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Time to Etch!!!
Once you have your artwork transfered to the material you are etching, it's time to actually etch your parts into metal.

Here we go!

Protect the backside of your sheet with something that will resist the etching process. Clear, non-stranded plastic packing tape works well for me. Alternatively, you can use Plasti-Dip which is used to coat tool handles and available at hardware stores and Wal-Marts nearly everywhere. Another option is to use the same resist coating as you used on the face of the sheet, except this will not hold the pieces together after etching. Putting the reist coating on the back side is only (in my opinion) viable for projects that will result in one piece being left after etching

 

Carefully pour your chosen etchant into a glass bowl or pie plate. Place your metals sheet into the etchant, avoiding splashing or spilling, and wait. It is a good idea to keep an eye on your parts and occasionally move the parts around in the etchant. Use a plastic tweezers or an old pair of hemostats(the etchant will damage the finish even on stainless steel).

Check on your parts often, the actual etching process takes about 10 minutes or so (for .005" brass). The result of all of this work should be a sheet of the parts you designed. After removing the parts from the etchant, rinse them in cold water for a couple of minutes. After rinsing, clean the part, using either the methods that should be on the instructions for your resist (if it is a purpose-made resist) or denatured alcohol or laquer thinner.

Polish or otherwise finish the parts the way you want them and apply to your model!

 

Proceed to the next section

 

If you have found this information helpful and/or interesting, please let me know. If you would like to see more of this type of information (as well as some more advanced techniques and methods) please E-mail Me!!