April 12, 2009, 11:19 PM
What do recommend for getting a good patina on a high-carbon blade? I have an Old Hickory utility knife that I soaked in coffee this morning. Came out really nice. Any other recommendations?

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April 13, 2009, 12:04 AM
Some folks do vinegar or mustard etches to bring out the grain...but these were usually on forged knives. I seem to recall sm uses Dr. Pepper. Your knife will also get a natural patina on its own with use cutting tomatoes and other acidic foods...

April 13, 2009, 01:22 PM
If you're going to force a patina, the best way to do it is by using the knife on the following:

1 - BBQ Ribs smothered in your favorite BBQ sauce. Cooked slow on a charcoal grill while enjoying a cold beer on a warm summer day.
2 - Slicing apples while watching the sunset or fishing with you dog/kids/grandkids/wife/SO.
3 - Adding a little Wasabi to some grilled chicken.
4 - Preparing Chicago Style or Kraut dogs for watching the game on a lazy Sunday.


April 13, 2009, 02:15 PM
I think I've tried it all, and while purposely rubbing stuff on can give nice patinas, I've noticed that most of it will come off as it is a very thin layer of steel that you've affected. When touching-up the edge after forcing a patina, mine gets rubbed-off when on the leather strop.

Heavy use will give it a nice patina that won't come off like many of the rub-on patinas will. Use that knife every day in the kitchen and don't skimp on the acidic foods. Inside a month, you will have built-up an interesting patina that will stay.

April 13, 2009, 07:18 PM
I've cleaned the blade of all oil and stuck it in a lemon for a few hours with good results. Looks a bit like case hardening.

April 13, 2009, 08:14 PM
Okay, this might sound little odd....or really psychotic, take your pick. I sell my knives to alot of Buckskinners and reenactors. Once a fellow asked me if I would just make him a handle-ready blade, hardened and tempered. He wanted to put his own handle on and patina the blade to give it an old-timey look. I asked him how he was going to patina the blade and he replied "I bury them in straw soaked in horse urine." No, I have never tried his method in case you are curious. Saw the knife two years later with a bear jaw handle and a very nice patina to it!:what:

April 13, 2009, 08:19 PM
I use common clorox bleach, and after apply elbow grease with a steel wool pad.

April 13, 2009, 09:08 PM
Bleach is bad, we want acid. Bleach will make steel brittle if I've heard right.

April 13, 2009, 09:44 PM
Don't tell my axes.....

April 13, 2009, 10:47 PM
sm is the guy who said so, just for the record.

April 14, 2009, 10:14 AM
I wonder? I get a black oxide, and oxide can be hard, but it isn't deep, since in use it will wear.

April 19, 2009, 09:04 AM
On the question of bleach making steel brittle I am ignorant. I do however have a video of Hershel House, a gun-maker, using a trough of boiling bleach and water to patina and age his rifle barrel, lock and hardware. He does take some precautions like sealing the barrel and coating parts of the lock with poly or varnish so that they won't be affected. The bleach does not seem to hurt his rifles in the least and the patina is remarkable.

April 19, 2009, 11:11 AM
i doubt bleach would affect the hardness of the steel. hardness/brittleness relies on carbon content of the steel and heat treatment (which affects the crystalline structure) of the finished blade. a chemical on the outside shouldn't do anything...


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