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Old 05-09-2012, 11:48 AM
jeffm jeffm is offline
Join Date: May 2012
Posts: 1
Electrochemical Etching Stainless Steel Problems

Hi, I am new to this forum, but I tried searching previous posts and couldn't find one the fit my question.

I have been trying to use a monode etcher to etch on a stainless steel blade.

I keep getting a brown color at first, then it may darken to black which can then be easily wiped off. It also seems to pick up etched spots color and darken other areas. I first do a deep etch using the dc setting, then fill it in with the a/c setting.

I use a felt pad and switch to a fresh one between dc and ac. I have tried all voltage settings, and do not get a different result. I also use a stainless steel solution bought from

Is there any idea how I can get a nice clean black mark? I have tried simply putting the pad on for 5 seconds and off for 5 seconds and various other combinations, and also hovering it slightly over the material. I have tried pressing it into the material, lightly touching it, and keeping it just above it. All of this with the same result.

Any advice would be appreciated.


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Old 05-09-2012, 03:55 PM
Richarpo Richarpo is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Niagara Falls NY
Posts: 10
Hi I just sold a monode m-150 for 50 bucks with 3 bottles of electrolyte because I have a marking methods one already but it worked great in tryouts and I got it for next to nothing. My experience only is for that machine so here goes. I tape the stencil down on the blade after cleaning well with acetone. I put electric tape where I didnt want any stray spots although i dont think its necessary. I set the machine on dc at the highest voltage. I soak the wick so it is saturated but not dripping blotting for 10 second intervals for about 50 seconds or a minute this machine took longer thaan my MM one. Switch to ac and repeat. I used an electrolyte for steel that the original owner used to do saw blades it was red and I think it was monode m2 I got a case of it with the machine everything for 5 bucks. You could try a different electrolyte make sure you have enough on the wick but not so it runs out from under the stencil. Check your ground cable and handpad cable making sure it has good continuity.I had a bad cable once that was intermittent and made a lousy mark. I hope this helps Good Luck Rich
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Old 05-09-2012, 05:19 PM
Richarpo Richarpo is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Niagara Falls NY
Posts: 10

Forgot one thing dont switch wicks between dc and ac ac deposits some of the black stuff on the wick from the previous etch
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Old 05-09-2012, 08:26 PM
Don Robinson's Avatar
Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Brownsville, Texas
Posts: 4,873
Originally Posted by Richarpo View Post
Forgot one thing dont switch wicks between dc and ac ac deposits some of the black stuff on the wick from the previous etch

Correct. The black AC etching is deposited by the pad used on DC.
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Old 11-25-2020, 03:07 AM
Etcher Etcher is offline
Join Date: Nov 2020
Posts: 2

Thanks for this.
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advice, blade, electrochemical etching, electrochemical marking, etching, knife, material, solutions, stainless steel, steel

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