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Ferric Nitrate in Etching Ag


#1

Is there a recommended concentration and exposure time for etching
Sterling silver with Fe(NO3)3 `9H2O. This is the ferric nitrate
normally sold. Also is there a “household” source for this chemical?
Again…when we cannot find an answer in the literature, you folks
are a valuable resource. Thanks for sharing! Barbara A. Hopkins Oyster
River High School 55 Coe Drive Durham, NH 03824 603-868-2375 FAX
603-868-2049


#2

I ordered my Ferric nitrate from Bryant Labs in California. I was
not given an exact formula. I mixed the crystals with enough water to
resemble strong coffee. I believe my pieces etched in 20 - 30
minutes. I check every 15 minutes or so. Bryant Labs
phone:800-367-3141


#3

Like Vicki, I also got the ferric nitrate from Bryant Labs, however,
I mixed it in a dilute solution, kind of the color of a medium strong
tea. Maybe a hundred grams or so in 500 ml of water. Etching took 2
days but I got a fantastic deep, even etch with virtually no
undercutting. A huge improvement over Nitric acid, and the lack of
acid burns was a big plus!

Nikki


#4

May have missed the beginning thread, but what metal and guage were
you etching to get a deep, clean etch and what did you use to protect
those areas you did not want etched. Thanx Miki


#5
normally sold. Also is there a "household" source for this chemical?

I purchase Ferric Nitrate from Radio Shack. Ask for their etching
solution. It’s about $4 a bottle. I use it for etching brass to make
embossing dies.

dennis


#6

I purchase Ferric Nitrate from Radio Shack.

That’s more likely to be ferric chloride, not ferric nitrate.

Al
mailto:@Alan_Balmer


#7

Dennis,

I purchase Ferric Nitrate from Radio Shack. Ask for their etching
solution. It's about $4 a bottle. I use it for etching brass to
make embossing dies. 
What you get from Radio Shack is ferric chloride a different kind of

chemical than ferric nitrate. Ferric chloride is a good etchant for
copper and brass and so so on nickel silver and steel but not
effective on silver which ferric nitrate will etch…

About the only place you can get ferric nitrate is a chemical supply

house. It is fairly dangerous stuff in that it is a accelerator of
combustion and when mixed with some types of materials it will
spontaneously ignite.

Jim


@jbin
James Binnion Metal Arts
4701 San Leandro St #18
Oakland, CA 94601
510-436-3552


#8

normally sold. Also is there a “household” source for this chemical?

Not quite. What Radio shack sells is Ferric Chloride. This etches
copper based alloys very nicely. It won’t touch silver. Ferric
Nitrate is a salt of nitric acid (as ferric chloride is a salt of
Hydrochloric acid). Ferric Nitrate is not a widely used chemical, and
you won’t find a “household” source. You will have to just bite the
bullet, dig out the yellow pages, and actually deal with a real
chemicals supply house. If you’ve a real phobia about doing this,
try your local pharmacist. NOT one in a chain store, Kmart, rite aid,
etc. You need an original style independent drug store. If you can
find one… Pharmacists can order all sorts of wonderful chemicals if
their company allows them to do so. Most of the chains don’t…

Peter Rowe


#9

Ferric nitrate is used to etch silver. The gauge was 18 or 20,
can’t really tell you which as I did nto pay much attention at the
time. The resist was a combination of asphaltum for the back and
sides and PnP blue for the design.

Nikki


#10

Hi Peter, I bought my Etching Mordant from Rio Grande their part no
is 118-107, I searched all over the place to find it but no one sells
it any more because of the high liability insurance that they have to
have… any way all the instructions for use are on the bottle,
including how to stregenthed it back up again after several uses…it
takes 1/2 to 1 hour to acheive etching depths, also… I purchased
from the Etching Mordant for Copper its part no is 118-108 it also
comes with all the instructions for use. John from Down Under maybe
able to help with this part… I talked to a man that does alot of
etching. (Which incendently you can also use to make prints, if you
have a rolling machine of your jewelry) anyway he told me that you
could put your copper in a bath of water and attach to it (the copper)
to some wires from a bigish battery and the exposed copper would
migrate and make the etching. Help John, I can’t explain how this
works, but I know that it does. Susan Chastain


#11

I think many of us would like to hear more about the copper migration
by attaching to a battery in a bath, if anyone knows more about this
please help with info & detail best regards from Heather


#12

Model paints (enamels for Airfix or Revell kits made by Humbrol here
in the UK) is a simple and effective resist for Nitric Acid and Ferric
Chloride) which I use for etching Silver and Copper respectively.

Howard Ive
Avalon Jewellery
http://avalon-jewellery.com


#13

…Etching Mordant for Copper its part no is 118-108 it also
comes with all the instructions for use. John from Down Under maybe
able to help with this part…

You rang, Modom? Well, g’day. a good etchant for copper is copper
chloride, available from electronics parts shops, and hobbyists use
it for making up printed circuit boards. The ferric nitrate will
probably be obtained from a lab chemicals supplier…

…anyway he told me that you
could put your copper in a bath of water and attach to it (the
copper) to some wires from a bigish battery and the exposed copper
would migrate and make the etching. Help John,

This would only work if the water contained something to allow a
reasonable electric current to pass through it; an electrolyte. The
usual electrolyte for use with either copper or silver is sodium or
potassium cyanide, and I rather doubt that you would want to play
with that, especially as it is difficult to obtain. You could try a
solution of copper sulphate - sold in what we call chemist shops and
you call drug stores. It is also sold in gardening shops sometimes as
’bluestone’. It is used as a fungicide with lime as Bordeaux
Mixture. Solution strength isn’t very important - just a nice blue
colour. Use a 6 volt battery and connect the work to the positive
wire, and a bit of scrap copper or even stainless steel to the
negative wire. A current should flow and hopefully take the copper
ions from the work piece to the copper electrode. The opposite to
copper plating. I’ve never done it other than with cyanide, but you
could try as I have suggested; it certainly wouldn’t cost you very
much. Thank you Modom: if that is all, I will return to the cellar
and select the wine for dinner. And cheers.

        /\      John Burgess
       / /
      / /      Johnb@ts.co.nz    
     / /__|\
    (_______)

#14

I took Vickie’s advice and called Bryant Labs about the ferric
nitrate. It runs about $16 per pound and hazardous materials charge
applies. They have a webpage if anyone is interested and their phone
rep told me that they have a variety of patina related chemicals as
well.

Geo.
http://www.sirius.com/~bry_lab/products.htm


#15

They also have a tear sheet of color photos of a number of patinas
and the formulas used to get the colors. I don’t know what I would do
if they were not near me (130 miles) as I use their chemistries all
the time in the foundry. They also have all sorts of lab gear too.

Another chemical source is Chemicals for Research and Industry in
Oakland (510-893-8257). They have chemicals and lab equipment too. I
don’t think they have a catalog.

John

MidLife Crisis Enterprises
C.T. Designs
Cynthias sculptures are at: http://www.mlce.net
Maiden Metals,
A small bronze foundry, no web site yet!!