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Transferring images to sheet metal surface?


Dave - Here’s a better way to transfer images to sheet metal.

Print your image with a laser printer - not a Brother laser, but any
other laser.

Clean your metal very well with acetone.

Invert your image, printed side to the metal.

Wet the paper with acetone. In seconds the image is transferred to
the metal.

Peek at the metal while holding down the image to see if it has

If not, use a bit more acetone.

If transfer is ok, pull the paper off. Voila! A perfect non-moving
image that will survive handling while sawing.

This technique is really nice for engraving, or chasing as well. It
also works for some etching processes.

As in all things, there are some techniques that help. The metal
needs a bit of “tooth” or at least not be shiny polished. I use a 3M
scotch brite pad or very fine sand paper or a pink 3M bristle disc.
Clean with the acetone just before putting the image on the metal.
Use an acetone saturated cotton ball or a bit of paper towel and
"pounce" on the paper with the image. Rubbing will smear the image.

Some people tape the paper to the metal prior to applying acetone. I
don’t because the transfer process is so quick I just hold it in
place with my hand. And if it gets messed up, clean the metal with
acetone and start over.

When I set up my studio, I purchased an inexpensive Canon laser
printer for about $125US. It copies, sizes, scans, prints and even
faxes. The print cartridges last for 2500 pages. Ink jet printers are
mostly a waste of money in a jewelry shop except to print pretty
colored pictures. If you don’t have a laser printer, any copy shop
can print a page for you.