Etching/Stencil and Anodizing links
How to Photo Etch Your Own Stencils
Now this is the way to go. Minimal up-front investment to create quality, re-usable stencils for electro-etching metal. It's actually screen-printing your etchings. The video production could be better, but the information and instruction the guy provides is great. The real take-away is the Martronics stencil products list. With Martronics products you can create your own mini-screens for etching on metal. The only Martronics products you'd really need to buy are the Unexposed Dura-film Stencils and the Stencil Developer. You can get Inkjet or Laser Printable Transparencies for your masters at most any office supply or online. You print your positive image on the transparency, use that to create a negative image stencil with which to etch a positive image into your metal item. Just like making a T-Shirt!
How to Electro Etch a Knife
What to do once you have your stencil. You can use anything from a 9 volt battery to an old Wall Wart as a power supply. Needless to say, this process will work on other metal items besides knives ;-)
Tom Griffin's deluxe anodizing system and demonstration:
Baytec Container for flip-lid buckets. (actually this is a great source for any kind of container)
The solution (#1a. below) is caustic (sodium hydroxide - Rooto household lye), but like the acid is easily neutralized.
The nickel acetate sealer (from E-Bay) is the only other hazardous material because of it's nickel content.
Caswell plating sales sells smaller quantities, but the price difference wasn't that great.
How to Anodize Aluminum by Caswell Plating
1. The De-Greaser tank (detergent or Purple Power™ for 5 minutes @ 145°)
The anodizing tank needs a constant current power supply. To anodize aluminum you need:
1 amp of power for every 50 square inches of surface area for 240 minutes, or
1 amp of power for every 25 square inches of surface area for 120 minutes.
Both will grow a .001" film which is adequate for the purpose.
AR lower = approx. 81 sq in surface area
81/50 = 1.62 (hail fibonacci!)
1.62 X 240 = 388.8 amp minutes
388.8/3.5a = 111 minutes in anodize tank
Other Sources for Stencils
and a sample of such a stencil
A nice How-to about Electro Etching using a laser printed stencil.
I've tried this on some scrap metal but had very poor results getting the toner/stencil to transfer to the metal
Vader Spade's Guide to finishing your 80% lower from ar15.com
A nice post from AR15. com about finishing your lower with an end mill (sigh!) and then anodizing it.
The Easy Button - http://vadertactical.com/
For those who have more money than time to customize their lower.
Attachments areaPreview YouTube video How to... Knife logo etch... Creating the stencil Preview YouTube video How to Electro Etch a Knife Preview YouTube video Metal Etching Preview YouTube video A Demonstration of my Home Anodizing Set up Preview YouTube video How To Anodize Aluminum Preview YouTube video How to put a custom logo on your knife