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How to get text on silver sheet


#1

I would like to have some of my favorite quotes put on some silver
sheet. There are too many letters to use letter punches. I am
etching copper, but I am having trouble sourcing the chemicals for
silver etching. I would also prefer not to work with chemicals at
all.

Is it possible to get something like this engraved at a reasonable
price? If so, could you recommend a company that would do that? I
would consider having a big sheet done with several kinds of texts,
so I can cut from that sheet.

Are there any other methods I could use to get the text onto my
silver? Any advice would be very appreciated. Thanks.


#2

Birgit,

There are still a few hand engravers, and lots of machine engravers.
(think about trophy companies) The machines fall into 2 basic types,
diamond drag which is very shallow but can be very small and usually
done on finished pieces (buffing tends to erase). The other uses a
rotating cutter, will go much deeper but the minimum size is limited
by the cutter size… small cutters are fragile and expensive.

A cnc mill can be used for either and while cheaper than a "real"
fancy dedicated engraving machine still a big investment of $$$ and
learning. A very powerful and fun tool but if you only want a few
plates find a local guy who makes bowling trophies. Talk to them
(the guy/gal running the machine), often an unusual job request will
get better service and price. Makes up for the more routine and
mundane jobs.

Jeff
Demand Designs
Analog/Digital Modelling & Goldsmithing
http://www.gmavt.net/~jdemand


#3
Are there any other methods I could use to get the text onto my
silver? 

If you etch copper, you could etch your letters into copper in
mirror image, then emboss the copper onto the silver by running them
through a mill face-to-face. The result may not be quite as crisp as
the original, but it works. Brass, being harder, will work better.
If fact, I suppose that you could run the brass or copper through
the mill to harden it before etching so that it will imprint the
silver better, but expect the etching to go much slower on the
work-hardened material. May not sound logical, but I’ve seen that it
happens that way.

Noel


#4
If you etch copper, you could etch your letters into copper in
mirror image, then emboss the copper onto the silver by running
them through a mill face-to-face. The result may not be quite as
crisp as the original, but it works. Brass, being harder, will work
better. If fact, I suppose that you could run the brass or copper
through the mill to harden it before etching so that it will
imprint the silver better, but expect the etching to go much slower
on the work-hardened material. May not sound logical, but I've seen
that it happens that way. 

Your best bet for the sharpest image from this kind of reverse image
roll printing is to use your copper etching process but substitute
steel or tool steel sheet for the copper. Ferric chloride etches
steel just like it does copper and the resulting image plate will be
much tougher than either copper or brass can be. When you run it
through the mill if you sandwich the steel and silver plates with a
brass or copper outer sheets it will also protect the mill rolls from
the steel and will reduce the tendency for the embossed silver sheet
and steel plate to curve from the rolling process.

Jim

James Binnion
James Binnion Metal Arts


#5
Ferric chloride etches steel just like it does copper 

Didn’t know this! Thanks, Jim! I feel like we just did a tag-team,
and I like it.

Noel