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Old 26th July 2008, 02:16 PM   #1
Lew
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Default Albanian Jambiya/Khanjar Wootz?

Just arrived the other day a large horn hilted Albanian jambiya. I sanded down the blade with 600and 1000 grit sand paper and etched it. The blade turned black instead of the normal grey but I don't know if I see any real pattern? So this is probably not wootz?

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Old 26th July 2008, 05:00 PM   #2
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sand it again cut your solution to a 1/2 to 1/4. I assume you are using ferric chloride. It still may not show pattern but your concentrate is to heay right now
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Old 26th July 2008, 06:42 PM   #3
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Ward

I sanded it again and used a weaker solution and I am definately seeing a wootz pattern starting to appear it shows swirls but seems low contrast it will need more coaxing.

Thanks

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Old 26th July 2008, 07:12 PM   #4
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You always better off starting with a lower concentrate and just repeating coats over and over again
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Old 26th July 2008, 08:27 PM   #5
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Here is a better pic you can see the pattern but it's not high contrast.
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Old 26th July 2008, 09:03 PM   #6
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Another nice find Lew,
How are you etching it, dipping or painting on?
Would switching to citric acid now make any difference?
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Old 26th July 2008, 09:24 PM   #7
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Atlantia

I'm painting it on and I don't know if citric acid will do a good job on it?

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Old 26th July 2008, 09:47 PM   #8
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if I may suggest more sanding got down to 2500 also still half your conentrate will take longer but will come out. you need to get rid of some pitting slow and sure. I think you should be able to get a decent pattern out of it. slow and sure. citric is not going to cut it on this tyoe of damascus. light etches neutralizing in between. you can use warm vinigar as last step
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Old 26th July 2008, 10:48 PM   #9
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I'm intrigued, I've never used ferric chloride.
I've always bathed as well, does it need to be mixed with a carrier to keep it on the blade? If not how do you stop it being patchy?
I like citric, mostly because its good and slow and idiot proof (an important factor for me! lol)
Which reminds me, Albanian? Wootz?
Have you guys mapped the geographical use of wootz? I wouldn't have even thought to check this dagger even though its a jambiya.

Cant wait to see the results on it!!

gene

P.S. I realise the blade must be a trade item.

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Old 27th July 2008, 12:43 AM   #10
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ferric chloride,ferric sulphate,sulpuratic acid,muratic acid, photographic fixer,whosteerchester sauce,pinnaple,lime,lemon and various vinegars are common to use.Some are salts some are acids I would strongly suggest you learn something about chemistry before using these. Some of these are extremly toxic and need to be greatly diluted to work properly. You can also trash the piece very quickly
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Old 27th July 2008, 03:45 PM   #11
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I would love to see a thread just on etching. I know the topic is often discussed and most people know the basics, but many questions remain.

Already asked in this thread: How do you keep a thin etchant painted on from being patchy?

When working with vinegar, I just put the whole blade in a PVC tube and let it sit. How does painting it on work in practice?

With ferric chloride, many times the blade turns out kind of greenish, and woots experts say this is not a good color, but on the blade in this thread, the colors look like a traditional blend of grays. Is this a factor of the steel or the technique?

I also have allot of uncertainty about how much to clean something after an etch. With some things it is obvious, but with others, if I even just wipe them with a backing soda soaked paper towel, most of the patterns disappear. If I do my usual cleanup with a 4000 grit paper, I am left with only the hardened edges showing.


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Old 27th July 2008, 04:28 PM   #12
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Question A Manual For Destruction ?

Hi Josh,
I'm not so sure this is a great idea .
I would be very concerned for the antique blades that might be ruined by over zealous, inexperienced new collectors .

Many of the chemicals can be dangerous beasts without perfect blade preparation and extreme care in application and follow up .

Then there's toxicity .
Add to that our vast amount of Lurkers who may go off half cocked and ruin a valuable piece of history .

I feel a bit of trepidation in providing such a manual .

I suppose some would say; " I bought it it's mine to do whatever I please with."
Really though, we don't own these pieces of history; we are the temporary custodians who have a responsibility preserve these weapons for future generations .
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Old 27th July 2008, 05:03 PM   #13
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Yes a lot of these etching chemicals can cause death or a trip to the emergency room if used improperly. It takes a lot of practice and experimenting to do it correctly and you will trash some pieces.
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Old 27th July 2008, 07:04 PM   #14
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Care must be taken for sure. Only the mildest of etching is really 'safe'. However, I don't think we need worry that this is likely to lead to wholesale destruction of good pieces. Who would be daft enough to practice on antiques first?
There's a million old tools and 50+ year old rusty carving knives at every car boot sale to destroy perfecting your art. Besides, there's no need to jump in at the deep end when good results can be obtained (to begin with) with nothing more dangerous than cooking ingredients.

We are here to share information and knowledge aren't we?
I'm happy to share any tricks and tips I've picked up over the years, if there is a concern about lurkers, then I suggest (respectfully) that a section of the board is designated 'members only'.

Obviously there is a commercial element to sharing 'valuable' restoration information, but that applies to sharing the knowledge of research and identification too. I can understand not wanting to share it with casual passers-by/lurkers who don't at least try and contribute to this community. But registered members can ask if they are unsure and obviously all weapon ownership is at the owners risk be it sharpening, handling, restoring or whatever.
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Old 27th July 2008, 07:43 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick
Really though, we don't own these pieces of history; we are the temporary custodians who have a responsibility preserve these weapons for future generations .


Yes Rick, I fully agree with you.

On the other hand Josh and Atlantia do have a point.
Quote:
Originally Posted by josh stout
I would love to see a thread just on etching. I know the topic is often discussed and most people know the basics, but many questions remain.


Shouldn't we better answer the remaining questions? That would be at least an attempt to avoid seriously damage to historical pieces.
Better tell the dangers about toxicity and the risk of destroying a marvelous piece when you use the etching materials wrong.

As Atlantia said, better explain clearly how to etch with vinegar. Describe the process.

I know from experience that there are a lot of knitwits who think they just can do those things in an attempt to make their merchandise more valuable. For example those who use a grinder to clean a blade. I wouldn't like to feed those who think they can etch.
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Old 27th July 2008, 08:27 PM   #16
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Hand sand the piece starting with 400 grit down to 1500 to 4000 grit.Do not destroy the contours of the piece the finer the polish the better the etch. clean the piece some use windex others alcohol others soap and water cleaning the soap off completly. use a clean brush with running water nearby. pick the acid or salt you are going to use. Mild ones include vinegar,ketchup,worteshire sauce,urine,alum,soy sauce anything with a acid base or salt base add a touch of soap to it. warm the solution and paint it on the piece using long strokes continuously. Rinse the piece under running water ever few minutes. After completing the pattern to the point you wish completly rinse all solution off. Many use a baking soda mix to neutralize. waxing will protect the piece
WARNINGS- these solutions will also eat and destroy silver copper brass cloth any wood finishes,cloth leather.
Some of these will burn your skin badly especially strong vinigar and will stain clothing.

I really am not comfortable in discussing how to use more potent acids to easy to screw up and do serious damage to yourself and the piece.

Ferric Chloride should be diluted down to the color of urine or lighter.

This is one method among others including immersion and heat etching
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Old 27th July 2008, 08:39 PM   #17
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When using stronger chemicals, has anyone tried using 'wallpaper paste' or something else to jellify the mixture to provide a thick coat?
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Old 27th July 2008, 11:22 PM   #18
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Hi,
Slightly off topic but relevant I think. I, at one point in time, used a particular widely available alkali solution mixed with wallpaper paste to strip paint from wood. Taking all the necessary precautions still did not prevent a very small amount getting on my wrist, the first I knew of the problem was a slight irritation and itching sensation on my skin. Upon investigating I was horrified to see that the chemical mix had literally dissolved my flesh leaving a 1/2 inch diameter hole right down to the bone. I had used this method of paint stripping successfully on a large number of occasions before but ,understandably, not since! I think that members who are a bit reticent about discussing the use of dangerous chemicals have a very valid concern about the safety of fellow members and also those who browse the Forum without joining. Perhaps on this occasion P.M.'s would be more appropriate for those who wish to pursue experimentation with a more toxic and corrosive range of chemicals.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 28th July 2008, 03:45 AM   #19
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OH COME ON! I think you folks worry too much. Why I bath in my acids all the time......hey.....where did my hand go.........
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Old 28th July 2008, 10:50 PM   #20
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Dear Battara,
First may I offer my sincere condolences regarding your loss i.e. your hand. May I humbly suggest that your proclivity for bathing in noxious and corrosive substances will ultimately diminish your other appendages to such a degree that much of their intended use will be much compromised and as such will negate, to you, their useful, nay pleasurable, company. On the other hand this will make your recent loss less of a burden as without one the other, under most circumstances, becomes redundant anyway.
My Regards,
Norman.
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Old 28th July 2008, 11:01 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Norman McCormick
Hi,
Slightly off topic but relevant I think. I, at one point in time, used a particular widely available alkali solution mixed with wallpaper paste to strip paint from wood. Taking all the necessary precautions still did not prevent a very small amount getting on my wrist, the first I knew of the problem was a slight irritation and itching sensation on my skin. Upon investigating I was horrified to see that the chemical mix had literally dissolved my flesh leaving a 1/2 inch diameter hole right down to the bone. I had used this method of paint stripping successfully on a large number of occasions before but ,understandably, not since! I think that members who are a bit reticent about discussing the use of dangerous chemicals have a very valid concern about the safety of fellow members and also those who browse the Forum without joining. Perhaps on this occasion P.M.'s would be more appropriate for those who wish to pursue experimentation with a more toxic and corrosive range of chemicals.
My Regards,
Norman.


Wow Norman!
Too high a concentrate of caustic soda!
I can sympathise, I've burned myself several times with it, although not on the same scale at all!!
I'm horrified that it burned you so badly, you must have been totally wrapped in the job to not realise until it was too late?
Hope it healed ok?


Has anyone tried jellified carriers for etching solutions?
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Old 28th July 2008, 11:34 PM   #22
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Try a drop of soap in the solution instead (prevents beading) .














I still haven't changed my opinion on an etch thread .
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