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photo etching brass


Elizabeth Gazmuri

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Wm. R. Robertson

I have never done my own. I always had Fred do it, the guy that used to do Suzanne Russo's stuff, but I think he has moved and might not be set up anymore. I know there are folks on here that do their own and hopefully they'll answer. Next time I need some I am going to my local hammer space makers fair type community workshop to do it...... They are all set up for it and this way I don't have to fool with those chemicals in the house.

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WeekendMiniaturist

I have never photo etched, but I do know that Micro-Mark has supplies... at least it would give me a resource to cross reference the supplies I might need to complete a task.  They do have on-line sales when you sign up for their mailing list.

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That's a big question you ask!

 

Where in the process are you?
Which of the processes have you decided to use? Wet film, dry film or toner-transfer?
What equipment do you have? UV-light source, etching chamber...
Questions are many.

I wrote a little about photoetching on my blog a few years ago.

A good place to learn about photoetching is your local hacker-space or ham-radio club. In both places they make printed circuit boards for their projects using photoetch.
 

/Niels

 

P4071674.jpg

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Elizabeth Gazmuri

Thanks for the replies. All I have so far is the computer generated artwork, it took me some time to learn the drawing program. I am thinking of using a negative resist dry film. There is some good info on the web, but my guess is it is harder than they make it seem.  I have no supplies yet, am still in the research phase of doing this, and frankly if I could find someone else to do it I'd be very happy. What I am really after is a way to get specific hardware for furniture as I need it.  Will look into ham radio clubs for info thanks so much for suggesting this resource, and am looking forward to reading your blog Niels. Think I will get the equipment from Micromark, at least to start, unless I can find someone else to do it !

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WeekendMiniaturist

I think there was an article in The Scale Cabinetmaker too, but that is the only resource that I can pull from my brain... Volum 6:2...

 

www.dorsettpublications.com
 

You can buy the issue from the website as a pdf.

 

Perhaps there is a chapter in the book, The Complete Metal Smith. I borrow the from my local library when I need it; so I can't look without going downtown.  Does anyone have the book in their home library where they can look and see if there is any info on photo etching? 

 

Tamra

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The Complete Metalsmith ( Student Edition )  does have a one page bit on Etching, not very informative at all, somebody must be assuming that you know something about the process and it offers a few different acid recipes for different types of metals. See page 31.

 

 

Have a look at this site as it offers you about the easiest and cheapest way of doing it,  and it DOES work.

 

http://steampunkworkshop.com/electroetch.shtml

 

 

Have you had a good look a bit further down the page as there is this lot.

 

http://www.fineminiaturesforum.com/index.php?/topic/117-etching-copper-brass/

 

 

regards  greenie

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I've been using Micromark's photo etching kit ever since I taught the snowshoe class at Guild School and the artwork is half the battle. Getting the sprues placed right and heavy enough but not too heavy is another learning curve.

I've done the artwork for Bill Studebaker's rifle, spinet and Art Deco chest and for the last 2, etched them for him both because I wanted to see if I got it right and because he doesn't like doing it. I do.

For my teapot basket class I needed dozens of tiny brass washers and after several hours picking them out of the dissolved photoresist film, tried sticking the brass to self stick vinyl and etching from one side only. It worked so well I'll do it again for really tiny bits.

I'm planning to offer a seminar on photo etching at Guild School next June, but I'm happy to share what I've learned here.

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Elizabeth Gazmuri

Thanks Bonnie,

 

There are some good You Tube videos on the subject that told me to spend a lot of time on the artwork, so I did, days in fact because I had never used a drawing program before so that was a learning curve. So much to learn, so little time. I was also thinking of using the Micro Mark  kit. We will have to chat at the Handcrafters of Miniatures show in Dedham MA on the 16th. What light source are you using for developing?

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If I remember, Elizabeth, I'll bring some of my photo etching transparencies and etched brass with me this weekend to Dedham.

 

My instructions from Micromark are older, and differ from the ones Pete Boorum got with his. Mine say to use daylight, or a 100W bulb, where the newer ones say a 60W. Early on, I was using the light bulb, in an aluminum photographer's clamp on lamp, set 4" above the plexiglass that holds the transparency close to the prepared brass. 10 minutes each side. Lately I've been using the sun, generally between 1 and 3 daylight savings time, but I'm in Maine, and the sun is never directly overhead, so I've been exposing it for 30-40 seconds per side. The photoresist turns a healthy blue/purple exposed that way. The instructions say to expose for 15 seconds at noon and add 5 seconds for each hour before or after noon. They also say not to expose before 9 or after 3, but there's no mention of daylight savings time.

 

The only downside to using the 100W bulb that close to the plexiglass has been that the plastic tips have melted enough to come off the 4 metal clamps that hold the plexiglass sheets together. No big deal. When I can, I now try to expose outdoors. Besides being faster, I don't have to worry about centering the bulb over my transparency. 

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MissyBoling

I also have the micromark set and used the sun for my first (and only) attempt.  I was lucky to get pretty good results the first time, but I think it's a little like making bread or fudge - it takes practice and depends on conditions.  A light bulb might give more predictable results.  The process is complicated but would become 2nd nature if you did it repeatedly.  I agree that the artwork is important, and does have quite a learning curve.  I did it with copper the first time, and hope to try it with brass next.

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Does anyone know a good vendor that will work with crafts people with small volume? This is a source I could use for several things, projects that never get off the ground for lack of this have followed me around for years. I really don't want to get into the chemicals involved...

 

Paul

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I'm now doing small runs of photoetching, since I'm comfortable with Photoshop and pretty good at detail/fussy jobs. (As a weaver I know to pay attention.) You can contact me here, or by private message. Shown is the brass I've etched for Bill Studebaker's Spinet class, which he's teaching at the Guild Study Program in Williamsburg, VA this coming January. Bill gives me a pen or pencil drawing 4X the finished size and I work from that.

post-11-0-63515300-1416413099_thumb.jpg

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Bill Hudson

This little gas heater was cast in pewter.  I made the drawings and had the patterns photo etched.  To get the deep etching I had it made in several layers. I then applied paste solder between layers and heated the whole stack to form one. Most all the parts, including the knob were built up of ever allayers. All the brass pass were assembled to see if they all fit. Then it was taken apart and vulcanized in a rubber mold then spin cast.  The plaster fire grate was a rejection so the bubbles show.  I had sold all my  heaters with out keeping one for me. I went to the reject pile for mine.

 

 

 

post-35-0-37304600-1416586871_thumb.jpg

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That's exactly how the 3D-printers work :-)

Split the object into layers then let the printer reassemble layer by layer.

 

If you want more copies either print again or use the 3d printed object as a mold master and then cast in pewter, gold, resin ... etc

 

/Niels

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