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I Forge Iron

Another Knife attempt.


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Hello everyone. Here's another try of me to make a nice knife. I had the design painted on a paper (imaginary design moslty) and then to a piece of a leaf spring bar. I hammered the leaf spring to the desired thickness and then made the blade shape with the grinder. (stock removal ). I am not sure yet on how to make the cutting edge (2side 1 side) and so i left it as it is for know. I polished it untill 1000 sand paper and here comes the Questions. I wanna etch a design on the blade but i am not sure how to do it. (no experience with acids etc) Any advise would be helpfull. The knife is not assembled yet and the bolster needs to be drilled. I just placed them on top of the blade to show the final shape of the blade. I hope you like it.

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Knifebolster.jpg

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I just figured out saltwater etching with some beautiful results. Get an old laptop charger from wherever you can, cut the end that goes to the laptop off and separate the positive and negative wires, (fair warning, when I did this the wires were a little hard to figure out but with the help of the diagram on the charger you should be able to figure it out) attach some small alligator clamps and wrap it up with electrical tape. Then go down to a local sign makers shop and get the to cut your desired design out of vinyl and make sure to get the negative of it. Take that design and put it where you want it on your blade, make sure there are absolutely no air bubbles that water can seep through or it could ruin your knife. tape off the edges with electrical tape so no water hits anywhere else on your blade. Now you're ready to etch; mix a small amount of salt and water, it wont take much, now attach the positive clip to the blade a little ways away from your design and attach the negative lead to a cotton swab of similar that is wet with saltwater, wet not drenched. make sure that the alligator clamp is actually touching the salt water and then plug in the laptop charger. Lightly dab the cotton "product" on the area you want to etch and you should hear it start sizzling, work your way around your design until the desired depth is acquired. When this is done if you want to darken the etch to make it more prominent you can reverse the alligator clamps, negative on blade positive on cotton, and dab all around the design again until the desired darkness is reached. When done peel off your stencil, careful the metal will be a bit warm, and clean with alcohol. This is the result that I got on my very first attempt.

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Thanks for the tip BigCotton. A very interesting and cheep electro etching unit.I think i'll give it a try. Does anything else work for the blade covering or only vinyl would seal properly?What if i use tape to cover the blade and leave only the design (kinda of a drawing on the blade) and etch from there?

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Well I had some decent results with electrical tape on a scrap piece of steel but I would still recommend the vinyl just because you are permanently marking your work and you want that to be as clear as possible. I know it looks like mine has jagged edges but that's how it was designed; rugged yet eloquent. but if you are confident in your ability to cut the design you want out of tape then it should work. But please, for the sake of all the hard work you did, test it out on a piece of scrap first. Good luck.

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George i am amazed at how much you have improved since you started not long back. i like the overall shape of this knfe and maybe it is just the camera angle but to me the handle seems too large for the size of the blade. Maybe ig thehandle was not square and blocky looking it would change that look..Keep it up George...

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BigCotton thanks for the pics. They will be very helpfull although i dont have crocodile clamps so big. i have 2 small ones that are used for electronic uses i think. I've searched in the web a little more and seen that they use those small clamps with an ear cotton stck to make the etching. I have the charger and now i wanna make the pattern and try it on a scrap. I hope it turns out nice. Will come back with more progress :)

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hello again guys. I finally finished my knife. I didn't go with the initial design that i had in mind, cause i got a bit afraid to tinker with new and untested techniques on this one. So i just made the cutting edges with file and sanding and then heat treated the blade by quenching in oil. polished it by sanding until 2000 grit by hand, fitted the handle, bolster and pommel.The edges are not very sharp since i didn't went all the way to making them razor sharp. I gave the handle a coat of polyerethene varnish. Now i am trying to make a leather sheath.I hope you all like it. There are a few details that the pros here may notice, that saws, that i am still an amateur and i am anxious to finish the knife and making mistakes. Hope in the next one i wont do them again :)
Here's the pics.

The initial design i made in paper. In the end i left every carving-etching at the side :P
Knife_design1.jpg

And the blade as it is now.
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Thanks for the comments guys. Cotton yeah it fits perfect. The handle was design for my hand size :) . I tried your pattern for the etching unit today on a scrap and it came out perfect. So i will sure use it on the next project.
Metal there are no tempering colors. I sand it untill 2000 grit wetpaper by hand. Those brown colors are probably from the camera flash.

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Glad to hear it worked well for you George. Graveyard that method certainly makes for an interesting result; I'll have to try that sometime. I want to make a video for method I use but with the winning combination of a severely deviated septum, a terrible lisp and a thick southern accent I'm pretty sure it would only leave people confused. If I ever decide to make one though you can be sure the link will end up on here.

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Hello again. I've made myself a sheath for the knife. The leather is from an old revovler sheath.. The pattern was scratched with a razor blade (dont have that machine that burns the leather, dont know how it's called in english) .I also scratched my logo that i will use from now at my projects. It's the L and G letters in Greek that stands for my name. Hope you all like it. Cheers and thanks for watching and commenting..

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