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Kettlebell Novelty bells

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North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
Spurred by this thread I decided to try a little customizing on one of my smooth backed KBs.

Figured if it didn't work out I could just fill it in with JB Weld and repaint it.

Design is an homage to the Russian influence on KB training, a minimalist hammer and sickle. Not being a Communist myself I also left it vague enough to just look like a design.

This after about 2 hours electro-etching, hmm, doing this on a kettlebell is not as easy as a nameplate or knife...
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And after 12 hours of electro-etch and a light coat of matte black. Not bad and not deep enough to cause any comfort issues. It would not be too tough to do designs with a lot more detail as long as the KB surface was relatively smooth. The rough surface cast on this one does not help in bringing out the edges.

Also, I simply taped the design off, for best results a better grade of tape or rubber coat might have produced cleaner lines. A fun project but I don't know about "novelty'ing" any of my others.

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Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
I hadnt looked at kb king's animal bells, how is the handle on that bear, looks thick, but hard to tell from just the one pic on their site. Whats the backside like, plain round?
They are actually made by zoobellsusa. I saw their homepage years ago and it seems KBKings is just reselling them now.
 

Jeffro

Level 3 Valued Member
Thanks for that link, their Odin bell is one of the more appealing ones I've seen. I guess you'd HAVE to do some viking warrior conditioning?
Crossfit1727_5-17-16_JPG-HIGH-21_1_1024x1024.jpg
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
That's frickin badass.

Thanks!

I am starting to look at the rest of my KBs a little differently...

Many of the period Katana tsuba patterns will work great around the flat punch face on most KBs even if the bell doesn't have a smooth face - you could still lay in some beautiful graphics.

Many of them are also fairly simple, single depth relief. The fancier ones have some of the low spots gilt with another metal for added contrast.

Being cast iron or steel, KBs have a much higher melting point than other metals, brass or aluminum welding rod could be run into the channels to really make a design pop. A bold design filled with brass would be pretty cool, sweat would cause it to oxidize fairly quickly to a nice green on black.

Hmmm.
 

Jeffro

Level 3 Valued Member
This electro etching is an industrial process? Or something one could do with basic chemicals and a power supply? Like a battery charger maybe?
 

North Coast Miller

Level 8 Valued Member
This electro etching is an industrial process? Or something one could do with basic chemicals and a power supply? Like a battery charger maybe?

If you do web search you'll come across a bunch of instructables that apply to this that are probably going to explain better than me. Small etching can be done with a battery, a charger or other DC power supply would be needed for a chunk of metal this big.

I used a 24v power supply that has a max 3 amp output. Tape off the region around the design and clean all paint and rust etc from the design area - I used Gorilla tape but any insulating tape that can withstand a long soak will work fine. Other material might work better.

I made a cylinder about 3" tall around the design using a plastic bowl with the bottom cut out, taped in place and plumber's putty pressed into the seam on the inside to make it watertight. You could also wrap the entire rest of the KB with non-conductive material and completely immerse it in a bath - I chose to just do the design area.

Fill with salt water - I used about 1/4 cup of salt to two cups of water.

Where the paint was already missing on the handle I attached a few wraps of copper wire and this runs to the + terminal. The - terminal wire went to a large steel washer suspended from a piece of plastic into the water but above the surface of the bell.

Put the entire thing on something non-conductive and turn on the power supply. The water around the washer will begin to bubble and the water will turn sludgy and discolored. To get even that shallow etch took 12 hours with the power supply full on at 3 amps.

I have done designs on knife blades and small name plates and such and it usually takes minutes, not hours, so the mass of the KB makes a difference. This was on my 50 lber, a 15 might go a lot faster, a 32kg longer etc. Smaller designs, larger, YMMV. I initially moved the location of the washer to make sure the etch was even but I don't believe that was necessary (I used to do some hobby electroplating and the location of the anode + material was crucial to getting a good even plate, etching maybe not so much).

Its interesting that the etched area became smoother than the cast surface I began with.

I am planning to do one with a lot more detail (pine cone with a couple of branches, lots of fine line detail) and fill it in with brass brazing rod. The way I see it these are lifetime fitness tools of a personal nature. I wouldn't decorate my favorite 45 lb Olympic plate or 50 lb hex dumbbell, but my KBs are a different animal. With a nice etch decoration they become an heirloom.
 

Stephen Reynolds

Level 5 Valued Member
I don't own one, unfortunately: Living in the UK, it would cost hundreds of dollars just to get one shipped over. I gather from the reviews that the backside is smooth, like a regular kettlebell and the handle's probably the same thickness as their standard 32kg KB.
They're well balanced and handle ad well as any I've trained with.
 

Kettlebelephant

Level 6 Valued Member
Onnit has come up with yet another line of KBs. This time it's Star Wars themed and you can get Boba Fett (50lbs), Stormtrooper (60lbs) and Darth Vader (70lbs).
There's also a Death Star slamball and a carbonized Han Solo yoga mat (lol) :D
 

Chrisdavisjr

Level 7 Valued Member
Onnit has come up with yet another line of KBs. This time it's Star Wars themed and you can get Boba Fett (50lbs), Stormtrooper (60lbs) and Darth Vader (70lbs).
There's also a Death Star slamball and a carbonized Han Solo yoga mat (lol) :D
I'm waiting for the 100lb Jabba the Hutt kettlebell.
 

Riley O'Neill

Level 3 Valued Member
I am a Star Wars fan and think it would be cool to own those, but I would consider them more display pieces/collectables rather than something I would actually use in my kettlebell practice.
 
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