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  #1  
Old 12-19-2007, 06:58 PM
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Messinger Messinger is offline
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electro-etch technique?

Guys, I just built a Warner/Crawford style etcher and wanted to ask for recommendations on technique for etching my mark. Pad dampness, pad pressure, how long to keep pad on the piece per cycle, that sort of thing. I just tried it out last night and although I have a crisp stencil the mark is a little fuzzy. I'm using IMG electrolyte and stencil. More pressure? Less pressure? Dryer pad? I've got my learnin' ears on.

-Ben
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Old 12-19-2007, 09:35 PM
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I have an EtchOmatic . I just wet the pad put it on the stencil plugged in and then touch the ground clip to the knife for 4 sec. I have cheezy stencils and it comes out Ok. Dont know about the other machine. Hope helps

Dave
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  #3  
Old 12-20-2007, 09:35 AM
Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Messinger
Guys, I just built a Warner/Crawford style etcher and wanted to ask for recommendations on technique for etching my mark. Pad dampness, pad pressure, how long to keep pad on the piece per cycle, that sort of thing. I just tried it out last night and although I have a crisp stencil the mark is a little fuzzy. I'm using IMG electrolyte and stencil. More pressure? Less pressure? Dryer pad? I've got my learnin' ears on.

-Ben
Ben, mount the pad using a rubber band, put two or 3 spots of electrolyte on the pad, and dab it on a paper towel a few times until the pad is evenly damp, not wet.

Tape your stencil on the blade using black electricians tape.

I can't recommend how much current to set your unit on since I'm not familiar with it.

To etch:

Ground the blade, turn on the DC current, and hold the pad firmly in place for about 10 to 15 seconds. remove the pad and look at the stencil. ALL of the white mark on the stencil must be black. If not, then do it again, maybe applying pressure in a slightly different spot. The idea is to make all the white turn black and stick to the blade.

To mark after etching: (applies the black oxide in the stencil back into the blade)

Set unit on AC and dab stencil several times 2 or 3 seconds at a time.



Reverse the current and mark the blade by dabbing the stencil for a couple of seconds several times.
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  #4  
Old 12-20-2007, 12:29 PM
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Messinger Messinger is offline
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Thanks Dave and Don!
When I saw the stencil mesh starting to get black I thought I'd gone too far and quit before it "got worse". he he he. Also I built it to output just 12v, 2 amp. so it's pretty tame. Also sounds like I was using too much electrolyte.

What's the best way to clean the black off the stencil when done? I rubbed it lightly between my fingers under cool water and some of it cleaned up, but not 100%. Some of the mesh still looks closed up.

Thank you very much for the tips. I'll try again tonight.

-Ben
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  #5  
Old 12-20-2007, 01:30 PM
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Ben,

If your mark still looks fuzzy after you try the above suggestions, try this: apply the etcher for 3 seconds, lift for 2 seconds, apply for 3, lift for 2.....I do these 5 second cycles for 25 seconds on stainless and 20 seconds on carbon steels and my marks are very sharp. Some people think this process is a little strange but it is actually suggested in the Etch-O-Matic documentation.

As for cleaning the stencil, just do what you're doing but more of it. Run cold water through the stencil, rub as little as possible (you can chip the edges of the mark by rubbing away particles), and do it ASAP after you finish applying the mark. Hold the stencil up to the light, it should look white ...


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  #6  
Old 12-20-2007, 04:16 PM
logem logem is offline
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It doesn't sound like this is your problem, but . . .

Since you made your own unit, check to verify that the alligator clip is 12VDC (+) and that the etch pad is 12VDC (-). I had mine reversed at first, and the resulting "etch" was a little fuzzy, and actually wasn't even etched into the steel.

Mike LoGiudice
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  #7  
Old 12-20-2007, 06:47 PM
Don Robinson Don Robinson is offline
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I scrub my stencils with Simple Green and rinse under water, the dab dry on a paper towel.
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  #8  
Old 12-30-2007, 04:45 PM
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Lightbulb airwreght

Where can i find plans for a etching machine ?
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Old 12-30-2007, 05:03 PM
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Use the Search button at the top of the page to find some of the many other threads on etching machines. Look for Bob Warner's website which is mentioned in many of those threads, the plans are on Bob's website....


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Old 12-31-2007, 07:02 PM
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Bob also has a great video on this very subject.
Click on the orange banner below my signature to visit CCIV, and see what other videos are available too.
Be blessed,
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  #11  
Old 01-04-2008, 02:33 PM
logem logem is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by airwright
Where can i find plans for a etching machine ?
Actually, the plans aren't on Bob Warner's site. I think he is selling a video instead of giving the plans away.

A detailed description of the procedures for making the etcher are on Chris Crawford's website. It includes a parts list and illustrated photos.

Also, I have an electrical schematic of the machine on my website. You can download the PDF file HERE.

Good luck,

Mike L.
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