Getting the clay to stick
You can get the clay to stick to the surface of just about any blade if you coat the blade with borax. heat just enough to make it run and coat the surface. Let the blade cool then apply the clay.I leave the borax coat a little ruff. It helps the clay to stick.
Thanks Fred Rowe! †-† I read your suggestion of using borax while heat treating using clay and i have to say its one of the best tips Iíve ever had the pleasure of benefiting from. I took 5 old practice blades and cleaned them up on the belt sander with 150 grit, I then heated them up and coated with borax and let them cool. Once cool i applied the clay (satanite) and quick dried them in front of the forge, I heated each to non-mag and quenched. I skipped tempering and cleaned them up with the 150 then a couple of passes with some 400 and then into ferric. First of all the clay stuck amazingly well (I clay coat all my forged blades but the clay never clung like this)I'm amazed! After etching I was surprised at how much more hamon definition the blades had. Fred thank you. Great tip - McAhron