Etching, dear?

Right, time for an etching update.

The Senior Etching Technician at Edinburgh Printmakers has sent me an extremely informative email on his techniques and recipes; interestingly they are using the Bordeaux Etch as well, and have abandoned the Edinburgh Etch in favour of pure Ferric Chloride.

I’ve just ordered some Copper Sulphate and Citric Acid from Mistral. since the Citric Acid was so cheap, I thought I might as well get it in case it turned out the Edinburgh Etch was better for my purposes (obviously etching to make printable plates is different from etching to make objects from sheet metal).

Last week, I wandered to Harbourne Hobbies, Wonderland, Murray’s Tools, and Maplin:

Harbourne Hobbies/Wonderland both seem to stock brass/copper/aluminum sheet from the same manufactures (www.ksmetals.com). Fine for small quantities quickly, but frankly if you’re after a wider range, ebay seems to be the best, for example Metaloffcuts, who are a UK based firm with an ebay store for non-wholesaler buyers.

Murray’s tools suggested the Metal Centre in Leith for sheet steel.

And finally, I nabbed 500g of Ferric Chloride from maplins – 5 quid per 250g. megauk are the place maplin actually source it from, with a 400% price markup! However, megauk have a minimum 15 pound order, so you’d have to be ordering a fair amount; perhaps good to remember though. (Note they also stock chemicals for etching Silver…)

Oh – also had a wander round B&Q’s – they have copper tubing for plumbing etc. Interesting; etching parts of a tube away might be quite interesting…

And some other useful links I found:

My colleague Denise, who makes jewelery, buys her supplies from Cooksons;. Try out the cost calculator for silver metal sheet for a scare! Interesting selection of tools though.

The Soap Tub specialises in soap related making recipes,equipment, and chemicals. I found them because they also stock Citric Acid, an essential ingredient in Bath Bombs apparently 🙂

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