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Best forced patina for soft iron?
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Thread: Best forced patina for soft iron?

  1. #1

    Best forced patina for soft iron?

    Hey everybody,

    I'm trying to force a patina on a Hontanren Iron clad wa gyuto. I love this knife and would like to force a patina on it. Does anybody have a suggestion for the best results for the soft iron. I tried beef blood and which had some decent results but when I checked it there were a few serious rust spots. Once I removed the rust the patina was almost gone. I'm trying the mustard patina now in short intervals and after 5-8 minutes there is only rust and no real patina to speak of. If anybody has any other tips or techniques I would love to hear them.

  2. #2
    My experience with etching iron has shown me that it won't take and hold it unless the surface is polished to near mirror condition first and then you need to do the quickest etch you can manage meaning don't soak, just dunk and neutralize. Even then there's no guarantees with iron.

    I'm using a ferric chloride & vinegar mix.

  3. #3
    Appreciate the information. What's the best place to find ferric chloride? Also is there a reason my deba took the patina beautifully and the gyuto didn't? I'm pretty sure the deba is soft iron clad. Could it be a heat treatment thing? The deba wasn't soaked nearly as long though. Maybe half the time.

  4. #4

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by whesssp7497 View Post
    Appreciate the information. What's the best place to find ferric chloride? Also is there a reason my deba took the patina beautifully and the gyuto didn't? I'm pretty sure the deba is soft iron clad. Could it be a heat treatment thing? The deba wasn't soaked nearly as long though. Maybe half the time.
    Is is definitely clad with the same soft iron? Even if it is from the same maker (Mizuno) there is no guarantee they are using the same material for single/double bevel.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by whesssp7497 View Post
    What's the best place to find ferric chloride?
    I ordered mine years ago from Micro Mark (no degradation in etching quality since), but you can pick it up from Texas Knife for the same price.
    [B][I]I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..[/I][/B]

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by whesssp7497 View Post
    What's the best place to find ferric chloride?.
    If you have a Radio Shack store nearby they might have it on the shelf listed as PC Board Etchant. That's where I bought mine recently.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by btrancho View Post
    If you have a Radio Shack store nearby they might have it on the shelf listed as PC Board Etchant. That's where I bought mine recently.
    Lucky lol. None of mine carry it, and said they wouldn't order it in either.
    [B][I]I try to be the man I am..in times of broken lives. Shattered dreams and plans..standing up to fight. Pressures and demands..staring at the knife. Holding in your hands..[/I][/B]

  9. #9
    Senior Member brainsausage's Avatar
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    Picked mine up at Radio Shack. You can typically order it from them online as well.
    The AI does not love you, nor does it hate you, but you are made out of atoms it might find useful for something else. - Eliezer Yudkowsky

  10. #10
    Senior Member GeneH's Avatar
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    I did this with straight up white vinegar. The blade (was a 8 inch) $10 Green River carbon blank until I broke it. I don't know what experience you have so I'll not make any assumptions and hope I'm not preaching to the choir. The key to patina, bluing, or browning (as in muzzle loader barrels) was total removal of all oils. Acetone is what I used. A lot of it. I placed the blade in a jar of vinegar and left it there a while. Can't remember how long, but just keep checking it. The reason for the soak is it even across the blade all the time and never dries funny. With a good deep browning or patina, gentle cleaning with the finest steel wool will take the rough and darkest stuff off. Look carefully and you can see some areas are black, but that not pitted rust. After using the knife a while the patina will settle down and look more naturally smooth.

    Supporting what has already been posted: "...ferric chloride and mix it with water until it "looks like urine". Add a tablespoon or two of alcohol, not more than 5% of the total solution. Apply with a clean cloth, brush or swab. It is a very effective browning solution that is also very economical to use. I purchased my ferric chloride from Radio Shack, and a little goes a looong way."

    Here's the link:

    http://americanlongrifles.org/forum/index.php?action=printpage;topic=18869.0


    Caution - don't let the vinegar get on the handle. You will see in my picture a dark line about a quarter inch above the blade where it's darker. Oooops.


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