Etching success #1

A few days ago, I tried the thermal transfer onto brass again, this time with almost perfect success:

There were a couple of small bits that failed, but I fixed them by hand with a permanent marker, but mostly it was a perfect transfer. The thing that took the time was beating  Inkscape->Printer into submission; eventually, I found the best solution was Inkscape->PDF, then print the PDF using okular under KDE 4.2.

This afternoon, I finally tried the etching; here’s a picture of the setup:

left: water pump
middle: bucket with inner etching basin.
right: etchant storage heating up with with pond heater.

Once the etchant was warm/ I got bored, I poured it into the etching basin, moved it into the back room beside an open window and left it alone for a wee while. Checking up on it, several things were obvious:

  1. The air curtain that the pond pump is blowing bubble through needs secured better as it floated to the top; I used a piece of plastic to quickly bodge it, but a better solution is needed.
  2. I held the brass sheet I was etching vertically using a pair of wooden clothes pegs. These made it float to the top (duh!), so another solution is needed here too (temp. bodge with plastic time again).
  3. The pond heater works really well for this purpose; its waterproof and has a metal heating element contained in a glass tube.

After an hour or so, it was done! Here is a picture of the freshly rinsed result:

And finally, once its been cleaned up with some wire wool:

So all in all, a pretty good result for the first time! I’ve got some redesign to do to sort the remaining issues though.

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