I am trying to decide what to do with the nitric acid that I now
have. As a last ditch effort in deciding what to do with the
acid, I am seeking advice from the forum.
Susan, the acid, if handled properly is as benign as a lump of coal,
but not handled correctly it can be quite a problem.
There are rules for handling acid and dilution with water. Wear a
rubber splash apron, and a face shield. Always add water to the
acid, vs the opposite as you can end up a violent reaction. Good
ventilation is a must. The fumes from the etching are not good for
your lungs. When working with the acid, use the appropriate
precautions, and you will not have any problems. Keep a large box
of baking soda around to neutralize any splashes and spills. Mix
only the least amount you will need for the project at hand. After
the project is complete, neutralize the solution you used for the
project and dispose of it safely. As to keeping the acid in
freezing temperatures, someone else on the list need to respond to
this. The old Bovins books as well as others give a good deal of
useful info on using Nitric acid for etching.
One more item, I would use only distilled water when working with
the acid. That gives you one less variable in the solution.
I used to have a HP Pin Plotter that I used for engraving the work
with the fonts I wanted onto a piece of silver. I made a pin with a
sharp point to replace the ink pin. I attached a piece of flat
silver stock to card stock paper using double stick tape, after
first using fingernail polish, coating the silver with complete
coat. I would set up the design using Freelance or Power Point and
then print it to the silver plate. You could let your imagination
run away, but you had to think 2D. Once the silver plate was
engraved with the plotter, I then etched it with the Nitric Acid
solution. It worked great. The plotter didn’t have the beef to
directly engrave the silver, but it could remove the fingernail
polish with very good precision, allowing for a precise etching.
I donated my plotter to the local High School a couple years back
but I now think I made a mistake. I’ve got a couple projects I
could use it for now.