Aging a blade

zinak

New Member
I was looking for some advise on how to age a blade as I am making a steampunk version of a Bowie Knife. In the May 2013 issue of Blade Magazine Wally Hayes went over a process to do it but I cannot seem to find that Issue any longer. This is basically gonna be a put it together type project as I have a blade already. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Kent Nelson
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
I was looking for some advise on how to age a blade as I am making a steampunk version of a Bowie Knife. In the May 2013 issue of Blade Magazine Wally Hayes went over a process to do it but I cannot seem to find that Issue any longer. This is basically gonna be a put it together type project as I have a blade already. Any help would be greatly appreciated.




Kent Nelson
Kent,
You could give it to my wife!
If its a carbon steel you can use plain old apple vinegar.

That's what I use to etch Carbon steel Damascus knives I've made. People use mustard, and If heard you can use Jack Daniels whisky but that sounds like a big waste of money, and liquor.
 

zinak

New Member
Being real new at this i am not sure what kind of Steel is. I know that it is a CVA Alamo Bowie Knife kit that has around a 7" blade. When looking online i saw that some had Stainless steel and some Carbon Steel. If it helps the Kit was purchased in the mid 1980.

Thanks
Kent
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
if you put some Vinegar on it a wait a few minutes and it darkens at all its carbon steel.

Fill a PVC tube up with vinegar that you can submerge the blade in all the way to the hilt and check it say every 20 minutes until you are happy with the darkening/Patina
 

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
I'm no expert, but a kit bought in 1980 would have rust on it if it was carbon steel. Unless, you've kept it in a very dry place wrapped in an oily rag. I suspect it's stainless, and if it is, what I'm about to say is useless. But, just in case....

Like Laurence says, vinegar works pretty good. But, I'd like to add to what he has said so far, at least as far as my experience goes. On carbon steels, heat the vinegar to near boiling, either stove or microwave, before submerging the blade. It'll start bubbling immediately if its carbon steel. If so, wait about 10-15 minutes, remove knife and rub it down under running water with your "clean" hands or an old toothbrush. A lot of the oxide with wash off, then put it back in the hot vinegar. Each cycle of vinegar/rub down will build up the patina more and more. After 5 or 6 cycles, it'll be nicely aged.
 
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phorizt

New Member
I did the gun blue and bleach method for the first time the other day and really like how it turned out. I need to try vinegar to see how that looks out too.

Does anyone know if there's a comprehensive resource somewhere on different ways to treat metals/blades?
 

rhinoknives

Well-Known Member
I'm no expert, but a kit bought in 1980 would have rust on it if it was carbon steel. Unless, you've kept it in a very dry place wrapped in an oily rag. I suspect it's stainless, and if it is, what I'm about to say is useless. But, just in case....

Like Laurence says, vinegar works pretty good. But, I'd like to add to what he has said so far, at least as far as my experience goes. On carbon steels, heat the vinegar to near boiling, either stove or microwave, before submerging the blade. It'll start bubbling immediately if its carbon steel. If so, wait about 10-15 minutes, remove knife and rub it down under running water with your "clean" hands or an old toothbrush. A lot of the oxide with wash off, then put it back in the hot vinegar. Each cycle of vinegar/rub down will build up the patina more and more. After 5 or 6 cycles, it'll be nicely aged.
Anthony is correct about heating the vinegar and rubbing it down, It was late and past my bedtime when I wrote the above.

Thanks
Anthony.
 

murphda2

Super Moderator and KD Blade Show Boss
You can try ferric chloride. Even if it is stainless, it should discolor the blade a bit. It may not be the effect you are looking for, but it should at least turn the blade dark grey. Just keep dipping it for 10-30 seconds at a time and then wiping it down with water and XXXX steel wool until you get the desired look you want.
 

Doug Lester

Well-Known Member
Yes, I have converted a "brown" rust from acid browning to a black oxide by boiling in water. The water doesn't have to be distilled. I just boiled the piece for a couple of minutes then waxed it with Ren wax after it cooled. The test piece of metal and the knife handle and hardware have held up well. You can do the acid browning with just about any mild acid, I used aqua Regia, but just peeing on it would probably be safer (nope, not trying to pull your chain). I would show you a picture if the knife that I acid blued the handle on but I can't find the file

Doug
 
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