hehe, it worked
First, basic safety:
- MINIMUM protection of latex gloves and safety glasses, ideally no bare skin should be showing.
- Acid fumes are at best unpleasant, at worst deadly, so do it outside.
- An eyewash station nearby is useful just in case, at least a bucket of clean water
- always work with small quantities, don't prepare more acid than you need. I was woking with 5mL at a time.
- All containers used must be clearly labelled and disposed of correctly
- try out any technique on a scrap piece of equivalent material first.
- make sure the material is properly cleaned before starting, and once it's done rinse it off very well with water.
Brian the brain wrote:I got the acid...so..
What acid do you have, and at what concentration?
What do I use to mask off the highs? Will masking tape suffice?
Or will I need bees wax...or would vaseline do?
First I started with nail polish, then scratching a design with a pin.
The problem is that I was using concentrated nitric which removed the nail polish after a while. This is the wrong way to do it but I was impatient, dilute over a long period is better than concentrated over a short period
Masking tape on the other hand seemed to hold very well, the problem is that it is more difficult to create a detailed design.
I haven't tried with wax yet but it's a popular mask.
Vaseline will probably just be dissolved by the acid, I tried with grease - hey, it works for epoxy - but no luck...
With what do I apply the acid?
I was using a syringe but this can be dangerous, if you push too hard you can squirt it.
Ideally you need one of these:
Probably you'll find them in a pharmacy for applying eye drops.
( a few drops ,right?)
That's what I did, a couple of drops, let it react, a couple more drops, let it react...
Will it work just as well on steel?
I haven't tried steel yet but there are plenty of formulas online, some examples below.
Anyway, google only got me the official way of doing it....not the improvised version.
Good place to find formulas though, for example:
Ferric chloride is normally mixed with water in equal parts to form hydrochloric acid in solution. It's more commonly used to etch copper, but it also works well to etch stainless steel. It also works with a wider range of resist materials than pure acids do; however, it can pit the surface if not attended to properly.
Copper sulfate is better suited to etching mild steels than stainless steel. It is best mixed in a 1 to 1 ratio with sodium chloride (NaCl - common table salt) to keep the copper sulfate from coating the steel with a deposit of copper that will stop the etching process. The blue solution gradually fades as the etching progresses and turns colorless when it's finished.
Nitric acid is commonly mixed in a ratio of 1 part nitric acid to 3 parts water. It can also be mixed with acetic acid (vinegar), in a 1 to 1 ratio, or with hydrochloric acid.
Sulfuric acid should be used only in concentrations from 10 to 25 percent. Generally, dilute solutions are more effective than concentrated ones. Acids generally take longer to etch steel than do chemicals that form acids in water, however.
I think I covered everything, good luck