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Old 10-05-2010, 08:04 PM
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Default Etching the Bushblade way

After recent interest in my etching methods, I’ve put together this little ‘how to’; I hope people find it useful. The pics are a bit basic but it should show what’s needed.

It's worth giving this a few goes on some scrap steel first, just to see what results you can get, I wouldn’t try it first on your favourite blade!
It's best done before fitting the handle as the transfer requires heat from an iron to stick, and depending on your choice of adhesive it could be enough heat to release the bond. Also it's easier to move the iron without a handle in the way.

The stuff I use is called press-n-peel and I get it from Maplin;
http://www.maplin.co.uk/Module.aspx?ModuleNo=13464

You will also need:
• A 9v battery
• Two lengths of wire (I have old speaker wire)
• Cotton buds
• Saltwater solution (just table salt and warm water mixed until the water won’t absorb any more salt)
• Insulating tape
• Cotton gauze or similar
• An iron
• An ironing board (not your girlfriend's favourite ) or similar surface


The Press-n- Peel has a shiny side and a non shiny, dull side;





You print onto the non shiny side with a laser printer or photocopier as it needs the toner to stick to the surface being etched.
I don’t have a laser printer so use an inkjet printer to print out the logo’s to be etched, then photocopy them onto the press-n-peel.
The images and logos you choose to etch need to be printed out in a negative format and flipped to give a mirror image, this may explain it better;





The print out needs to be the best quality you can get onto a quality paper to give the most detail possible, this is pretty important in getting a good quality etch. It may take quite a bit of trial and error with your printer settings until you get good results.
After I’m happy with what I’ve printed I take it to a local printer to photocopy onto the press-n-peel for me, costs about 20p per sheet. Any photocopier will do it, but again it needs to be a first rate copy to get the best results, which is why I go to the printers as they have the best machines.

Cut out the logo to be etched, try to keep the printed side of the press-n-peel free from dirt and grease, or it won’t stick well.





You’ll need to clean the blade well to get rid of any traces of dirt or grease too, wire wool works well and should not scratch the blade. This blade is coming straight from polishing so should be fine.





And yes I ruined the ironing board cover with etching, much to the annoyance of my girlfriend!

Position the logo, shiny side up on the blade where you want it to go.





Using an iron on its hottest setting (no steam). I heat one half of the logo for about 40 seconds to get it to stick to the metal.





Once one side is stuck down, I go over the whole logo for a few minutes, checking to see if its all stuck down. Be firm but don’t press too hard or the toner will bleed and mess up the transfer. You can generally see if its all stuck down, go over again any areas that aren’t. Then leave it to cool down.






Once cool, carefully peel off the transfer.





If the transfer hasn’t all stuck down at this stage, providing one side is still stuck you can lay the transfer back down and go over it again with the iron.





This one looks pretty good, but if it hasn’t all stuck down don’t worry, remove what’s there with a scouring pad, clean the blade and try again.





To add a bit more resistance to the etching process you can go over the transfer with a permanent marker, it's not essential but is worth doing until you’ve done it a few times and know the results.





Ready to etch, the hair isn’t essential but it helps.





Mask off around the transfer with insulating tape.





Make sure there are no gaps for the saltwater to leak into. I use my nail to smooth the tape into the corners.





All masked off!





I wrap a small piece of cotton gauze around a cotton bud and secure in place with a piece of insulating tape. This is what I use to apply the salt water solution.





I then wrap about 7cm of stripped wire around the cotton bud and secure in place with more tape. The other end of the wire is connected to the negative terminal of the battery.





The positive side of the battery is connected to the tang of the blade and secured with more tape.





If you haven’t done so already, mix up a saltwater solution; I use a small nalgene pot. It looks quite dirty as I’ve been using the same solution for a while. Just put some table salt into your container, add warm water (helps the salt dissolve) and shake to mix. If there is still some un-dissolved salt crystals then you’ve achieved solution, if not add more salt and mix some more.





Dip your swab in the solution, enough to soak the gauze but not dripping with the stuff.





Start etching! If everything is working you should see bubbles of hydrogen gas appear around your swab. I hold it in place just for a few seconds then move the swab to a fresh area and hold for a few seconds again. Add more solution if your swab dries out. I keep going over the transfer like this for a minute or so, It won’t take long to produce a deep etch but I can’t say for certain as to how long exactly as there are just too many variables.





When you think you’re done, wipe off the solution with a kitchen towel, (wipe very carefully so don’t scratch off the transfer) and inspect your work. It's hard to tell at this stage if you’ve got good results as it all looks black, but tilting the blade in the light and closely examining seems to work for me. If you don’t think the etch is deep enough or even enough, you can go back over the transfer again, providing none of the transfer has been scratched off.





Remove all the tape and scour off the transfer under running water.





If all went well you should have a nice clear deep etch.





I hope all that’s understandable; if not feel free to pester me with questions.
I’m certainly no expert on the subject but I do seem to get decent results, and this method works for me.
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Last edited by bushblade; 10-05-2010 at 09:06 PM. Reason: got a picture wrong
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:12 PM
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Nice one Will

i think i will give this a try sould save money at the engravers
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:15 PM
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Thanks Will, Good read.
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:40 PM
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Top Tutorial Will,thanks for taking the time,will deffo be trying it

Bernie
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:43 PM
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Thank's mate excellent tutorial
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Old 10-05-2010, 08:45 PM
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Me thinks this should be a sticky
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gary Mills View Post
Me thinks this should be a sticky
I think someone did

Let me know how you get on with it.
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bernie Garland View Post
Top Tutorial Will,thanks for taking the time,will deffo be trying it

Bernie
Hope it works for you, I'd be interested to see the results
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:05 PM
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The way this fourm is going it should be one of the best places to go to for advice and help
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Old 10-05-2010, 09:11 PM
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Top Tutorial, great job.

I think I will have to have a try at this, the results look very professional.
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