Tuesday, August 20, 2013

BC1 - ETCHING

BC1 - ETCHING

I plan on electro-etch some small text into the blade on both sides. Etching is accomplished by connecting a DC power supply's anode (positive lead) to the knife and using an electrolyte, namely salt water on a Q-Tip connected to the cathode (negative lead).  Current flows through the electrolyte and removes metal from the blade. Metal is removed fairly quickly and of course we don't want to create some massive gouges in the blade. Determining the correct duration for a given blade will take some practice.



 The wall wort was running a little hot no-loaded. Typical of unregulated DC adapters. It was about getting the polarity right. With my adapter the wire with the white strip was +. Not necessarily the same on every adapter, so I verified with the meter.





I used some lovely pink nail polish to make the mask, then scratched some of it off for to be the etched area,
My probe is an old screwdriver tip with cotton rag and rubber band fitted for a grip. Truly DIY.




 



 Dip the tip in salt water and watch the bubbles. Only about 15 seconds is required. Your mileage may vary with adapter/battery, saline solution, steel etc. Best to try it first before committing to a blade that has a dozen hours in it
Before wiping down. By the way, 'B3H' is my date code.









LASER PRINTED MASK
The laser printer technique uses a reverse, negative that gets printed on a glossy paper. Then the toner is heat transferred with a clothes iron the blade and the paper is gently washed away revealing a mask for etching.


I will test the laser printer technique on a part of the tang that will be hidden. Thus I can determine the etching time required.



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