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Tips, Techniques, and Questions -- Technical questions or tips

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  #1  
Old 2010-09-25, 3:51pm
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Default Copper Etching Discussion

I have looked around the forum and online and find that there are several etching methods that should work at home.
*ETA the first method also electroforms!!!

*Please note that the term nontoxic/non-toxic has become synonymous with safety conscious practice. Nontoxic processes still use a variety of chemicals, and the ultimate safety of any material and process is dependent on their informed use.

Rectifier and Copper sulphate... added 11/29/10
http://www.greenart.info/galvetch/contfram.htm
Look at the bottom there is a place to "get book" PDF download from Cedric Green hence "Green Prints"
http://www.nontoxicprint.com/electroetching.htm
The Chemistry of using Copper Sulfate Mordant Added 11/28/10
http://www.ndiprintmaking.ca/?p=74

*Although copper sulfate is a comparatively safe chemical for etching, it is considered a marine pollutant, and if present in rivers or lakes it can kill fish. It is crucial that solutions containing this salt are never poured down a drain.

Complete Elimination of Metal Compounds from Mordant before Disposal
http://www.ndiprintmaking.ca/?p=80
http://www.nontoxicprint.com/etchzincsteelaluminum.htm

Rectifier and salt solution...
http://www.cspoguegraphics.com/electrolysis.php added 2/20/13
http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...d.php?t=120896
http://www.instructables.com/id/The-...-etch-process/ Be sure to read the replies!
http://www.lampworketc.com/forums/sh...3&postcount=37

Ferric Chloride solution (commercial etchant radio shack, art supply)
http://copperheartdesigns.blogspot.c...ch-copper.html
http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nena...nsfer_etch.htm
http://www.hodgepodgerie.com/etching-copper.html
http://www.ccsf.edu/Departments/Art/...page_image.htm

Edinburgh etch solution Ferric Chloride and Citric acid
http://www.ganoksin.com/ftp/edinburg-etch.pdf
http://www.nontoxicprint.com/etchcopperandbrass.htm
http://www.polymetaal.nl/beguin/mape/edinburgh_etch.htm

Cupric Chloride etchant Peroxide/acid ( Hardware store/drugstore)
http://members.optusnet.com.au/~esey...uCl/index.html
http://www.xertech.net/Tech/CuCl_ech.html (added 10/14)
http://157.158.19.167/papers_amme03/1229.pdf
http://www.opencircuits.com/Chemical_Etchants
Video series (added 10/9)
http://www.ehow.com/videos-on_8351_e...it-boards.html


Etching in general
http://www.ganoksin.com/borisat/nena...-champleve.htm
http://www.making-jewelry-now.com/ac...ry-part-1.html

Resists
scotch tape, asphalt, red paint, Petroleum jelly, sharpie markers,
Nail polish (you can thin it down to a great consistency for painting fine lines),
Testors enamel paint is another great one.
Future or KLEAR acrylic floor polish.

PnP info... http://www.techniks.com/how_to.htm
Magazine paper and laser printer
http://www.riccibitti.com/pcb/pcb.htm (added 10/12/10)
http://fullnet.com/~tomg/gooteepc.htm (added 1/8/11)

Flame Coloring...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzU5RNAjN34

Build your own rectifier/power supply...
http://chriscrawfordknives.com/#/ele...nit/4535265119 (added 2/12/11)

So what do you use for solution/resist?


ETA 12/11: Electroplating http://www.archive.org/stream/electr...e/250/mode/2up
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Last edited by houptdavid; 2013-02-20 at 5:44pm.
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  #2  
Old 2010-09-25, 4:44pm
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I've done it a couple of times using black Sharpie and Ferric Chloride.
I've seen others use black permanent ink with rubber stamps.

BTW, please remember that the sludge at the bottom of the etch bath should be disposed of at a toxic waste facility.
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Last edited by rusticstudio; 2010-09-25 at 5:05pm.
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  #3  
Old 2010-09-25, 6:40pm
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ferric chloride and a few different resists (tape, ink, printer toner)
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Old 2010-09-25, 7:01pm
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I use PnP for the resist and ferric chloride. I can get really crisp images with the PnP paper. It takes more work to get it off but the results are worth it.

The industrial Sharpie markers work better than the regular Sharpies. I've used rubber stamps too and they work well if I can get a good stamping with some kind of permanent ink like Staz-on. I sometimes have to touch up using a Sharpie. I never get the image as crisp as with the PnP paper but sometimes I'm going for something less precise and more organic. It's way easier to remove the Sharpie or Staz-on inks afterwards than the PnP paper.

I did this one using PnP paper resist. I accidentally left it in the ferric chloride too long and got a deeper etch than I wanted. I haven't cleaned up the copper yet, just removed the PnP paper.


This piece is sterling silver etched using the PnP paper resist. I only cleaned off the PnP paper, the silver still needs to be pickled and shined up. I used ferric nitrate for the etching solution.

It's hard to tell because it's not cleaned up but all the little lines show up crisp. It's hard to get the same from a rubber stamp.

And I agree, the residue needs to be dispose of properly, as with the solution and care needs to be taken when using any kind of acids.
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  #5  
Old 2010-09-25, 7:23pm
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Thanks for that list! Everything you need to know in one location is great.

I've only etched copper once using the ferric chloride. I etched two pieces - on one I used a sharpie and the other I used mylar stickers (scrapbook stickers from Michael's, etc.). The stickers had crisper edges but I liked both equally.
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  #6  
Old 2010-09-25, 7:45pm
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I've had nothing but trouble with the PnP paper. Do you have any suggestions on how to use it?

Thanks in advance.
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  #7  
Old 2010-09-25, 7:54pm
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PnP paper... http://www.techniks.com/how_to.htm
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Old 2010-09-25, 8:16pm
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verrrrrry cool beans ! So who has the lowest pricing for silver sheet ?
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  #9  
Old 2010-09-25, 9:05pm
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I do it just like the link David provided. I've always got a good transfer. What kind of issues are you having with PnP paper?

Monsterslayer has low prices on sterling silver sheet. I fortunately bought a lot of it years ago before the prices skyrocketed.
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Old 2010-09-25, 9:28pm
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What a fantastic resource! David, you rock ~


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Old 2010-09-26, 5:34am
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Great resources David..thanks for listing them!

I use rubber stamps, sharpies, stickers and soon, PNP paper for resists.....bought the laser printer/pnp paper..just need to set it up.


Susan....beautiful etching!! LOVE it!!
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Old 2010-09-26, 6:10am
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Thank you for all of the great information. Sounds like you can run the PnP Paper thru the copy machine and don't have to us a laser printer. I am going to order some paper!
Teresa
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  #13  
Old 2010-09-26, 7:14am
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As long as the copier uses dry toner!
A 3 in one fax,copier,printer will not work
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Last edited by houptdavid; 2010-09-26 at 7:44am.
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Old 2010-09-26, 7:19am
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David did an awesome job collecting all the info and putting it all in one place. Thanks David!!

I photocopy my images onto the PnP paper. I've always taken my images to a copy store and used a laser copy machine to make my copies. I'm not sure if an ink jet copier will work. I'm guessing not.
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Old 2010-09-26, 7:20am
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Thanks David for answering the copier question. I didn't know for sure.
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Old 2010-10-09, 10:08am
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Just found this video series on the muratic acid/peroxide method...

http://www.ehow.com/videos-on_8351_e...it-boards.html
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Old 2010-10-11, 12:56pm
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I'm having trouble getting a good solid transfer onto the metal.
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Old 2010-10-11, 3:17pm
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Deb is it clean? Scrub down the copper with some acetone first and let it dry
then try

Ok here is my first try at this with the Acid/peroxide method



Lto R
top patinaed pigmented stamp ink (?) (about 45 mins)

top patinaed Spray paint on lace fabric them stamped while wet (about 45) mins

no patina top sharpie marker, bottom spray lacquer thru lace fabric
You can see to the upper right that it actually started to eat the copper plate but it was in for 1 1/2 hrs

Washable stamp ink does not work it just washes off

For $5.73 I made 1/2 gallon of solution
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Last edited by houptdavid; 2010-10-11 at 3:19pm.
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Old 2010-10-17, 5:29pm
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OK the PNP is like the paper that Wally world has to use on Sweat shirt of any fabric. They are used in your printer? Or is it a PNP that is from a printer store?
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Old 2010-10-18, 8:09pm
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Thank you for this information.
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Old 2010-10-18, 8:23pm
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I tried this with my rectifier today & it etched really well. The only problem was that my resist came off. I used a sharpie. It stayed at first, but I went to sleep & left them in to long. I ordered some of the resist from Dick Blick but it hasn't come yet.
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Old 2010-10-19, 10:56am
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OK There is a professor that is doing this in the art department. Went into the book store to find all the goodies to use for acid etching and the copper in small to large pieces.
OMG! I'm in hog heaven. Will see how this other works first. Would love to see how this works in there class.
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Old 2010-11-02, 2:35pm
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I think I got it figured out for the most part...


3x6


3x6



3x4
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Old 2010-11-02, 3:22pm
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David, they're beautiful! What did you end up using to etch?
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Old 2010-11-02, 4:08pm
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Thank you! The acid/peroxide solution
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Old 2010-11-02, 6:27pm
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David, Those are very well done. Love them!! Beautiful work!!!!
Janet C
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Old 2010-11-28, 10:49pm
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Added to the list above

The Chemistry of using Copper Sulfate Mordant
http://www.ndiprintmaking.ca/?p=74

Complete Elimination of Metal Compounds from Mordant before Disposal
http://www.ndiprintmaking.ca/?p=80
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Last edited by houptdavid; 2010-11-28 at 11:00pm.
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Old 2010-11-29, 11:20am
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Copper sulphate solution is used with a rectifier for electroforming and etching. It is suggested by 1 etching supplier that it is "safe to pour down the drain".

Copper sulfate is highly toxic to fish. In 1995 California EPA banned the sale and use of products containing copper sulfate due to exceeded acceptable levels in San Francisco Bay and its estuaries. The counties included in the ban were Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma.
Copper sulfate may also be poisonous to sheep and chickens at normal application rates. Most animal life in soil, including large earthworms, have been eliminated by the extensive use of copper sulfate in orchards.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copper sulphate is banned as a root killer in Connecticut and some areas of Florida
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Last edited by houptdavid; 2010-11-29 at 11:40am.
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Old 2010-11-29, 11:57am
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To be clear she says: "If you do want to dispose of the solution, you can flush it away as it is not harmful for the environment in small concentrations."

I'm not trying to say it's not bad for the environment or not - but I'm curious as to true hazard regarding the concentration suggested for etching. Also - first and foremost, it's suggested you re-use the solution.

Your etches look awesome!

Quote:
Originally Posted by houptdavid View Post
Copper sulphate solution is used with a rectifier for electroforming and etching. It is suggested by 1 etching supplier that it is "safe to pour down the drain".

Copper sulfate is highly toxic to fish. In 1995 California EPA banned the sale and use of products containing copper sulfate due to exceeded acceptable levels in San Francisco Bay and its estuaries. The counties included in the ban were Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Sonoma.
Copper sulfate may also be poisonous to sheep and chickens at normal application rates. Most animal life in soil, including large earthworms, have been eliminated by the extensive use of copper sulfate in orchards.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Copper sulphate is banned as a root killer in Connecticut and some areas of Florida
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Old 2010-11-29, 12:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tgslampwork View Post
To be clear she says: "If you do want to dispose of the solution, you can flush it away as it is not harmful for the environment in small concentrations."

Your etches look awesome!
Kim Thank you

It is the "you can flush it away" part. While yes IN some places you can still do this, in others you cannot and need to be informed of this even in trace quantities.
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