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Color-ing Damascus

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by JTknives, Mar 2, 2017.

  1. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    I have a customer that is wanting some Damascus made for a cane topper and he mentioned he saw some Damascus that had A colerized finish on it besides normal black and silver. First thing that comes to my mind is color case hardening but I don't know how Damascus would like that and second he said the Damascus was dipped in a heated liquid. So I'm coming to you guys to see what we can dig up. The finish needs to be durable so just a simple heat oxide would not work becaus he is going to use it. Thanks guys.
  2. 12345678910


    Jul 13, 2009
    Diped in a heated liquid - could be the gold purple you can get from nitre bliuing

    Melt salt peter


    crystals and dip.

    But I've seen crazy reds and other colours in damascus - no idea how
  3. Greenberg Woods

    Greenberg Woods Wood Fanatic and Rosewood Addict

    Dec 27, 2013
    It may have been timascus from Alpha
  4. Lapedog


    Dec 7, 2016
    I've seen some Guardian Tactical knives custom done with "Alabama Blue" Damascus. It is blue damascus as the name suggests. No idea how.
  5. Jrmysell


    May 18, 2014
    Could he have been thinking of timascus and thought it was colored damascus?
  6. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    I saw a place other day where somebody gave info on copper coloring Damascus- seems like he dipped in CuSo4? Something like that, but darn, can't remember where it was now.

    here ya' go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIMlAsDka-c
  7. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    I could probably turn it purple with my super secret parkerizing method 😂
  8. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro

    Sep 10, 2000
    Most of the coloring as I know it has been done with heat. The steels involved can give different colors. Yes, these are very wear sensitive. Timascus is no better for this and with the right metals and smith abilities a resemblance to Timascus is possible. I too would love to read on simplistic ways to color Damascus.
  9. Kevin McGovern

    Kevin McGovern KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 31, 2015
    Do a YouTube search for blade brothers. They do it with a hot salt bath, in either the first or second episode.
  10. coldsteelburns


    Aug 2, 2010
    That's exactly what I thought of when I read the post :D

    I'm pretty sure it's just nitre bluing salts. It's been a while but I watched a bunch of youtube vids on nitre bluing a few years ago and I'm thinking the temp is around 500F or so (at least to get to a blue color), which is a bit hot for a typical carbon steel damascus knife, but just fine stainless damascus (at least I think), as well as anything that is simply decorative. I think you can achieve different colors at different heats with the stuff. :thumbup:

    [HR][/HR]My YT Channel

    ... (It's been a few years since my last upload)
  11. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro

    Sep 10, 2000
    I will have to look for more on that and possibly give it a try. Thanks.
  12. Jonathans


    Jan 9, 2008
    A cane topper could have also been mokume.
  13. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro

    Sep 10, 2000
    Hey , John, I never ask someone to give up the "super secret" ones. i can give you all black except the nickel if you like. After etching do not wipe it or try to clean, just place the part covered in a vert strong solution of baking soda and water and leave overnite.

  14. kuraki

    kuraki Fimbulvetr Knifeworks

    Jun 17, 2016
    Hehe, Frank, that's tongue in cheek. I figured out accidentally that copper contamination in your parkerizing bath will go from a nice deep black to this:


    Blasting and new solution and...

  15. Daniel Fairly Knives

    Daniel Fairly Knives Full Time Knifemaker Moderator Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jan 9, 2011
    Nitre blue (salt bath) and the super rare Baking Lacquer!
  16. JTknives

    JTknives Blade Heat Treating www.jarodtodd.com Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 11, 2006
    If you contaminate ferric chloride with copper it will copper wash damascus.
  17. Frank Niro

    Frank Niro

    Sep 10, 2000
    I forgot about that copper one, probably because on recall it happened when I didn't want it.

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