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ACID ETCHING WITH POSITIV 20 AND NEGATIVE by Marietjie Thorburn

***ETCH THE LOGO ON THE BLADE OF A FIXED BLADE KNIFE BEFORE YOU PUT
THE BOLSTER ON YOU MIGHT HAVE TO RE-DO THE ETCHING AND IT WILL NOT
BE POSSIBLE TO GET THE BLADE FINISH NEAT AND CRISP IF THE BOLSTER is
ON. The logo will have to be removed by a belt grinder so back to 320# belt, re-polish
the hollow, the satin and then the ricasso. Rather be safe than sorry.
*** ETCH THE LOGO ON THE BLADE OF A FOLDING KNIFE BEFORE YOU DO THE
ASSEMBLING (IF POSSIBLE) BUT ALWAYS BEFORE YOU FIT THE THUMB STUD.

WHAT TO USE
ITEM

WHERE AVAILABLE

Thinners and Acetone

Hardware shop / Supermarket

Tissue paper (toilet roll)

Supermarket

POSITIV 20 / POSITIV RESIST

Marietjie Thorburn , Knife Machines and Tools (KMT) or


Electronic Shops

Masking tape

Marietjie Thorburn, Knife Machines and Tools (KMT)


Hardware shop / Supermarket

High Temperature 120


Wooden Pegs - modified to hold
negative on blade

Supermarket

UV light box or sun light

SEE ATTACHED DRAWING I PREFER THE SUN


LIGHT BUT UNFORTUNATELY THE SUN DOESNT
ALWAYS SHINE

Brown Dropper Bottles (Qty 2)

Chemist

Ferric Chloride

Saturated solution crystals at KMT

Caustic soda (flakes)/Bytsoda (in


Afrikaans nie Wassoda nie)

Chemist / Supermarket
Recipe on Positiv 20 can also see NOTE

Caustic soda solution


Negative

Knife Machines and Tools (KMT) or


Future Pre-press 650 Windsor street Garsfontein
Karin Nolan karin@futuregroup.co.za
012 998 1642 or 012 998 5258

Liquid Gun Blue

Knife Machines and Tools (KMT) or Gun shop

NOTE
Negative - Knife Machines and Tools (KMT) or your local printer might also be
able to help. Design your logo in black and white - they will know what to
do just give them specific sizes e.g. 12 mm or 15 mm high. ONLY BLACK
AND WHITE (NO GREY OR SHADOWS).
NOTE
Caustic soda solution - 7g on 1 liter of water (level teaspoon). Keep solution
in brown glass bottle as it is light sensitive.

METHOD
NOTE
Always remember: do not work in direct sunlight. If ever you have
to stop the process - place the knife in a dark cupboard or cover with
a soft dark cloth. The Positive 20 is light sensitive and it will loose
its effectiveness within a few seconds.
NOTE
Etch logo on the LH side (presentation side) of the blade unless your
client is left handed then the presentation side will be the right hand
side of the knife. The logo must be close to the bolster and as high
as possible. Remember your logo is an advertisement so you want it to
stay on the knife.
NOTE
Work in a clean and dust free area.

(1) CLEANING OF THE BLADE IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT.


The blade must be absolutely oil
and buffing soap free. Some
buffing soaps may require you to
wash it thoroughly using sunlight
liquid. We use Unipol so we
clean it with tissue paper and
thinners (rub it well) and then
with acetone (rub it extremely
well to remove the thinners). A
Mirror finish on the blade makes
it more difficult to etch. Cleaning is then even more important. Spray
the Positiv 20 and rub off immediately with a tissue then re- spray the
Positiv 20 without cleaning the blade again.

(2) Mask the bolster and handle with


paper. Spray positiv 20 holding it
150 mm to 200 mm away. The
film must be even and not
running. If you have sprayed too
much and it runs on the blade
you might have to expose it to
the UV light for longer and leave
the caustic soda on the blade
for longer during the developing
process.

(3) Leave to dry overnight or blow dry for 15 min. Allow to cool down
completely before continuing.
NOTE
The cooling is important as heat activates caustic soda and it might
eat through the layer quickly.
(4) Cut the negative to the correct size and mask using masking tape cut
to size again.
(5) Keep ready:
Tissue paper.
Caustic soda solution in brown dropper bottle.
Ferric Chloride (FC) solution in brown dropper bottle.
Wooden pegs modified to hold negative close to blade even in
small corners.
(6) Place the negative on the blade
- make sure that it is straight.
(7) Clamp negative using wooden
pegs - negative must be flat on
the blade.

(8) Expose the blade to the light in the light box experiment with your
specific light bulb, as you will have to find the perfect time for it. For
example: if using an OSRAM 160 W HWL (MBTF) B22d 240 V
mercury tungsten blended lamp you have to expose the blade to the
light for 5 min. Using another
bulb might only require 25-30 sec.
Remove one wooden peg to do the
colour test (see 9)
OR
Expose to direct sunlight for 25
sec to 30 sec. Hold very still and
avoid shadows. Do the thumb test
to see if you have to expose it a
few seconds longer ( see 9)
(9) Positiv 20 changes colour (green blue) when exposed to light. This
is always a good indication that your blade has been exposed to the UV
light for long enough. Do not remove the negative unless you are sure
that the change has taken place. You will never be able to put the
negative back on and you will have difficulty developing the image. If
the difference in colour is not clear - expose to the UV light again remember to time this so that you will know how long to expose it in
the future.
(10) Remove the negative. Store it in a safe place as you can re-use it and
you dont want it to get scratched.
(11) Place a drop of caustic soda on the blade. Take care not to touch the
blade with the dropper as the Positive 20 layer can easily be damaged.
Keep a tissue ready and as soon
as the image has been fully
developed dap dry. Never rub
as the tissue might have a dust
particle that can scratch the
layer. You can be sure that it
has been fully developed if the
blue layer has been completely
removed. NO GRAY
SHADOWS MUST BE
VISIBLE ON THE IMAGE. The image must be shiny - if not place
another drop on the image and dap dry with a tissue after a while.
NOTE
It is a good idea to test a freshly mixed Caustic soda solution before you
use it the first time. Test it on the tip of the blade if it develops to quick
add a bit of water and if it takes too long add Caustic soda flakes.

NOTE
ALWAYS:- DAP THE CAUSTIC SODA OFF THE BLADE IMMEDIATELY AFTER
YOUVE APPLIED IT DOING THIS YOULL BE ABLE TO DETERMINE THE SPEED
AT WHICH THE IMAGE DEVELOPE. A FEW FACTORS DETERMINE THIS LIKE:
EXPOSURE TIME
LIGHT OR SUN LIGHT
THICKNESS OF THE POSITIV 20 LAYER
DRYNESS OF THE POSITIV 20 LAYER 1 HOUR/ 1 DAY / 1 WEEK

(12) Mask the image using a


permanent marker. It is like
building a dam wall around the
image to keep the ferric
chloride in. Anything suspicious
can also be covered with the
permanent marker.

(13) Drop a large drop of ferric


chloride inside the masked area
(dam wall). Make sure that the
image is completely covered as
the FC tend to move away from
the edges. Leave for about 2
min. You will be able to see the
reaction - the image will loose
its shine and turns darker.
When the etching looks even
coloured - suck the FC back into the dropper bottle. Leave just a
little bit on the blade and avoid touching the Positiv 20 layer with the
tip of the dropper. It is an oxidization process use the tissue or ear
bud containing a little Ferric
chloride to dap the etching. The
oxygen and the FC will react
quickly and the image will turn
darker. When the image is
uneven in colour or still shiny
you will have to go back to step
11. Repeat the process as it
means that the image hasnt
been completely developed.
**Remember to re-do the permanent marker as the caustic soda might
damage the layer of ink.

(14) To get an even darker etch you


can also put a little liquid gun
blue on an ear bud and dap
while there is still a bit of
Ferric Chloride on the blade.
This works well on steels like
440B thats really difficult to
etch.

(15) When happy with the outcome


place a large drop of caustic
soda on the image and rub well.
Repeat two or three times to
completely remove all the ferric
chloride.

(16) Finally clean the blade using


acetone on a tissue.

Remember the saying:

W hen you dont have tim e to do it right


W hen w ill you have tim e to do it over????
Please take your time with the process. Rather be safe than sorry!
Marietjie Thorburn

STRYKYSTER ( HAAL DIE KREUKELS / PLOOIE UIT! ) - TROUBLESHOOT:

POSITIV 20 TREK WEG EN MAAK DRUPPELS:MAAK SKOON MET TERPENTYN OF SUNLIGHT LIQUID ( GEWOONLIK SPIELAFWERKING
(MIRROR FINISH) BUFF)
GEBRUIK N STUKKIE SNEESPAPIER EN SMEER DIE POSITIV 20 OOR DIE LEM MOENIE
SKOON MAAK NIE SPUIT DAN WEER

POSITIV 20 RAAK MELKERIG:


TE VEEL VOG IN DIE LUG MAAK DIE LEM SKOON EN DAN WARM VOOR JY WEER SPUIT.
WERK BY N VERWARMER WAT DIE LUG UITDROOG.

WIL NIE ONTWIKKEL NIE:BYTSODA KAN TE FLOU WEES - OF VERSLAAN HET. (LIG EN LUG SENSITIEF)
POSITIV 20 HET TE DROOG GERAAK LANGER AS N WEEK GEL
LAAG POSITIV 20 TE DIK - ONTWIKKEL STADIGER ( DIKKER LAE MOET LANGER BELIG
WORD OM ONTWIKKELING TE VERGEMAKLIK).

BYTSODA VREET DADELIK DEUR DIE LAAG -- BLINK KOL OF PIT MERKE
BYTSODA TE STERK
POSITIV 20 NOG NIE DROOG NIE
LEM NOG WARM NA DIE DROOGMAAKPROSES MET HAARDROER OF
VERWARMER.( HITTE AKTIVEER BYTSODA)

FERRIC CHLORIED TREK WEG DRUPPEL:DE MAGNITISEER DIE LEM


HOU LEM WATERPAS (LEVEL) DEUR WASGOEDPENNETJIE ONDER DIE PUNT VAN
DIE LEM IN TE WIG.

ETS NIE EGALIG NIE BLINK STUKKIES BLY:ONTWIKKELING ONVOLDOENDE HERHAAL VANAF STAP 11

LOGO IS NIE HELDER (CRISP) NIE:SWAK NEGATIEF DOT-MATRIX ( KOLLETJIES) ETS SO GOED AS
WAT JOU NEGATIEF IS.
NEGATIEF WAS NIE PLAT TEEN DIE LEM NIE - GEBRUIK WASGOEDPENNETJIES WAT VIR DIE DOEL AANGEPAS IS.

ETS IS NIE SWART NIE:PARTY SOORTE STAAL ETS MOEILIKER VERBETER MET LIQUID
GUN BLUE SIEN STAP 14 VAN AANTEKENINGE.
IN KOUE, NAT EN WINTER TYE KAN JY DIE FERRIC CHLORIED BIETJIE WARM
MAAK (SIT BOTTELTJIE IN BAKKIE WARM WATER) - HITTE AKTIVEER DIE
FERRIC CHLORIED.

ETS ALLERHANDE MERKIES SELFS KRING OM DIE LOGO:NEGATIEF GEKRAP? - BRE NEGATIEWE WEG VAN STOF IN BOEK
STOFMERKIES IN POSITIV 20 LAGIE MAAK MET PERMANENTE PEN
TOE - GEBRUIK N STERKER BRIL AS JY DIT NIE VOOR DIE TYD KAN
SIEN NIE - FERRIC CHLORIED HET NIE N BRIL NODIG NIE!!
PITMERKIES ORAL WAAR BYTSODA WAS MAAK SEKER DIE POSITIV
20 LAGIE IS NOG BLINK NADAT DIE BYTSODA OP WAS INDIEN DIT ENIGSINS VAAL
LYK VERAL OP RAND VAN DIE BYTSODA DRUPPEL MASKEER MET PERMANENTE
PEN. BYTSODA OPLOSSING TE LANK
GELOS OF DALK TE STERK.

ETS GLAD NIE :-

HET LEM NET MET THINNERS SKOON GEMAAK THINNERS LAAT N


OLIELAGIE OP DIE LEM WAT VERHOED DAT DIE FERRIC CHLORIED
BY DIE STAAL KAN UITKOM. GEBRUIK ALTYD ASETOON AS LAASTE STAP IN
SKOONMAAKPROSES.
VERKEERDE STAAL - GEWONE VLEKVRYESTAAL ETS NIE MET FERRIC CHLORIED
NIE
MESSTAAL MOET HITTEBEHANDEL WORD VOORDAT DIT GOED ETS.

----Fluit-fluit my storie is uit----