Brothers Printer for Etching Stencil

Discussion in 'Shop Talk - BladeSmith Questions and Answers' started by Outdoor Gear Dad, Feb 10, 2020.

  1. Outdoor Gear Dad

    Outdoor Gear Dad Gold Member Gold Member

    30
    Jun 1, 2019
    Hello BladeForums,

    So I just picked up a personalizer plus, and also reached out to Ernie to get some stencils made up. While exploring the internet came across a video of a guy using a Brother PT700 Printer with their Stencil tape, and literally just printing stencils that he then etched onto a blade.

    Looked super easy, and give the ability to be creative and make stencils on a moments notice. Has anyone tried this? Advantages or disadvantages? Also I should probably mention that I am not a professional knife maker, just a hobbyist that sells the knives to fund more material.
     
  2. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    That is a new one on me. I'd never heard of the Brother PT700 Printer with their Stencil tape. Watched a couple of short videos on the process and it looks like it works really good for simple text in a straight line. On the videos you couldn't see anything on the tape until the electro etching started and it went FAST! Not sure how it works for putting text in an arc, or using special logo. Now I see it can be connected to computer and graphics inserted also. I don't know it custom graphics can be created or stock graphics must be used.

    I've read a couple of websites and still not sure how it works for electro etching. It looks more like it transfers material to the metal surface rather than actually etching into surface.
     
  3. bmilleker

    bmilleker Gold Member Gold Member

    397
    Nov 26, 2012
    I am definitely going to buy one of these. Even if you cant do an image or logo, you could still do blade steel, DOB, serial #. For the price, I dont see how its a risk. Its also a label maker :D.
     
    Bill DeShivs likes this.
  4. DAMNENG

    DAMNENG

    606
    Dec 17, 2005
    There are several manufacturers who make stencil material you can either write on, use a type writer or a dot matrix printer. The material is very similar to the old monograph paper (yea I'm an old fart). The stencil material is a fibrous paper with a wax coating. By writing or striking in the case of the typewriter and the dot matrix printer, the wax is pushed aside leaving a path through to the other side of the paper.

    The process is very similar to screen printing. When the electrolyte dampened electrode is placed on the paper the electrolyte seeps through the exposed fibers to the metal beneath. When voltage is applied, current flows. If the blade is positive and the electrode negative, electrons flow from the electrode and ions move from the blade to the electrode (this is the etch). If alternating current is applied this will cause a dark oxide coating to form on the blade where the electroly is touching (this is the mark).
    Too much electrolyte and it will seep out under the stencil causing cloudy edges on the etch. Too little electrolyte and the etch won't be even.

    When using a dot matrix printer the 24pin variety will give a much finer pixel stencil than a 9 pin. These stencils are usually good for one session of etching and good for up to 6 or 8 blades. This depends on the voltage and how keep you go. I always test first on a piece of scrap till the electrode wetness is where I want it to be then move to the blades.
    Jim A.
     
  5. 12345678910

    12345678910

    Jul 13, 2009
    link the video
     
  6. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011




    and here's a PT-P700 model that can be connected to computer and software used to make stencil.
     
    bikerector likes this.
  7. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
  8. bmilleker

    bmilleker Gold Member Gold Member

    397
    Nov 26, 2012
    Just placed my order. Under $100CDN for everything I needed on Amazon.ca. I needed a label maker anyways, so this was a low risk purchase.

    I'll be happy for proper serializing and steel names. I'll be over the moon if the resolution is high enough to do logo's and other types of images.

    I'll report back.
     
    bikerector likes this.
  9. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    What was your order consist of? Be SURE to keep us updated on results. I find the idea interesting.
     
  10. bmilleker

    bmilleker Gold Member Gold Member

    397
    Nov 26, 2012
    I bought the PT-P700, with STE151 stencil tape. And since I needed a label maker, I also picked up regular black on white, and iron on label tape.

    After doing some more reading.... I am very hesitant about the resolution. From what I have seen from just label printing, it's quite pixelated. The resolution on the 700 is 180dpi. I think I should have looked more into the QL range of printers, which are 300dpi.

    Stay tuned!
     
  11. scott kozub

    scott kozub Gold Member Gold Member

    367
    Jan 1, 2018
    This looks very interesting. I'd be interested in the adhesive stencil tap. Stick it to the blade mask the edges etch and remove. Way cheaper than a cricket
     
  12. scott kozub

    scott kozub Gold Member Gold Member

    367
    Jan 1, 2018
    180dpi may be fine. You can't get too fine with the photo resist paper by nature of the process
     
  13. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    I saw the 180 dpi and had no idea if that was good or not. Please do provide a couple of photos once you get it worked out and a couple of etches done.
     
  14. tim37a

    tim37a

    947
    May 18, 2010
    I have a Personalizer Plus also. It works great but getting stencils is a pain. I am very interested in this - pics of completed knives, please.
    Tim
     
  15. bmilleker

    bmilleker Gold Member Gold Member

    397
    Nov 26, 2012
    I received the printer yesterday. I haven't received the stencil tape yet, but I am doubtful I will be happy with the quality for anything other than serializing. I did some testing with my logo in various sizes. As I sized my logo down, the quality got worse, and edges went from smooth to jagged. Maybe when etching with the stencil tape, the quality of the print might not matter as much. I don't know for sure.

    I'll reserve final judgement and review for when I receive the stencil tape.
     
  16. kdnolin

    kdnolin Basic Member Basic Member

    169
    Jan 16, 2017
    My wife got a Cricut Maker and made me some stencils. They run about $400-600 CDN. I use a 9v 1.5 amp power supply I got from Princess Auto for $4.
    DA8126B1-FCCC-4CD3-9E89-AA7B3AD9EFA1.jpeg
     
    Ken H> and Willie71 like this.
  17. scott kozub

    scott kozub Gold Member Gold Member

    367
    Jan 1, 2018
    How small were you able to go? I know that even with the photo resist stencils, you can only get so small. I forget what size font is recommended but I think I've gone as low as 9.
     
  18. bmilleker

    bmilleker Gold Member Gold Member

    397
    Nov 26, 2012
    I don't know for sure what the size is. It wasn't a fontsize, it was my logo. I'll get some photos of the quality of printout when I get home today.
     
  19. Ken H>

    Ken H>

    Dec 31, 2011
    That looks pretty good, but I understand that is NOT from a stencil made with the PT-P700, but with the Cricut Maker? Looks darn good to me, but please do post photo of an etch made with PT-P700 when you get the tape for it.
     

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