Thursday, May 21, 2009

Brass etching

In a fit of procrastination this evening, I decided that I would do a brass etching with the brass that appeared in the mail yesterday. I went with the airship pilot's badge from earlier. The transfer was really good, the magazine peeled off in one piece, which was a really good feeling. Here's a picture of the magazine page after peeling, with the brass next to it:

I put it into the tank with my new plate holder (left, lovingly turned down on a school lathe), and switched the power supply on, it drew between 1.5 and 2.5 Amps the entire time, and built crud up on the surface a lot faster than the copper did. Some copper also rose to the surface of the brass. There was no surface pitting either. This etch took about 15 minutes.

In case you're unfamiliar with the difference between copper and brass, brass has zinc as well as copper, and looks gold rather than red. The brass is at the top, and copper at the bottom:

Here is the finished etching, after being 'inked'. More on inking later.


  1. All of your blogs are fantastic! You obviously have a knack for making things!

    Good Job :)


  2. This is great Frazer. (yeah i dont do this class but i'm commenting others anyways). Its very original work of art if thats what you'd call it and its so effective. The outcome was brilliant.

    well done =]

  3. An important tip would be to always neutralize etching solution after use. To protect pipes and the environment, never dump etching solution directly down the pipes. Be sure to clean off all etching solution in an environmentally safe manner.

  4. That's true etchy, but as I am using an electrolytic process, the liquid actually never gets put down the drain, it it reused almost indefinitely.