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Old 12-22-2005, 11:05 AM
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Etch-o-matic???

Hey guys, I was looking for a cheap way to etch metal. Just for some small projects. It doesn't have to be high quality like laser, just something that will last ok in normal conditions.

I came across this: www.etch-o-matic.com


My question is have any of you seen, used or heard of this. If so, does it really work that well or is it one of those to good/cheap to be true deals.

The starter kit is probably all I need. So if I can do over 1000 etchings with this for less than $100 it has my attention, plus you can get a glass etching kit for another $25 to add onto it.

What do you guys think? Thanks for the input

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Old 12-22-2005, 05:40 PM
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Sounds to me like the acid etching we did in high school chemistry with a little hype added.I don't know what you're planning on etching, but simple etches can be done with a little battery acid and some wax for a stencil. Example: marking a wrench- clean completly with a solvent that doesn't leave a residue such as electrical contact cleaner. Dip in melted wax just enough to leave a thin coat. Cut out the design you want in the wax, drip on a little acid, wait a bit, wash off, inspect and if it isn't enough add a little more acid and repeat. The quality of the etch depends on your skills as an artist.
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Old 12-22-2005, 05:48 PM
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I never thought of battery acid. But my thing is I want to do this in a "production" setup. I actually found this while looking for ways to make my own business cards out of aluminum or Stainless.

I have already thought of other uses. But I figure this thing will pay for itself with just the cards. I will pay someone at least $1.25 usually at a minimum order of 100, it should cost me much less than that. Plus I can use it for other things, VIN tags for the trailers our Family business builds, marking tools, etc.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:16 PM
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IMHO Timewise this would eat you up. It took a minute to fake do one card from start to finish. Including equipment, materials and some for your time your first 60 cards are going to cost $240.00 and at best they are going to get to about .80 each. This estimate didn't include any prep time.
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Old 12-22-2005, 06:50 PM
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I am loking for a cheap alternative to laser etching. This looks to be it, I just wanted to know if it actually worked or not.

I don't intend to just use it for the cards. I don't need them that bad, but it would be nice for other things, especially some custom looking accent pieces for future hot rods. I am not sure if I will do it or not. Just thought i would see if anyone has used it and if they reccomend it or not.
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Old 12-23-2005, 08:39 AM
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We used to use something very similiar at work to etch tooling (hardened tool steel) That was before the computer age. It had a special paper and you did it with a typewriter and some type of acid. Not exactly sure of the process now. But we have tools around yet that still have the markings on them, and that has been 25 years ago that I did it. For the money, I don't think it sounds like a bad deal. But that is my $.02 worth, and $.02 doesn't go very far anymore.

Kevin
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