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Blackening Steel #15826634 02/23/21
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ironbender Offline OP
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by soaking in black coffee?

I saw this on a video last week. Never seen or heard of this method before.

Anyone here at all familiar with this process?


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
BP-B2

Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15826709 02/23/21
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High carbon you can etch, for stainless it won't work. If I want to dark etch damascus, I boil 1 jar of instant coffee with about a quart of water. Let is soak about 2 hours but you can soak longer if you want. It will come out like this

[Linked Image from i.imgur.com]


"The unknowing leading the unwilling to do the unnecessary"

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Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15826779 02/23/21
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ironbender Offline OP
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That’s gorgeous! Thanks for the reply. The video was making a tomahawk from, iirc, 4140.


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15833400 02/25/21
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Ptarmigan Online Content
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Ferric Chloride works real well to etch. I just procured a bottle of it from Frigid North last week and did some playing with it today. It works good, and fast!

Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15834320 02/25/21
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ironbender Offline OP
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The video I saw, was just turning the tomahawk head black. There was no pattern nor Damascus they were trying to etch, per se. It was just coloring the head.


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
IC-A

Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15834901 02/25/21
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BillyGoatGruff Offline
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It’s the same as using vinegar or lemon juice to force a patina. The acid in the coffee attacks the surface of the steel.

At least that’s my understanding it.

Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15837136 02/25/21
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ironbender Offline OP
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Have you tried it? I’ve only used vinegar for rust removal. (Other than cooking)


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15837554 02/25/21
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BillyGoatGruff Offline
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I have not yet. It’s on my list of things to play around with at some point. Mainly I’ve heard/seen it used to display the pattern on Damascus as demonstrated by that beautiful knife dan308 posted. The high nickel alloys don’t take the color and gives you the contrast. Supposedly the coffee really makes the 1084 or whatever your using dark, even more so than the ferric chloride.

I’ve used vinegar, lemon juice, onions, etc but for my purposes cold blueing works best so far. I’ve made some pretty dark too.

Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15838719 02/26/21
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Boise Offline
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I've had good success with Birchwood Super Blue. The same stuff I use to touch up firearms. It is a solution formulated to do exactly what you seek.

Active ingredient, Selenium Dioxide

Last edited by Boise; 02/26/21.

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Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15838892 02/26/21
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ironbender Offline OP
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Did find a little info here.

https://www.iforgeiron.com/topic/47031-etching-with-coffee/

Think I’ll use the cold blue.


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender
IC-B

Re: Blackening Steel [Re: ironbender] #15843398 Yesterday at 10:53 AM
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ironbender Offline OP
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Originally Posted by ironbender
by soaking in black coffee?

I saw this on a video last week. Never seen or heard of this method before.

Anyone here at all familiar with this process?

Re-found the original vid I referenced and it was Damascus, not bare steel.


If you take the time it takes, it takes less time.
--Pat Parelli

American by birth; Alaskan by choice.
--ironbender

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