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#4570716 - 11/06/10 Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina"
The_Real_Hawkeye Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 70619
Loc: Northern Florida
Do any of you carbon steel knife owners ever "force patina" any of your blades? I just did to one of my tool steel Case knives. This one dates back to 1974. I used several acidic applications, i.e., onion and lemon juice, and a ketchup/mustard mixture to achieve a sort of color case hardening effect.

It was given to me (because I admired it) by a friend who had recently inherited it from his grandfather. We were kids at the time. At the time, it already had a nice iridescent, deep blue, naturally acquired patina, but back then I thought a blade with a patina was just a blade that needed a good polishing, and did so as soon as I got it home, bringing it back (after lots of elbow grease) to looking brand/shiny new. Kept it that way for years with careful applications of oil after every use.

When I realized many years later how highly prized such natural patinas are on carbon steel blades, I made an effort at restoring it using a "forced patina" process. Not quite as nice as the natural one that was on it when I first acquired it, but still nice I think. Vinegar works well, too, I hear.



PS I've since offered to give it back to my friend, assuming he didn't quite understand at the time the significance of owning his grandfather's pocket knife, but he refuses to take it back, insisting a gift is a gift.
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"The Federal Reserve is one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. It has impoverished the people of the United States through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it." -- Congressman McFadden, 1932

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#4570806 - 11/06/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: The_Real_Hawkeye]
Romey Offline
Member

Registered: 04/07/10
Posts: 95
Loc: MT
Mustard can make some interesting patina
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Romey

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#4571027 - 11/06/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: The_Real_Hawkeye]
Walker Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 09/22/03
Posts: 3523
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: The_Real_Hawkeye
I used several acidic applications, i.e., onion and lemon juice, and a ketchup/mustard mixture to achieve a sort of color case hardening effect.

I get that effect using mustard only, by purposely applying it unevenly. Looks great.

If I just want an even layer of patina, soaking the blade in a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water seems to work pretty well. (Be sure to remove any oils, fingerprints, etc. from the blade, beforehand.)

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#4571262 - 11/06/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: Walker]
The_Real_Hawkeye Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 06/12/02
Posts: 70619
Loc: Northern Florida
Originally Posted By: Walker
Originally Posted By: The_Real_Hawkeye
I used several acidic applications, i.e., onion and lemon juice, and a ketchup/mustard mixture to achieve a sort of color case hardening effect.

I get that effect using mustard only, by purposely applying it unevenly. Looks great.

If I just want an even layer of patina, soaking the blade in a 50/50 mixture of vinegar and water seems to work pretty well. (Be sure to remove any oils, fingerprints, etc. from the blade, beforehand.)
You can get an irregular pattern with vinegar, I hear, by soaking a paper towel in it and wrapping the blade with the paper towel.
_________________________
"The Federal Reserve is one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. It has impoverished the people of the United States through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures who control it." -- Congressman McFadden, 1932

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#4575028 - 11/07/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: The_Real_Hawkeye]
MOGC Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 03/15/05
Posts: 4998
I've used lemon juice and it worked quite well.
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"Doing the right thing isn't always easy, but it's always RIGHT!"

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#4576128 - 11/08/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: MOGC]
LouisB Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 12/17/07
Posts: 1686
Loc: That side of the mississippsi
Rub down with fine abrasive of some kind, wash, degrease, liberal application of prepared mustard overnight, rinse off.


Edited by LouisB (11/08/10)
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. . . And of course we all know about opinions

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#4578957 - 11/09/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: LouisB]
Droptine Offline
Campfire Ranger

Registered: 02/20/03
Posts: 2228
Loc: The Republic of Texas
Ferric Chloride will force a patina on straight carbon steel pretty quickly, like in a few minutes. That's what I use to etch damascus blades. 50/50 mix with distilled water.

DT
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#4579804 - 11/09/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: Droptine]
VAnimrod Offline
Campfire Oracle

Registered: 04/21/04
Posts: 61130
Loc: gone
The search engine is your friend, as I put up a thread on this within the last year...
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#4581799 - 11/10/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: VAnimrod]
nighthawk Offline
Campfire Outfitter

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 8048
Loc: NE South Dakota
I did a Green River style knife to go with muzzle loader kit. The article I followed recommended citric acid (Fruit Fresh - grocery store)which is pretty much the same as using lemon juice. Not quite right but came out close.

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#4582370 - 11/10/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: nighthawk]
CraigCollier Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 691
Loc: Illinois
These are 3 Forgecraft butcher knives of my mother's that are fairly old. I refinished the original handles and after cleaning the blades back to shiny, decided a patina would suit them better.

Did this with several applications of mustard and vinegar, vinegar soaked paper towels, brushed on mustard, etc.

Works great!
_________________________
Craig R. Collier
~Grizzly Custom Knives~

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#4582829 - 11/10/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: CraigCollier]
Walker Offline
Campfire Guide

Registered: 09/22/03
Posts: 3523
Loc: Wisconsin
Originally Posted By: CraigCollier
These are 3 Forgecraft butcher knives of my mother's that are fairly old. I refinished the original handles and after cleaning the blades back to shiny, decided a patina would suit them better.

Looking good at both ends, Craig. Nice job!

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#4582995 - 11/10/10 Re: Carbon Steel Blades: "Forcing A Patina" [Re: Walker]
CraigCollier Offline
Campfire Regular

Registered: 10/15/09
Posts: 691
Loc: Illinois
Thank you sir. I think I successfully rekindled the life in these old knives and I hope they last me for the 40-50 years they lasted my mom and grandma.
_________________________
Craig R. Collier
~Grizzly Custom Knives~

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