Author Topic: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?  (Read 433 times)

wveagle81

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Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« on: October 09, 2018, 09:45:10 AM »

The guy I made the coasters and plaques for asked me if I can engrave on high-carbon
knife steel.  He has some knives donated for the auction at the end of the month he'd
like to have the OpValor logo engraved on them.

Question is... does my 2.5W laser have the capability to do this?  Or would I need a
more powerful/different laser?

If I can do it with my laser, what techniques would I need to use to make this engraving
look worthy?
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ggallant571

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Re: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2018, 09:59:50 AM »
There was a discussion last month about painting steel with mustard and etching. If I recall correctly, the user clamped the work piece to the table and executed multiple passes of paint and etch. I did purchase some of the mustard he used but have yet to try.
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Zax

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Re: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« Reply #2 on: October 09, 2018, 11:49:26 AM »
It's possible to do an additive process as mentioned by ggallant571.

I haven't tried mustard (on the laser that is) but I have used several purchased materials (thermark, cermark and others) and made my own.

The commercial products work slightly better and much more reliably but they aren't cheap. The tape worked best for me, better than the spray or paint on coating although that's probably due to getting the right thickness for the laser power.

I've only done this with my 40W CO2 and not a diode laser but the principal is the same - you'll just require more passes of the laser.

nottingham82

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Re: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2018, 11:33:33 AM »
a lot of knife guys use electro engraving.   You can always make the masks with your laser.
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wveagle81

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Re: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2018, 11:48:21 AM »

I found a company here in San Antonio that does sword and knife engraving and have
directed him to them.  I'd need to do several levels of testing to see what works on
the knives he has, and I just don't have the time before he'll need them done.

Thanks for your pointers.

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dgallimore

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Re: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2018, 03:46:52 AM »
Can the mustard method really work? I've tried two different mustards and it didn't seem to make any kind of mark on a stainless steel knife.
Would really like to get this working (moly lube?) but kind of feel like I've been April fooled! Those other industrial marking compounds Zax mentioned on other posts are out of my budget (if I had that kind of money I'd upgrade my laser!)
I've got a 2.5w chinese laser - was trying on T2Laser (Cutting 1 pass slow).
Many thanks for any advice.

Zax

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Re: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 06:26:15 AM »
No idea about mustard, sounds possible actually but I can tell you the results with the commercial products (at least on my CO2 laser) are much better than the home made solution. There are several recipes, I used brasso, plaster of paris and solvent to make mine home made version and it worked but the consistency was poor due to the material not mixing sufficiently. I am sure it could be perfected but I ended up buying the "tape" which works great and is a lot less messy. I needed to mark expensive items so couldn't afford 1 in 10 or even 1 in 20 failures, it was "cheaper" to buy the right product.

dgallimore

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Re: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« Reply #7 on: November 29, 2018, 06:51:14 AM »
Thanks Zax - that's pretty much what I thought. I may have one more go with the mustard, but it's probably not much use if it's hit and miss. Also I don't want to risk spending money on other products that may not work with my 'little' laser.

ThothLoki

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Re: Engraving on high-carbon knife steel?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2018, 08:18:04 AM »
i think the mustard method is only good for stainless steel
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