Mon Dec 16, 2013 8:10 am
Ferric Chloride is somewhat readily available is why it's most commonly used. Any acid would work, yes. Lemon juice technically will work me thinks. I know I can etch a blade with lemon juice....but I guess I don't know the long term of that method.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:17 am
It's what I have always used. IIRC, for Stainless Steels and to get a deeper/darker etch, some guys used possibly Muriatic acid? That name seems to be familiar to me for etching stainless, not sure if that is the correct name or correct acid. Ferric Chloride is fairly readily available and works well.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 1:50 pm
So the process is basically forcing a sever patina? I suppose the degreasing not withstanding.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:09 pm
While a patina is a form of oxidation resulting from a chemical reaction, etching actually eats away some of the metal with the acid.
Ferric chloride is used a lot for etching circuit boards. You start with a blank circuit board (fiber board with a thin sheet of copper on top) and draw the circuits on the board. Then you brush on the ferric chloride and it eats the copper leaving the parts protected by the ink you drew the circuits with. The same thing happens when you etch a knife blade. The acid eats a small layer from the surface of any unprotected parts of the blade.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:45 pm
Any idea what kind of ink holds up to the Ferric Chloride? Would be interesting to be able to draw a design onto a blade and etch it in.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 2:52 pm
Muriatic acid is hydrochloric acid.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 3:08 pm
DieselHardware wrote:Any idea what kind of ink holds up to the Ferric Chloride? Would be interesting to be able to draw a design onto a blade and etch it in.
I have seen sharpie used to draw designs before etching knife blades. I have also seen things like logos printed on magazine paper with a laser jet (the toner is essentially plastic) and then heat transferred to the metal before etching. Of course with the second way you'd want to reverse the image and be careful to not overheat the blade.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:43 pm
Hadn't thought about the laser printer idea. Thanks. I just might have to find some cheap steel to practice with first. Sounds like a fun project.
Mon Dec 16, 2013 4:47 pm
Just remember to use magazine paper as it is glossy and the toner has a better chance of peeling off of it. Toners are also not created equal so some printers might work better than others. I would definitely try it out on some scrap first for sure. lol
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