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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anyone out there antiqued their blades to give them a "period" look?
Never gave the idea much thought, since I use mostly stainless steel blades, until I made that Green River blade that I talk about here under an earlier post. I figured I'd just let the blade "antique" itself as all carbon blades eventually do; and after gutting, skinning and butchering out 6 rabbits, 4/5 squirrels, chopping up a couple of bushels apples, plus various vegetables around the kitchen, it was starting to develop a little character on it's own. By the way, I STILL haven't had to re-sharpen that blade after doing all that; that's some seriously amazing steel! However, I was flopping around one of the forums, and a couple of guys were talking about the great results they get using mustard. So I said what the heck(or words to that effect), and after getting all the wax off the Green River Blade(ammonia) I broke out my bottle of Jalapeno Mustard and spread some on the blade. Then I realized I was hungry and made lunch. I'd stuck the mustard coated blade under the goose necked lamp I keep on my workbench both for light and as a heat source for glues etc, and after lunch(about a half hour) I removed it(the mustard had dried hard) and stuck it under the faucet to wash it off. Lo an behold under the mustard was a blade covered with reds, blues, purple and gold; kinda like color caseharding but less intense. Instantly reminded me of some adds I'd seen for repro colonial knives where the blades were the same color,but the adds refered to the colors as "fire forged". My Butt. Never could figure out how they got that color and still ended up with a hard blade. Suspect I now know...They were mustardized! In the past I'd messed around sorta with browning solution(turned the blade brown..Duh)and onion(turned the blade a kinda blotchy black) and heard of using canned tomatoes, chlorox, prussic acid(sp) and God knows what else. Anyone else tried mustard or something else and gotten such interesting results?
 

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Hey joel, haven't talked to you in a while... :) Yes as a matter of fact, antiquing blades is easier than you think. Birchwood Casey makes a Plumb Brown finish that is great for knives, tools muzzle loaders. My oldest daughter is into French Indian period re-encting, and for her HS graduation, I made a knife with a bear jaw for a handle, and browned the carbon blade for a great look, and then coated it with linseed ol to finish it.
I know what you mean, though, waiting for a carbon blade to get a patina drives me nuts, I'd rather brown it.
:D
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Yeah, I used the Casey's on a primitive style knife I made for my girlfriend out of a file/curly maple(she's big into Native American
culture). Blade came out nice; however I'm kinda liking this mustard stuff. After I posted yesterday, I went back and re-mustardized the blade; this time wrapping it in cling wrap to keep the stuff from drying out. Waited about 5 hours and rinsed it off. The blade's now a sort of gray with erratic black streaks and those "forge" colors kind of underneath that. Like I'd said earlier, the colors aren't really intense, in fact you really can't see them until you hold the blade in direct sunlight. Looks really neat. Maybe next time I'll try some Grey Poupon; should get something classy.
 

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LOL! :) What about controlled rusting, say with topsoil, and water, rinsing and steel wooling the blade on a regular basis, until you get what you want? You could control acidity and such by replacing water with lemon juice, or add baking soda, until you have a "recipe"...
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

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:-D :-D :-D No, I meant indoors, say with African potting soil in a tub or something. You would have to keep it away from the midnight adventures of the cat, or you will be using him as part of the process, if you get a result you like! :D
 
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