Anybody know........??????


"The Montana Bladesmith"
Does anybody know what specifically the material is for the handblock (the part you put the felt pad on) on a personalizer plus etcher? I've called the company, and they are pretty tight lipped about it. I need to build myself a different type/style of handblock for my etcher (to get into tight areas), but can't seem to find out what material these handblocks are made of. Any help would be appreciated!


Well-Known Member
I guess I thought they were graphite. I just went and looked at mine and it sure look like it.



"The Montana Bladesmith"
It feels like carbon, looks like graphite, but the more I look at it, the more I realize I just don't know. :) It's gotta be conductive....there's a female banana plug embedded in it, and the negative wire hooks up there. My plan is to build one that is sorta "toothbrush" shaped, so I can get into some tight area(s). Maybe I'll head over to Mcmaster-Carr and browse through their raw materials section. If anybody figures it out, please let me know.


"The Montana Bladesmith"
Got an answer from one of the eletro-etch's a "specail kind of graphite" (guess thats what you get when ask them "what specifically is the material" :) They also made a vauge reference to the block being the size it is so as not to cause current overdraw on the etching unit. So that begs another question...... does a smaller graphite block cause more or less current draw on the unit........this whole idea is getting harder and harder.......I think I need an asprin. :)

I sent another email to the outfit that responded to me.....asking about the current draw and block size issue......we'll see if I get a response to that one. LOL!

Self Made Knives

Well-Known Member
Don't know if it helps or not, but I built my own etcher which is pretty much the same thing, and I made mine with a piece of stainless steel epoxied onto a wood block. I've only etched about 10 logos so far, but it's still shiny.
I'm not 100% sure but I'm thinking that if you measured the one from the factory and then made the new one to have the same amount of cubic inches, mm's or whatever then it would have the same draw. In other words, if it had a smaller "footprint" you could just make it longer to increase the mass to equal the original.
I don't know what company you called but I bet Patricia at IMG could help you out. She knows her stuff and is a nice lady to boot. Keep us posted.


Well-Known Member
Ed, just use motor brushes.

You can find them via a ton of sources, even eBay.

Get the ones that have a wire already embedded in them.
Something like this for example.

They work great, I have made several, for myself, and friends.

I used pretty small brushes, and swipe, to get a mark that is superior to most others.

Big blocks that cover the whole stencil are sketchy, unreliable, and unnecessary.
FWIW, current draw is going to be determined by the opening in the stencil, and how much of your pad is in contact with it at an given time.

I find "swiping" with the leading edge of a pad to be the most reliable, consistent method for marking.
You have absolute control this way, and every bit of your mark gets the same amount of exposure with this method.

Not so when a big old pad is covering the whole stencil.
Uneven pressure, outgassing, etc... means you can get an uneven mark.

Check it out.

Now, I just use my laser...


"The Montana Bladesmith"
YOU DA MAN Brian!! Motor brushes never occurred to me! I watched that video some time ago, and after Steve and I spoke on Monday morning, I finally sat down and started experimenting.......the windex and swiping make the best marks I've achieved. See....even us "old dogs" never stop learning, and contrary to popular belief....we CAN learn new tricks! :)

Thank again Brian!!


"The Montana Bladesmith"
Scrounged up a couple of large motor brushes today.....and built myself a "wand"......seems to be working great!


Well-Known Member
You are sure right about using the windex and swiping the stencil, i've found that give consistent dark logo etches. Your trick of using motor brushes is excellent and thanks for sharing that.

One tip I can add is the best material for the wand that i've found is using that synthetic deer Shammy stuff for wiping down your vehicle after a wash.. Like the "Sham Wow" stuff. Its slightly sponge like so it hold the solution and swipes across with an even pressure.

I cut a long strip and then rubber band it over the small wand I have from my Personalizer Plus etcher. I use each section on the wand for about 6-8 knife markings and the move the strip over to clean material.
Your mileage may vary.

TJ Smith

Well-Known Member
Try a q tip. I wet the tip ,put the clip on the wet cotton, dab it on a paper towel, and start etching. Takes a little trial and error but dabing it on the stencil for a count of 3-4 or until you see bubbles on the edges. Then move it around a lot going over everything 3-4 times. Eliminated most of the cloudy smoke around my Logo etch.
Take care
TJ Smith

Frank Niro

Thanks Brian,. I always like a better way to do something. That Q tip thing is a lost cause and why was it ever started when a small brass or stainless block will work so much better? Frank


Well-Known Member
I never could get a decent mark with a Q-Tip.
It's SO easy to make a pad out of a brush, I don't know why anyone wouldn't!

In a bind, OK.
If you know you are going to etch something again, someday, make a good one!

TUS sells some great felt, it's almost free.
I forget what I paid, but I'm sure it was sub $20, and was enough to last MANY years at a couple of hundred knives a year.
Just buy it when you buy the electrolyte.
They make the best stencils of the 3 or 4 places I tried.
Get the Gold ones, you can see through them.
And leave a ton of space around your mark, on the stencil itself.

Don't be cheap, it doesn't pay off.
I used to jam as many openings into a sheet as I could, and I suffered for it.

I think stencils were $15 ish, and I had 5 openings on a roughly 3*8 sheet there at the end of my etching career.
More dead space is good for the swiping technique.
You don't even need tape.
I used to get bleed through in the corners on occasion when I taped.

One more trick.
O-Rings work great for holding the felt to your pad.
Better and easier than wrapping a rubber band around a bunch of times.