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First etch / grind question

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Seffers93

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Hello again,

I sincerely apologize for posting so many questions, but I have a couple more.

So I built an etching machine and followed a parts list and schematic posted by Red Beard Ops (I think that’s right) on YouTube. Machine works great but the etches do not look great.

I think I’m pressing the contact on for too long.. and I’m also just using salt water. I got the stencils from a reputable source so I’m not considering those faulty at all. Any tips?

Second question.. I’ve been taking long hard looks at my choils and grinds on the three knives I’ve made. I really want to thin the material behind the edges more. I’ll post a photo showing what I’m trying to achieve. It’s from my Kohetsu 210mm bunka.
As I’m working with a 2x42, is it possible to achieve these grinds with enough practice? Just wondering if I should seriously consider finding a way to invest in something better sooner than planned.
I have a flat glass platten liner on it.. 2” x 7” I believe. Not sure if that helps with coming up with an answer. I’m also using ceramic belts from TruGrit.

Again, sorry for all the questions but I feel like they’re worth asking.

Thanks guys,

Seth
 

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Jesse Killion

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Seth, your question on etching I can't help with, as I've never used an etched logo. Mine have always been hot stamped. As for your question on thinning edges goes, you can get thinner with a 2" x 42" grinder. It will take more practice ( as everything always does) and a gentle touch as well as constant dipping in a water bucket. A 2" x 72" grinder will not make that any easier. What will make that easier is variable speed, and using belts like they are free. This is especially true once you get close to final dimensions, as fresh grits help prepare for the next grit better than dull belts can. Also practice practice practice. That's not a bad looking grind, especially given that it's a your third (?) knife, keep up the good work.
 

Seffers93

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Seth, your question on etching I can't help with, as I've never used an etched logo. Mine have always been hot stamped. As for your question on thinning edges goes, you can get thinner with a 2" x 42" grinder. It will take more practice ( as everything always does) and a gentle touch as well as constant dipping in a water bucket. A 2" x 72" grinder will not make that any easier. What will make that easier is variable speed, and using belts like they are free. This is especially true once you get close to final dimensions, as fresh grits help prepare for the next grit better than dull belts can. Also practice practice practice. That's not a bad looking grind, especially given that it's a your third (?) knife, keep up the good work.
I appreciate the reply! I definitely need to get more practice in. I also need to dial in my belt progression. I've read some people will go up to a 400 grit before heat treat. I was surprised when I read that as I have been heat treating at 60 or 80 grit, going to 120 after and hand sanding from there. I wonder if I should change that up!
 

Jesse Killion

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I only do any pre grinding on edc/smaller knives. Anything kitchen related, I only break the 45* to set where the edge is pre heat treat, it makes getting a flat knife easier out of heat treat. I've ground anywhere from 60 grit to a scotch brite finish pre heat treat and haven't personally noticed much of a difference when finishing the knife out. I personally grind everything to a scotch brite finish before any hand sanding (if the customer calls for hand sanding). My typical progression is 36, 60, 120 (ceramic belts) then 240, 400, 600 (jflex belts) then blue scotch brite belt. I will add, you will most likely experience belt "hop" on higher grit belts due to the difference between the thickness of the jflex belts, and the seam where the belt is held together. The way around it is to make a soft platen. Mine is a piece of leather glued to a piece of steel sheet that slips on my normal platten. It works a dream.
 

Bensbites

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As far as the etching, it looks like your not taping your stencil down well. Try lighter pass. I use scrap to practice on.
 

Seffers93

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I only do any pre grinding on edc/smaller knives. Anything kitchen related, I only break the 45* to set where the edge is pre heat treat, it makes getting a flat knife easier out of heat treat. I've ground anywhere from 60 grit to a scotch brite finish pre heat treat and haven't personally noticed much of a difference when finishing the knife out. I personally grind everything to a scotch brite finish before any hand sanding (if the customer calls for hand sanding). My typical progression is 36, 60, 120 (ceramic belts) then 240, 400, 600 (jflex belts) then blue scotch brite belt. I will add, you will most likely experience belt "hop" on higher grit belts due to the difference between the thickness of the jflex belts, and the seam where the belt is held together. The way around it is to make a soft platen. Mine is a piece of leather glued to a piece of steel sheet that slips on my normal platten. It works a dream.
I appreciate the info. I've never tried a scotchbrite belt but I've heard good things. I'll have to order a couple. And what do you mean "break the 45"?
 

Jesse Killion

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What I mean by breaking the 45* is after you scribe your center line for your edge, grinding a 45 degree bevel on both sides to meet with the edge. I do this so there is less chance of warping on a long and thin cross sectioned blade. As said earlier, I then do all my grinding after heat treating, but have a thin edge reference to shoot for from the broken 45*. I hope that clarifies a bit.
 

Heli

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I only do any pre grinding on edc/smaller knives. Anything kitchen related, I only break the 45* to set where the edge is pre heat treat, it makes getting a flat knife easier out of heat treat. I've ground anywhere from 60 grit to a scotch brite finish pre heat treat and haven't personally noticed much of a difference when finishing the knife out. I personally grind everything to a scotch brite finish before any hand sanding (if the customer calls for hand sanding). My typical progression is 36, 60, 120 (ceramic belts) then 240, 400, 600 (jflex belts) then blue scotch brite belt. I will add, you will most likely experience belt "hop" on higher grit belts due to the difference between the thickness of the jflex belts, and the seam where the belt is held together. The way around it is to make a soft platen. Mine is a piece of leather glued to a piece of steel sheet that slips on my normal platten. It works a dream.
Regarding the 45*, this is when dealing with air quenched steels, to have a nice flat surface in the aluminum plates, correct? I don’t see making a difference in oil/water quench steels.
 

Jesse Killion

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I do it for oil quenched steels as well. I personally don't water quench anything. For thin chef knives I find it much easier to grind a hardened and straight knife than straighten and grind a heavily warped and mostly ground hardened knife. If it works for you, by all means go for it, this is just what works for me and provides better results, especially regarding long and thin knives (chef knives etc).
 

Heli

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I do it for oil quenched steels as well. I personally don't water quench anything. For thin chef knives I find it much easier to grind a hardened and straight knife than straighten and grind a heavily warped and mostly ground hardened knife. If it works for you, by all means go for it, this is just what works for me and provides better results, especially regarding long and thin knives (chef knives etc).
Sorry, I misunderstood you. I fully agree, for thin knives I also heat treat first, then grind the bevels. Thanks.
 
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