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etching metal? Answered

Hi, I was wondering if someone had experience
with deep etching metal. What is the best resistance and what kind of technique
would give you better detail.


I am not sure what type of etching you are doing, but a really effective way to get a specific design into metal is to place a sheet of paper or plastic (heavy) onto the metal and then use a bead blaster like the hand held unit which comes from Harbor Freight. You can go over the same spot as many times as needed to get the pattern as deep as you need it, just keep checking your template to make sure you have not eroded it along with the metal to keep your pattern the way you want it to look! You can make a design look 3D Like (almost) by varying the number of passes you use on a specific area. One or two passes with the bead blaster will make a very light pattern on the metal and 5 to 10 passes will etch deeper and look somewhat darker. You should really practice on scrap or the back side of a similar type of metal before you go to your finished piece so as not to ruin your work on the first project and have to start from scratch. With just a little practice, anyone can do this.

Hope this helps, RickMan

Sorry, I meant to state that the paper or plastic sheet should have the design you want cut into it to use as a templates so that you only etch the pattern you want while the remaining steel is protected by the material left in the places not cut out. An easy way to protect areas you do not want etched at all is to use Mylar with glue backing. Good Luck and God Bless!

Great! I had no idea about this product.


As RickManOne stated cut the pattern you want, but rather then paper of plastic, if you use a sheet of rubber and two sided tape between it and the metal, you should get a crisp etch and the template will last a lot longer. As for media to use, I am only familiar with silica sand and black beauty which I believe is a coal slag.