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Temperature for fusing Pnp etching mask


I have done some successful etching using pnp and have had some not
so successful outcomes.

I have read and digested the Orchid library articles but one
question remains

What temperature should the metal surface reach to fuse the pnp

The articles refer to using an iron on this or that setting but I
want to know the temperature in degrees Fahrenheit.

I think that by determining the metal temperature I can know with a
high degree of certainty to remove the heat source.

I am etching sterling napkin rings of a bout 20 ga thickness and 3.5
x 1.25 inches flat lay out

Ben A Harris


Hi Ben

I’ve just recently etched sterling using PNP. I did many tests using
an iron first. I did not have success with this, no matter the temp
which an iron usually does not indicate. My particular problem was
’bubbles’, could not get a sample withought many bubbles rising up
in the PNP.

I had then tried using a griddle which indicates temps The temp.
that seemes to work was 300 degree F. I still got bubbles but not
many and was able to rub most of them down with tissue over my finger
while metal was still on the griddle.

In my research on using PNP, it has been suggested to use a temp of
275-300 when using an iron on the ‘wool’ setting and 400 dgrs F.
when using a griddle or hot plate. I think starting with these temps
and then experimenting is the best way to go.

Have you have any difficulties with your PNP bubbling? if so, how did
you rectify the problem?

I hope this helps.

Happy etching!


I’ve had mediocre luck with this method.

Any help would be appreciated,


I do a lot of etching with PNP, and have given workshop in the
process. One thing is certain. Each iron heats differently so it was
not helpful to specify the precise temperature. I have the students
start with a medium temp then raise it so that it is hotter, but not
hot enough to melt the PNP. This will take practice until you find
the perfect temperature for your iron.

Regarding bubbles. First of all, I constantly move my iron around,
pressing down firmly. My PNP has been cut and placed so that I have
one corner free, so that I can lift it and peek to see how well it is
taking. When it looks like it has pretty much adhered, but I have
some bubbles to deal with, I begin the burnishing process using my
metal burnisher. I burnish thoroughly, pressing out any bubbles then
I heat again with my iron. If necessary I burnish again. Burnishing
is an important part of the process, so don’t neglect it.

Some people like to burnish with a piece of wood, covered with paper
towel which has been fasten to the wood with masking tape. Me? I just
use my metal burnisher.

I don’t use a griddle. I just have a piece of wood, covered with a
heavy piece of cardboard, and use as a base.




I use PnP frequently and have had the best luck with the following

Clean silver thoroughly using acetone and rinsing with water. Dry

Place PnP face down on metal ensuring metal is completely flat.

Using blue painter’s tape tape over the entire back of the PnP and
around tothe other side of the silver ensuring there are no bubbles
in the paper andalso no movement

Place the piece with the PnP side down on a griddle. I warm mine to
about 275 range.

Press down on the metal particularly the edges to ensure good
pressure and connection during the whole process. I use my iron
while off to do this.

The blue tape will start to discolor and burn slightly. This seems
to be thebest time to remove it. I then quench it in water and
immediately remove the tape and paper.

It’s not 100% accurate. But I’ve gotten much better results than any
other method. Keep in mind I etch discs no more than 1-2" 24 gauge
(mostly 13 mm round discs). I get it right about 90% of the time
with these instructions

Good luck!
Carin Jones


There was an earlier discussion about a replacement for pnp that is
better called ImagOn. Going to try some etching and thought I would
use that product. From what I read here, it seems to give better


What is your process Jeanne?