Argh! Emergency de-rusting of pattern welded blade

On Sat, 23 Oct 2004 02:05:14 GMT, "Martin H. Eastburn"

Snipped the crap

If you use rubber gloves, how do you know it etches skin, turns them brown? Did you just read that, or talk to someone who tried it, and actually experienced that while etching damascus?

Oh... you own a lab coat! Dont I feel just a tad silly, all I wear when I make damascus is a leather apron over my clothes. How does that lab coat do with hot flux? heh Listen up, wear gloves, helmet, respirator, and your lab coat all under a hazmat suit... anything that makes ya happy, I could care less, in fact if I was at your shop and saw you handling ferric chloride with gloves Im sure it would just make my day. Did you happen to read where you can buy this "nasty" stuff? Radio Shack! Do you think they require every geek who makes a circuit board sign a waiver, or even read a msds? And I just LOVE your warning about adding water to acid! Did you just read that? Isnt that like 7th grade science? And now you would like to pass that knowledge on? Just so I can be safe, next time I gear up with lab coat, gloves, grounded wrist-strap in place, standing on an anti-static mat, CAREFULLY open the hood to my truck, with a plastic no-spark battery cap removal tool, look into my batteries at a safe distance, using a mirror, find that the electrolyte level is low, should I remove my truck batteries, dump the contents into water, then dump the whole mess back into the battery, just to be safe? OUCH! Im sorry, my yellow brown, acid burned fingers are in such agonizing pain I just ... can t... t yp e n o m o r e. Oh and dont foget about the: if you can smell it, you breathed it, and if you breath it, it mixes with the moisture in your lungs and once that happens... And finally, I just looked it up for you, so you have some real info to "read" (mind you this is from folks who think everything is harmful in some way)
"Acute Health Effects: From MSDS: EFFECTS AND HAZARDS INHALATION (BREATHING): Inhalation of concentrated mist or vapor may cause irritation of the respiratory tract. EYE CONTACT: Contact with eyes may cause irritation and tearing and eye tissue discoloration, and may result in permanent visual loss unless removed quickly by thorough irrigation with water. SKIN CONTACT: The product is an irritant. Contact may include irritation with dryness, discomfort or rash. Ferric chloride has been infrequently associated with skin sensitization in humans. Extensive exposure could lead to skin ulceration. Severity is generally determined by the concentration and temperature of the solution and duration of exposure. INGESTION (SWALLOWING): Ingestion may cause severe liver and/or kidney damage, and may be fatal." For a MSDS thats pretty tame. You want to be scared, read this one: http://www.chess.cornell.edu/Safety/MSDS/wd_40.htm
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wrote:

HCL that

a rust yellow brown

HCL or pool acid

steam bubble that

heating. Un-even heat.

C'mon man, show a little charity. Some folks are just genetically predisposed to react badly to their environment and need more protection then the rest of us.
GA
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On Sat, 23 Oct 2004 07:40:51 -0700, "Greyangel"

haha I'll tell ya a bad reaction- reading your reply with a mouthful of hot coffee :) (now I need to find a rag thats not all eaten up!)
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wrote:

HCL that

a rust yellow brown

HCL or pool acid

steam bubble that

heating. Un-even heat.

Is it really necessary to be so harsh to someone who is only expressing concern for your well being? There seems to be developing on this group to many caustic responses that belittle someone for expressing an opinion or asking a question. Many of the people who used to post here no longer express an opinion and in some cases I am sure it is to avoid ridicule. If you cannot express an opinion in a reasoned manner, and preferably with some knowledge behind it maybe you should go back to your parents to learn some manners, and consideration for your equals and in some cases betters. YELLING DOWN OPPOSITION OLNLY DISPLAYS YOUR OWN IGNORANCE.
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Forger wrote:

I can only guess you can't read or understand well. I don't use a lab coat when pounding metal or welding or such. I'll use it around the lathe or mill.
It got splashed when doing a demo to an advanced class I was the professor for. It was getting educated types into another branch of life - PCB's. We were into black tape and blue and red tape. Those days.
You need to understand that a 7th grader isn't allowed around danger stuff. Now read the MSDS - Skin sensitization - means your feeling is changed in your fingers. If you don't like changing your responses to bran senses - go ahead. Dryness, Discomfort or Rash - not friends of mine - means something is going wrong. Skin ulceration - wow - boils and ulcer from just having it on my finger - NO WAY!
Etch your metal away - not your fingers. This is not weak stuff.
As a test, put about a cup of FeCl into a glass container - that can handle heat. Take it outdoors. Add - with tongs and with eye protection - a loose roll of Al foil.
Expect a very hot and foaming reaction - with spitting acid.
In this sense - be cautious on using Metals with Al or other light metals as they will etch out rapidly and might etch deep into layers.
Martin
<chop>

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Martin Eastburn, Barbara Eastburn
@ home at Lion's Lair with our computer snipped-for-privacy@pacbell.net
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On Sun, 24 Oct 2004 02:24:10 GMT, "Martin H. Eastburn"

<snipped here & there>

When I first started out forging blades back in the early '80s I could not get an honest answer from anyone on how to make damascus. After many years, piles of worthless beat-to-death half welded pieces of metal, yards of burnt steel cable, I finally got it. Back then I was etching with everything from vinegar and Naval Jelly to Nitric Acid. I was working with a dragon's breath design forge I built for welding, a coal forge for shaping, vertical mill, burr king belt grinder, buffer, oxy-acetl torch. Of all that equipment, the most dangerous part of the entire process (IMHO) was the etching. You would not believe the safety measures I took to keep from breathing, touching, mixing, inserting and removing steel, and then to actually store it. This was truley nasty stuff, that would ruin a blade if you left it in for a minute too long. I still have one that is a shining example of how to make a skeleton etch. About 10 years ago, while at a master bladesmith's shop, we were playing with some combinations of metals, made some blades, and came time to check out the patterns with a quick etch. I could not beleive my eyes when I saw the ease of using ferric chloride. No exhaust hoods, no goggles, no going outside, not even any gloves! Welpf! Not to mention that it was so incredibly controllable. So now I had to find a way to dispose of the gallons of various nasty acids I had collected over the years. I managed to unload most of it to the local high school, the aqua regia was pretty much unwanted by anyone though and turned into just a major pain in the butt. So here is the bottom line: This is a blacksmithing group, the thread started by one other than myself concerned etching a pattern welded blade. Keeping that in mind, my reply is as follows - ferric cholride is safe and effective and easily neutralized. I base that not on something I read, heard, dreamed or imagined, but personal experience that I freely share with anyone who wants to know how to etch damascus. I guess I need to also say just how "I" do this in a way that is not harmful to "me". I have a bottle of ferric chloride mixed with water. I dump it into a plastic tray. I clean my hands. I clean the blade. Using forcepts so as not to touch the blade with my oily little fingers, I place it in the acid. I look at the clock. I open a beer/pop/coffee. After 15 minutes I reach into the acid with my bare fingers, pluck out the blade, dip it into a bucket of fresh water with some baking soda dissolved into it. I gently use my fingers for the intial scrubbing. I pull the blade out, usually grin with satisfaction at how the pattern is coming out. Clean the blade, repeat the process. After the second 15 minute etching I know about how much longer I want for the third. Somtimes just a few minutes, sometimes I do a forth etching. So what, my fingers were actually in the acid for maybe a few seconds, just to retrieve the blade. Bear in mind this thread is Etching pattern welded blade. Its not Skinny dipping in Acid: Safe-r-Stupid? Would I do that with aqua regia.. dont think so. Would I do it with just nitric acid? no way. But ferric chloride, the way I descibed, for etching baldes, sure and unlike the folks I talked to back in the '80s, Im not going to make it sound difficult and magical to do. There is a sign on my shop door that reads: Everything in this building is Sharp, Hot and Dangerous (including the owner) and I would guess that holds true for anyone doing this sort of thing. If a person had the ability to light a forge and play with hot metal enough to make a billet of damascus, shape it into a blade, all without burning himself too badly, or cutting himself too severely, he can probably use a ferric chloride etch pretty safely as well.
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Try a home made jewellry cleaning solution that works on almost any metals from gold on down. I had a small jewellry shop where I made the rings and ornaments out of Silver and Gold as well as out of Steel. To clean the metals perfectly I used a mix of 50% water, 25% Ammonia, and 25% dish soap. It is the same mixture that lots of jewellry shops use for cleaning your jewellry when you take it in. It will not damage the metal at all and it will remove crap and rust from old meatls to make them look really new again. For small articles you put it into a ultrasonic cleaner which you can by even at wall mart for cheap. For larger items put it into a pot and start heating it up, but not to boiling and put your article into it and swish it around for approx. 10 minutes or so. Once done take it out and just wash it with water and soap and then dry it and then you are done. THOMAS' Wrought Iron Works at snipped-for-privacy@sasktel.net.
http://carl.west.home.comcast.net

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Carl,
First off DO NOT SAND PAPER IT! You'll just end up ruining the finish and loosing the pattern.
Second DO NOT RE-ETCH IT! You can't properly reetch the blade and get a consistent look with ketchup. Don't try - you'll just ruin the blade.
Finally, what you CAN do - Start by wiping it down with plain old Windex. High in ammonia it will neutralize the acids eating at the metal.
Next take a good rough cloth (not scratchy, sort of a wash cloth or shop towel) spray it down with WD-40 and wipe the blade down. Pay particular attention to the damaged areas. The WD-40 will neutralize the ammonia in the Windex and the strippers in the oil will help remove the remaining stain.
If the stain remains, then you'll need to step up to something stronger such as Flitz. I recommend this only as a last resort. Flitz is a powerful chemical product which includes an abrasive - IT CAN AND WILL REMOVE SOME MATERIAL - use it sparingly and only in the areas where the damage remains.
If Flitz doesn't do the job I recommend you return it to either the maker or the owner (whichever you're working for) and let them handle the repair.
On the flip side - you need to figure out what happened to your leather sheath and what it's contaminated with before you go putting that sword back in it.
Mark Henry
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On Wed, 01 Sep 2004 03:24:04 GMT, "carlDOTwest"

I think you should NOT try any remedies yourself. The maker knows how he got the patination in the first place, and may be the only one qualified to restore it. Anything you try may make it that much more difficult to get it corrected.
-- --Pete
http://www.msen.com/~pwmeek /
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On Wed, 01 Sep 2004 03:24:04 GMT, "carlDOTwest"

I'd ask Hrisoulas himself. Although there are plenty of ways to deal with the rust, that's a pattern welded blade and you also need to preserve the etch and patination used to highlight the pattern welding. He uses various etches (acid or alkaline) and may also hot-blue with sodium hydroxide. You may find that you need to refiish the whole blade to do a really good job ! A few more details are in his book "The Pattern Welded Blade", which you ought to have anyway, but you'd want to ask him directly and find out which processes had been used.
(and needless to say, you don;t want to be learning the processes on a customer's blade)
What sort of leather was it ? To suffer rusting this rapidly, I might suspect it was chrome tanned? A blade of this quality deserves a non-corrosive veg tanned leather.
--
Smert' spamionam

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Andy Dingley wrote:

I've emailed him and will be calling him in an hour or so.
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Carl
The bicycle riders use Simichrome Polish (ammonium oleate) to get rust spots off chrome, etc. I use it as a strop treatment for final polish of my carving knives and it's great for that. I've also used it to get rust spots off things like old micrometers and steel rulers. It does a good job of cleaning the rust out from between the steel rulings without changing them in any visible way. Use a soft cloth and you should be able to lift the spots without noticeably effecting the pattern welding. Probably want to rub the whole surface so any slight differences will be invisible. Then make sure you re-oil the surface, since the polish removes all the oil too and leaves the surface primed to rust again.
Jim
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Jim McGill wrote:

Dr. Hrisoulas' suggestion exactly. Simichrome or Mother's. I found Mother's. Worked fine.
Crisis over. Sick feeling gone. Off to work now, time to fix the watches.
Whew.
Pictures of the finished piece (the scabbard) later.
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That's no good! :/ First, the hand grinder then files then sand paper, in that order. ;)

Reading this thread got my feeling sick, you were going to try some of the suggestions... other than the ones that said to get ahold of DrH.

Cool. :)
Alvin in AZ
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snipped-for-privacy@XX.com wrote:

What? You want me to skip the rasp? How else would I re-create the wiggly pattern?
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carlDOTwest wrote:

I would try electrocleaning. It does not remove any metal.
<http://www.metalworking.com/dropbox/_1999_retired_files/E-CLEAN2.TXT <http://www.metalworking.com/dropbox/_1999_retired_files/E-CLEAN.TXT
Given the time constraints, you could just use a battery charger for power (polarity is important) and, if you can't round up all the ingredients for the solution, just try plain washing soda (_not_ baking soda) in water.
Ted
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The same stupid crap happened to me. I had a holster made for my pistol, put the gun in and it rusted. Holster makers should not turnover wet holsters the bastards. The holster is fine now, (twenty years latter) just wet when I picked it up.
Les
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On Wed, 01 Sep 2004 03:24:04 +0000, carlDOTwest wrote:

Was this ordinary or oil cured leather? I seem to remember that only oil cured lether should be used as knife scabbards or for any other use where the leather will come in contact with metal.
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