You can name it hamon when itˋs under control )

With that now visible areas on your blade it will be difficult to get a better result without grinding everything away to a shiny bladesteel. So every blade is different and it will be difficult to give you a receipt that will work 100%. Try out only light etching which will not remove much of the steel. Grind a small area with 1200 grit shiny on your blade were it is bright and dark together and try nital with some drops. Maybe you will find a solution that will work. Good luck

Best Thomas
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