Sunday, July 29, 2012

Etching Copper Pipe

I decided to try some other resists other than PnP
I used the Sharpie's  to help with the other bracelets and decided to use a rubber stamp and some copper pipe to make some large beads.

I got some copper pipe from Home Hardware - 3/4"  and cut it with the pipe cutter 
Using Staz On Opaque - White (was all I had )  as a resist  I prepared the rubber stamp and rolled the cleaned pipe over the rubber stamp.  The Staz on dries pretty quickly
I stamped a copper blank as well and put them into the etching solution (ferric Chloride) 

I put plasticine on the end fo the pipe to keep the ferric chloride out of the centre of the pipe 
I used a plastic container - round and tall for the pipe - was an old container from Crystal Lite 
I filled but not all the way to the top with Ferric Chloride and set i on the heat plate - its not too hot that it would melt the plastic container - this is still a work in progress - got to find a better way to put into the accid - maybe hanging sealing off the end with silicone or a cork 

I put a piece of tape across the top to ensure the pipe did not move 
after about 2 hours I pulled out the sampler 
The Staz On worked beautiflully - did not come off and the etch lines were clean 

I was truly surprised  and pleased with the pipe 
I'l going to see about using smaller pipe so I can bend - picked up pipe bender from princess auto 

I cut pieces after - the edges are not perfect but I can fix that , not sure how to finish yet.  I might solder or reduce the ends - or even flare - O that sounds like a plan 
Once the ends are soldered then I will enamel 
this entails using a solder that is a higher temp than the enamel 
The reduced ends are perfect for the punched circles I have ready 
but that is tomorrow 


ALSO CHECK OUT ANOTHER BOG THREAD FOR THE PNP BLUE APPLICATION 










47 comments:

  1. Wow, I'm looking forward to seeing what you make with this pipe! It looks like white Stazon works quite well; I've always heard to use black but you've proved that's not necessarily true! I love the look of the white ink on the metal, looks like lace.

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  2. Amazeballs! I love it! If you use some smaller pipe, how about cutting into beads for thick leather?

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  3. I did some small but did not use for that -I made some bales and a curved piece - gotta find the pictures and post

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  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    2. when you see posts like the one above that say blah blah blah and then at the bottom say Visit my page or Check out my product, unfortunately they are not real commenters. It's spam and should be deleted from your blog. Some of them are even automated and if you don't get rid of them, you'll actually get more. Your blog is nice though. I love copper :)

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  5. OMGosh! What a cool technique. Thanks for the awesome tutorial. Can hardly wait to try this!

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  6. So do you just rub the white stazon off of the pipe when finished etching? :-)

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  7. What type of paint, enamel, etc do you use to color your jewelry? And where do you purchase them? Many thanks!

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  8. BEAUTIFUL! I am going to do mine tomorrow but I' m going to cut mine first and try to string a piece of copper wire (kill two birds at one time) through it and immerse it in the solutilon. Hope this works. But I wish I knew the stamp you used. Brenda

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    Replies
    1. The stamp I use is my own - I sell on etsy - there are three patterns right now
      I originally had made because I wanted an 8-1/2 x 11 sheet to work with and you get all kinds of patterns from one sheet - easy clean up - I use a paint thiner to remove any inks from my pads - probably not a great idea but it works just fine and my rubber stamp has survived over a year with repeated clean ups - if you strin copper wire it will be eaten by the acid - if you use just thread or string it will be fine (did that with small copper beads)
      for cleaning the pipe I use the same to remove the resist - or now I've started sandblasting them so I dont have to use chemicals
      enamels are basic thompson enamels but I have been using the ranger patina's to colour

      Delete
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  10. Another idea to finish might be a nice patina. You can use pure ammonium and salt in a sealed container, but make sure that you use paper towels to saok up the ammonium so the copper is not doused in the solution and check on it every thirty minutes. There is a tutorial in pintrest that will go into deeper detail about the process. You will also want to seal the patina with jewelers wax.

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  11. I love this. Question: after this has all been done, can the tubing safely be soldered onto something (thinking a tube setting for a stone) without the soldering process damaging or destroying the etching?

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  12. I love your technique! I would love to purchase some of your copper beads.
    I own a boutique shop and sell my jewelry designs there.
    ~ Kathy

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  13. just gorgeous! love to see what you do with the pipe - one of a kind wind chimes...

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  14. This is beautiful! Have you seen what this family does in Spain?! Did you do this in your shop? Do you teach classes?!

    http://www.astragalpress.com/hammered_copper.htm

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  17. I tried this after seeing you do it and got some mounting putty from Loctite, rolled up some and put it in the end. The solution did not leak in at all. I'm going to get a coping saw tomorrow, this cutter is wearing me out! I don't like my jewelers saw.

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  18. hi fab post, I just need to know if you can cut the tube up into rings after it is etched, I have been cutting my pipe into rings and then etching to make pendents but it takes up so much of my time, another problem is trying to seal the inside of the rings to stop the acid from etching it away. when you are doing 30 to 40 rings a time, it can be a headache, your advise would be much appreciated,

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    Replies
    1. great idea about the rings. talk about a cost savings. I know what you mean. I do acid etching on small pieces. It is a real pain to 'float' the pieces upside down in the acid (my method). I think if you stuck to short pieces of pipe, you could coat the inside with water soluble paint ( cheaper than a lot of specialized jewelry products out there- works fine for me.) using a dabber. I use an etching compound that is different than this blog writer- the process only takes about 15-20 minutes. The paint, or resist, will last that long. But I wouldn't expect perfect results on the inside. I've never had a great experience with perfect coverage of the resist. Inevitably, some of the acid will leak through. Use it as part of your design- just make it organic looking. A nice sanding and polish will look great. I am also nervous looking at that super tall thin bucket of acid sitting on that teeny tiny little hot plate! lol. I love this idea but will use smaller pieces of pipe- perhaps 6" at a time. p.s. the acid I use doesn't need heat. Research acid options before you do this. hope that helps! p.p. s. only problem with copper: the patina- don't expect your piece to remain shiny! give it a purposeful patina and let it be. no one will want to continue polishing the copper.

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    2. would you share your etching compound with us? i'd love to try this!

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  19. Actually, Vintaj makes a metal sealer (it's by Ranger) and so far, it's worked good, I just wish they had one in satin instead of more glossy. Works though.

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  20. Excellent idea, thanks for sharing. I shall probably use it for gun barrels.

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  21. there are dozens and dozens of matte sealants for metal.... go to your local hardware store and check that it is for metal and that it is non-yellowing. I buy the least expensive there is, and it has held up for over 10 years on copper switchplates that are handled constantly.

    ReplyDelete
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  23. Home Depot, Lowes and other hardware stores sell rubber stoppers. I use them for walking stick bottoms and they hold up really well.

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  24. To treat the wood handles of rakes and other yard tools, I capped the end of a PVC pipe and hung it vertically. Then I filled it with thinned oil to saturate and swell the wood.

    You could take the same approach, then use infrared lighting to heat the thing.

    If you went this route, I'd have a second cap I could cover the etch solution with so it wouldn't evaporate. Too, I'd build a tripod stand so I could keep the light away from walls.

    I might back one side of the pipe with flashing (for roofing) to reflect the light back on the pipe. I'd mount it so there was a gap of, say, two inches and it would curve around half the pipe.

    You could tell how close the light needs to be by holding your hand near the pipe. I'm guessing no closer than 2-1/2'. Start back further to get a feel for it and just heat water the first time.

    If you wanted, you could make pipes of different lengths and widths.

    If your tripod legs were secured at the bottom (to add stability), the pipes could be secured at the top and bottom to minimize sway.

    To avoid drilling holes for mounting flashing and such, just use plumbers tape (the stuff with the holes in it) and screws and nuts to clamp it to the pipe or to hold the flashing.

    Bungie cords might hold the pipe to the bottom and be easy to remove.

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  29. really nice work! i am planning a similar project with enamel. did the enamel flow and adhere ok being round? do you have and can you post a picture of that?
    thanx!

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  38. I teach chemistry to home educated children in the UK and recently did a series of classes on etching copper, having derived a lot of inspiration from your blog. I wrote a blog on it http://homeschoolscience.co.uk/beautiful-chemistry

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