View Full Version : Hamon line

11-07-2009, 08:22 AM
I heard about using lemon juice to bring out the hamon line. Trying to see if there is ay truth to that. Or what would be better i cannot find any furic acid

11-07-2009, 08:45 AM
If you would, please fill out your profile and let everyone know where you are from. One of the other dogs may be able to give you some guidance on a local supplier for furic acid. As for the lemon juice, we'll have to wait on the experts to answer that one.

Bailey Knives
11-07-2009, 09:09 AM
Lemon juice will work as will vinegar (warmed up) I would be careful with the vinegar, I have used it before, and if you are not paying attention, little bubbles form on the blade and give a polka-dotted etch. I am guessing it is not the look you are going for. With vinegar, just move the knife in the vinegar every few minutes to prevent bubbles from forming on the blade. Ferric is your best bet if you can find it. Radio shack still has some in a pcb etching kit, but it is kind of expensive to buy the whole kit for the little bottle of ferric. I think it is like $20, and you get a fairly small bottle of ferric, which is ok, because you should dilute the ferric about 20:1, and I have heard some people say as much as 50:1. Hope this helps.

11-07-2009, 09:47 AM
thanks for the help. i will update my profile with more info later and some pics. if i use lemon juice does it need to be warm and how long does the blade need to soak

11-07-2009, 10:50 AM
You can buy it by the gallon too. :D http://shop.willyselectronics.com/browse.cfm/4,7752.html

Mike Barton
11-07-2009, 01:53 PM
You can buy it by the gallon too. :D http://shop.willyselectronics.com/browse.cfm/4,7752.html

Looks like your regular supplier..thanks ;)

What ratio do you use to dilute it?

Rusty McDonald
11-07-2009, 02:06 PM
4:1 Is what I use, some use 3:1 but I find it too strong.

That being 4 parts distilled water 1 part ferric chloride

Josh Dabney
11-07-2009, 02:55 PM
Just FYI guys,

I got a bottle of PBC Etchant at radio shack about a month ago for $9.95. I had heard a few people say they thought you couldn't get it at RS anymore but they had it where I went.


11-07-2009, 07:17 PM
I never really know what ratio I do -- probably about 15-1 or so.

11-07-2009, 08:46 PM
Vinegar is my preferred etchant for bringing out a hamon. You HAVE to add a few drops of dish detergent to help break the surface tension and get an even etch. It will pretty much eliminate the bubble issue mentioned (IME anyway :) ).

For damascus I use Ferric, in a 4:1 or 5:1 mix with distilled water.

I think you can get a similar hamon etch with ferric, but there's no room for error since it's so much more aggressive. And with vinegar it really brings out the subtle nuances of the hamon... but the oxide removal process is, of course, very important as well.

Bailey Knives
11-08-2009, 01:09 PM
Well, now I want to try vinegar with the dish detergent, I didn't know that. Those stupid bubbles really drove me nuts the first few times. I am guessing that vinegar does not turn the sink orange either. I guess I dilute my ferric more than most people here. It seems to work pretty well for me. I think I did 20:1 when I mixed it up. It has been a while.

11-08-2009, 05:54 PM
Try not to use your sink! I use tupperware cereal holder-thingy for my FC.

Bailey Knives
11-08-2009, 06:11 PM
Yeah, I use one of those too, Not quite the cereal holder size, but a tupperware container, but just rinsing them off after pulling them out of the ferric turns the old sink orange. It is kind of my sink anyways, someday we will replace it, but not any time soon. When we do, I will have to find a new place to etch.

11-12-2009, 02:07 PM
I tried lemon juice and it does work very well. I played around with and found that if i use electrical tape i can create desighns in the steel.

Sean Cochran
11-12-2009, 02:30 PM
Try not to use your sink! I use tupperware cereal holder-thingy for my FC.

I used the sink once, the wife saw it, and I was to say the least in bad situation. I put together a PVC tube like the one Ed Caffrey has in his videos, it is about 24" long by 4" diameter, capped on one end with a threaded cap on the other. I have one for FC and one for TSP. By wrapping it with a heating pad I can control the temp of the echant, this setup works perfect. BTW I mix FC with distilled water at 4:1.