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stainless etching


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#1 shmoeusn

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 01:58 PM

I've been engraving designs with my dremel and have achieved decent results. However, I found this image that was acid etched into 304 stainless and am clueless on the process. I am hoping perhaps someone has achieved similar results and can share how to do it. This would allow me to get a tremendous amount of detail and hopefully enhance the overall quality of my "art"

Thanks,

Joe

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#2 PTsideshow

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 02:20 PM

It is called photo realistic etching, With the new light sensitive etching films it is really amazing what can be done. Here is a link
photo acid etching There is also laser etching that does some great looking work. You can search for photo etching for a wide assortment ways. Avi our member that is in Israel, has done some real great acid etching of a number of items.
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All the usual and standard disclaimers apply. Do not try this at home, use only as directed, No warranties express or implied, for the intended use or suggested uses, Wear safety glasses, closed course, professionals only

#3 AvishaiW

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 09:26 PM

I do etching on brass with hand painted resist. You can see the procedure in the metalwork demonstration forum, titled "Deep groove etching". The etching in your attached photo was not done by hand painting.

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#4 crquack

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Posted 18 August 2011 - 11:15 PM

I think doing this on stainless steel is going to be hard. I have never had much success with stainless even using electricity. Are you sure the picture was done that way? The half-tones do not look etched.

#5 AvishaiW

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 02:02 AM

I think doing this on stainless steel is going to be hard. I have never had much success with stainless even using electricity. F


I aam etching stainless steel using 5% solution of sulfuric acid and 12v dc current that I take from an old car battery. I am not sure how it works with the resist, but it is worth trying. The etching that I do is actually matting the surface and deburring, so it would not create a deep etch.

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#6 PTsideshow

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 04:21 AM

The proper name is Halftone photoetching on metal. The best short description is contained in Oppi's tome Jewelry Concepts, The wiki in book form of metal techniques.
Your in luck that section is in the google books preview

Here is my review in the book list

It is along with his other two works and McCreights Complete Metalsmith, the original google for metal workers.

The process is more equipment involved, but the results can be amazing. I have only done a little hand applied resit etching years ago. And printed circuit board and glass etching with the acid cream solution.
But the great thing about now is They have resist that can be processed in a computer printer.

Here is another with some more info and some descriptions of the tools

If you don't want to get involved with all the equipment and dealing with hazardous material waste left after the process. You might locate a commercial company that does it.
Since stainless steel will have a steep learning curve, because of what it is.

Or you might want to look into laser engraving
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#7 crquack

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 05:43 PM

I aam etching stainless steel using 5% solution of sulfuric acid and 12v dc current that I take from an old car battery. I am not sure how it works with the resist, but it is worth trying. The etching that I do is actually matting the surface and deburring, so it would not create a deep etch.


As with anything, the God is in the details. For instance I find that applying the same resist that works fine on mild steel became quite porous on stainless steel resulting in horrible foul biting while using the same etching process. I cannot even begin to guess at the chemistry involved there.

The other thing I found with stainless is that any large areas etched by electricity (I used salt and vinegar) were quite messy and uneven.

I have not tried sulphuric acid which is an interesting choice of electrolyte. What led you to try that?

#8 AvishaiW

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Posted 19 August 2011 - 10:54 PM

I have not tried sulphuric acid which is an interesting choice of electrolyte. What led you to try that?


I just tried different acids to find out how the process reacts. I also found out that using citric acid which is food safe (called here "lemon salt") gives a nice polish to the stainless.

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