Monday, June 4, 2012

BK2 Upgrade Part 2: Stripping the poorly applied coating

The next thing we did for the Becker BK2 upgrade was removing the black coating. The paint is not durable at all. I had removed some of the coating with very little use of the knife. In the picture below, you can even see where the paint is chipped near the rear section - only because I used the knife to strike a ferro rod. With that, I decided to strip it completely hoping to help with some of the cosmetics and function of the knife. Below are a list of details on how to do this, if you're interested.
Initially I tried paint thinner; it did nothing to the coating. So I then purchased Citristrip (in the photo above) for around $7. It's a heavy duty stripper in gel form.

Apply the gel to the knife. Make sure to use rubber gloves; this stuff will burn you. Cover the entire knife, and let it sit for about 30 or so minutes.

After waiting 30 minutes, I then used an old credit card (don't use a current one) and scraped the coating off the blade. It came off very easily with minimal pressure. Afterwards, rinse the knife and apply some oil to prevent rusting.
I decided against sanding and polishing the blade. The blade had a sort of rough and dulled look; an appearance I was pleased with. The knife now appears to be of a much higher quality, especially with the tan Micarta grips. Removing the coating also allowed the rear section of the knife to be used to strike a ferro rod - an impossible task with the original coating. I also sanded a 90 degree edge on the back side of the blade so that it would shower sparks in conjunction with a ferro rod.  The original coating combats against rust. Some folks use vinegar or other acidic liquids to force a patina on the blade. This helps in rust prevention. If you do decide to strip the coating, you will want to ensure you are keeping the blade oiled to prevent rust.

All in all, I'm very happy with the upgrades. The BK2 is a lot of knife for the money and it looks great when dressed up.

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