View Full Version : Help with Etching

02-11-2003, 10:16 PM
Hey Guys

I just bought an etch-o-matic to mark my blades, and the results are less than inspiring. Fortunately, I'm practising on scrap metal! The mark comes out a fuzzy gray instead of black. I'm using the stencils it came with and typing on them. Any tips you guys have would be great.


Bob Warner
02-12-2003, 08:47 AM
One possibility is you are using the wrong etching solution for the metal you are etching.

Ray Rogers
02-12-2003, 09:15 AM
I use the same machine and get great results but it does take some practice to find just the right method.

If you are using the little bottle of solution that comes with it, that solution works best on carbon steels. As Bob said, you need the right solution for the steel. I use the general solution (like that stuff in the little bottle) for carbon steel and a stainless solution for stainless steels. Those two will mark anything you can make a good blade out of.

The technique and process you use is important. Here's what works for me:

First, tape the logo to the blade. Make sure it lays nice and smooth. Put plenty of solution on the pad of the machine and give it a few seconds to soak in. Blot uoff the excess solution with a paper towel.

Use a stop watch or the seconds hand on your watch to time yourself. Start with both of the alligator clips attached to the machine. Apply the machine to the logo firmly but not too firmly and hold for 5 seconds. Lift the etcher up and blow across the logo (this helps move away the gas residue which is why the instructions tell you to lift the etcher in the first place. It also wastes a little time like counting one one thousand, two one thousand). The lifting and blowing part should take about 2 seconds. Repeat the 5 second press and lift sequence for a total of 25 seconds.

Remove the removable alligator clip and repeat the whole process for another 25 seconds. Then, peel the logo from the blade and apply some nuetralizer to the mark. Put the blade under running water and let it rinse for a minute. Pat the blade dry with a paper towel. Let the blade sit for at least 15 minutes to allow the mark to 'set'.

You will probably see a kind of brown halo around the mark after it dries. A little Happich Semichrome polish will easily remove this halo.

Carbon steels usually can be done in 20 seconds, stainless in 25 but you may have to experiment to find what works best for you.....

Bob Warner
02-12-2003, 10:05 AM
You stated that you are using the stencil material that you type on. This is NOT the best stencil and therfore you will not get the best results. Could be your stencil as well as your process.

02-12-2003, 05:32 PM
Well for sure It's the solution. I'm using the bottle it came with on 440C. I'm thinking I may be using too much solution as well (I had it soaked down pretty good.

What's the best stencil material to use?


Bob Warner
02-12-2003, 06:02 PM
The best stencil material is a photo developed stencil. Do a search here for "Photo Resist" and you will find a lot of info. We have talked this topic to death so searching may be easier than repeating all the info.

After all of that, if you have questions, let us know.