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Making nameplates

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John Rutzen13/03/2019 17:06:24
65 forum posts
1 photos

Hi, I am trying to make the nameplates for my 5 inch gauge Crampton Locomotive ' Le Continent'. It's not a produced design so i can't buy a set. I've managed to create the artwork using Open Office. Photoshop would have been a lot better but I don't have it. I am using negative photo resist film which you can get cheaply on eBay . The difficulty I am having is getting it to stick successfully to the brass sheet. I think the correct temperature is 110 degree C. Using a domestic iron bubbles the material up. Putting the brass on the iron and heating it works better but not 100%. Has anyone any experience of this stuff please? Usually it's used to make pcbs and a laminator is used. I haven't got one to try that but anyway I think the problem would be it wouldnt go through slowly enough to heat the brass.

Brian H13/03/2019 18:32:24
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1070 forum posts
84 photos

Hello John, cannot exactly help you with that one but I was in a similar position of wanting nameplates for model traction engines.

I am fortunate in having a sign company locally who took my artwork and lasercut individual letters in Perspex so that I could glue them onto a Perspex background to make a full-sized pattern.

My aim is to use this as a template to follow on my Alexandra engraving machine to produce smaller replicas in brass to suit my models.

This technique could also be used to produce a pattern that could be cast in brass.

I'd already had a professional sign company attempt an etched nameplate but the problem there is the that etchant removes metal sideways, under the artwork, as well as etching the depth, which for a 5" loco would need to be quite deep to look convincing.

Brian

AJW13/03/2019 18:36:27
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261 forum posts
117 photos

Engraving?

Alan

John Rutzen13/03/2019 19:51:20
65 forum posts
1 photos

Hi , i've managed some of them, I'll put up some pics if I can figure how to. The trouble is that it's a bit hit and miss!

pgk pgk13/03/2019 20:39:59
1278 forum posts
278 photos

Possibly an off-the-wall suggestion but have you consdiered popping the brass into a waterproof bag and boiling it for long enough to get to temp before applying the sheet?

pgk

Nimble13/03/2019 20:56:24
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24 forum posts

There is also a product that was used in the printing industry called “Nyloprint” that used (I think an alcohol solution) to do the etching. (https://www.teamflexo.com/pdf/nyloflex/nyloprint%20work%20manual.pdf.)

From memory using a point source light and the transparent nature of the plastic a shoulder is automatically developed, these could possibly used as patterns for casting.

This could be food for thought and investigation!

Stuart Smith 513/03/2019 21:04:57
24 forum posts
6 photos

You could try Pressnpeel. It is a blue sheet that you print onto using a laser printer or photocopier. You then iron onto your brass sheet and when peeled back it leaves the black resist for etching.

I have used it for producing PCBs but recently made a couple of etched patterns onto brass for wood brands. I didn't manage to etch very deep, but deep enough I would think for a loco nameplate. I intend to use this technique to produce nameplates for my 16mm scale loco.

Nimble13/03/2019 21:05:57
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24 forum posts

How to split messages?

John Rutzen13/03/2019 21:11:58
65 forum posts
1 photos

Boil in the bag nameplates? Need to roller the stuff on which would be difficult but it could work if I worked quick enough. I'm using a domestic iron but the heat control is very crude. About 1 in 4 is good but I'm half way there!

John Alexander Stewart13/03/2019 21:19:43
744 forum posts
51 photos

FYI:

I made some for a friend by engraving from artwork. Did write this up for Diane, but article was probably too long and the software was free, so has not appeared in print.

In essence, I drew it up, saved it as a jpeg file, and sent it into LinuxCNC, which understands image formats and will engrave from that.

All I needed to get was some engraving cutters, From my album, the first results:

simplex truck parts

Stuart Smith 513/03/2019 21:55:48
24 forum posts
6 photos

I etched this after using pressnpeel sheet with the design printed using a laser printer.

I heated the brass in the oven and then pressed it onto the sheet.

I used Sodium persulphate from CPC as the etchant. It is clear so is easier to see what's happening than ferric chloride. It works best at 50 deg c.

etched brass

Stuart Smith 513/03/2019 21:57:35
24 forum posts
6 photos

The etched brass in my previous post is 28mm diameter.

John Rutzen13/03/2019 22:07:34
65 forum posts
1 photos

The engraved ones look excellent but they will need cnc software? Did you get them done by an outside firm? I wasn't quite sure whether you did them yourself?

I was going to go the press n peel route but reading the original article in MEW it's not so easy to get the image onto the brass either. I am electro etching using a lab power supply and copper sulphate . This works very well, taking about 2-3 hours to etch. It doesn't seem to undercut strangely. Gets plenty deep enough for the paint filling.

John Rutzen14/03/2019 12:34:40
65 forum posts
1 photos

Hi , I've got a photo of a finished one but can't figure how to upload it? I'm using a macbook. Any ideas please?

John Rutzen14/03/2019 12:40:12
65 forum posts
1 photos

I've created an album in Photos on my mac but when i click the icon above it says 'No albums found'?

John Haine14/03/2019 13:57:08
2458 forum posts
132 photos

I engraved these for a member here...

img_1070.jpg

Will PM you.

John Rutzen14/03/2019 14:18:39
65 forum posts
1 photos

img_7188.jpg

John Rutzen14/03/2019 14:21:30
65 forum posts
1 photos

As you can see the result isn't professional quality but it's adequate for my model. My son did the artwork on Autocad but it took him a long time and he's good at it!. Unfortunately the only way we could reverse it and get a negative was by taking a screenshot an using that so we lost resolution.

SillyOldDuffer14/03/2019 15:04:00
4130 forum posts
832 photos
Posted by John Rutzen on 14/03/2019 14:21:30:

...

Unfortunately the only way we could reverse it and get a negative was by taking a screenshot an using that so we lost resolution.

Not sure about AutoCAD, but most CAD tools create text in blocks of fixed characters specifically so you don't get a negative when you mirror the block. It ensures text always remains readable, which is usually what's wanted.

Everything else can be mirrored, and an efficient way of producing a symmetric object is to draw one half only and to create the other side with a single mirror command.

To produce a true negative of a word you have to first select the text and Explode it . (Explode converts complex objects like text into their component arcs and lines.) Once broken into parts, reselect the whole lot and mirror that. As the components are now ordinary arcs and lines, they should mirror as wanted.

Of course once text has been exploded, you can't edit it as text any more. Double check spelling!

Dave

Russell Eberhardt14/03/2019 16:20:10
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2431 forum posts
83 photos

I've used photoresist from Ebay to etch a brass clock dial on 1.5 mm brass sheet. I used an A3 laminator purchased cheaply from Lidl and ran the thing through the laminator twice to make sure of the adhesion. It was exposed using the sun for about 3 seconds to get even exposure as I don't have a light box.

There is a good guide to doing the job here.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ML37yRmAsOA

A couple of photos showing the developed resist and the finished product with the engraving filled with celulose paint:

dscf2661.jpg

dscf2666s.jpg

Russell

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