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Old 06-11-2008, 01:20 AM
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M&J M&J is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: So. Cal
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I learned this method from Jim Martin.

50-50 mix. Slightly warm the ferric chloride solution to about 75-80F. I have mine in jars so I place the jar in warm water to bring it up to temp. Take a temp reading from a non-contact IR thermometer and when it is within range, it is dunked. Usually not more than 5-7 minutes for a typical etch. Let the black sit there a few minutes before using the steel wool or such to clean it. The cooler the solution, the longer it takes and often I found the black oxides didn't adhere-set well in the steel. Since doing it this way, I get good contrast with pretty much all I've tried. YMMV so test first.

Warming it accelerates the process but with it, the solution will "breathe"/gas more so do this in a well ventilated area. Use safe handling and respiratory measures.


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