Etching a Damascus steel knife is not as complicated as many people tend to believe. It is a straightforward process, which is used to enhance the appearance of the blade. One can use Radio PCB board etching solutions to etch the knife.
The blades can be etched by being submerged in an etchant solution for about 15-20 minutes before it is finally washed in hot water mixed with detergents. One can use baking soda such as ammonia to help neutralize the etching solution. The most difficult part of the process is actually washing the blades. During the process, a lot of carbon is released from the steel blade. This is why the hands of the person etching it will always turn black. If you are etching in a sink, you will notice that the sink will also become black even though it can easily be washed off by scrubbing.
Oiling the Blade
After etching the Damascus steel knife, it is necessary that you oil it. However, this should only be done after you are satisfied with the results. If the results obtained are not pleasing, you can repeat the entire process by throwing it back into the etchant solution for another round of washing and soaking.
If you have sanded your Damascus steel blade to the point where the beautiful patterns are no longer visible, etching it can make the knife display very beautiful patterns. It can be used to repair and bring the edges and the spine back. After etching all you need to do is to sand your knife so that you bring back the scales. Applying etchant at the edges is important in that it helps to bring the patterns and no one will ever notice that you actually sanded it. Also, you can selectively apply etchant to the edges and any errant marks but still obtain the same results.
When you choose to use the PCB board etching solution, you need to follow certain safety procedures to help protect your skin and eyes.
After etching, the Damascus steel needs to be taken care for if you want it to continue looking unique. The blade comprises of over 200 layers of steel and so taking good care of the knife ensures that it continues shining. Here are the few steps to ensure that it remains shiny.
Ensure that you purchase a leather sheath and use it to store the knife. If the blade has been etched with Ferric Acid, ensure that the sheath does not absorb the solution. To do this, you may clean the knife using a damp cloth and allow it to dry before it is sheathed.
Also, ensure that you clean the blade as soon as you finish using it. The cleaning should be done using a dry cloth, but ensure that the blade is kept away from chemicals which can damage the steel. Lastly, ensure that your steel blade has been sharpened by an expert so that it can retain its beautiful edges for a longer time.