Originally Posted by Hombre
... Sounds like a good advice Detlef, to polish the blade and give it an etch with vinegar but shall I do that myself…. I do not think so…. My thumb is in the middle of my hand so to speak….
I want it to be properly done by someone who know what he is doing because I do not want to destroy anything….
Stefan, fortunately you can do no real harm cleaning and polishing the blade, and then etching it with a weak acid. Vinegar will give you a superficial etch, and if you don't like the result you can simply repolish the blade and the etch will come off easily--just don't etch to the point that significant metal is removed. You will see a pattern long before you have done any lasting damage to the blade.
The hard part is the cleaning and polishing which will take some time and can be rather tedious. I don't use any sandpaper that is coarser than a 200 grit, and then move on to 400 and 600, and even 1200, for the polish. Polishing and etching is easy and you should have no problems. You may need to try something stronger than vinegar, in which case I would suggest trying ferric chloride. Start with a dilute solution, say 10% in distilled water, and don't go any stronger than 20% until you have a feel for it. Use cold solutions initially as this gives a slower reaction and you have more time to assess what is happening. Later you can try warm solutions or preheating the blade in hot water--this accelerates the process.
Once you have achieved the desired etch you need to neutralize the acid with a solution of bicarbonate of soda. Some people apply a paste of sodium bicarbonate, although this can smudge the etch. Rinse thoroughly, allow to dry and then apply a light oil.
My early attempts were a matter of trial and error (and still are sometimes). You will find very helpful suggestions about etching blades on the Forum pages if you do a simple search.