Faux Damascus look

Discussion in 'Restoration & Razor Making How-To's.....' started by CyiDev, Feb 7, 2012.

  1. So I have been toying with an idea. I sent this off to Seraphim thinking he would have the best chance of making it happen but he suggested I posted it in here to share the information. With the Gold Dollar competition going around I thought of an idea that would replicate how Damascus steel looks. To accomplish this you would need a polished razor that has even surface area and it would need to have the final finishing done to it prior to going any further.

    I play around with PCB's and have designed a few and etched my own boards. I use a Laser printer and print the image in reverse onto glossy magazine pages. The ink is basically a plastic and when you place it onto a metal and heat it & rub it in it sticks to the metal because it is hotter than the paper. Usually a clothes iron can make this happen just fine. The area that is uncovered will be the area that is etched by the liquid solution we are about to dip it in.

    In orders to make the ink stick on a hollowed out blade you would need to heat a cylinder object (copper pipe comes to mind) and use it as an iron. If it doesn't transfer right acetone removes it nicely and it is just as simple to start over.

    PCB etchant works best on copper. With Stainless steel it does not dissolve it as quickly and in turn gives off a patina color. There is a pre-mixed chemical solution available at Radio-Shack and there are also home-brew methods available on the internet. With the right tweaking and design this could easily lead to a finished blade having a fake Damascus look to it.

    Some other things this may be most useful for would be Logos / designs and even 7-day set tagging. Although this may not be the best explanation on how this method works, a little creativity and research could lead to something awesome being done with it.
  2. interesting....

    kinda mad scientist kinda...
  3. Fake Damascus Gold Dollar?!

    The End is near, my friends!
  4. I picked up my laser printer for $65. All you really need is a black ink one. Office Depot was the cheapest at the time. Nothing fancy is required just needs to say laser on it. You can even go cheap and find someone with a toner copier and make your design on a inkjet paper and print it using a toner copier. The paper however needs to be the shiny magazine pages. *** (Magazine pages are ceramic coated so they do not absorb the ink nor do they melt under heat). There is expensive "transfer" papers designed but are totally a waste of $$$

    Also it should be noted any polishing (even with flitz or maas) is going to remove the finish since the patina pattern won't be deep. You can get an deeper looking and more durable patina pattern if you soak it longer, but I wouldnt recomend this unless you completely set the bevel from scratch. Most acids would work but take significantly longer. I find that the stuff from radio-shack takes longer than the muratic acid and hydrogen peroxide (homebrew etchant).
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  5. One more thing that I feel deserves its own post. The rate which the etchant eats copper is going to be much quicker than stainless steel. This is why we get patina on stainless/carbon steel and we get the copper dissolved on pcb boards. The ions that are transferred go much quicker between the copper and acid solution. In less than 10 minutes with solution circulation a hairs thickness of copper can be dissolved where as the steel will take longer. If someone wanted to test this and had a blade they were going to polish in the long run (un refined gold dollar perhaps). They could use a permanent marker and mark a quick pattern to test. Permanent marker will resist the etchant but it lacks the detail and even quality of the toner transfer method.

    Safety: Wear gloves / eye protection.
    Last edited: Feb 7, 2012
  6. mdunn

    mdunn Moderator Emeritus

    This gets me thinking...

    Im grabbing a gold dolla, some salt and a frayed extension cord... Wish me luck!
  7. ok... THAT was funny..... lol...
  8. This sounds awesome. I can't wait to see the results. Good or bad.
  9. Yeah, Ferric Chloride is the PCB etchant from RadioShack. I find it works much more slowly than the muratic acid. Ferric Chloride also needs to be "hazmat disposed of" every couple of uses where as the muratic acid and hydrogen peroxide just needs to be topped off on one or the other to bring it back to its potency.
  10. Uh oh.....he's going to try and re-invent the electric razor!
  11. Anything happened with this? I saw mycarver's GD damascus and was wondering if anyone tried. If they have, chime in. I would love to replicate it!
  12. It's so interesting - I have a background in electronics and used to make my own PCB's and just a few days ago I was thinking why not use the same process to etch logos on blades. It can be a little tricky but you can get professional quality etchings and also consistency across several razors, from a single transparency master.

    the process is something like this :

    - you get your logo printed on transparent film - could use a laser printer, just make sure you buy transparent film that is rated for use in laser printer, or else it'll melt and stick on the drum (!)

    - in a dark room, with just a red safety bulb, spray a coat of the photo sensitive varnish on the blade. Leave it to dry in the dark according to the manufacturer's specs

    - after it's dried, put the film with your logo on top of the varnished blade and expose it to UV light for the amount of time in the varnish manufacturer's specs.

    - "develop" the blade in a water diluted sodium hydroxide solution - all the parts of the varnish that were exposed to the UV will dissolve, leaving only the ones that were protected by the film mask, which will turn black

    - etch your blade in ferric chloride

    The process can be a little tricky - the amount of time under the UV lamp, depending on what lighting you use, and you have to get the correct sodium hydroxide concentration - too much and will wipe everything clean, too little and it won't work.

    Of course you could always draw on top of the steel with a permanent marker and then use ferric chloride (how many PCB's used to be done in the old days, before the miniaturization that came later) - the advantage of this method is that anything you can print will be transferred with the same detail onto your metal blade, and also the repeatability of it.
  13. FeCl etching is common, I use it in various dilutions for different steels. A cheap way is to get a vinyl sticker in th logo you want and apply it to the blade and spray paint over it. Remove the sticker and you have a mask. Several coats of paint work best.

  14. Any examples? Pics please :innocent:
  15. Krodor

    Krodor Contributor

    At the risk of sounding pompous, I still like my see-through GD's...the second one is still in my rotation, shaves beautifully. Just salt, vinegar, tons of fingernail polish, and a DC powersupply :)

    Last edited: Sep 6, 2012
  16. I thought you were etching it and not going through it. Looks cool though
  17. Krodor

    Krodor Contributor

    Ha! Yeah, I know. I just like to pull out my grotesquerie every now and then for gruesome shock value. Laugh all you want, if it made you smile, it did its job. All these other beautiful pics, someone's gotta be holding up the low end every now and then. :lol:

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