Etching

Ember Knives

Well-Known Member
Hi there, I stonewashed a full tang blade and have just finished putting a holly wood handle on it. Is there a way to etch the handle in the metal without ruining the handle? I used boiling vinegar to etch the blade. I think I've seen guys use tape and spread the acid on the exposed metal before? Not sure if that can be done with vinegar? Any help appreciated, thanks!
 

Owl

KNIFE MAKER
Is the wood stabilized?
If so the vinegar may not affect it. You could do a test on a scrap piece.
If it isn't stabilized it might work to apply clear nail polish to mask the wood, etch along the exposed steel tang, then remove the nail polish with acetone after the etch.
Again I would test the wood before I did that.
I don't think that tape would protect against boiling vinegar, but I have never tried it.
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
Are you trying to etch a full tang because you sanded the handle etch off of the spine etc? If so I would not put the handle in acid instead just use birchwood casey’s super blue on the metal. Or sand the etch off of the spine of the blade so it matches the handle.
 

Ember Knives

Well-Known Member
Thanks for the help guys, I taped it up and etched it in hot vinegar, which I think may have been the worst option, may have to replace the handle. Fortunately, the holly I got is from my property. Chris, how do you use super blue? Thanks!
 

Chris Railey

KNIFE MAKER
I just put it on a Q-Tip and rub the parts I want to darken. Mostly I follow the directions on the bottle its super easy and I have not had it harm any wood handles.
 
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