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Old 05-18-2018, 03:17 PM
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Question Logo Etching Questions - Lectroetch

I am new to etching and could use a little help. I have the Lectroetch Model 6A pictured below. It has a range of 0 - 26V with a variable control knob (0 - 100). I purchased my stencils from Ernie at Blue Lightning and they look great. Ernie is a great guy, I watched his vid on how to etch and tried his steps. I'm not quite getting the results I want and am hoping I can get some advice here. I've only attempted three etches, they are all similar.
Problem: Etch is not turning black throughout.
I'm doing as Ernie said, 3 intervals of 5 seconds on about 14V DC (guessing by the dial percentage)... then repeat while switched to AC. He was using a different steel however and it was heat treated.
The steel I'm experimenting on is CPM154, not heat-treated. Not sure if hardness plays a role in this at all. It has a 400 grit finish.
Should I crank it up higher for this type of steel?
or....
Hold the pad down for longer, or more intervals during the AC phase?
Any help VERY much appreciated!

2018-05-18_01-56-45 by Chris Evenstad, on Flickr

2018-05-18_01-57-19 by Chris Evenstad, on Flickr


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Old 05-19-2018, 11:11 AM
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Ok... I thought about this for a bit and decided fewer 5 second intervals (2) on DC. Then switched to AC and increased my pad application to more 5 second intervals (4).
Getting closer to what I want.

2018-05-19_10-06-32 by Chris Evenstad, on Flickr


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Old 05-20-2018, 10:24 AM
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Looks like you are dialing it in just fine.
Nice logo


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Old 05-23-2018, 09:26 PM
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Doing good! Will take some trial error to dial in. As the fluid burns off that will also change how the mark is. Every so many burns clean the stencil so that the particulates don't clog it up.


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Old 05-25-2018, 09:52 AM
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Thank you! I was wondering about cleaning the stencils and glad that you mentioned it.
What product do I use to clean the stencils?


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Old 05-28-2018, 01:49 PM
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There are a variety of cleaners provided by the stencil makers I've used in the past. A quart sized bottle is about $12-$15. Like this one from Marking Methods:
https://www.markingmethods.com/store...&idcategory=10

Lately I've begun using dish washing liquids and gently rubbing between my fingers for stencil cleaning.

Some stencils have better or worse longevity depending on size of font, the material they are made and such. I've had stencils that 10 really clean marks are about it and others that go ~40-50 with. Many variables though mostly related to how deep a cut is made and current used to obtain that. The higher the setting the more current and heat that is produced in the process.


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