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Aluminum will work from a conductor perspective, but I would imagine it will become very corroded. If you keep it clean by refinishing the face with sandpaper it should be ok. I find the stainless gets pretty corroded after a dozen etchings or so and I clean this with 100 grit sandpaper to keep it working smoothly.
Hey your build looks great. Yes, the cathode does corrode. The electrolyte can be pretty nasty. Some folks use salt water, others use some form of salt and vinegar. I use a commercial electrolyte for stainless that smells like sulfur. These are not friendly to metals, even "stainless steel." I shine it up the cathode steel with some 120 grit sand paper whenever I change the pad. Maybe three times a year. I have found that most cases of poor etching is result of not enough electrolyte on the pad.I have recently been pieces cut from felt insoles from the shoe department which is thicker than craft felt. Thanks for your comments and photos. DC
That's a great idea. In its simplest form an AC adapter and a diode would work good too. The green "Scotch-brite" type pads can be very aggressive. I use the blue and grey pads which are much less abrasive. A little buff with 0000 steel wool works too.
Never too late. I have learned that liquid paper/white out works to keep the steel from welding to the copper/brass too. Many use it when making canister Damascus. Haven't tried it yet, but worth looking into.
Really well done. Thank you!
As Mackelbot mentioned, this is not to be used for a blade.
The mokume gane is not intended to be used for a knife blade. I use this for decoration on the handle, usually at guard or bolsters. A steel knife blade needs to be high carbon so it can harden properly.
I got my electrolyte solution from a knifemaker supply store.
Hi, nice Instructable. Thanks for posting.The readers may find an online calculator that I scripted with php helpful. It uses AC motor information, sheave diameters and drive wheel diameter to determine the speed of a grinding belt. http://dcknives.com/public/belt_speed.phpDC
It should be noted that with a toggle switch, the internal contacts are opposite the lever. So when the lever is down the center and top contacts are closed. This isn't a problem as you can either label the switch based on the output (AC or DC) or you can simply rotate the switch in the hole 180° to match your labelling. Good luck!
That looks great!
Wow, I have never seen that before. I'd check the batteries in the meter.Dan
I have some details on my blog: http://dcknives.blogspot.com/p/2-x-72-belt-grinder...Including dimensions and building the tool arms. Dan
That looks like the right kind.
Yes the outer layers of the billet stick to the steel. It's a bit tough taking them off.
How to make a Bushcraft knife