I have recently started making Damascus using 1084 and 15n20 I have made 6 different knives so far and on a couple of them I have noticed an uneven etch pattern. I can’t figure out why that might be an was hoping for possible solutions. I sand the blades to 800 or 1000 grit, wipe the blade down with acetone and let fully dry. Then I pick the blade up with gloves on and do two 15 minute etch cycles, cleaning with 2000 grit sandpaper an tap water in between etchs. Would appreciate any tips or suggestions. Thanks in advance
Try not wiping them down with acetone. Just hand sand as usual then wipe off with tissue/toilet paper and then straight to etch. Only etch it for about a minute and check it. If it looks good then etch to hearts content.
As already mentioned - keep chemicals away from your steel.
Nothing is cleaner than just sanded, raw steel.
If a piece of steel I plan on etching has been handled some after final sanding, I may take it to the sink and wash it with some highly diluted Simple Green and rinse VERY well. (Don't use dish detergent straight from the bottle as it is way too concentrated and difficult to rinse off)
The idea of putting chemicals on steel I am about to etch just seems like utter nonsense to me. I do not know where that came from.
Thank you both for the information. I will stop using the acetone pre etch from now on see if that’s the only cause of my etching issues.