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Old 15th February 2021, 08:22 PM   #12
A. G. Maisey
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 5,774

Mickey, there has been more than little discussion in the pages of this Forum about blade staining. My own experience is that any mildly acid substance will clean a ferric material, and usually leave some sort of stain.

The effect of laboratory quality white arsenic, when correctly applied is probably as good as can be achieved. The result from native arsenic varies considerably from excellent to totally useless.

For a quick stain on a previously stained blade, white household vinegar works pretty well, or least it lets you see the pamor pattern and to a degree, read the iron.

The method that Jaga used is mentioned in an old colonial era book, I tried it a few times more than 60 years ago, and each time I used it the result was not too bad. I have never used it on a new, previously unstained blade, but I suspect it would not prove to be as satisfactory on a previously unstained blade as it is on a blade that already has traces of arsenic from previous stainings adhering to it.
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