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Acid etching a signature and owners names

An etched box

I wanted to mark my boxes with a signature as some of my customers had asked me to sign the box. I also wanted to individualise each box for their owner with their own name.

I had used the process of acid etching in the past in the preparation of copper plates for printing, after a bit more research it was clear that brass would also etch using the same process. the only difference being that the etch process would take more time in the acid.

The process is fairly simple, first you have to mask off the areas that you don't want the acid to etch away. The simplest way to do this surprisingly is to use a "Sharpie" marker. I find it amazing that the incredibly thin film of the Sharpie ink resists the acid.

Originally the resist layer was achieved using wax and then more recently Indian ink, Sharpie is a lot quicker and easier!!

Once the design is done and the rest of the part is masked off, the brass is then submerged in the etch solution for about an hour, depending on how warm the solution is. Etching for the hour produces a cut of 0.5mm which leaves the lettering standing clear of the background.

Then it is time to wash off the acid and then get the polisher going, more on that later.

But here is the result

Etched on the back of the mixing panels

I have show the process in the video so have a look and enjoy!