The larger etching tank

The small power source (see Feb. 14 post for photo) works perfectly well for the larger etching set-up I made for cuff sized blanks and roll printing plates. I would still like to have a power source that would allow for setting the voltage to 1.5V. The little black one only goes down to 3V at a preset 2amp.

etching tank
larger etching tank set-up
larger etch tank
another view of larger etch tank

I used an acrylic display case designed for model cars for this tank that accommodates a 3″ wide X 6″ long (or smaller) piece. The tank is 4 1/2″w x 9″l x 5″h. The closer the anode is to the cathode, the faster the etch. The “wings” on the cathode and anode supports help to keep the plates parallel in the tank as well as providing a place for attaching the leads that is away from the water.

A deep etch on 18g brass took 3 hours. I used a soft brush to clean off both the anode and the cathode several times during the process. I plan to use this plate for roll printing a few copper cuff blanks, and then perhaps use it to make a cuff… or maybe will cut it up for several pendants.

fern design for roll printing
deeply etched brass plate with fern design

The black on the plate shown above is the lazer toner resist. I removed this with Citrasolv before using the plate for roll printing silver for a ring band.
etched plate with print
etched fern plate with printed silver

I used the etched brass plate to roller print an 18g sterling strip to use for a ring band.

3 thoughts on “The larger etching tank

  1. Emily January 30, 2014 / 7:35 pm

    hi there- could you use the etched brass plate to roller print onto multiple pieces of brass? thus only etching once, but being able to mass produce the same pattern in more pieces of brass fairly quickly on the rolling mill? thanks!

  2. Carol Holaday January 30, 2014 / 7:48 pm

    Hi Emily,
    The “direct etched” brass plate can be used to roll print various metals, including brass. However, the roll printed plate will not look the same as the direct etched plate. For one thing, it is a reverse image. Also, the print will be less defined, a little softer looking, etc. Look at my June 4th post for an example of copper roll printed from etched brass to see what I mean by “soft”. Also, the brass plate changes a bit each time you use it for roll printing… and it eventually wears out. Hope this answers your question.

    • emily February 1, 2014 / 12:48 am

      thanks for your advice carol!

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