First Hamon

Shane Wink

Well-Known Member
I decided to try some fireplace cement on some 1095 to see if I could produce a hamon with it. The tube was less than 4 bucks but rated at 2000*. I could see the hardening line at 400 and hand sanded to 1200 etching in a ferric chloride solution several times and on the last etch removed the oxides with 0000 steel wool and soap. I will grab some metal polish in the morning but here is where its at now.

on the next one I need to make it more of a point on the tip end when laying out he cement but I am happy with it so far.

I am open to suggestions on popping it out more and any other points, just incase someone does not know this is a stub tang blade. The rest will be added later.

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Timy

Well-Known Member
Looks fantastic. I have wondered myself if that stuff at Ace Hardware would work. Did a great job sir.
 

Shane Wink

Well-Known Member
It was Quick-crete fireplace mortar less than 4 bucks a caulk tube. I had maybe 1/16th of an inch on each side of the spine and a wash of the mortar on the blade.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Looks good to me Shane. You'll have to play around with the clay to see what works for you. Geometry of the blade plays a role on how thick to put your clay on.

I've gotten much better results with w2 and 1075 than I have with 1095.............though I've gotten some good ones with 1095 too.

I just got done with a dandy of a hamon using no clay at all by carefully controlling my time and temp with my salt bath. Geometry plays a role here too. :D

Rutland brand black furnace cement is what I use for hamon these days. I think 4 bucks would buy you a pint sized tub (which will do a LOT of blades) at most ACE hardware stores. That's where I get mine.
 

Shane Wink

Well-Known Member
Thanks John, The blade is 7/64 with a nice distal taper and .040 @ HT I put it on at about 1/16th thick and a thin wash on the blade. I have some W-2 in the shop that I will be using in short order. This was more of a " I wonder if I can get a Hamon with this caulk" Kinda thing and was happy to see it at 400. Now that I know it will its time to grab the W-2 and take a bit more time laying the clay out.

John do you mind sharing your prefered method to bring the Hamon out?
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
I don't know that I have a preferred method. :D Mine is constantly changing.

Right now what I do the most is sand to 1500 grit and etch heavily in FeCl. 3 times with a hot water rinse in between. Then neutralize with baking soda. I scrub it on with a cotton make up removal pad.

Then I go into the shop and LIGHTLY sand with 2500 grit paper, nice even pulls in one direction, just to get the black oxides off. Then back into the etch for 3 more etches, about 10 seconds each with a hot water rinse in between.

Baking soda scrub. Into the shop for 2500 grit sanding. Etc.

The more times you do this, the more activity will pop out. Sometimes after several etching cycles, I'll switch over to warm vinegar for light etching. When I'm finally happy with the hamon, I'll rub the blade lightly with flitz on a cotton pad just to blend and even everything out.

I'm thinking about switching over to powdered abrasives and giving that a try for final finishing as even lightly polishing with flitz seems to kind of wipe out some of the real fine activity.

Oh....here's a couple of quick pics of a blade I quenched yesterday using no clay whatsoever. Everything you can see in the pics is fine activity in the hamon. :) I believe this kind of activity will require a much more delicate polishing to bring it all out. We shall see.





 

Shane Wink

Well-Known Member
Thanks John for posting that. I have yet to read a method that is the same. I etched in FeCl as well but did not have any at the fire station so when I lightly polished with 2500 paste I must have polished too long as it washed out the activity. Working a 96 hour shift so having to wait to get back to the shop.
 

J. Doyle

Dealer - Purveyor
Yeah, I think it's basically the 'whatever works for you and your methods to get the results you want' sort of thing. There are probably wrong ways......but I doubt there's only one right way.
 

Shane Wink

Well-Known Member
I removed the scratches I found but only had 400grit and metal polish so I decided to see what i could get. 10 sec FeCl then removed the oxides with 0000 steel wool and dawn. Rinse, repeat 5 times.

I played with the white balance a bit and hope it helps with the pics. Once I get home I will sand the tang to match and go back up through the grits for the blade.

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Warren Krywko

Well-Known Member
Another option is to use warmed lemon juice with a few drops of dawn dish soap in it as an enchant. It gives a more traditional polished look rather than the dramatic look. Each method has it's place and it's fans. Instead of soaking in the lemon juice, it is rubbed on with a cotton pad for a few minutes at a time. Warmed vinegar with dish soap can accentuate the ashi lines a bit too.
 
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