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The Sideshow: Time For An Acid Bath

One of the more exciting (and suspenseful) steps in the etching process is drawing an image onto the ground-coated plate, dunking it into the acid bath, and etching the drawn lines into the plate. Ferric chloride is the etchant used for copper.  The amount of time that the plate spends in the ferric determines how deep the line etch will be.

Using an etching needle, or scribe, to draw into the ground-coated copper plate. Mistakes can be touched up with more ground and small paint brush.

An sharp etching needle, or scribe, is used to create detailed lines in the ground. The copper is exposed underneath.

Submerging the plate into the vertical etching tank for about 40 minutes should do the trick.

Submerging the plate into the vertical etching tank for about 40 minutes should do the trick. The ferric chloride will ‘bite’ or etch the exposed drawn lines.

 

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