The Complete Online Guide to Knifemaking, METAL ETCHING
Metal etching can be done with electricity or acid. Electro etching is one of the ways Dan Berg creates his functional metal art. These highly detailed designs are etched using self adhesive vinyl stencils and act as the resist. Basically, whatever is covered in vinyl remains shinny and whatever areas are exposed will get etched. The vinyl can be hand cut but much greater detail is achieved with a craft vinyl cutting machine.
For electro etching we use a care battery charger 12volts set at 2 amps. Positive lead gets clipped to the knife and the negative lead is secured to a steel plate. The plate is wrapped in gauze which is then dampened with electrolyte solution. We us salt water for high carbon steel and stainless electrolyte solution for stainless.
We have created a variety of short how-to videos which details the process.
Check out our Knife making tools, huge assortment of topic specific how-to knife making videos, our Complete Online Guide Knife Making and our New Book Introduction to Knifemaking by Dan Berg and Jason Northgard.