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Issues with Etching Logo

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Marko Tsourkan

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Have had some issues etching a logo.

I would like to etch a logo .003-.004 deep. I only seem to be able accomplish that by holding a pad to the stencil for 1 minute or so on 4.5 level. Also, just holding doesn't seem to do much - I have to 'rub' it in. So, longer holding times, and perhaps a little too much electrolyte have resulted in some electrolyte seeping around the logo and discoloring and pitting and a too much heat warped a stencil. Not very encouraging, if you think you might mess us your work in a last step.

What is a good schedule for etching to get .003-.004 deep? I was trying 30sec on 30 sec off, but the result wasn't as impressive. I will probably go just for a silver mark.

Thanks,
M
 

Rottman

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Machine? Setting AC or DC? Have you tried multiple short etches?
 

Eamon Burke

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I know Butch is known for having a really deep etch, and he did a video about it a while back. Have you seen that one? I'm gonna try to dig it up, for my edification as well!
 

Marko Tsourkan

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I know Butch is known for having a really deep etch, and he did a video about it a while back. Have you seen that one? I'm gonna try to dig it up, for my edification as well!
I am using Personalizer Plus. For tests I etched (DC) and then marked (AC), but for future plan on only etching (silver mark).
I watched Butch's video. Somehow his approach didn't work for me (few seconds on/off). For me to get a deep etch, I had to hold applicator pad for about a minute at 4.5 setting.

M
 

Rottman

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IIRC Butch was using pretty much the max. setting only
 

WillC

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I see you got your logo's done with Ernie. Could be worth giving him a ring. One thing he said to me was the thickness of the pad will effectively give you a lower voltage setting, if the voltage needs taming down, so using a thinner felt pad can give you more juice. Early days for me but i'm having good results with my home made unit. I made a brass applicator and just buy a4 sheets of felt to cut up for the pads. I do the 3 second thing, and try to remove oxides with movement as butch does, I repeat that maybe 4 times on 18v/dc, then switch to 9v/ac which seems to produce the best permanent black. I've been using the same stencil for a while, but I knackered a couple to start with trying to use a cotton bud as the applicator.
 

jmforge

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I have the regular Personalizer and I "etch" maybe 10 times for around 10 seconds and then "mark" maybe 5 times for 5 second each time. I then lightly scrub away the goop around the logo with 1500-2000 grit paper an Windex.
 

Dave Martell

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Marko, I feel your pain here. I've had nearly nothing but trouble trying to get a good etch using the same machine and stencils. I've tried everything you can imagine and then some and I'm back to square one and settling for silver.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Dave, do you get a good silver mark?

I can't afford messing my work, so I have to gather all input.

M
 

Dave Martell

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Dave, do you get a good silver mark?

I can't afford messing my work, so I have to gather all input.

M

Yup, using the blue electrolyte that comes with the machine is the best silver mark I can get. I use full power left powered on and just removing the head from the stencil every few seconds. I rub a little but not too vigorously and use just enough electrolyte to get the humming and sizzling going. Unfortunately I've also found that I only get a really crisp mark from the first use of the stencil. This isn't true when I go shallow, then the stencil gives crisp etches for many times over. Oh and a big tip is to clean the head before each use - thank you Butch
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Yup, using the blue electrolyte that comes with the machine is the best silver mark I can get. I use full power left powered on and just removing the head from the stencil every few seconds. I rub a little but not too vigorously and use just enough electrolyte to get the humming and sizzling going. Unfortunately I've also found that I only get a really crisp mark from the first use of the stencil. This isn't true when I go shallow, then the stencil gives crisp etches for many times over. Oh and a big tip is to clean the head before each use - thank you Butch
Cool, I will try that. Thanks
I clean head with scotchbrite pad. Works very well.

M
 

jmforge

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Marko, are you using the correct etchant solution for the type of steel?
 

Dave Martell

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FWIW - I've tried every electrolyte solution available from everyone and the results never get any better....maybe a little worse though.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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Hmm... have you tried different stencils? I have heard good things about Personalizer Plus, the reason I bought it.

M
 

jmforge

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I ask because my kit came with different etchants, one for plain carbon and tool steel and one for stainless and Monel. I just switched to a much "finer" log and it is stil working well, but my old logo was bacially an electroetch version of my original stamped named logo and when I etched the way I described but with even more passes, my name looked like it had been stamped into the ricasso with a very fine, very sharp stamp. I also rock the wand a little bit when I am etching. Another thing you might want to try is to get the pad a little more wet. if it is wet all the way though, I would think that you would have to worry less about conductivity. I always look for the surface of the stencil to have bubbling liquid on it when I remove the wand.
FWIW - I've tried every electrolyte solution available from everyone and the results never get any better....maybe a little worse though.
 

Marko Tsourkan

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The problem is I was getting it too wet and etchant seeped around thelogo, pitting the surface.

So, I am back experimenting.

M
 

jmforge

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That's easy, Marko. Cut your stencil bigger and use lots of messy, gummy electrical tape to hold it down. :D Seriously, some people say that Scotch tape is good enough, but i don't trust it to make a relatively watertight seal like electrical tape. Also, with both sizes of my current logo, they are narrow enough that I can cut the little pad in half so I don't have as much wet cloth contacting the stencil. Yours may be too wide to do that.
The problem is I was getting it too wet and etchant seeped around thelogo, pitting the surface.

So, I am back experimenting.

M
 

PierreRodrigue

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I used a good quality packing tape, cut out a rectangle in the middle of a piece of tape slightly larger, and as close to the text as I can, lay it/stick it to the stencil, then do the same on the other side. I now have a watertight buffer between the stencil and the blade. Ensure its larger than what you anticipate the area your wand will be sliding around on. I still anchor it with panters tape. So far so good. I have a machine from etchomatic, and make my own stencils as I need new ones.
 

Diamond G

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Using the personalizer plus also, and have settled for doing a deep etch then coloring in with sharpie, then sand with 1000 grit. Leaves a nice dark filled etch.

God Bless
Mike
 
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