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Electro-etching device

Discussion in 'Making Your Mark' started by Hephaestus, Mar 12, 2015.

  1. Hephaestus

    Hephaestus New Member

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    This is my DIY electro-etching device. It uses DC to corrode the steel but also AC to paint the sign black.

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  2. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    Talk to me about this. How would I put a pattern on the blade? For example, if I was making a viking Saex, could I put Odin's raven on either side?
     
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  3. Hephaestus

    Hephaestus New Member

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    Put as much salt into a bit of water as it can't disolve any more. Apply nail enamel on the blade. Have the blade bitten with the crocodile electrode. When the enamel dries, curve your sign on it, drop a few drops of the salty water on the sign and touch the water with the other electrode for a few seconds, until the current "eats" the steel sutisfactorily. Beware though: the electrodes have to be put in the proper way. The current corrodes only in one dirrection. I hope I have helped you. Feel free if you have more questions.
     
  4. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    I'll try that this summer. Would be a cool thing to mark all of my knives with the company logo.
     
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  5. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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  6. Icho-

    Icho- Staff Member

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    I also mad one similar. I love it and the best thing about it is that it doesn't cost much to make. I too use table salt and water mixture. I bought the electrolyte, used it a few times but I don't bother with it anymore.
     
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  7. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    So - just as an idea - if you used a stencil to add a pattern, then etched the rest of the blade to be black, then sharpened the edge again, would this weaken the knife much. How much metal is worn away?
     
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  8. Hephaestus

    Hephaestus New Member

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    Just a metal layer as thin as a hair. Almost like fine sanding it. Wow, this IS a cool idea, dude. Do it, please and upload an image of it, I would like to see it :)
     
  9. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    Need to build a machine first. Interested in building one in trade Hephaestus? I'll make an awesome carved and tooled sheath to the dimensions you want, and you make me a machine.
     
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  10. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    Here's another idea. Why use clear nailpolish. What about coloured. It'll give you a better idea of what your pattern will look like afterwards.
     
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  11. Hephaestus

    Hephaestus New Member

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    Well, actually these days I happen to be using a cute, green nail polish. It certainly makes the knife look a kind of... more appealing :)
     
  12. Hephaestus

    Hephaestus New Member

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    Haha! :) But Daniel my friend, I live in Greece. But thanks for your wonderful offer anyway. Very interesting, indeed. I can help you though build your own one by sending you info on how to make it. For free.
     
  13. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    As much as you wish to etch away. I few thousandth of an inch to upwards of 0.020". I've done this before with a resist ink pen and ferric chloride. Write your name with the resist ink pen and etch the steel in FeCl3. The amount of steel removed is related to many factors, type of steel, concentration of etching solution, temperature and of course time. You'd want to experiment with some controlled conditions if possible so you may repeat the process. The best part is you can pull the blade out of the etching solution and take a look every minute.

    Fun to experiment.

    Dan
     
  14. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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  15. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    So I have figured out how to build an etcher...but the nail polish and any other paint I have used peels off soon after I start etching.

    Suggestions?
     
  16. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Hi Daniel,

    Sounds like too much heat(?) What are you using for the electrolyte?

    I've used the nail polish a dozen times and had no problems. Let it dry well and scratch the polish away where you want to etch. Depending on the supply, typically only about 10 to 20 seconds is needed.

    Dan
     
  17. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    I am using sea salt for the electrolyte. I also tried table salt. About 1 TB sp per cup.

    I have tried two power supplies. The first is four AA batteries. The second is a 5 volt adapter that puts out 1.2 amps.

    I have tried nail polish (two brands), tremclad paint primer, bees wax, and rubber cement. It worked once with the A batteries but the polish peeled off there too. Literally, everything peels away after 10 seconds, no mark left behind.

    Ideas?
     
  18. dancom

    dancom Dust Maker Best Shop Tool

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    Polarity?
    It should certainly make some kind of mark if you have the + going to the knife and the - going to the pad.

    Dan
     
  19. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    It bubbles / fizzes - I'll reverse the polarity right now and try.
     
  20. Daniel Kingsley

    Daniel Kingsley New Member

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    OK Dan. You are right. Fizzes a lot less but it does etch and fast. Christ I hate being wrong but man do I love the results!

    Also noticed it is AC - means it marks, not etches. Need a DC adapter.
     

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