Author Topic: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...  (Read 2551 times)

Govmnt_Lacky

Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« on: December 19, 2010, 07:48:15 PM »
I want to give enclosure etching another try. After my first few initial miserable failures I am ready to get back in the ring and try again.

Now... I have read Slade's incredible tutorial but I still have some questions about the finer points:

1) What is the best program to use to design the etching transfers? I must admit that on my first etch attempt, I did not reverse the transfer  :icon_redface: nor could my program reverse it for me!

2) What is the best way to make sure that the enclosure is prepped good enough? (i.e. sanded flat enough or clean enough)

3) What is the best transfer paper to use? (im in the US so a link to the paper or a supplier would be nice) I initially tried PnP blue but that did not work very well however, that could have been due to poor prep work.... I don't know.

Basically... I am asking for help because I have seen some AMAZING etched enclosures and I really want to get in on the action.  8)

Thanks to all who respond with help...  ;D
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for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

Taylor

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Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2010, 08:51:56 PM »
I'm not an etching professional, but I'll throw in my experiences.

1) Can't say there's a best. I use Illustrator to design graphics, and port over to Photoshop to invert and flip the image. If you didn't have these already, they're expensive if you pay for them. There is an open source program called Gimp which is probably very similar to Photoshop and there's probably an open source (free) equivalent to Illustrator.

2) Most die cast boxes are ugly on the surface when you first get them. You need to sand them until all the ugly, grey, non-reflective, swirly stuff is gone, and you're left with a beautiful, shiny surface. If you look at the box from an angle as you sand, you'll see blotches. Sand until the blotches are gone and the surface is uniform.

3) Again, I don't think there's a best and people all have different things that work for them. Early on I followed some advice here and it didn't work that well for me, so I had to try some things until I got it working.

I use wal-greens "premium" photo paper. It's cheap, I can get it a few blocks away, and it works well for me. Press n Peel did not work for me very well, it's more expensive, and not available locally. Other people use magazine paper which is free, abundant, and you're doing a good thing by recycling. But when I tried it I couldn't get my printer to accept it. So you'll need to experiment.

StereoKills

Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2010, 08:55:58 PM »
...there's probably an open source (free) equivalent to Illustrator.

Inkscape.
"Sometimes it takes a thousand notes to make one sound"

Govmnt_Lacky

Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #3 on: December 19, 2010, 09:04:21 PM »
I'm not an etching professional, but I'll throw in my experiences.

Thanks Taylor. I really appreciate your input. It was very helpful.

Any tips on the process that might help a newbie etcher like me that IS NOT in any of the tutorials? Ironing tips? Things to look for specifically?

Thanks for everything.  ;)

Inkscape.

Thanks for the tip Stereo... Do you find this program easy to use and helpful with respects to etching? Do you use it to etch enclosures?
A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America
for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

deadastronaut

Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #4 on: December 19, 2010, 10:08:15 PM »
+1  on inkscape......

nice edges on text, no pixelation/squarededges...excellent programme.

pro results....

when i iron on the transfer/toner...i still cover it  with nail varnish,even if it looks well covered,  no unwanted pits and blemishes..its worth the extra prep...
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StereoKills

Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #5 on: December 20, 2010, 12:34:33 AM »
I haven't used Inkscape extensively, but it was pretty good from what I can tell. Gimp I've used extensively, and usually use it for my pedal designs, including etching.
"Sometimes it takes a thousand notes to make one sound"

John Lyons

Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #6 on: December 20, 2010, 12:38:29 AM »
Don't overlook experimentation. You will learn more from doing it yourself
than you will from reading. Hence the  DIY in the name of the forum  ;)
There are many ways to get to the same result, find your way.
Read but experiment as well.
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Govmnt_Lacky

Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2010, 07:54:46 AM »
Gimp I've used extensively, and usually use it for my pedal designs, including etching.

Thanks.... Is there a way to reverse the lettering/image in Gimp for the toner transfer process?

Don't overlook experimentation. You will learn more from doing it yourself
than you will from reading. Hence the  DIY in the name of the forum  ;)
There are many ways to get to the same result, find your way.
Read but experiment as well.

Thanks John  ;) Unfortunately.... experimentation is what led me to start this thread!  :'( :icon_mad:
A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America
for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’

StereoKills

Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2010, 08:48:31 AM »
Thanks.... Is there a way to reverse the lettering/image in Gimp for the toner transfer process?

Yep, it's super easy. There is an option under the "Color" menu called "Invert".

Edit:
You were probably referring to the orientation of the image and not the color....Yes, there is an easy way to do that too, in only 3-4 mouse clicks.
"Sometimes it takes a thousand notes to make one sound"

Govmnt_Lacky

Re: Request for advice from Enclosure Etching Professionals...
« Reply #9 on: December 20, 2010, 09:27:06 AM »
Thanks.... Is there a way to reverse the lettering/image in Gimp for the toner transfer process?

Yep, it's super easy. There is an option under the "Color" menu called "Invert".

Edit:
You were probably referring to the orientation of the image and not the color....Yes, there is an easy way to do that too, in only 3-4 mouse clicks.

Thanks Evan  ;)
A Veteran is someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America
for an amount of ‘up to and including my life.’