Etching Fun


March 16, 2013, 01:00 PM
I tried my hand at some blade etching today.

I have two "Mk1" style blades left over from the last heat-treat batch I did myself. They're in W2, about 3/16" thick. I ground them to 600 grit and then buffed with white and then pink compound.

Used a 1:4 mix of Radio Shack ferric chloride and distilled water for the etch. Dipped, rubbed out with degreased 0000 steel wool, dipped, rubbed out, dipped, rubbed out. Then buffed again, then repeated the process.

After a final buffing, here they are!

This one has the quench line a little high for the best looks, I suppose, but it goes right through my logo which looks cool as all heck! :)

This one shows the quench line down in a more traditional location:

And this all means I have GOT to get back into heat treating my own stuff! This is just too much fun! :)

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March 16, 2013, 05:05 PM
Be careful about your quench lines. It isn't just a question of appearance. That top one is almost fully hardened and will be a bit more prone to lateral stress failure than the bottom one. Try a little clay next time for fun.

March 16, 2013, 06:02 PM
Yeah, I was thinking about that. The blade would be tougher if not hardened across the entire blade.

Of course, this is a fairly small utility blade and unlikely to be put through very heavy uses, but I will certainly keep it lower in the future.

March 16, 2013, 06:57 PM
Looks good, Sam. I really like these blades, but I'm not a GunKote kinda guy.

March 16, 2013, 08:20 PM
Why aren't you HT'ing your own blades? Just time concerns? I always liked doing it and the tempering.

March 16, 2013, 08:45 PM
Well, I got away from it from using some more complex steels, like the super-stainlesses and 52100, and CPM 3v, and then, yeah, time constraints are a BIG deal for me.

But I love doing it.

March 16, 2013, 08:59 PM
Finished pics:

March 22, 2013, 11:11 AM
The second example is now in my hands, and I'm pleased as punch with it. One thing not clear from the pics is how well Sam manages to shape things so that the knife fits the hand whether being used for slicing or in a skinning motion with a forefinger down the spine. It's handy, it's sharp, and it's W2 - what's not to love? :)

Well done!

March 22, 2013, 11:28 AM
Yeah, my buddy Shane made what I thought was the best handle I'd ever felt...until Sam and I started working together. Sam's are the best I've ever felt.

March 22, 2013, 12:48 PM
[Blush] :o

March 22, 2013, 05:44 PM
How are you making the stencil for the etching?

March 22, 2013, 05:52 PM
Well, there's two things going on there. I'm electrically etching the S-O logo using stencils that I had made up by TUS Technologies:

This thread is to show off the chemical etching I'm doing to the finished blade to make the quench line stand out.

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