I followed the thread on etching that appeared here a little
while ago and printed out the instructions that “Fishbre” was
kind enough to post. Shortly thereafter a customer came in with
a custom job that seemed ideally suited to this technique, so I
thought I’d give it a try.
I used a standard DC transformer (usually used for the operation
of model trains) and found that this technique seems to work well
for etching lines, but not for larger areas. The background of
my test piece came out looking like a silver version of Van
Gogh’s “Starry Night” with blobs and whorls all over the place.
After grinding down the highest spots with the flex shaft and
darkening the area with Silver Black, the piece looked
presentable, but not up to my expectations.
The other interesting things I found were that this process eats
alligator clips at a very fast rate. I ended up having to coat
them with resist and tried to keep them above the water as much
as possible. If I use this method again I will allow a much
longer tab for the clip. This process was confusing to me at
first as it seemed to be plating rather than etching the piece,
but I found that the build up was easily removed and that the
underlying silver had indeed been etched.
Anybody else tried this yet? I’d appreciate any tips on getting
this to work better. I do like the fact that I did not have to
purchase any acid or end up with the problems of disposal of
Thanks to everyone on this forum for sharing helpful