How to Metal Etch Your Tools

17December 2021

Hey guys! ChrisFix here, and today I'm going to show you how to etch and personalize your tools Like this hammer with my name on it And these sockets, which I etched the size on So you could easily read them But this process doesn't only work for tools It works on other bare metal objects, like a knife Or even one of these metal water bottles, or thermoses I mean come on, how cool is this.

You're going to be able to do this when you're done watching this video Basically any metal surface which isn't painted. You can use this process on So be creative And the reason why I'm excited to show you guys how to do this Because many times tools are hard to read, specifically sockets, the sizes on them Can be really hard to see And these are actually not that bad But some sockets are even worse. You have to search the whole socket for the size And there you go, 13 mm. But even that's hard to see. It's small and there's no contrast. So I'm going to take this cheap, $10 socket set with its hard to read sizes here And etch it. So it goes from this To this And now all these are nice and easy to read And not only am I going to show you how to etch the sizes in your tools, But I'm going to show you how to personalize your tools with your name or logo Because how awesome is that And the best part is, this is fast and easy to do with stuff you can find around your house All you need is a 12 volt DC source Like a car jump-starter, battery charger, car battery or even one of those 9 volt batteries Which will work if you're not etching too many tools Then you'll need two lengths of wire Preferably one black, one red With alligator clips on the ends, like this And that's all the electrical stuff we need Next we're gonna need a cup, salt and vinegar or water Vinegar's acidic which helps with the etching All you do is add salt to the cup And then pour in some water or vinegar Stir it up Dissolve all that salt And your solution is ready to go Then grab a whole bunch of cotton swabs And soak them in the salty solution And then finally, just grab some tools you wanna etch And then you wanna grab either stencils, or stickers Either one works, I'll show you both.

And we can get etching And although everything here is pretty common I'll link everything in the description so you can easily find it So if you wanna find these stencils. They're perfect for the job, they're reusable Well I'll link it in the description, so you can use the exact same ones And replicate exactly what I'm doing here So first I'm gonna teach you how to etch these sockets because they're hard to read And we're gonna be using stencils for this Stencils just mean that the inside is missing and the outside is the sticker You can also use regular stickers and I'm gonna show you how to do that on another tool But first let's do these sockets So the first step is, we're gonna clean the tools that we're working on So use either rubbing alcohol or some soapy water Now's a good time to get a pair of safety glasses on As well as some gloves Now we're gonna clear our surface, I'm using the alcohol Just wipe it down to remove any oils or dirt that'll prevent etching And with these cleaned up, now we can set-up our power source I'm using one of these jump starters The good thing about jump starters is, you have your on/off switch right here So right now, these aren't live – You can touch these together.

Nothing happens. With the battery in the off position, we can attach our cables Very simple. Red goes to red. Black goes to black. Now it's really hard to get electrocuted or hurt from a 12 volt DC source like this But it can cause a giant spark Now don't do this, because you can start a fire, but I just wanna show you So keep these separate, and the power switch in the off position And just a little bit more about safety, now's a good time to turn on a fan if you're working inside Or if you want, work outside where there's plenty of ventilation Okay, so here comes to very fun, cool part Where we actually etch the metal So grab your socket set that you wanna etch You can see that all the sizes are listed on this side Well, one tip is, since you can kinda see them If you get them at the right angle Flip this over, so that we have sizes on both sides And we're gonna start out with this 21 mm socket right here Now we can grab our stencil Grab the "2" Now these stencils are pretty wide, so what I'm gonna do is cut them so they're narrow And I'm gonna use the letters already on the socket To help me align and level my stencil Once aligned, press down on the stencil to seal the stencil to the socket And then get the number 1 stencil which is also cut – so you can get close enough to the number 2 stencil That looks even Good! 🙂 And look at that, that is our 21 mm So now we have two wires.

We have our black negative wire and our red positive wire Our positive wire attaches right to the metal piece that we're working on The negative wire is gonna get a cotton swap that has been soaking in the salt water And all you do Is you grab on the edge of the cotton swab like this With your alligator clip So it looks just like that You don't want the metal alligator clip sticking out past the tip of the cotton Because we're gonna be rubbing the socket with the cotton swab And we don't want any metal to metal contact, cause that's gonna 'cause a spark So we only want the cotton swab touching the socket Now we can turn the power on And all you have to do is touch the wet cotton swab Against the bare metal in the stencil Hold it down for about 5 seconds And then move it over a little bit, and repeat You'll know it's working because it makes a fizzing sound And you'll see some small bubbles Plus, you can see the metal changes colour in the etched area Try not to breathe in any of the gas being released Because with etching we're basically chemically dissolving the metal at the surface So make sure you touch all the area you wanna etch with your cotton swab If your etching slows down Check the tip of your cotton swab You can see this is black So change it out for a fresh one The fresh ones etch a lot faster And I'll go over this area one more time real quick And that looks good! Let's wipe away the leftover residue Now get another cotton swab with some alcohol on it And just clean out the two And then you can get a sharpie And just lightly colour in the area And this is just gonna help darken your etching To make it even more visible And the marker's gonna soak into the etched area And once it dries – since the etched area is recessed – it doesn't rub off You don't have to use the marker, but I like my etched numbers a little darker Now we're gonna do the same exact thing to the number 1 stencil I'm working from the top to the bottom And if any residue forms you can wipe it right off And once you etch the number, clean it off with a little bit of alcohol You can darken it with a marker if you want And now the moment of truth.

Let's peel this off and we get to see what you created Oh man that looks so awesome 😀 Look at that! Now don't get rid of these numbers Because we're gonna be reusing them for the other sockets Wipe down the whole socket Get it nice and clean Now this looks awesome. I've done a bunch of these already. And everytime you peel this off, it just looks so good The quality is great, the numbers have a hard edge And they're crystal clear and easy to read You can really transform your tools this way Instead of buying the expensive laser engraved sockets You can buy these $10 sockets And engrave it yourself So let me finish up the rest of these sockets You can see here.

I takes only a few minutes, it's really systematic You're just gonna etch each socket the same way It takes about a minute for a socket And then check out these results I mean it looks like it came from the factory And you can do this at home How awesome is that! Now you can actually see what size socket you're grabbing for With the large numbers etched into 'em And before we hang the tools I like to add just a little bit of oil To each of the sockets To prevent rust in the etched areas Even though I've never had any of these rust on me yet And just rub it in, and these etched numbers will absorb the oil Which will prevent any rust So now we can go and hang these up And grab our wrench So I can show you how you can etch your logo Or your name into a tool, with a sticker And all you need is to get your sticker or logo And then borrow some nail polish So first clean down the area with some alcohol Then you're gonna wanna grab your logo Stick it on there Rub it in, and peel off the backing And that actually looks great, just like that But a sticker is never gonna last on a tool And over time, it's just gonna wear off So now get the nail polish and cover the logo in the nail polish Don't just cover the sticker, but cover the area around it as well And you'll see why in a second Now let this dry for about 30 minutes And 30 minutes later This is completely dry, so grab a pick or a straight edge And remove the letters Be careful not to nick the nail polish And remove the letters just like this And by removing the letters, we're basically creating our own stencil for etching Now we're gonna follow the same exact process as before Connect the positive wire to the bare metal on the tool And start etching away where the sticker used to be This is a different surface compared to the socket So you'll notice it etches a little bit differently So just make adjustments accordingly All right! Now this looks good One last step Now we can take our nail polish remover which is just acetone And clean off the nail polish Now how cool is this! Your own personalized crescent wrench And this logo came out great And now you know how to etch your tools Or anything that's made out of metal And the best thing is, you can do it with products that you have around your house For basically no cost Plus, now you know how to personalize your tools And even buy a tool to personalize for your friend, or your dad for a gift Because who doesn't like a tool with their name on it! And this process doesn't just work on a wrench or sockets It works on any metal, so be creative and have fun with it! Whatever it is, send me pictures of what you etch On Instagram or Facebook Because I'd love to see it, and who knows maybe I'll even feature your work And heck I even etched my logo on a thermos I used to drink out of So the possibilities are endless As always, hopefully the video was helpful And if you aren't subscribed, consider subscribing for more awesome videos just like this.

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