• Brian Dupont
    1
    I was wondering if you folks could help with a problem I'm having. I did a coffee etch on a small knife made from 5160 and got a great dark patina. However, I can't find any advice on the next step. Do I go straight to washing with water, or maybe a baking soda water mixture? And during the wash should I be hitting it lightly with a 0000 steel wool? The problem seems to be that within seconds of removing it from the coffee the drips will flash dry on the surface and create unwanted variation in the finish. This flash drying seems to happen even when pulling the blade out just to check that the etch is even. FYI - I followed all the other Maumasi steps including the type of coffee. The only difference is that I am etching in hot vinegar instead of ferric. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • JH Forgeworks
    5
    I do my initial etch in ferric chloride then into the coffee. I've found that the coffee that's slightly warmer than room temperature gives a better finish than piping hot. Reduces the issues like you're having with it drying quickly. I use nitrile gloves when doing any etching (including coffee) and will just lightly rub the entire blade with a gloved finger every 10 minutes or so for the first 30-40 minutes. After that, I just let it sit for about 4 hours, wiping maybe one more time then rinse in the sink under cold water. Everything has come out pretty uniform without any smearing/drying when doing it that way.
  • Brian Dupont
    1
    Thanks so much. I'll be giving this a try in the next few days. Do you rinse between the ferric and coffee, or straight out of one and right into the other? Also, the first blade I did with the coffee transfered a bad coffee taste to the food I cut with it. I love this as a food safe finish but if everything I cut tastes like shit coffee I'm not sure it's worth it. Have you run into this also?
  • JH Forgeworks
    5
    For monosteel blades I'll do about three cycles of soak for 3 minutes, wipe, resoak. After ferric I'll spray heavily with baking soda water and pat dry (don't wipe, just lightly pat dry) then rinse under the tap and straight into the coffee.

    What instant coffee are you using? After I do the coffee etch, I will thoroughly rinse the blade under the tap again, allow it to dry, then I apply a thin coat of renwax to the blade and hit it lightly with a clean buffer pad (brand new, only ever used for this process. no compound on it ever) This works two fold. 1. it darkens up the finish even further than just the coffee and 2. It adds yet another layer of corrosion resistance. If I don't do this, I'll coat the blade with Tsubaki oil. (like $12 on amazon) which works excellently and is specifically made for protecting carbon chefs knives. Really there shouldn't be any coffee left on the blade to transfer a flavor, just the oxidation caused by the mild caustic nature of the coffee itself.

    I haven't had any issues with flavor transfer doing these methods. Granted, I do minimal food testing on finished blades. Most of that is done before I finish out the knife. But, I also haven't had anyone mention any issues with it. That's not to say they aren't being nice and just not saying anything but, I've got chef's knives in five different countries now and so far, so good haha.
  • Brian Dupont
    1
    Your the f--kin man JH. I'm using Nescafe Dark roast. I think I'll make a cheat sheet with all this info tonight and give it a try over the weekend on 2 paring knives I'm working on. Thank you so much. I'll let you know how it goes.

    BTW, check out my "Custom Hand Lettering" IG (@histor33) if you liked the KnifeTalk graphic I posted to my smithing IG. I did a post for each branch of the service. I see that you are an Army vet and I think you'll dig it. I'm a vet also and joined the Airforce right after 9/11 and served as an F-16 Crew Chief. Thanks for your service brother.
  • JH Forgeworks
    5
    Good stuff man. Hopefully it works for you. The graphic you posted on your IG was sick. Very nice stuff. I'm looking to make a website in the new year and may reach out to you for help on some stuff.

    I joined pre-911. Airborne Infantry. Got out of OSUT in August of 2001. Things got interesting from there. I did 8.5 years. Loved (almost) every minute of it. But my joints wish I'd have joined the air force with you haha.
  • Brian Dupont
    1
    I'd be happy to help however I can, however, I am not a web designer. I built a few in the past and absolutely hated it, haha! I can definitely help with graphics or your logo though. Hit me up if you have questions before you get started.
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