Author Topic: Etching  (Read 1461 times)

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John

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Etching
« on: July 26, 2013, 04:42:47 PM »
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So, Tex-N-Rails today cancelled my order for Type D signal heads from Traincat ... I don't know of any other alternatives than to etch my own ..

While never having done this --- It seems simple enough .. make a pattern, print it onto some resist, and put it on the material, insert in the soup, and etch away ..

So, to make something like the TC signal heads, do I need to put the resist on both sides of the brass?


GaryHinshaw

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Re: Etching
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2013, 05:40:55 PM »
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The first thing you need is a design.  The question of whether or not you need a two-sided etch depends on whether or not you have folds that go both 'up' and 'down' on the same part. If so, you need a two-sided mask (or if you have details you wish to etch into both sides).

The second thing you need is a vendor you can ship your artwork off to and have them etch it for you.  The process is nasty and messy, and you'll waste a lot of time figuring it out.  You are *way* better off out-sourcing that.  PPD is the outfit we used for our coupler pockets, and their costs are surprisingly affordable.  But there are many other shops that could also serve you.

-gfh

John

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Re: Etching
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2013, 05:47:58 PM »
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actually, I think I solved my problem .. ordered this from shapeways



pnolan48

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Re: Etching
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2013, 10:25:18 PM »
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If they are not suitable and you go back to etching, take it from me: let others do it for you! PPD, for example, is so inexpensive you would have to work day and night for years to make back your investment. I grew up with industrial processes (my uncle was a pioneer in vacuum metalizing), and you just don't want to fool with etching unless you're committed totally, at a fairly large scale.

DKS

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Re: Etching
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2013, 10:35:39 PM »
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If they are not suitable and you go back to etching, take it from me: let others do it for you! PPD, for example, is so inexpensive you would have to work day and night for years to make back your investment. I grew up with industrial processes (my uncle was a pioneer in vacuum metalizing), and you just don't want to fool with etching unless you're committed totally, at a fairly large scale.

+1
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

John

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Re: Etching
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2013, 06:44:34 AM »
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Chris333

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Re: Etching
« Reply #6 on: July 27, 2013, 06:54:19 AM »
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Yep that is them. I've used them 3-4 times now. I haven't etched myself in a long time.

DKS

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Re: Etching
« Reply #7 on: July 27, 2013, 07:04:19 AM »
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I haven't etched myself in a long time.

That's good news. I'd hate to see what would happen if you etched yourself.  :trollface:
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse

John

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Re: Etching
« Reply #8 on: July 27, 2013, 07:17:01 AM »
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Thanks .. based on the PRR position light project, these shapeways heads may be just what I need, but there are some other projects I am looking to do .. platforms and ladders for vader style signal masts .. and some other industrial details .. PPD looks to be the ticket ..

Philip H

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Re: Etching
« Reply #9 on: July 27, 2013, 07:33:42 AM »
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Not that I need the quantity you do, but I have ordered those very signal heads. They look better then any other plastic signal head I've seen. :facepalm:
Philip H.
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pnolan48

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Re: Etching
« Reply #10 on: July 27, 2013, 01:17:59 PM »
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PPD has done a very nice job for me at a very reasonable cost. My latest project  was a single etch (one side only, full) of railings, stairways, ladders and pilot houses. I use a 305 mm x 305 mm size (12" x 12") because it's a convenient size for me. Railings longer than 12" get a bit hard to handle. PPD can do (and have done for me) longer sheets if necessary.

An order of five sheets costs me $175 US, or about $35 per sheet, total, including tax and shipping. If the sheet were all railings, that results in a cost of about $1.00 per actual (real) foot of railing, which I think is a very good price. A big ship can eat through 10 actual feet (1600 scale feet) of railing very easily. It used to cost less, but the British pound is up these days to about $1.54.

A few years ago I figured that it would cost me at least $500 just to get started in etching, and I'd be limited to fairly small sheets of 6" x 6" max. While I tend, sometimes foolishly, to do everything myself, this was a no brainer. I remember touring my uncle's plant at the innocent age of 12 or so, and being horrified that every fixture, tool and floor looked like it had just been spat out of hell. And his was considered a clean plant in 1960.

sirenwerks

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Re: Etching
« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2013, 08:48:13 AM »
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That's good news. I'd hate to see what would happen if you etched yourself.  :trollface:

If BLMA gets ahold of that idea...

Now seeking Pacific NW N scalers to create a Modutrak-style modular club featuring NP's shared mainline between Seattle and Portland. PM me if interested.

babbo_enzo

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Re: Etching
« Reply #12 on: August 01, 2013, 11:02:59 AM »
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Quote
That's good news. I'd hate to see what would happen if you etched yourself.  :trollface:
   
Quote
If BLMA gets ahold of that idea...

Well, maybe Shapeways in "Super-Frost" material?

You guys are the BEST group in the "word:o ...

John

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Re: Etching
« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2013, 07:31:17 AM »
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actually, I think I solved my problem .. ordered this from shapeways


I just got my order from Shapeways  ... they look good .. slightly bigger than the TrainCat signal heads, but the holes for the lenses accept my LEDs just perfectly without having to enlarge it ..  I have them soaking in Bestine now .. (btw .. how long should I soak them) ...


DKS

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Re: Etching
« Reply #14 on: August 03, 2013, 08:00:23 AM »
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(btw .. how long should I soak them) ...

A day is a good starting point. If they're slightly translucent after drying, soak them some more. Gently brushing them while immersed in Bestine will also help loosen any stubborn excess wax.
“Everyone leaves unfinished business. That's what dying is.” —Amos, The Expanse