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Titanium? JYDII SG2 shocker

Discussion in 'STR's Backyard KnifeWorks' started by STR, Jun 12, 2010.

  1. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Well, I received a couple Kershaw JYDII models in SG2 blade steel in the mail today from a customer with the request to anodize one blue, the other green. Then to install titanium stand offs in the rear also anodized and one of my low rider clips made to fit both JYDII models for tip up, but also to fit as needed on a Shallot, a Leek, and a Blur which were all mailed to make sure I folded the clip over for the 180`in the right spot. The clip was to be anodized blue as well.

    Just like I've done a thousand times before I went through all the steps, from disassembly to individual baths progressively from bead blasting first to clean them off, followed by my multi etch, to baking soda water to neutralize the etchant to the anodizing bath with voltage for the colors selected which were blue on one set of slabs, and emerald green for the other.

    I kind of wondered when I drilled and threaded these because they seemed mighty easy to thread compared to titanium and I was like what is going on? Then when the multi etch didn't bubble like I'm used to seeing I was really wondering. No big deal though or so I thought.Then I took it to the baking soda, then to the anodizing bath. First one was 28 volts for blue. First thing up was the titanium stand offs from Sheffield and no problem. Nice blue there. Then the low rider clip made to order by me out of titanium and no worries there. Nice blue on that one as well.

    Moved to the first JYDII slab. Nothing! Well not true. It turned my water bath murky yellow brown like it does when you put steel in there. The longer I left it in there the worse it got. This is from corrosion. I thought to myself, hmmm. Not good! So I tried the other slab. Same thing. Then I moved to the second JYDII slabs. Same thing with both of those! Two JYDII models which I thought were ti but apparently not.

    This isn't the end of it. Then out of curiosity I walked the couple hundred paces to my safe from the shop and I dug out my own JYDII models. Disassembled those and did the same steps. One of these is store bought from Spark at 1SKS, the other bought here on the forums. Neither of those anodize either! So, my question is, what gives Kershaw? I've anodized a lot of ti in the time I've been doing this. I don't know what these slabs are made of but I know what they're not. They're not titanium!

    Color me surprised. These were sold as titanium to me so I'd like to know. Anyway, I've informed the customer I can't do his request. Well, not all of it. The clip and stand off part is done and colored blue and magenta for the second set of stand offs as ordered. The slabs had to be taken back to the bead blast cabinet to get the splotches off because after all the dipping they looked like crap! Thank god I was able to clean those back up because I was concerned from the looks of them. They looked pretty bad!

    Anyway, that was the end of my afternoon. I thought I'd come here and write about it.

  2. alejandrino


    May 16, 2006
    How are you, my friend??Wow, I have one of this myself from Kershaw guy. It is non-magnetic, so can't be steel. Aluminum??Scandium?? Boy, hope somebody chimes in !! Kershaw???I also plan to shift the clip for tip up. Saw how busy you were and think I will try it myself. Got to use what you taught me !!Take care !!

    Mine was also blemished Kershaw.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  3. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    300 series steel like that used on the non lock side of Emerson knives for the liner is also non ferrous or non magnetic. The Shallot, and Leek sent by the same gent that sent the JYDII models both have a magnetic attraction so its not the same as those.

    Been doing okay. Good to hear from you Dan. Hope all is well. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. nevermind35


    Aug 14, 2009
    Wow this is a very interesting find. I also own a couple of the SG2 JYD IIs blems (One of them has one of your excellent lowriders) and would really like to hear some closure on this question. It seems to feel and wear like titanium.
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2010
  5. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Well if it was titanium one would be blue and other emerald green of the two for the customer I have here and both of mine would be dark brown and khaki. The thought crossed my mind if maybe this isn't the flaw or most of it? Perhaps they discovered they were not titanium and couldn't sell them that way any longer or something? I don't know. I know I've anodized all manner of titanium from lesser to the beta titanium with no issues. The last knife I anodized was the Reeve Umnumzaan which is a bit bigger than this JYDII. I've anodized larger too as well as all manner of smaller pieces. Anyway, it left me scratching my head. It corrodes about like a detent ball would in the tank if you didn't cover it or remove it first so I'm fairly certain whatever it is its stainless in a non ferrous type 300 series.

  6. GarrettWeidman

    GarrettWeidman Gold Member Gold Member

    Jan 8, 2010
    A while ago a guy had a blue anodized titanium JYD SG2 for sale, I wonder how he got his to anodize.
  7. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Yeah I saw that. I don't know how, and I don't know how I managed to get two mailed to me that would not anodize or why mine won't anodize either. I'm batting four for four so far with JYDII's.

    What makes me wonder is the fact that everything else I anodized that day all in the same sitting done back to back anodized just fine with the exception of those two JYDII models mailed to me. I just don't know. Kind of stopped thinking about it at this point. I did the rest of the requests for the guy but just could not do the frames for whatever reason.

  8. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Okay scratch that last post. I decided to say damn the torpedoes with one of mine and stuck it in the tank on just the tail end trying to anodize it again at 28volts. Thats a blue color. I did a pocket clip right before that and immediately upon touching the water the clip started turning as is usual.

    This was new solution just made and crystal clear. I stick the JYDII tail end in the tank and immediately it starts bubbling up, the tank turns murky yellow color getting darker the longer it stays in but I leave it regardless. It took about 40 seconds and finally it starts turning blue but its not normal looking. Its blue but not like I expected and not consistent. Hmmm. I'm thinking okay it did this just the same way right after bead blasting it all over on each slab, then soaking in multi etch for one minute each side after removing the detent ball and apparently all that etching and blasting did nothing to make it anodize faster but it did finally turn just enough to know its anodizing but man what a crappy tank you have after just doing one slab. I bet by the time I did all the others I'd be lucky if you could even see through the tank by the time its done and before starting it was clear!

    I'm left wondering what else could be done to clean the stuff off or if Kershaw has some coating on the surface maybe? I don't really know and can't figure it out. I'm convinced at this point I was wrong about the titanium question so my apologies there because mine finally did begin to turn after bubbling in the tank for just shy of a minute I'd say. I've never seen ti take so long even when dirty though. I mean I can get a new sheet from a dealer and cut off a scrap raw unfinished and see it begin to turn with no prep at all and nearly immediate so it really makes me wonder if maybe the alloy content could be different or something like that?? I've never seen anything I anodized turn the tank water color like this either. Thats really puzzling.

    Again, I stand corrected on the ti question. Apparently it is ti, albeit a strange acting one in the tank that I'm still trying to figure out.

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  9. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Here are some pictures for you of the single hardest anodizing job I've ever taken on. Most that have followed here know the story so I won't go over it again since I've covered how I got here. What I will say is this. Yes its ti, yes it can be anodized but in the case of my experience with it a couple of things stood out as puzzling as pointed out. One look at the anodizing bath water. I went to Wal-Mart and bought a small plastic tub just for this so I was not having to redo water in my bigger tank normally used. So I set this up and did all the prep as before. Anodizing both of these slabs to the color you see here took this clear new water to this like "Gatorade" color and it took me over 45 minutes start to finish and three tries, meaning three etch dips for 1 minute per slab, followed by neutralizing bath, followed by anodizing bath and finally on the last try I got them both to a good looking color that I could live with. One thing I did notice is that with each progressive dip they anodized and etched faster and faster each time but they never did just make the process easy like before with other models.

    Wow! I'm left puzzled by the amount of time it took when other slabs like the Chris Reeve Umnumzaan didn't act any different than the fifty or so other knives I've done for folks over the time I've been doing this. I kid you not I could and have anodized a thousand clips in a tank of water and not turn it color so I'm left wondering after bead blasting and etching in my multi etch from "Reactive Metals" what in the world is going on here. Anyone with any ideas to help me relieve the scratched bald spot off my head so my hair starts growing again feel free to chime in!:D

    In the tank to anodize it took forever to build up to voltage and as you guys that have done this may know the voltage drops when something is first put in the tank then it begins climbing back up pretty fast. This did climb but oh so slowly and the first dip had to be done in stages. The cathode was much bigger in volume and size than the slab being anodized but even playing around with that by using still bigger scrap pieces of stainless or titanium and even smaller ones made no diff in how long it took to begin seeing a change that was uniform in the slab or a change in the rate of climb back up to voltage. I tell ya, if all jobs were this difficult to get done I'd stop doing them altogether. Far too much time involved here but I'd like to know what kind of coating or reason there is for this tank color change, and long process to anodize. Compared to anything else I've ever anodized I'd have to say this one has been quite the experience. All I can figure is it needed extra extra cleaning or something but even after that it seemed to slow down the process somehow compared to what I've grown used to. Input welcome.

    Thomas I appreciate your contact to me. I wish I could tell you more. Thanks to the guys at Kershaw putting their heads together to at least try to help me out with my questions. :thumbup: Also, re-reading my first post it stood out to me that I was coming across in a way as to be read accusatory on my part toward Kershaw and I apologize for this. It was not my intent to come across this way and although you did not say anything I hope that it is just me seeing that and that it did not come across in a negative way to you. I was just puzzled by it really.

    From my stand point trying to do this everything from the way the voltage would drop from 28 volts to 10 v or less and stay there like it does when steel gets in the tank where voltage is climbing very little or not at all, to the way the water began to turn color from what was apparently corrosion going on to the way the slabs didn't etch or look the same after the etch dip as I've seen other ti all seemed to indicate more and more that it was something other than titanium I was dealing with. Even though I know its ti now, I still am left with the conviction that its a different kind of ti than I've ever anodized or worked with before. Something is different about it I do know that much. No ti has ever taken this long to anodize for me. I've anodized Emerson knives from 1998 that sat around for ten years oxidized quite good over time and others even older the same way as I did this one and they turned color as quick as brand new fresh off the sheet titanium pocket clips I make, and nothing that I've anodized has turned my tank water from clear to Gatorade color like these slabs did.

    Lastly, being that the knives I was attempting to anodize belonged to a customer and were not my property my fear with those was that if I left them in the water corroding (since thats what it appeared to be) the thought struck me that they could be permanently damaged. Not wanting to buy someones knives from them because I ruined them I was left with the unanswered question of what the heck was going on and what the heck is this stuff? So those pieces belonging to someone else were not left in the tank any longer than the usual time I was seeing in all the other titanium I've anodized. As is usual I spit it out in my first post and my tone was not to my liking when I returned to re-read it in this case. Anyway, once I decided to go ahead and risk one of my own models I selected the flawed model I bought from KershawGuy and as you can see all it took was longer time in the tank. After lots of time it became apparent I was wrong and only misread the facts due to that time delay and the water turning.

    One dealer has told me that it may be the ti slabs are a different alloy than the standard knife maker grade. Since there are like at least 12 grades of alloyed titanium currently available to the public he could not say which it was or if it was just a 6/4 ti with something more in it of one particular element like maybe more copper perhaps than normal. Higher alloy content could account for how the ti behaved more like a stainless alloy in the anodizing bath and the water turning color but again its all speculation.

    EDIT: Ooops. Forgot the close up after pic of the tank water.


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 20, 2010
  10. DelrinFred


    Jan 23, 2008
    Sure does sound like Kershaw used a different Ti alloy, or one with an exotic surface treatment. Did Thomas confirm to you that they are using exactly the same material for the handles? I know from experience that suppliers can make a 'minor' change in composition and all hell breaks loose.
  11. jonnymac44


    Sep 27, 2007
    Thanks for the heads up Steve. If you recall I just emailed back in forth with you in the last few weeks about doing an ano job on one of my Ti JYD's. I'm glad I have been so busy and didn't get that sent out to you yet. Curious to know what you find out. I'm sure there is some explanation.

    I'll be in touch.

  12. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    It did appear to be something on the surface but as to what or how it got there I can't say. Thomas said that they bought the 6/4 from a reputable dealer and its one I've bought from numerous times myself. In fact every ti pry bar I've ever made out of titanium came from the same dealer and as you can see those all turned in the tank just fine when I color anodized them.

    I feel bad that it fooled me so well because I was convinced there for a while that it was not ti. I've just anodized so much of it that I never expected it would have to sit in the tank bubbling and baking basically for a minute or actually more if you add up all the other dip tries before that. And to think this was still the case after soaking in that multi etch for a minute or more each time I tried to color them just makes it all that much more puzzling. Most everything else I've ever anodized was only dipped in the etch for between 15 to 30 seconds max. Between the time factor and the way it made the tank appear to be staining like coins do to a swimming pool if someone lost them and they sat there over night all indicated steel corrosion to me.

    I remember once with our own swimming pool after a party when some kids lost coins in the pool and I didn't know it. The next day after the party I went out to shock the pool as was usual after a lot of swimmers and when I dumped that concentrated chlorine in there instead of just clouding up in a white fog as usual what happened was that as soon as the shock hit the water the water clouded over alright but it was a pea green color that overtook the entire pool making the water look like a green algae covered pond or something. What was funny about it was that when I tested the water with my kit it tested out fine but the color was way off. It turned out those coins had been soaking in the water for about 12 hours and all the different metal alloys in there were what reacted. They had me basically taking a chemistry class to learn how to get it clear again. In the end I drained the pool and filled it back up again with clear water rather than mess with that crap and expense.

    I kept thinking of this experience with our pool when the water turned like that in my anodize bath. My guess is that it could be related to alloy mix content in this particular titanium. As to what it has more of or anything else I have no idea. Its been the same on all four of the ones I have had in my tank though. But regardless of whether its just something coated on the surface that had to 'melt' off first before the titanium could react or the content of the alloy itself the good news is it did finally turn color for me but it was very difficult to get to be a uniform finish and took me three or more tries to make it look as good as others do after the first dip. This was even after it finally started reacting like normal for me. Considering that I attempted to color them before back when I first started this thread there were actually more than three tries I guess. Anyway, I will probably pass on anymore JYDII anodizing jobs. I'm not really too happy with the way it does my water tank to be honest with you.

    The gent that sent me that first set of JYDII models to anodize is over in Honduras right now. When he gets back I've offered to trade him my blue slabs if he wants them since he was the one trying to get those of his own model turned color. If he takes me up on it I'll swap him out for his and we'll call it even but if I have my way I'll be thinking twice before taking on anymore of these. My concern is that not all of them will look as good or be uniform for finish. In the past when I've had some other types of ti sent to me that I knew was not 6/4 it anodized but it was weird in that yeah both pieces may be blue or green or gold or whatever color was requested but they had different shades to them and didn't really match up even though they were done at the same time and at the same voltage. Again all I can figure is that its related to alloy differences in the make up of each piece or perhaps indicative of the two pieces coming off of different sheets from different batches of titanium made at different times or perhaps even in different places. Who knows?

    Last edited: Jun 22, 2010
  13. OrangeJoe


    Jul 13, 2004
    I see that a finish or coating may explain the different behaviour while anodizing but how do you explain the different 'feel' you had when machining/tapping the slabs.

    I just got an SG2/Ti so I'll be ordering the low rider clip soon.
  14. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    I thought about that some and it may be related to the fact that I had just pulled out a new tap to thread with and it was still fresh unlike older ones well used. I mean I had used it a couple times but it was still fairly new compared to the one it replaced.

    I can tell you this much. This job was the straw that broke the camels back for me because other than my own clips, pry bars and my own folders I do myself I'm not anodizing anymore for folks like this on other jobs.

  15. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    I should probably elaborate on that last post some. I remember when I first got my anodizing equipment and how easy I thought it was. Technically speaking this is true. I mean if you have one piece of ti say, a piece of jewelry you did in the way of some ear rings for the wife, or one pocket clip or one pry bar and you want to color it its easy no doubt. You pick the voltage and you pick a color and basically its done no sooner than dipping. Thats all great but with multiples of them people are not aware of the little things that come up for say a knife with two sides.

    I've noted on some of my jobs when I had orders for two or more pry bars or two or more clips that the guys wanted blue clips where side by side the clips or pry bars didn't match! This even though they were both done at the same time, etched and treated the same way and dipped in the tank at the exact same voltage! At other times when someone would send me a knife to anodize the body on I'd notice when they were done and laying out on the table that one side was a different shade than the other even though both were done together and treated exactly the same. All I can figure with these situations is that there are differences in the make up of the alloy and that one slab came from a different sheet and a different batch than the other one.

    Anyway, jumping through some hoops in the learning curve I did pick up some tricks on how to try to correct for this and at times I even managed to do it where one side was dipped a second time and matched better when it came out and I compared it to the one that was done only once in the etch tank. Can't account for that though because at other times it made it worse and I ended up having to dip both in the etch and start over again to make them look more matched up. Still on others the shade diff was so bad I didn't anodize them at all but went back to a bead blasted finish on those items if they were something someone was ordering and I tried again with two different ones which would almost always end up matching up better.

    Anyway, that and this last job on these JYDII models really burned me out and I'm just a bit tired of all the time and hoop jumping I guess. The last four anodizing jobs have all been time consuming and harder to do for me for what they bring in and I guess although it sounds bad to say it when I look at it from the stand point of time vs money well, I can make four low rider clips in the time it takes me to do most of these anodizing jobs and yet the anodizing jobs take the same time and pay half or less as much and when they go south on me they end up taking up a whole day when I have other things on the bench I really could have knocked out for folks. So thats the bottom line there guys. I'm done with these type jobs.

    Last edited: Jul 5, 2010
  16. dl351


    May 5, 2006
    Hello. Well, I read about half of this thread, but here's a thought of mine. I don't know what type of coating is on these (I have a blem JYDII SG2 also), but I have a CRKT Veil Wasp that has titanium handles. I did a bit of experimenting on those with 9V batteries and a bottle of Coke. Those handles also had some weird coating on them that I had to go at with sand paper. It sucked to sand off, and it would slowly anodize if I didn't sand the coating off. Without the coating sanded off, though, the anodizing looked like crap. I am glad to hear that the JYDII handles truly are titanium. It seemed really weird to me when you mentioned that they may not be.
  17. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Yeah. I was wrong there. It was just a situation I had not encountered before and when I made the post I had not taken the step of leaving the slabs in the tank letting them soak there for a while to see what would happen. It was really just a fluke that I finally even did that. My initial take was soon corrected after they had been tried three times and I ended up leaving one in there for about a minute as I recall and I admit I made a mistake on reading the signs for what the material was made out of before knowing all the facts.
    I still contend that this set of signs would have been read the same by anyone that had any experience anodizing though. I mean the way it turned the water and appeared to be corroding was just like I'd seen when a screw was accidentally left on a slab or a stainless sleeve was inside some part like a lanyard hole in a slab or something like the detent ball was not removed. It had all the signs of being stainless at the time based on my experiences.

    I don't pretend that I'm the most knowledgeable for this stuff though. I mean I just base what I say on my own experiences and what I've read as well as learned from others and I still learn more everyday. This experience was a learning one too no doubt about it but I'm still confused by some of it. The time thing for one, as most everything I have ever anodized, well, no not most all of the stuff I've anodized in the way of titanium products have always begun to anodize immediately upon hitting the tank water once voltage was applied to it and this is especially true once I've used the Reactive Metals Multi Etch. Considering how long those slabs soaked in that etch I can't imagine what they could be coated with that the etch would not get off there. Whatever it is sure surprised me though because a full minute is longer than I've ever soaked anything else and it barely had any effect at all apparently. Go figure.

    Anyway, and once again for the record. I apologize for the err on my part reading the signs here. It is one of those things I wish I could do again but all I can do now is pick up the pieces and move on.

  18. shunsui

    shunsui Gold Member Gold Member

    Aug 12, 2008
  19. OrangeJoe


    Jul 13, 2004

    I think most folks who have read your posts and seen the work you do appreciate your participation in the forums. I was just a little shocked as I read this thread just after ordering the Ti JYD as my first Titanium framelock and just went "lucky me!". :)

    I hope my post did not come off as negative. I'm working a part time job selling among other things drills/taps and I know my customers go through them like they were made out of PlayDoh.

    Even in hindsight your OP seems logical and well put.
  20. STR

    STR Knifemaker/Moderator Moderator

    Aug 27, 2004
    Thanks. I guess the only thing it did was remind me that I had some regrets about even starting the thread once I discovered the truth of the matter. Don't get me wrong I don't mind learning the truth and have no problem admitting when I screw up I just wish I had it to do over again so I'd adopt the wait and see attitude my gut told me to adopt before starting this thread.

    I can only hope that it didn't cause any hard feelings with anyone at Kershaw by my experiences with this model and pre-mature posting about it before knowing all I needed to know. I've been kicking myself for jumping the gun on this thread for a few now and I guess it still bugs me more than I realized. If there is a negative I guess that would be it. I'll manage to deal though as I always do. ;)


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