Monday, 22 July 2013

Acid Etching … musings and plans – Part 2

Quickly … to the redesign!

After last parts failure to save my design, I have quickly made up a new, smaller design. This one is a simple 5x5cm design as a proof of concept.


Negative and flipped horizontally … I also added the word “Asylum” across the gargoyles brow.

This was then printed out and ironed on to the brass plate.


Now it is reversed through the magic of transfer printing.

I then used a white acrylic paint to block out the edges of the plate and the right-hand edge so that the acid wouldn’t eat away at the rest of the stock. I also painted some white paint onto the back of the stock so that the acid wouldn’t mark the back of the piece.


I had to make a swab for the acid. This is simply two bamboo skewers wrapped together with a rubber band and with a cotton ball at one end.


Next, I poured my acid into an acid proof container and then swabbed the acid onto the design using my home-made swab.

When I thought that I had rubbed enough acid into the design, it was time to clean the resist off the stock so that I could reveal my masterpiece …


Well … not so much masterpiece as, very, very faint etching indeed.


I think that I did two things wrong here:

  1. The acid was not fresh … it had been sitting in the bottle for about two months. The acid needs to be refreshed from time to time (add more peroxide, add more hydrochloric acid). I noticed this previously when I was etching printed circuit boards; and
  2. I certainly didn’t swab acid onto the design long enough.

No great loss, I have learned my lessons and I can move on. I will get some more peroxide so that I can freshen the acid, print and transfer again, and revisit this design at a later date.

Importantly I learned that, essentially, my plans are feasible with stronger acid. I won’t make those mistakes again and I did not ruin the stock. In a worst case scenario, I could polish the design out of the brass stock (if I really needed to).

I found some other gothic designs that I like and will probably use in the goggle design. I’m going to be going for a steam-punk/Cthulhu inspired design when I finally do get on to that project. Probably working in something like this …

chthulu octopus

I’ve seen this in a couple of places … including tattooed onto someone's back. Either that or draw my own Cthuluesque design.

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