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Author Topic: Metal stencil etching?  (Read 6277 times)
Zeppelin Captain
Australia Australia

« on: August 24, 2011, 08:00:58 pm »

Over the last few years I've done a number of etched brass pieces, using the
- laser printer
- iron on
- electrolytic etch
technique described in a whole bunch of places here, and popularised by Jake Von Slatt


For my latest project I'd rather not do the whole plate, and using the technique described in the following video seems to be perfect...
Electrolytic Metal Etching setup and marking demonstration

For those who dont want to watch it, the idea is to use a stencil to cover the metal plate, and hold a pad over the top of the stencil.
The whole thing is connected to a power supply, and only the bits of the plate seen through the stencil are etched.
The effect is much like stamping some text into the metal.   In seconds.

Now of course I could *buy* the system, but I'd rather make it all myself.    And I could...  but I'm not sure how to do the stencil.
Any ideas?

Zeppelin Captain
United Kingdom United Kingdom

« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2011, 05:29:50 pm »

that is fantastic, I've never seen etching done so neatly and precisely.

a thin paper MIGHT work as a stencil if printed on with laser jet ink useual disclaimers apply, other than that you'd need to find a conductive material that can be printed onto.

please post if you find a solution, i want to have a try at this myself

Stockton Joans:
Part time Illithid hunter
Mr. Boltneck
Zeppelin Admiral
United States United States

« Reply #2 on: September 01, 2011, 08:16:04 pm »

One easy way to make a nonconductive stencil would be to get sign vinyl cut on a suitable plotter. Weed out the image areas, instead of the "waste" (this is the reverse of normal practice for vinyl letters and graphics), and apply with tape as usual. Only one shot per piece of vinyl art, but you can step/repeat a boatload of smallish images onto a few feet of 22" vinyl.
The old-fashioned way might be the methods we used to use for repositionable stencils in airbrush, which involves hand-cutting an acetate film stencil over your artwork. A razor knife or small scalpel will work for simple shapes, but for intricate stuff, it's hard to beat a stencil cutter, which is more or less a kind of low-heat fine-point soldering iron. These are still used for making fabric-painting stencils, and by custom-car airbrush artists.
Zeppelin Captain
Australia Australia

« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2011, 06:34:16 am »

To answer my own question, there are a number of people around the world who (for a small fee) will make and deliver any stencil that I desire.
Here is one random example...
Major Twangy Rubber
Snr. Officer
England England

« Reply #4 on: September 17, 2011, 09:44:12 pm »

This looks very interesting! I assume that it's possible to make your own version of this kit, with a suitable 12V supply/"electrolyte" solution (I'm thinking that any old ionic salt will do the job Smiley )/application wand??
Time Traveler
United States United States

convicted Rogue and Vagabond…long story…

« Reply #5 on: September 17, 2011, 10:25:24 pm »

I want to know what is in the solution used for stainless etching...

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