Barrel Etching

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Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:59 pm

Ok so I promised I'd start getting back into putting patterns on metal in a traditional fashion - So here goes

First the barrel is painted with a resist which will prevent the corrosive/acid from eating anything other than the drawing.
I am using a preparation of bitumen oil of turpentine and oil of lavender (available from etching suppliers in the U.S. for fine art printing from a french supplier) there are lots of other things which will work but I have used this stuff a lot....

The barrel is brown - it was stripped with lacquer solvent and will be painted in at least 4 coats allowing overnight to dry between to insure an impermeable barrier. The nipple threads were plugged with beeswax and sealed before first coat of the bituminous ground was painted on.

IMG_1816.JPG
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby Captchee » Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:02 pm

i know a couple folks that do etching , but i never have , so watching with intrest :applaud:
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby Winter Hawk » Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:15 pm

I did it once in high school shop, 55 years ago. This will be very interesting to watch!

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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Tue Apr 15, 2014 10:14 pm

Well while I'm waiting for the ground to dry between coats - I'll see about describing the acid bath

I have decided to use ferric chloride - Ferric mixed 50% with distilled water produces hydrochloric acid but in a more controllable solution than straight HCL or Muratic - both of which can be used - I am setting up a PVC tube container for the acid bath so I can dip the barrel in and suspend it at the correct depth as it etches. I also am digging out my old photo timer so I can get a consistent timed depth so I will be able to repeat the depth using several etches to create different depths and textures......Oh and distilled water is the best plan as tap water has minerals which can mess up the solution.

I have been drawing some ideas for the pattern too - Ive been thinking about a vine something like this

IMG_1820.JPG


something simple to start - and it sorta matches some of the leather carving I've been doing lately...
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Thu Apr 17, 2014 1:21 am

Ferric and the mortar tube I found that is the perfect size for the acid container....

IMG_1876.JPG



The preliminary line drawing and the stylus -

IMG_1891.JPG
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hanshi » Thu Apr 17, 2014 4:03 pm

Does this work on brass as well?
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:20 am

Hanshi,
- brass yes certainly! However the acids and etch times for brass, copper, zinc, or other metals are different - Zinc for instance is best etched with Nitric and it etches FAST. copper and brass differ and brass, because it is an alloy, etches slightly different than a non alloy. It tends to pit and under cut faster than copper - but that also depends on the corrosive combo you use - look up "Dutch Mordant" - There are several formulae for the ratio of corrosives to each other and the balance of each will determine how you can control both the speed and the "pitting". The "alchemy" of mixing an acid bath for a specific metal alloy may take some testing and a small bit of trial and error - also remember as the bath is used the strength and speed it will dissolve metal decreases. So each time you put a piece into the bath it is a good idea to time it carefully and etch in small time increments at first to be sure of your solution's activity. Ferric Chloride 50/50 with water produces HCL in solution, Ferric is a dark yellowy,red, brown color and is difficult to see working, This is why other more transparent acid baths are used for some purposes - muratic acid can be obtained from swimming pool and home spa suppliers - Muratic acid is another name for HCL in solution with water and is transparent and will work well with brass, as does ferric chloride. Either way you MUST have a neutralizer handy both to stop the acid action and to neutralize the etch solution after you are done.... baking soda lots of it - I will cover more of the clean up process after I get this barrel farther along......
Remember all of the chemistry I'm discussing here is POISON and very DANGEROUS to handle. Pay close attention to safe handling practices and warnings!!! I highly recommend none of these processes be attempted indoors! and that it be kept strictly away from people as best you can -especially pets and kids!
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby Winter Hawk » Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:37 pm

How did you transfer the design to the barrel, or did you freehand it?

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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:38 pm

Winter hawk,
I did the drawing freehand - using the stylus - however I drew the design numerous (like 50! ;) ) times on paper before drawing on the work piece.
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby Captchee » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:48 am

For engraving , one of the ways I use to transfer a drawing is to use Demar varnish and parchment paper . I never use my original drawing unless its free handed onto the item im working on .
What I do is take the drawing and scan it into my PC . Then using a an editing program like paint , paint shop or phot shop , I reverse it and size it ..
I then take a sheet of cooking parchment paper and place it in my printer . On one of my old printers , I have to tap the parchment onto another sheet of paper or it wont feed . But on the newer printer that uses toner for ink , I can set the printer to feed the parchment .

I then set the printer to print multiple images on the same sheet . Normally I do six to a sheet . That way if I screw one up in the process of transferring , I then don’t have to start over the print process .

I then take the demar varnish and lightly dip my finger in it . It only takes alittle . You don’t want a lot . Some folks also thin the varnish with denatured alcohol. But I don’t unless the varnish is real thick to begin with .
Which ever way you chose , do what works best for you .
I then rub a light coat onto the area im going to transfer to .
Let that set tell it just reaches the point where its almost doesn’t feel tacky . Getting that right takes a little bit of trial and error as if its to wet then the transfer will stick . To dry and the image wont transfer .
Once the varnish has reached the right tack , I then lay the image onto the area . . If need be ill also tape the transfer down to reduce the chances of it moving . Burnish the back of the transfer real good , making sure you have rubbed the whole image down . Then carefully lift the transfer . What you will find is that the image is now stuck in the varnish on the part your working on
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Sun Apr 20, 2014 10:56 am

I also have used transfer methods similar to Captchee's - there are numerous ways to get a drawing onto your work but the photo reverse is easy now that we have computer programs and graphic stuff on most of em. I used to draw on the equivalent of "carbon paper" to get a reverse of the drawing and use the transfer from the back side of the page to get the mirror image - so if you do not have the computer close at hand there are "ways" to get it done.


Here is the next installment -

I took a close up of the resist material I am using
IMG_1909.JPG



I had to re think the jig to hold the barrel suspended in the acid bath.....here it is

IMG_1912.JPG


I started out mixing the acid solution and tested for 5 minutes - checked the "bite" that five minutes gave and decided on 20 minute increments to check the progress. This may be over cautious but I do not want pitting in places where I don't expect it! and checking to be sure the resist is protecting the barrel is a good idea since the resist is very thin especially at the sharp edges of the flats and around the bolster.

IMG_1918.JPG




and away we go.........................

IMG_1917.JPG
"Never utter these words! 'I do not know this—therefore it is false.'
One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge."
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Sun Apr 20, 2014 8:59 pm

I started early this morning - now after a day of etching - I've finally stripped the resist off to see the work the acid did for me today.......

IMG_1925.JPG



:applaud:
"Never utter these words! 'I do not know this—therefore it is false.'
One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge."
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby Captchee » Tue Apr 22, 2014 6:09 am

nice job
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Tue Apr 22, 2014 7:25 am

Thanks Capt! If you double click on the last image and zoom in you can see how the acid etches in three directions...
The lines were drawn with a needle sharp stylus and the etch crept under the resist making the lines much more wide after the bath. This is expected.. Look carefully and you can see the original lines and in the vine some of the additional drawing I did between the timed dips into the bath.
So now the process continues! The barrel must now be re-coated with resist and carefully painted and redrawn then re-etched. This may take a while guys this is not a really quick way of making a decoration on a piece of metal..... ;) but hey this is about trad-stuff - so.....
"Never utter these words! 'I do not know this—therefore it is false.'
One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge."
The apothegm of Narada,
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Re: Barrel Etching

Postby hawkthrower » Tue May 27, 2014 7:02 am

thought I would add some to this thread as I haven't worked on the etching in a bit but I have been working on the project -

Here is my first attempt at gilding - original roll engraved lock plate

IMG_2040.JPG
"Never utter these words! 'I do not know this—therefore it is false.'
One must study to know, know to understand, understand to judge."
The apothegm of Narada,
an ancient east Indian philosopher
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