View Full Version : Newbie Hamon Questions???

10-11-2011, 07:26 PM
I started experimenting with a Hamon using 1075/1080 on 1/8 steel. I went to Radio Shack and bought some PCB etchant a diluted it 1 part acid to 3 parts distilled water.

While tempering, I used Satanite for the Hamon.

I put the knife in the acid the first time for 5 minutes and it had a nice finish. I washed it off and wiped it down. It didn't look quite right so I took a scotchbrite pad to it and pretty much removed all the dark finish on the hardened steel and a lot of the grey finish on the softer steel. The hamon was still present though.

So I redunked it for about 2 minutes and this is what I got. I personally like the grey finish on the softer spine, but I'm not all that thrilled about the darker finish on the hardened steel.




My questions are:

Is this finish durable or will it wear off? Are Hamons a good idea for a knife that's used a lot?

Is there something else I should be doing to the finish other than washing it off with water and drying it off?

Any other suggestions will be greatly appreciated! I have several more smaller knives that will be ready for the acid soon unless I change my mind.

10-11-2011, 07:43 PM
Try finishing out the blade by polishing to a finer finish (800 grit or higher) and then re-etch. The higher the finish, the more vibrant the hamon will be. If you take it to say an 800 grit finish and re-etch, you can then buff it with the cloth backing of a worn out belt or extra fine steel wool and lubricant. You can repeat the etching process numerous times and then re-buff each time till you get the desired effect you are looking for.

10-12-2011, 08:03 AM
Some Flitz or Simichrome will lighten up the hardend section.

10-12-2011, 09:54 AM
Thanks guys. I used a 3m gator belt @ 400 grit and then used a Scotchbrite pad on the finish. I'll take it on up to 800 with wet/dry and see what I get and if that doesn't satisfy me, I'll give the Flitz a shot. I'll probably even try 1000 to 1200 on one of the knives just to see what I end up with. Thanks for the tips!

The reason I was concerned about the durability of this type of finish is because after the first etch, it seemed to come off fairly easy with a household Scotchbrite pad. I could see it coming off doing routine chores with the knife!

Is an etched finish and/or Hamon something that will be practical and durable on a knife that is used regularly?

I'm not totally sold on the Hamon and the etched finish and I can certainly do away with it if it's easily scratched or marked up with normal use.

10-12-2011, 11:32 AM
Any finish is going to be damaged under use, even a 400gr satin finish. It's all about how pretty it is when you're finished making it.