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sethyrish

Etching Own Face plates
« on: April 15, 2009, 01:21:25 PM »
Hi all. I thought I’d share some recent experiments in etching face plates. After getting quotes of $200AU for Laser and standard engraving were I am, I decided to etch my own aluminium face plates, only to find out that black anodized aluminium can’t be etched. Instead of getting standard aluminium, I thought I’d try brass 1.2mm plate for a real antique look and am very happy with the results. The steps involved are the same as used for etching PCB’s;
1/ Artwork (Adobe Illustrator). 2/ Printed emulsion down (right reading) onto “Press n peel” toner transfer paper. You need to use a laser printer. Then iron onto the metal plate. I had to tape two sheets together to get the length.  You can apparently use photo inkjet paper which would be cheaper but can end up with pin holes which will let the etchant through if not blocked out. 3/ Block out the back of plate and etch with ferric chloride. I added some citric acid which stops any buildup of sediment. This solution is called Edinburg Etch and can be used to etch copper, zinc, mild steel, aluminum and brass. http://www.polymetaal.nl/beguin/mape/edinburgh_etch.htm
4/ Apply some artificial aging and buff high areas. I used copper sulphate for the aging from a swimming pool supply store and some heat from butane torch to get a copper coin type finish. All up it was about $50AU for 3U of rack.  The iron-on paper did require a fair bit of experimentation to get the temperature and pressure correct. You are basically melting the black toner and smudging it onto your plate. The toner repels the etchant.


sethyrish

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2009, 01:23:48 PM »
I'm not sure how to add multiple images on the 1 post

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #2 on: April 15, 2009, 01:34:37 PM »
I like it!  It gives a pretty cool Steampunk look.  I'm going to use your idea for a nixie clock enclosure I've been planning.

AnalogPackrat

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2009, 01:37:45 PM »
Excellent!  Very Jules Verne.  I was just thinking about the same thing after browsing the DIY Stompbox forum and seeing some great designs there.  I'm amazed by the level of detail you achieved on the etch.  About how long was the etching process itself?

A P
If it is to be, it is up to me.

tmuikku

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2009, 01:57:50 PM »
Now isn't that stunning :o This is why the forum is so appealing. Lots and lots of creative work on display to watch and learn  ;)

edit:
And one can even etch those "predrills" for holes making the rest of process ever easier!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 02:16:04 PM by tmuikku »

guavatone

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2009, 02:12:21 PM »
WOW!!!!

Talk about a Vintage look
-Charlie
If it sounds good enough, just move on to the next DIY  project on your bench.

hobiesound

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2009, 03:01:37 PM »
very stylish indeed!!!! and thanx for the link on making those etching solutions, good reading! I've etched some stompboxes with the toner transfer method and some ferric chloride but i've never been able to etch that deep and clear.

greets,

Thomas

mrclunk

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2009, 03:16:12 PM »
cool, i hope we'll be seeing lots of this stuff.

looks great!

thanks for the link ;D

By how much does the enchant seep under the the toner?
Do u have to allow a bit of an offset on your graphics designs to allow for this?

How long did it take to etch that plate?, it looks pretty deep.

shabtek

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2009, 03:18:09 PM »
that is gorgeous . thanks for posting, and for the link
"really fine players do not use stomp boxes or master volume, they match the amp to the room and turn it up to 11.  Stevie Ray, BB King, Albert King, Duane Allman, Dicky Betts, Louis Armstrong"
   -CJ

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2009, 03:27:03 PM »
Chemical mordants will etch most materials isotropically.  The amount of undercut (x-y direction) will be roughly equal to the etch depth (z-direction).  Mass transport issues will tend to give z-etches a slight positive bias though.


renx

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2009, 03:36:54 PM »
WHOAA!!

That's all I can say, I mean it looks like a front panel that a 17th century pirate designer would make if you asked him to make something that he thinks will be made 300 years ahead of his time.

Fantastic! I love it!

Ptownkid

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2009, 04:40:08 PM »
WOW, I have been meaning to try that for a while, that's awesome looking!!!

sahib

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2009, 05:01:14 PM »

Good stuff. Welldone. I have been working with etching for over twenty years and I must say that is a really great look and finish. You have certainly mastered the technique of aging. Excellent.

RAM

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2009, 05:23:32 PM »
Wow that looks great. Must give it a go myself. Thanks for the listing the steps!

Rob

clintrubber

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2009, 05:29:39 PM »
Very Jules Verne.

Haha, that's the description !

Nice work  :)

jsteiger

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2009, 05:48:18 PM »
Absolutely outstanding!!!  ;) ;)

This should win some sort of DIY award.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2009, 05:49:59 PM by jsteiger »
For API style transformers and more cool DIY stuff: http://www.classicapi.com

http://www.51xaudio.com/alliance/index.html


Silvas

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2009, 07:15:16 PM »
Incredibly good looking ! have to try that !

Davo

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2009, 07:20:47 PM »
Fantastic job!! Thanks for the links

dave

Freddy G

Re: Etching Own Face plates
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2009, 07:54:36 PM »
WOW! that is beautiful....WOW!
PRR wrote:
Use #18 wire for rock-n-roll, #16 wire for classical.


 

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