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Photoetching


#1

A few months ago, there was a thread about having a printer or
somebody photoetch designs into a piece of magnesium, which is
then rubber molded. I remember that a piece of mg 5x9 was like
15.00. The person who posted this gave a name and address for a
company that would do this. I am interested in doing this and
would appreciate it if somebody could furnish that
Thanx!!

M. Jones

@Marshall_Jones


#2

A few months ago, there was a thread about having a printer or
somebody photoetch designs into a piece of magnesium, which is
then rubber molded. I remember that a piece of mg 5x9 was like
15.00. The person who posted this gave a name and address for a
company that would do this. I am interested in doing this and
would appreciate it if somebody could furnish that
Thanx!!

There are companies that do this in every major metropolitan
area. It is commonly known as photoengraving, and appears that
way in the phone book. What area are you in?

Magnesium is okay for certain artwork that doesn’t contain tiny
details. The etch can become extremely shallow between two
closely spaced lines, and actually vanish with a normal
polishing. If all the details are larger that a few tenths of a
millimeter, the etching results should be satisfactory. One
further problem is in the area of molding/injecting. If you have
a vacuum wax injector, there is no problem, otherwise, it can be
almost impossible to get a good wax injection. Large images seem
to go pretty well, small details are difficult.

If you have tiny details, consider having a photopolymer plate
etched instead. This material can be cast instead of molded, thus
retaining every bit of detail.

Let me know some more about your design and what you’re doing,
maybe I can help.

Jeffrey Everett


#3

In using PNP paper or acetate film I make no special effort to
tack down the film. I have used foil or cotten cloth between the
film and the iron. I just locate the film on the metal, cover and
plop down the iron in the middle making sure the film never
moves. Then I just iron over the surface until not but almost
burning the cotton. let everything cool before pulling or
touching the film. I have had no problem with smearing this way.
Edges are sharp and detail is there. I don’t do any burnishing.
Jesse


#4

Hello Everyone… I want to produce a christmas ornament as a
customer giveaway. Is there anyone out there that produces photoetched
or similar items using my design in quantity at a good price?

I can be contacted at Scooby@dock.net Thanks Gianna at Lynn’s Jewelry
in Ventura where the gearing up for christmas is in full swing…


#5

you can use this blue stuff they sell for etching circuit boards,
you print your design, using an ink jet printer ( i think it is an
ink jet, is that the one with waxy ink?) on the blue ground. then
burnish on to the metal over a hot plate, this melts the ink and
attaches the blue ground to the metal, you peel of the back of the
ground leaving your picture on there. the picture can only be in
black and white. im not sure if this makes alot of sense, i can
clarify, or they could probably tell you more at a place like radio
shack. i alos may have seen a description of this in lapidary
journal about a year ago. it is a really easy way to etch the same
picure over and over. i hope this is a useful suggestion!! brittany


#6
    you can use this blue stuff they sell for etching circuit
boards, you print your design, using an ink jet printer ( i think
it is an ink jet, is that the one with waxy ink?) 

I think a laser printer is what you want - an ink jet is not
supposed to work. But if anyone out there has had success w/ an ink
jet, pls. advise -

There was a good article on etching, including photoetching using
PNP (the blue stuff) in the last SNAG newsletter.

Ivy


#7

The “blue stuff” you refer to is called Press -n-Peel. The image
copied to the PnP by a laser printer or from a copy machine. Dry
process only!!! Do not try and use an ink jet printer. The PnP is
available from Techniks. www.techniks.com. For etching copper you
can get PCB Etchant Solution (Contains Ferric Chloride) from Radio
Shack. For etching silver you can use Ferric Nitrate. (not sure of
a supplier)

Jack McDaniel


#8

you can use this blue stuff they sell for etching circuit boards, you
print your design, using an ink jet printer( i think it is an ink
jet, is that the one with waxy ink?) on the blue ground. then burnish
on to the metal over a hot plate, this melts the ink and attaches the
blue ground to the metal, you peel of the back of the ground leaving
your picture on there.

PnP Blue is the product you are talking about, but it cannot be used
with an ink jet printer, it needs the toner type copying machine.
Donna in VA


#9

You can’t use inkjet ink for the PnP Blue or other acetates. You
have to use a carbon-based ink, such as found in some laser printers
and most photocopy machines. Also, you can use permanent ink markers,
India ink or lampblack ink, just as long as it’s carbon-based.


#10

actually, I have had good success using the PNP paper printed on a
laser printer. the images transfer beautifully. I use an old iron,
put a piece of paper towel down on the iron set at wool, then the
metal with the pnp paper taped in place on top of the metal- make
sure the pnp paper is slightly bigger than the metal. Leave it for a
minute, then scrunch up another piece of paper towel and rub the
image onto the metal until you can see the black image appear on it.
Then cool it, peel the pnp off. I then use low tack scotch tape to
lift off any excess blue that sometimes transfers, followed by a tiny
exacto knife blade to remove any excess which the tape didn’t remove.
I use a size 00 pointed paint brush and black model enamel paint
(straight from Long’s or Walgreen’s) to fill in any lines which
didn’t make it.

Thank you so much for all your help teaching me this, Carol Webb!!
happy holidays to all
Shael Barger
@dakotahdog


#11

Can anyone recommend a good company that will photoetch brass plates
with images that I send them?


#12

Try International Etching in RI. #888-781-6800. I use them and like
them.

Leda


#13
      Can anyone recommend a good company that will photoetch
brass plates with images that I send them? 

I used to work with Chemart in Lincoln, RI for my photoetching. They
are a full service industrial etching company. They use photoetching
to etch surface details (half etch) and also to cut out shapes (full
etch). The prices were quite reasonable. I’m not sure if they deal
with photographic type images, but it is worth a call. The phone
number is 401-333-9200.

Don Friedlich


#14
    Can anyone recommend a good company that will photoetch brass
plates with images that I send them? 

Precision Etching in Providence, Rhode Island

I just finished a restaurant comission using their etching services.
They did a great job and were very timely,

-k
Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
10 Walnut St.
Woburn, MA 01801
Phone:781/937-3532
Fax: 781/937-3955
http://www.metalwerx.com/
Accredited Jewelry Instruction


#15

I’ve been photoetching with considerable detail using ImagOn Ultra.
It’s a material developed for printmakers and is available from
Daniel Smith. They also sell a book by printmaker Keith Howard on how
to use the stuff. I was using PnP, but consider ImagOn to be far
superior in its ability to capture detail and it’s resistance to
etchants.

ImagOn is an emulsion-coated film that is applied to wet metal and
then dried with a hairdryer. The emulsion is exposed with a UV light
source (I use a 500W quartz halogen lamp from the hardware store) and
then developed in sodium carbonate (washing soda, a common laundry
water softener). Vinegar is used as a stop. The resist is very tough
and can capture amazing detail. The beauty of ImagOn is that it’s
low tech and non toxic. Also, it’s not as light sensitive as some
other photosensitive materials, and you can work in a room with an
ordinary low watt light bulb. You also have some time to reposition
the wet film to get out bubbles and so forth, as you’re applying it.

Photographic negatives will need to be exposed using some kind of a
half tone screen, though, if you’re looking to capture detail in the
grays. The kind of screening you use will depend on what your final
application is. If you’re etching very deeply like for a roll
printing plate, you’ll need a coarser screen than if you are etching
delicate shallow lines. I do all of my screening in Photoshop, and
then print on overhead transparency film to make the negative. I’m
doing very deep etching on 16ga copper, for enameling.

Rene Roberts
@sunhotmoon


#16

Renee,

Do you happen to know if ImagOn will resist nitric acid or ferric
nitrate? Most jewellery applications would probably be for etching
silver, and etchants used with copper would be of no use. Here in
London, the only supplier I can find only sells large rolls, for
around 140GBP - too expensive just to experiment!

Paul Jelley


#17

Paul, you asked whether ImagOn will resist ferric nitrate or nitric
acid. Yes on the ferric nitrate. I don’t know about nitric acid.
I’ve never tried it, but quite possibly it would. It’s a very tough
and thick resist, and breaks down in base solutions like ammonia or
sodium carbonate.

Do you have a rolling mill? ImagOn is also very useful as a resist
for embossing plates made of brass or nickel silver, because detail
will hold up in the etchant for a very long time. So ferric chloride
still has a lot of use in jewelry applications if you’re embossing
silver or gold.

Rene Roberts


#18

My guess is that it will work in nitric. Linda Threadgill has been
using ImagOn for years. I am also sure she has been using nitric
during this time, but I could ask her.

-k

Karen Christians
M E T A L W E R X
50 Guinan St.
Waltham, MA 02451
Ph. 781/891-3854 Fax 3857
http://www.metalwerx.com/
Jewelry/Metalarts School & Cooperative Studio