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Electro-Etching Maker's Name

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Marko Tsourkan

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I like stamps, but at times I might have to work with a thicker stock, so I have to look for alternative ways of marking my work.

So, I would like to explore Electro-Etching. Can you guys chime on this? I would be interested in quality equipment (plan to keep for a long time without upgrades), so would like to know what the startup cost is.

Thanks,

M
 

Dave Martell

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Yes talk to Butch, he has the deepest clearest mark possible, looks stamped sometimes.
 

StephanFowler

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I'm not the guy to talk to here.

I've been using a trickle battery charger for years. it works but it's frustrating as hell sometimes.

just haven't stepped up to a personalizer yet, I'd really like to.

Stephan
 

l r harner

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the personalizer + is $$ well spent if you aew in this full time or even if you jsut want stupid easy makers marks
 

Marko Tsourkan

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the personalizer + is $$ well spent if you aew in this full time or even if you jsut want stupid easy makers marks
I would love to stick with a stamp, but it has its limitations. Plus, you can change your mark or logo, for less than ordering a new stamp. I will adapt my stamps for wood products, so I don't feel bad about money wasted.

M
 

Diamond G

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Ill second the Personalizer plus!
Had one for years. Love it.

God Bless
Mike
 

Marko Tsourkan

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What is the deepest you can etch with Personalizer Plus? Can it do .020"?
 

jmforge

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The Personalizer works great. It has two setting, etch and mark. One is AC and one is DC, can't remember which. Etch will get you down into the steel, as much a 20 thousands, from what I have been told. The mark setting will either just put a black mark on the surface or blacken your etched mark. For stencils, you go to Ernie Grospitch. He will sell you a sheet of them with up to 14 stencils for around $45. Unless you try to burn them up, each stencil will last you for at least 25-30 knives and longer if your mark is pretty bold. I gave up on stamping my blades almost three years ago and went with etching. I never looked back.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Thanks! PP is my next (and hopefully last) big purchase. Well, I am not counting belts, and other replacement supplies. :(
Can one make own stencils?
 

PierreRodrigue

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ou can buy a kit from etch-o-matic, and do your own. I bought one years ago, still using the origional stensils.
 

jmforge

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You can do a lot of things yourself, but most of them I wouldn't recommend.:lol2: A sloppy mark on even the best knife will detract from the look of the piece.
Thanks! PP is my next (and hopefully last) big purchase. Well, I am not counting belts, and other replacement supplies. :(
Can one make own stencils?
 

Chef Niloc

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http://www.usaknifemaker.com/etching-supplies-c-53.html?zenid=db63cfa06914334f04316775bca32fa1

All you need is the marker head 20-40$$, well pads and electrolyte ext but that's the cheap stuff. This setup will not save you much money over going with the personalizer but it's more powerful so it can make etch deeper and mark darker. It can be fine tuned and adjusted more so it can make cleaner marks. It can be used to revert rust back to steel or turn rust ( red rust) into black oxide, I do this on my old Beatty Cleavers I get on eBay. Can be used for tattoo guns ( if your into that ) or a number of other hand tools, makes D/C tools veritable speed by ( won't help with A/C tools). You can gold or silver plate things with it. Lots of useful stuff, the persanalizer is a great machine lots of people say so but this unit is made by a very reputable company. Can be fixed if ever needed to be ( don't know if the personalizer can be?)) and has a better warranty ( I think ?).
As for stencils you can just buy some photo sensitive silk screen material ( used for printing) and some developer ( like for photographs). , can get it were you find the silk. I have the one from etch-o and was disappointed as it's just what I described above but comes with a 150 watt light bulb, the silk it thiner then what you can get on you own too. Or you could just go to a silk screen shop and ask them to shoot it for you. A lot of times these tee-shirt shops are run by young kids who will just do it for $20 bucks or som pot if the boss is not around :)
 

jmforge

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So why would this kit be worth $100+ more than a base model Personalizer?
http://www.usaknifemaker.com/etching-supplies-c-53.html?zenid=db63cfa06914334f04316775bca32fa1

All you need is the marker head 20-40$$, well pads and electrolyte ext but that's the cheap stuff. This setup will not save you much money over going with the personalizer but it's more powerful so it can make etch deeper and mark darker. It can be fine tuned and adjusted more so it can make cleaner marks. It can be used to revert rust back to steel or turn rust ( red rust) into black oxide, I do this on my old Beatty Cleavers I get on eBay. Can be used for tattoo guns ( if your into that ) or a number of other hand tools, makes D/C tools veritable speed by ( won't help with A/C tools). You can gold or silver plate things with it. Lots of useful stuff, the persanalizer is a great machine lots of people say so but this unit is made by a very reputable company. Can be fixed if ever needed to be ( don't know if the personalizer can be?)) and has a better warranty ( I think ?).
As for stencils you can just buy some photo sensitive silk screen material ( used for printing) and some developer ( like for photographs). , can get it were you find the silk. I have the one from etch-o and was disappointed as it's just what I described above but comes with a 150 watt light bulb, the silk it thiner then what you can get on you own too. Or you could just go to a silk screen shop and ask them to shoot it for you. A lot of times these tee-shirt shops are run by young kids who will just do it for $20 bucks or som pot if the boss is not around :)
 

jmforge

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Remember also that the depth of the mark is not quite as important with electro-etching because you mark your blade when it is hard. I do mine after the blade is finished. Etching damascus can be a bit tricky so I recent went to an oval mark where I can mask it off with resist like a Sharpie or nail polish. I saw Bruce Bump do that.
 

Salem Straub

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I moved from stamping to etching late last year. I built my own electro etcher. It cuts on DC and darkens on AC like the Personalizer. Many of the guys over at BF and elsewhere have done the same, there is a good set of easy to follow directions and a parts list for the build at this page:

http://chriscrawfordknives.com/electro-etching-unit/4535265119

All of the electronic parts can be ordered online from Radio Shack, the parts list has the RS part numbers and all. My out-of pocket for the whole build was about $65. It took me probably three hours to build, and the result is a very good marking machine. Many who have built the machine have added a 12V/24V selector switch so that one may choose how aggressively the machine cuts. Others have used an 18V transformer instead of the 12V, and arrived at the current they wanted. Searching in shoptalk at BF will yield good explanations of these mods.

I use mine as the original plans show, at 12V. It works fine.

Then I went and ordered stencils from Ernie Grospitch, who is great to work with. He was very helpful with mark design and sizing, and I think he shipped the stencils before I even payed him. They got here fast and work great, you may burn a couple while learning but after that they are very durable and one will make MANY marks.

http://www.erniesknives.com/knifemaker_stencil.html

Just my $0.02.
 

Eamon Burke

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I moved from stamping to etching late last year. I built my own electro etcher. It cuts on DC and darkens on AC like the Personalizer. Many of the guys over at BF and elsewhere have done the same, there is a good set of easy to follow directions and a parts list for the build at this page:

http://chriscrawfordknives.com/electro-etching-unit/4535265119

All of the electronic parts can be ordered online from Radio Shack, the parts list has the RS part numbers and all. My out-of pocket for the whole build was about $65. It took me probably three hours to build, and the result is a very good marking machine. Many who have built the machine have added a 12V/24V selector switch so that one may choose how aggressively the machine cuts. Others have used an 18V transformer instead of the 12V, and arrived at the current they wanted. Searching in shoptalk at BF will yield good explanations of these mods.

I use mine as the original plans show, at 12V. It works fine.

Then I went and ordered stencils from Ernie Grospitch, who is great to work with. He was very helpful with mark design and sizing, and I think he shipped the stencils before I even payed him. They got here fast and work great, you may burn a couple while learning but after that they are very durable and one will make MANY marks.

http://www.erniesknives.com/knifemaker_stencil.html

Just my $0.02.
Bookmarked. :biggrin:
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I took a lazy route and ordered Personalizer Plus. But great info, thank you.

M
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Aside from the extra $$ being spent you'll love this thing because (after a few screw ups) it works like charm.
I barely have time for anything these days, but wasn't it the case, I would have gotten the parts and put one together.

Look forward to. Thanks for warning, Dave, I already put aside a few scrap pieces for etching.

M
 

jmforge

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Marko, If you etch deep and then mark, don't freak out the first time you lift the stencil and your mark is smeared. Just hit it with some polishing paper or 2000 grit sand paper for a couple of strokes to clean the gunk away and you will be amazed.
 
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