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Epic failure at this! Trying to salt water etch O1 tool steel after heat treat. That maybe my 1st mistake. I've watched the YT videos and the tutorial here. I used an battery charger and saturated salt water. It bubbled and smoked. I did this this several times. The spot left looked black and etched. I used fingernail polish and scratched a logo in it. Let dry and apply charged q-tip with salt water with the correct connections. Positive on blade, negative on q-tip. When cleaned off it had left just the slightest hint if any that I had done anything at all. Does this way not work on O1 steel?

 

Can you metal stamp O1 while red hot? Then back into heat before quench? Or is this another topic?

 

 Thanks again

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I can't help with the electro-etch, except to say you do have to do it after HT since otherwise you'll sand it off during cleanup.   It should work fine on O-1, though.  You can indeed hot stamp O-1.  Do that before HT, of course.  

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I honestly never liked the battery charger, salt-water etching.  I never had consistent results and sometimes it would look like garbage.  So I spent like 10 bucks and bought some electrolyte.  It made tons of difference.  And then I got tired of the stupid battery charger and bought an electro-etcher.  Even better.  Here is a good electrolyte.

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