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Electro etching with walmart car charger

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I got some old crusty knifemaking VHS cassette from my uncle a couple years back (I think it was by loveless) and in the video he uses some kind of electro etching thing with steel wool and a stencil. I've seen similar devices for sale on the internet for $120-500+ and was contemplating getting one, but as always, talked myself out of it, convinced that I could find some other way to do it for cheaper. I went to walmart and got a $27 6 amp max car battery charger and some votive candles. I melted the candles in a pineapple can on my stove and dipped my knife into it a few times, then scratched "JP" (as one letter, my cousin's initials, the knife is for him) into the wax with a mechanical pencil. I hooked the red lead up to the knife and the black lead to some steel wool and dabbed it over the initials like i remember seeing in the video, no luck. I tried adding some water into the mix, no luck. I got smart and figured it would be better if it were salt water like and electrolyte solution so i tried salt water, limited luck. I was getting frustated and I decided to dip the sucker into the salt water with the black lead submerged at the bottom. This worked alot better, kinda like backwards electroplating and within a couple minutes I got a cup full of nasty looking xxxx and a pretty sweet engraving. The engraving is not precise and i wouldn't try this on something I intended to sell because you can't really control it, it does what it wants to. It fits this spike knife though I think. Tell me what you think!

11527.attach

11528.attach

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I have used a car charge to etch for over a year now, works great.

I use a different solution for electrolyte that works well,

1 Cup of HOT water
3 Tbsp Table Salt
1/2 Cup White vinegar
1 drop DAWN dish soap (yes, it really should be DAWN)

mix it up well and allow it to cool

then I use a chunk of Stainless wrapped in cheap felt from wally world, the felt is only good for a couple etchs then it needs to be changed out

I had stencils made by Ernie Gropstitch

Custom Handmade Knives by Ernie Grospitch

edrusso.jpg

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I have used a car charge to etch for over a year now, works great.

I use a different solution for electrolyte that works well,

1 Cup of HOT water
3 Tbsp Table Salt
1/2 Cup White vinegar
1 drop DAWN dish soap (yes, it really should be DAWN)

mix it up well and allow it to cool

then I use a chunk of Stainless wrapped in cheap felt from wally world, the felt is only good for a couple etchs then it needs to be changed out

I had stencils made by Ernie Gropstitch



WOW! your etch looks way better than mine! is that due mainly to the solution, the stencil, or felt& stainless thing? probably a combination of all 3. How does a stencil allow you to have the floating centers of letters like "O" or "A" or "D"?

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WOW! your etch looks way better than mine! is that due mainly to the solution, the stencil, or felt& stainless thing? probably a combination of all 3. How does a stencil allow you to have the floating centers of letters like "O" or "A" or "D"?


it is a silk screen stencil,

ernie (the guy who makes my stencils) can help out with the details. I just sent him a word .doc of what I wanted and he sent me the stencil ($35.00 at the time)

lightly saturate the felt on the contact pad
tape the stencil down where you want it with electrician's tape making sure to protect area's that you don't want marked (or just be very careful not to contact them)
Press the contact pad to the stencil
when etching you need to "degauss" frequently, 3 seconds on, 3 seconds off, repeat until the etch is your desired depth.
when your done clean the stencil with running water (DON'T rub the stencil, you can destroy it pretty quick like that)
and spray the blade down with windex to neutralize the etch

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