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Normal Topic Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists (Read 5344 times)
Swodem
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Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Jun 8th, 2012 at 8:19pm
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I have thing at the moment for old knives.
Have bought a few off ebay lately, one is an old Shapleighs butchers knife.
Quite cool but blade quite rusty.
I want to restore it myself back to cleaned metal but retaining its aged look.
It has had a quick 5 min soak in Tergo, and a light rub down with fine steel wool just to remove the surface rust, and thats done a great job retaining the old grey (patina?) metal, but remaining are the ugly raised patches of corrosion/rust areas.
How can I remove the rust back to the clean metal (I accept it will be pits instead of rust lumps), so its cleaned of rust (but not shiny likes its been rubbed to new metal)

Soak for longer in Tergo?? Bore solvent?

Also don't want to damage the wood of course.

These are the pics of the actual knife from the ebay website the seller had up


  
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scoped
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #1 - Jun 8th, 2012 at 9:05pm
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Wet and dry sand paper maybe 320 or 400 grit wiyh some water and stiff sanding block so you dont round off any sharp edges
  

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Swodem
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #2 - Jun 8th, 2012 at 9:12pm
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Thanks Scoped but that wont get the corrosion out of the pits its created, and will leave bright areas of clean new sanded-back metal which isnt what I want

I am looking for some kind of chemical removal only of the corroded steel
  
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #3 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 9:00am
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Mr Swodem, the patina on those old blades are formed by exposure to acidic foods over time. I have successfully forced a patina on new carbon steel which have a similar look in the end as that in your picture. If you want a grayish look all over, you could try soaking it in lemon juice or vinegar. I like a more uneven patina (darker and lighter areas), so I take mustard (cheap, unseeded) and put blotches on the steel - let it sit there for an hour or so and wash it off - repeat until you have the desired look.

To take the higher spots of corrosion off, I can only recommend a manual method of very fine sand paper and steel wool. To try a chemical method may take the whole patina off anyway - a patina is a metal oxide on the surface, similar to the corrosion oxides sitting on there.

So after scrubbing off the corrosion, re-patina the spots with mustard. Unfortunately there is no real way of knowing how the steel will react if we do not know the exact composition to test it on another piece.
  
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Swodem
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #4 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 9:09am
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Thanks Ludwig
Trust all is good with you way down in snowy S.I.
Have you had a go with Electrolysis? Been googling it and a simple setup is easy and seems effective, I am trying NOT to sand/polish other than say fine steel wool

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/andyspatch/rust.htm

But likely to lose the patina huh?
  
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #5 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 9:56am
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hi i would use a vinegar bath and soak over night in a warmish area this should remove the rust it may turn the whole blade a grey color . i would then use a mustard to reapply a patina
cheers john
  
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Swodem
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #6 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 10:28am
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Gents
Does the Vinegar affect the wooden handle?
Do I neutralise in warm soapy water afterwards?
What dilution on the (white?) vinegar bath?
  
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #7 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 1:26pm
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Here's an ANZA knife made from a Wilkinson file. It rusted from blood and being wet for a week or so, so I cleaned it up with 800 sandpaper and cold blued it. Used an old Parkerhale blueing solution.

  

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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #8 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 4:03pm
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Luckily not too cold here! I haven't tried electrolysis, will take a look at the link you sent.

I would stand the blade in a long glass or something so that the vinegar does not reach the wood, afterwards just rinse it or neutralise with baking soda. The vinegar will likely soften and dissolve some of the rust which can then be taken off by steel wool. Unfortunately, the chemical process of removing rust by products will induce more corrosion, so some scrubbing may have to be done.
Touch up the authentic look with mustard treatment.
  
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Swodem
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #9 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 5:22pm
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OK, heading down the electrolysis route...mainly because I can't overdo it, or cause any additional erosion

wish me luck  Wink

  
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Swodem
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #10 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 5:25pm
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BC wrote on Jun 9th, 2012 at 1:26pm:
Here's an ANZA knife made from a Wilkinson file....


Thats a nice knife BC

Very cool to be made from another item, and retain some of the original style from it
  
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #11 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 6:28pm
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Looks like a good set-up. Looking forward to you showing us the restored knife when finished.
  
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Swodem
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #12 - Jun 9th, 2012 at 9:24pm
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tell ya tomorrow  Wink
  
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Swodem
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #13 - Jun 10th, 2012 at 12:05pm
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Well it worked perfectly, exactly as hoped...metal colour and patina retained.
Pulled it out this morning, Light rub with fine steel wool and a quick Inox to stop any immediate surface rust (happens fast from atmospheric moisture after this process apparently), put a quick edge on with the mighty EdgePro...and voila!





Some warnings though to anyone else who's gonna give this a try

1. Do not do it on stainless steel knives, produces noxious and poisonous waste water
2. do in a well ventilated area, as process produces dangerous Hydrogen (highly flammable) gas which is lighter than air (think ceilings....lights.....booom!!!)

real easy and cheap though!!!

Think I am off to a few antique shops this week....
  
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Re: Question for Knifemakers/metal specialists
Reply #14 - Jun 10th, 2012 at 2:47pm
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It came out really good. You turned out to be quite a restorer!
  
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