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Etching brass plates to use in rolling mill


#1

I am planning to etch brass plates to use in my rolling mill for sterling because I want to imprint my drawings on the silver. I am looking for suggestions on what gauge red brass would be considered ideal for this process.


#2

20 gauge would be the thinnest you should go. The deeper you etch, the deeper your impressions can be, but it might not last as long. The etching processes makes it thinner in those etched areas and they can deform if you use too much pressure in the rolling mill.


#3

I etch a lot of brass plate and I roll quite a bit of it too. I match the thickness of the brass to the thickness of the silver. But I’d roll nothing thinner than .20ga.

Don Meixner


#4

I hand engrave steel plates and run them through the rolling mill with silver sheet. It is mild tool steel and Is good for about 20 passes before it gets too distorted. I don’t think brass is going to last nearly that long.


#5

Would traditional etching (printmaker) plates work? If I recall my printmaking days, the zinc plates last many runs through the press. They are normally sold in 16g.


#6

It would be my opinion that brass is harder than zinc. And I don’t know anything about print making but I imagine that pressing a pattern into silver with a rolling mill requires a lot more pressure than printing on paper.


#7

Makes sense! I wasn’t sure which would be harder.


#8

I believe it does John. The rolling pressure isn’t straight down with a Mill as you know. I think you’d distort the brass long before you had the pressure to imprint the silver with an exact representation.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROIDOn Apr 24, 2017 1:28 PM, John Wade <orchid@ganoksin.com> wrote:

WADEDESIGNS1

April 24

It would be my opinion that brass is harder than zinc. And I don't know anything about print making but I imagine that pressing a pattern into silver with a rolling mill requires a lot more pressure than printing on paper.


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#9

hi All, what would be better would be stainless steel. They would last
forever. i engraved both sides of a 20 gauge sheet of stainless. i then
put a sheet of silver on each side like a sandwich and run it through the
rolling mill. Because you have silver on both sides the steel does not
curve. it can be etched with a different mordant. Vince LaRochelle


#10

I might have to try stainless. I have problems getting the silver and the steel to stay perfectly lined up with each other. Even though my mill rollers are as perfectly even as I can get them and it is a fairly new mill. The silver wants to wander off to one side or the other. I also considered hardening the steel.If I was selling as many embossed bracelets as engraved bracelets I would probably be trying more things out. But customers really want the engraved even though the embossed is half the price.


#11

How thick is 20g stainless in mm? As US and European gauge is different I always have to look it up to convert.


#12

.81 mm

Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROIDOn Apr 25, 2017 10:15 AM, Theresa Hing <orchid@ganoksin.com> wrote:

theresahing

April 25

How thick is 20g stainless in mm? As US and European gauge is different I always have to look it up to convert.


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#13

I etched two 20 gauge brass plates and put them through the mill with 20 gauge silver. I will upload the photos.


#14

Beautiful results. How many passes with the silver until the brass plate distorts?


#15

I cut my silver sheet larger than my stainless because of that reason.
Vince Larochelle


#16

Good question, I will post after I have done a number of passes. There is no visa le distortions after the first pass.


#17

{Would traditional etching (printmaker) plates work? If I recall my printmaking days, the zinc plates last many runs through the press. They are normally sold in 16g.}

they might however I would not want to contaminate my mill or workspace with zinc… it makes holes in silver
Aurora


#18

Good solid info here. Listen to this.


#19

{ I have problems getting the silver and the steel to stay perfectly lined up with each other. Even though my mill rollers are as perfectly even as I can get them and it is a fairly new mill. The silver wants to wander off to one side or the other.

I either wrap my strips of metal in several wraps of paper towel or use painters tape to hold them together.
Aurora


#20

It seems to me that brass will get deformed fairly quickly. I have never done this, so I look forward to answers from others who have.