Instructables

How to Set A Permanent Etch A Sketch (like Pros)

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As an Etch A Sketchist myself, I feel that the worst thing any EAS artist can do for themselves is to get too attached to one of their "Sketch Works". I've seen this happen before and artists have gone insane trying to protect their artwork. Just take a picture of it! Remember, an Etch A Sketch is a toy and we all learned from Toy Story that toys are meant to be played with.

However, I also understand that some of you might want to preserve your drawing out of sentimental reasons. So, here's my method on how to preserve your Etch A Sketch artwork permanently so that it can never be erased again. In here I will show you is how to, safely, open up your EAS and remove the powder and deactivate the knobs, so that your artwork will never be damaged.
 
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Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need
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1) Dremel Tool (with circular saw attachment)
2) Screwdriver set
3) Wedge/ Thick Flathead Screwdriver
4) Pinpoint Tweezers
5) Wire Cutters
6) Epoxy (or any other kind of super adhesive)
7) and of course an Etch A Sketch

Step 2: Remove White Knobs

First, remove the white horizontal / vertical knobs controlling your Etch A Sketch.  Use the wedge or large flathead screwdriver to simply pry them off.  As leverage, I suggest working away from the EAS's glass screen, as not to break it. 

Note: If possible, try to do this step and step 3 (removing the Red Faceplate) before you begin drawing on your Etch A Sketch.  Believe me, it will make everything so much easier if you do not have to worry about potentially erasing your artwork, when you're trying to open it up. 
pie201020114 months ago
I can name all the etch and sketch pictures there haha
pie201020114 months ago
This is like surgery on the the etch and sketch toy
wondering how you pop the glass out? i have always done the "hole-drilling method" and am trying this and have picked as much of the glue out as possible and am terrified that im going to break the glass and ruin my artwork!! any help would be awesome :)
SHIFT! (author)  mcmichaelart1 year ago
No problem! The best way to pop off the glass is to use tweezers and an exacts knife to carefully remove as much of the glue as possible from the edges, while keeping your etch face up and on a flat table. After you remove most of the obvious rubber cement/ glue you can take a small flat head screwdriver and pop it off.

I admit disassembly is harder to do once your artwork is finished, but it's still doable.
Finished! Thanks so much!
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ArtieEtch2 years ago
Shift! - I want to thank you sincerely for posting this Instructable. I began working with Etch a Sketch as an art medium in Dec 2010, and your instructions have allowed me to preserve my works and basically launch a new career. I've been crediting your Instructable in all of my exhibits and would love to be able to give you due credit by name if you're comfortable giving me your name (though I understand if you'd rather not...). You could e-mail it to me if you prefer: artilden@colby.edu. Here are a few examples of my work; my website is https://andreatildenetchasketch.wordpress.com/
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SHIFT! (author)  ArtieEtch2 years ago
These are truly amazing ArtieEtch and your comment made me tear up a bit. Please check your inbox for a full response.
Interesting project, but reading through the steps it kind of looks like if I did it my Etch-a-Sketch wouldn't work any more. Am I missing something???
SHIFT! (author)  Mr. Potato Head3 years ago
You are correct, the Etch A Sketch wouldn't work anymore. In fact, that's the point of this entire instructable- in order to preserve the drawing, the EAS can not be functional. That's why, even though I devised this method, I rarely use it.
Oh, now I get it! Speaking of non-functional Etch-a-Sketches, when I was a kid I was shaking mine quite vigorously to clear it and smacked myself in the forehead with it. The glass broke (not sure, they're probably plastic now) and all of the magic dust spilled out on the floor.
So it can still be shaken and nothing will happen?
SHIFT! (author)  technodude924 years ago
Yep! You can shake it and turn the knobs to your heart's content, and the Etch A Sketch art will not be affected!
craftymaven4 years ago
I moved here to attend grad school, but only finished one year of my masters' at UBC. Met this great guy there (it's his alma mater). 19 years later, we're married with three kids.
craftymaven4 years ago
That looks like the clock tower at UBC. No?
SHIFT! (author)  craftymaven4 years ago
You got it! Is that your alma mater?
ewfw4 years ago
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddy_Epson --------------------------------------------- Look under Wizard of Oz. Sounds toxic to me.
Questor ewfw4 years ago
sounds like an allergy to me !
SHIFT! (author)  ewfw4 years ago
Well the box does say the aluminum powder is "non-toxic" but, yeah, I definitely wouldn't breathe it in.
ewfw SHIFT!4 years ago
I had heard it said that little episode put the gravel in his voice.
riff raff ewfw4 years ago
Epson lived to be 95; I doubt the aluminum powder was all that problematic for him in the long run.
CyborgGold4 years ago
Whilst this is surely a good method of keeping your art... could you not just use a rotary tool to cut holes in the back and drain the extra powder before starting your work? The holes/slots could then be cleaned and taped closed with black duct tape for a good appearance. If you stored the aluminum powder properly, you could add powder to the etch-a-sketch and start over in the event of a screw up.
SHIFT! (author)  CyborgGold4 years ago
It's kind of funny that you mention that because before I even tried out my method of complete disassembly, I actually did try to drain the powder from a hole in the back (if you notice the red faceplate on my first page, you can actually see a square hole where I tried to remove the powder). The problems I found with that method were for a these reasons 1) Draining the powder from the hole isn't as easy as it sounds in theory. True, you would get a lot of it out, but it would be extremely difficult to drain out every single excess powder, which will definitely prove destructive to your artwork when its completed. A lot of the powder inside the EAS is actually friction fitted and can never be completely removed without proper cleansing. 2) In case you messed up when creating your artwork, you'd have a very very very difficult time being able to erase anything, with the metal fillings drained out. You'd have to drain them back in and then drain them back out in order to erase. True, you could drill the hole in the back afterwords, but then you'd have to be worried about the powder flying against the glass when drilling. 3) You'd still be left with the knobs & pencil in full control in this case. Let's say they got caught on something or accidentally got turned, you'd be left with a horrendous streak across your artwork and it would be ruined forever. My method gets rid of the powder and the control mechanism, leaving the drawing perfectly in tact. 4) Finally, in the long run, you'd actually be doing a lot more work for a lot less benefits by simply draining out the powder from a hole. Plus, believe me, its a WHOLE lot messier doing it that way. But anyway, thank you very much for your comment and I certainly did take it into consideration when trying to find my method.
UltraMagnus4 years ago
the is quite a lot of evidence that aluminium powder causes Alzheimers, so don't breath it. Don't throw it away either though, store it in a bag, and use it to make thermite/thermate.
Yes, aluminum powder is bad for you for many reasons, but the link between aluminum exposure and Alzheimers has never been proven. In fact, the Alzheimers Society even says "no causal relationship has yet been proved. As evidence for other causes continues to grow, a possible link with aluminium seems increasingly unlikely"
dave17 evvo4 years ago
Yes that's right.The one study that started this myth has been thoroughly discredited.NO other studies have found any link,even among people who work with Aluminum all their lives.Sadly,because of the internet people will always live in needless fear of it.
SHIFT! (author)  UltraMagnus4 years ago
I agree with you 1/2 of with that statement. Definitely don't breathe it in, but just throw it away. I don't want to be held liable for whatever you guys use the aluminum for, so just get rid of it!
GoGreenMan4 years ago
Please show us how you do is!! and let me know when you do post it! thanks and great work
SHIFT! (author)  GoGreenMan4 years ago
Thanks GoGreenMan! If you subscribe to my instructables, I can definitely alert you when my next Etch A Sketch page comes out!
Where can we go to see your artwork, I also want to see your technique as well, give us an instructable on that, I would love it. Do you have a site with pics on it(or even a photobucket)? I would love to see your work.
SHIFT! (author)  ExtremeYoshiFan4 years ago
Certainly ExtremeYoshiFan! All of my Etch A Sketch art pieces are on my Flickr photosite @ http://www.flickr.com/photos/mattoons/sets/72157623529793539/with/4447112224/ And if you subscribe to my instructables, I can update you when I do my next EAS related one.
this is pretty cool..now if only i could draw things on an echt-asketch oh well.also awesome lugia on the last step(at least thats what it looks like to me)
SHIFT! (author)  tubanator-2.04 years ago
Thanks tubanator-2.0! Yeah, it's Lugia, one of my friend's favorite Legendary Pokemon. Drawing on an Etch A Sketch isn't actually as difficult as some people think it is. Like I said, I have a specialized method for making EAS artwork quickly and easily, and will probably post an instructable about it in the future. I mean I just did this image in 2 minutes.
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Kasm279 SHIFT!4 years ago
Heh, i just got Pokemon Silver to go with Crystal that i already had. Ironic that this would be in the newsletter two days after I got the thing xD
Korvost4 years ago
Be seriously careful when handling the aluminum powder, wear a dust mask. This stuff can seriously mess up your precious lungs.
coswine4 years ago
Have you considered spraying the back of the glass with some hairspray (or something similar) to permanently fix the drawing? I haven't done this, so I don't know stable the final drawing is over time.
SHIFT! (author)  coswine4 years ago
Hmmmm, haven't thought about that but I don't think it will work. The aluminum powder is pretty much just friction stuck onto the glass, so any kind of air pressure on the glass will most likely destroy the artwork. Really, as long as you just remove the powder and the controllers, your artwork will be preserved forever.
Kaiven4 years ago
Exciting... waiting for the next 'ible :D
kcls4 years ago
Wow! Those are some crazy detailed drawings for an etch-a-sketch! The best I can ever manage is a stick figure or something similar. Hardly worth preserving... Great 'ible, by the way.
SHIFT! (author)  kcls4 years ago
Thanks kcls! I;m actually not really an artist or anything, I just really love toys!
Trace II kcls4 years ago
I've gotten pretty good at stairs...
SHIFT! (author)  Trace II4 years ago
Lol, Yeah stairs are pretty cool too! In fact, this is what I'm planning for my next drawing
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kcls Trace II4 years ago
And "Roller Coasters"


Just squiggles all over the screen :P
awesome! I'm glad you finally posted some instructables!
Thanks! Yeah, I've been meaning to for a while now, and just wanted to do something easy that I knew how to do. I'll probably add my more complex inventions later on too.