Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Temper Temper

I've just learned that it is hard to take pictures of hamons (or temper lines). When they do show up on my knives they are usually pretty hard to see, but this one jumped out at me when I was still down at 120 grit. The blade is made of an old file, so is probably W1 or W2, which are supposed to make pretty nice hamons. It seems to be true in this case at least.

The pictures are a little out of focus, but at least the lines are visible. They did fade for a while at around 800 grit, and then disappeared when I ran the fine polish buffing wheel on the blade. The lines didn't show up again with 1000, 1500 grit or flitz polish, but I remembered reading something about dipping in acid to bring it out. I tried it, and surprisingly out it popped.

I like the lines, they add some interest to an otherwise simple blade. I guess I'll have to try harder to get them to pop out.

Just thought I'd like to share.



Linz said...

and thank you for sharing! ya learn something new every day! :)

Guinea Hog Forge said...


You can accent your hamon by etching the blade in a ferric chloride solution. Polish the blade first( I useually go to 1000 grit but 800 does well also) the hamon may appear to disapear. Etch the blade and then clean it with windex with amonia. The windex will stop the corrosive action of the FC. For a light matt finish polish the black off the blade with a white scotchbrite and windex or for a finer finish go back to the highest grit you polished with and go as high as you wish. You can get dried FC on ebay(no hazmat fee). I cut mine to about a three water to one FC concentration.

We have recently discovered that photoing the blades outside in natural light really helps to show off the hamon.

If you have more questions about any of this contact me at