I use what it called a silk screen. It is basically a little template that the late Bob Schopp made for me. I made a sketch of what I wanted and made the silk screen.
I use a device called etch-o-matic with the silk screen, it basically etches/burns the logo into the steel then. There are some tricks but it is really very simple. The silk screen can last for 50 or so etches, depending on how long you "burn" at a time. It is basically an elcro-chemical process.
A lot of guys have stamps made and even some use a pantograph, I am sure there are other ways too.
- all depends if it is once a year deal or you plan on doing it more frequently
- the best method is is electro-etching through a stencil. You can make
your own stencil, all you need is a laser printer, stencil material and developer.
Now you'd need an etching unit. A transformer is all you really
need - get 50W or more, something that drives 15-30 volts. RatShack,
doorbell transformer @ HD etc. If you want to get fancy, also get
a diode, so you'd have AC and DC capacity. http://www.knifenetwork.com/workshop/tut_etch_warner.shtml has
most of what you need to know.
Next you'd need an etchant - salt water will work in a pinch, but for
volume prod I'd spend a few bucks and get 4oz bottle of etchant -
for your type of steel (10xx aka plain carbon OR stainless variety)
To make a stencil:
- make your design, print in desired size on a transpasparency, cut out
the piece of transparency with your logo on it.
Run to neaby pet supply store, get a UV bulb.
In relatively dim lit room, get one of stencils outta pack, cut a 2x2 piece
or whatever size you want, lay it down, flat, put transparency piece on top, make sure it is all flat, if not, lay a peiece of glass on top of the whole
I usually run 6-8 logos at a time, BTW.
Blast the whole thing with UV light - mount UV bulb in $5 clamp-light from HD
and mount it 20" inches above the transparency. Go for 10m or so.
Turn off the light, peel off protective film off BOTH side of the transparency, drop into plastic container, add the developer, 1m
or so later you should be done - you will see your logo in white.
The protective film can be tough to remove - I use a dentist pick.
A neede will work too, to separate the film from the stencil.
Rinse in cold water, pour developer back, cut the stencil into whatever
number of logos. Dry gently with a piece of paper towel.
To etch, follow the instructions from Bob's manual. Etch 2-3 seconds
at a time, lift , repeat. 10-15 times is all you need.
AC will blacken the etch, DC will etch for "depth". I personally feel
AC is all you need.
Buff the etched area gently, after you're done .
- here's method #2: get a photoresist/developer that they use for PCB.
Spray/brush on photoresist where you want the logo to be. Dry, cure,
put the transparency with your logo onto the area, make sure it is all tight and flat, blast with UV light,
develop, dry, cure.
Mask out the rest of the blade on the logo side, drop in (with a medicine dropper) 2-3 drops
of nitric acid onto the logo area, etch, suck the acid right back into the
medicine dropper and back into the whatever container you have, rinse with water. Might want to sprinkle some baking soda on.
And of course, before you mark the blade, practice on some scrap material.
Keep your stencil clean, make sure it is attached to the blade so it can not move
as you dab that electrode pad around. If you go with acid, wear eye protection, better yet full face mask, have baking sode nearby, supply of running water, don't inhale whatever vapors will be rising off the metal
as you etch.
back from me garage, where I am etching a blade with a cheesy design ...
Anyway, here's # 3 (Go Giants !!!!):
- print yer logo on a laser printer, MIRROR image. Double print if you can (manually feed the same page again, so that you get double the amt of toner deposited onto the paper).
Cut out the piece of paper with your logo on it. Get the blade hot, to say
300F (toaser oven etc) - make sure you don't go over 300, as you will
temper the steel, something you don't want to do. You can also use a heat gun.
Now, with blade hot and flat on some surface, put the piece of paper with your logo on it, TONER down, and while holding it steady, rub the paper with some softer material (folded paper towel etc), to force the toner onto
Do it for 5-10 secs and peel off the paper.
Now, you can use either electro or regular etch, as I described above. Make
sure, with a loupe, that enough toner has transferred and logo's all sharp before etching.
This is dirt-cheapest method to transfer logo onto the knife and is good only if do very few knifes and don't want to go through stencil/developer
Now, here's an advice - when you have a knife ready for the logo, after putting whatever amt of time/money into it, be aware that
you can ruin it all in seconds, if you're not careful with the logo etch.