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The Folding Knife (& Switchblade) Forum The materials, techniques and the designing of folding knives.

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Old 02-04-2018, 01:46 PM
dennyg dennyg is offline
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Etching logo in titanium

I have been using electrochemical etching to put my logo and other things on stainless for several years. Now, I have some ideas I'd like to try on titanium but I can't seem to find information on if it can be done or what electrolyte is needed. I would be starting just etching my logo on a titanium side.

Has anyone tried this? Is there any difference in etching between 6-4 titanium and CP (commercially pure)?

Thanks!
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Old 02-04-2018, 03:06 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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you could use the link below for solution....i think like steel it would work with anything i have used salt water on steel the proper solution might give you a better etch but a lot of things could be used...
there are a few options out there for titanium the link below is just one.
also i would think both 6-4 and CP would work pretty much the same

http://usaknifemaker.com/knife-makin...multi-use.html
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Old 02-04-2018, 08:23 PM
dennyg dennyg is offline
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Thank you! Iíll get some and give it a try.
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Old 02-04-2018, 10:15 PM
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M&J M&J is offline
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Has been a long time since I had those discussions. Among my circle, etching involved a nasty chemical like Hydrofluoric acid and only a few makers had used them before going onto safer methods. I'd bought a dry powder that was a ready to mix but after reading the MSDS I sent it in for hazmat recycling. I wasn't going to risk the fumes nor contact in my garage/shop.

https://mrtitanium.info/2011/08/09/q...etch-titanium/

https://www.finishing.com/134/32.shtml

Our approach was to mask/stencil and use a small air eraser with fine mesh media like AO,SC. Then go in with the anodizing solution and paint it in. Old timers like Judy Beaver, Patricia Walker, Jim Sornberger have used similar in their anodized Ti pieces. If you have an anodizer you can have a spectrum of colors. Using the usual marking units yield one color, often in the blue range.

Laser marking is the other.

May contact Marking Methods as see if they have any advice:
626-282-8823
sales@markingmethods.com

If there is a new means, I'd like to explore that too.


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Old 02-04-2018, 11:48 PM
dennyg dennyg is offline
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First, there are two ways to look at etching, depending on your purpose. I use Whink Rust Remover to etch before anodizing since Whink contains hydrofluoric acid in diluted form. It works well and is widely available and reasonably safe.

But the etching Iím interested in is electro etching my logo on titanium. From the post above, there is a electrolyte available for that purpose.

Iíll order some and come back and post my results.

Thanks all for your help!
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Old 02-05-2018, 02:09 PM
dtec1 dtec1 is offline
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yes electro etching is very different than acid etching....you could acid etch a logo by masking everything off and just dunking it in the acid (at the simplest level) just like etching a blade to darken it and just like Damascus etching (except Damascus has more than 1 steel in it) Now electro etching is very different the solutions used are electrolites basicly just lets the electricity flow... so you clip 1 wire to the blade and 1 wire to a hand pad you put your logo stencil down and soak the hand pad in the solution and press it on the stencil....knowing how electricity works when you have the power supply going in DC it just pulls the steel off the blade basicly digging a hole in the shape of your stencil if you run the power supply in AC then as the electricity goes back and forth (as AC does) it picks up the metal burns it and puts it back down something like 60 times a second this makes the logo black.....as far as doing a detailed logo electro etching is the way to go IMHO
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Old 03-05-2018, 05:17 PM
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Checking back, how did it work?


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Old 03-05-2018, 05:46 PM
dennyg dennyg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M&J View Post
Checking back, how did it work?
Well, I tried etching on a scrap piece of 6-4 TI using my regular electrolyte and it was a mess. But I sort of expected that. I think the secret is in the electrolyte used.

I ordered the electrolyte recommended above from USA knifemaker and have it on hand but haven't had a chance to give it a try. I'm running a set of 5 stainless flipper folders for some folks and hope to get the blades heat treated this week. Then a couple of days to finish up and I'll be ready to start on the TI ones.

I want to give the logo etching a try before I go too far as I'd like to color anodize the TI folders and don't know how the logo etching and anodizing will interact. But that's why I save scraps for experimentation!

I'll try to remember to come back and let you know what I experience.
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