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Old 04-23-2013, 03:02 PM
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brucew brucew is offline
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Default Electrolytic Etching

A few days ago Dubby posted about etching on glass and that and some of the discussions led me to look into etching on metal.

I found some info on electrolytic etching, so I gave it a shot. I only used vinegar/salt as the solution 'cause I didn't have any of the other chemicals. I hooked up a 12v battery for current.

here are the results of my meager efforts. I had a small section of a lawnmower blade I cleaned up and tried it on, and a small piece of brass left over.

I wanted it to turn out like the picture shown here, but it looks like I need a little more practice. It was a fun experiment though.

Anyone else ever do such etching?
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:41 PM
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That is really neat..

I'd be interested in doing something like that.. very neat indeed.
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Old 04-23-2013, 03:46 PM
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Careful guys, spending time on the Steam Punk site can be very addictive.

Eccentricities can run amuck over there, almost as bad as they can here. and you all know how bad we can be.
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Old 04-23-2013, 11:23 PM
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Hold up... Steam Punk Site?!? Where is it? I don't wanna go whorin around all by my lonesome! No telling what I might find


(Though I have googled steampunk girls before and that was purdy fun)
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dubby View Post


(Though I have googled steampunk girls before and that was purdy fun)
Gee, shouldn't that be goggled, instead of googled? OOOOOOOOOOOOOOH, that's bad!


Dave
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Old 04-24-2013, 03:07 AM
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Well here it is right cheer.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:13 AM
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I etch my circuit boards like that. I don't use and electricity though. just a vat of feric chloride and a heater.
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:41 AM
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Found this but didn't verify:

The electrically conductive salt solution is the electrolyte. You must make sure that the type of electrolyte you use is that of the same metal to be etched. Previous experiments in electro-etching used a solution of sodium chloride (common salt), and for this reason they did not have much success.

So remember: you must use a metal salt that matches the metal to be etched:

COPPER SULFATE (Cu SO4) for COPPER plates

ZINC SULFATE (Zn SO4) for ZINC plates

FERROUS SULFATE (Fe SO4) for IRON and STEEL plates
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Old 04-24-2013, 07:46 AM
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This technique (we buy the chemicals though) get used a bunch
when having to indentify tooling that we can't use punched
letters/numbers, nor engraved.
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Old 04-24-2013, 08:12 AM
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I do it from time to time. Washing soda is a very good, cheap, electrolyte. Plenty of info on the net. I have used a battery charger, and find that is most common. Last year I had a lot of items to get out in a short time and used my transformer welder. I set it at the high end of its 100% duty cycle, and two days worth of etching got done in about 6-8 hours.
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