Etching Damascus Blades
What is Etching Damascus Blades?
Etching Damascus is a fairly straight forward process that can enhance the appearance of a Damascus blade. It is done by submerging the blade in an acid.
What products are often used?
Muriatic Acid, Ferric Chloride, Radio Shack PCB Etchant (Computer board etching solution) and I have heard even Coke a Cola.
How is it done?
Any of the above should damascus steel eventually. How much and how fast is a matter of strength of the solution, the type of steel being etched and timing.
Everyone has a slightly different dilution, timing and technique. The main things are a “pretty dilute solution” and “multiple, short immersions”. Wash the black oxide off between immersions and brush lightly with the grain of the blade a non-abrasive Scotch Brite, 0000 Steel Wool or 800 grit paper.
Dilution should be accomplished with distilled water to keep it uncontaminated with water minerals. The bottom line is that this is not an exact science but that it’s a matter of experimentation and trial and error for best results. There are many safety issues with working with any acid that we have not covered. be sure to fully research this subject before starting this process. See Disclaimer below and follow the link for full disclaimer.