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  #61  
Old 2015-02-23, 8:01am
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Etching was the first thing that popped into my mind when I read about the shallow pan... I definitely like the idea of putting it on the dryer. Ingenious! I was thinking about buying a little $5 aquarium pump, but I already have a dryer .

Got it about the baking soda... Lots of soda first, then litter, then trash. I'll pick up a pkg at Sam's or Costco. Let's hope I'll never have to use it! And I'm definitely going to look for a VERY SECURE container. What's the point of the lid if it won't stay on when knocked off the table. Sure it helps with evaporation but won't matter if it's all over the floor!

Speaking of baking soda... When taking the item out of the EF solution either to check or when completed, should the piece be rinsed in plain distilled water or a water/baking soda mix? I first dropped my piece in a soda/water mix and it fizzed quite a bit and surprised me. Thereafter I've been rinsing in plain distilled water...

So, when I took the shell out this morning it had a shiny penny look; obviously my initial setting was too low. Replaced it with a new shell set at .10. I think I'm on the right track now... I just want to confirm that my paint is conductive enough even though it's doesn't really register very much on the meter (at Rx10). Is this because my coating is too thick? I think I read somewhere here that the conductive coating should be brushed on as thin as possible...

The "Instructable" (http://www.instructables.com/id/Conductive-Paint/) that lead me to using a meter indicated that an acrylic craft paint/graphite powder 1:1 mix had a resistance of 1.2-1.6 (lowest in his test group) but I can't see the range on the meter he used when testing. I'm going to ask...

I have another shell I dipped in lacquer (to see if that has any impact) last night that I'll paint with a lighter/thinner coating and test. I also plan to try the acrylic paint/graphite blend if today's tests don't give the desired results. I think Hannah has had some success with this too. However, I like the floorwax idea because it makes a very fluid blend and is easy to brush on a thin coating... And hopefully I can mix up a large batch and just dip my pine cone. This mixture is best prepared at time of application rather than storing in larger quantities; easier to work with and less messy... if a little wasteful.

Thanks for your help and comments.
Sharon

Last edited by ItsMeSB; 2015-02-23 at 9:23am.
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  #62  
Old 2015-02-23, 8:22am
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Does anyone have experience using copper powder vs. graphite?

Sharon in Iowa
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  #63  
Old 2015-02-23, 3:25pm
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I would think that copper powder would get oxidized quickly and might inhibit the coating process. Graphite (pretty much pure carbon) doesn't oxidize much unless you burn it with a very hot flame so you are probably better off going with that.

If the copper build up is not granular it is most likely due to the acid strength weakening and or current flow from the power supply being low or just not giving it enough time to 'grow' the copper crystals on the surface. Agitation helps too.

If running the dryer is a bit costly you could build a vibrating table with a box fan, running on low, laid horizontal on four small boxes holding it 4 inches or more above the counter or floor blowing downward.


As to the foaming: that would be the classic middle school experiment with vinegar and baking soda. There should have been a warning to expect it. Clean up can be done with regular tap water but with any diluting distilled water is the better idea.

Any acid that winds up down the drain is going to react with something until it is used up. If you have metal piping this would be a bad thing. Best to neutralize it with the baking soda and then flush it down the drain.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2015-02-23 at 3:28pm.
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  #64  
Old 2015-02-23, 6:47pm
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The 2nd shell turned out reasonably well... even if it did lose much of the detail because the graphite coating was too thick. Copper coverage was complete and color was good, I think. I'll post a pic tomorrow for opinions. I think I'll try next for a more granular look; to achieve this I would raise the amps significantly, correct?
Thanks again for all the assistance.
Sharon
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  #65  
Old 2015-02-23, 8:44pm
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This is where I must let someone else speak up.
I "think" that turning up the current is the way to go for a more granular look but I don't have the experience to tell you that that is the answer.
Time in the tank would be the other answer if upping the current doesn't do it from what I understand about how this works.
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  #66  
Old 2015-02-24, 7:21am
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Here's a pic of the 2nd shell. The inside has a bit of black around the rim because I spilled a bit of the floor polish where the shell was sitting and I didn't paint over it very thoroughly. And the graphite paint was definitely too thick; brush marks are visible and much of the detail is obscured. What do you guys think? Am I on the right track?



Thanks,
Sharon in Iowa
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  #67  
Old 2015-02-24, 7:53am
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I like it!
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  #68  
Old 2015-02-24, 10:11am
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looks like you are on the right track, now it's just a matter of refining the graphite application technique and then fiddling with the voltage/resistance/current setting. Thank you for posting your experiments and learning here, you embody the knowledge sharing attitude that is so crucial for forums like this to continue.
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  #69  
Old 2015-03-06, 7:49pm
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So I've been doing pretty well with my shells and will post a photo soon of the completed project. I discovered that one should definitely seal them first if leaving any of the shell visible. The acid will eat away the shell. I thought I'd read that it wasn't necessary, then I double checked and there were some that said to seal the shells first. The not sealing is fine if you're completely encasing in copper. Rinsing in distilled water didn't stop the CS reaction so I soaked them a bit in distilled water and baking soda.

Anyway, I'd like some direction about "clean up" habits. I'm concerned about keeping things cleaned up and proper disposal. Based on what I've read in the forum, here's what I've been doing...

When filtering the sulfate solution I have cheesecloth and coffee filters that are saturated with the cs solution and copper sediment. Once the CS is filtered, I rinse the beaker with a little distilled water and baking soda, then pour it and the remaining copper sediment into a small old bucket that I started with about 1/2 cup D water/BS. I also put the cheesecloth and filters in there swish them around until the foaming stops , wring them out and put them in a trash bag. I'll add more BS if the foaming doesn't stop.

I plan to let the water evaporate off, but not sure what to do with the residue. Also, is it now safe to dispose of the rinsed filter material?

Thanks,
Sharon in Iowa
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  #70  
Old 2015-03-07, 4:07pm
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I think you have a good plan with dousing everything with baking soda until all the reaction stops.

Then every thing can go in to the normal trash whether it is wet or dry.

I only go to the trouble of drying liquids if I am disposing of paints or such then I brush coats onto cardboard and let them dry and keep recoating until the can is empty and then let the can dry as well, then every thing goes in the normal trash.
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  #71  
Old 2015-03-07, 5:49pm
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Thank you again Phill... So I can just put the liquid in the trash as well; maybe put it into a Ziploc bag with a couple paper towels to absorb some of it?

Here's an unrelated question for you or anyone who has an answer... I experimented with the salt/ammonia patina last night as discussed on the forum and wonder how long I should wait for the reaction to finish changing before I polish a little with sandpaper or steel wool? I think I didn't wait long enough last night...It was black and wet looking like mentioned in a forum post... I did want it to be blue but wasn't really sure what was going to happen or when "it" would happen. Is there a step I missed like dipping in water after it dried but before sealing?

I waited until it was dry and rubbing wouldn't remove the blackish finish; rubbed with steel wool a bit, then sealed with clear water-based varnish. The sealant seems to have started the reaction again... This morning when I got up, it had a grainy blue residue on the surface. BRIGHT BLUE!

Thanks...
Sharon

Last edited by ItsMeSB; 2015-03-07 at 6:12pm.
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  #72  
Old 2015-03-07, 7:48pm
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If you have neutralized the liquid with baking soda then You should be able to poor it down the drain unless you are on a private septic system. Then I would poor it into some kitty litter and put it out with the normal trash.

I don't know enough about the salt ammonia question to be able to answer you I am afraid.
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  #73  
Old 2015-03-07, 8:29pm
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Phill, Glad you mentioned the septic system as YES we are on one so I will definitely mix with litter and toss in trash. Bought that litter last weekend )

I'm researching the patina issue now and I think part of the issue may have been the water-based sealer as well as not waiting long enough for the patina to develop enough. I would definitely appreciate any comments from anyone who has experience with copper patinas.

Thx...
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  #74  
Old 2015-03-07, 11:20pm
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Aye, My experience with septic systems is only enough to be constantly reminded that you have an underground bunker of bacteria breaking down food and human wastes and that dumping other than organic chemistry into the bunker can kill off the bugs and leave you with something that needs to be pumped out more often that a growing environment would need and that is just handing over money to your septic guy.
There are better ways to buy him a boat.
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  #75  
Old 2015-03-21, 6:21pm
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I'm requesting advice/input from the experienced patina users out there. I recently used the ammonia/salt soak method on some of my electroformed shells and got a BEAUTIFUL blue patina. I tried the lacquer I have (oil based) and it darkened the patina so much that it doesn't even resemble the original blue patina.

I then tried a couple of others that are water-based, Rio's Midas Sealer and Liquitex Matte Varnish, and they also appeared to darken the patina. The Midas began to pull the patina into the brush and "stuff" started forming in tiny bits... Maybe the salts... Once dried the Liquitex changed the color to a more greenish tone. Not bad, just not the original blue. Now that the Midas has thoroughly dried the blue has mostly come back and I'm going to apply another coat or two and keep my fingers crossed.

What has everyone's experience been and with what products? I'm planning on using these shells with some bright copper electroformed connectors that I made (from cheap zinc pieces) to create a multistrand necklace.

Thanks for any input you all take the time to post
Sharon in Iowa

Last edited by ItsMeSB; 2015-03-21 at 6:26pm.
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  #76  
Old 2015-03-23, 12:17am
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Have you posted in the thread that is in 'tips and techniques?" , may be more traffic there.
I have not been able to even get the last supplies I need, I've had the worst sinus infection.

I would maybe try renaissance wax to seal it? Seems to be safe on everything.
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  #77  
Old 2015-03-23, 6:10pm
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Sorry to hear you haven't been well Weather changes always trigger sinus headaches for me. With spring here I've been popping Zyrtec every other day. Helps a lot to avoid going from a sinus headache to an infection... at least for me

I will try posting in the other thread... Renaissance wax seems like it may be a bit difficult to apply over a fragile patina... but I don't have any experience with it at all. And the Midas sealer, being water based, just causes the patina to continue developing rather than actually sealing the finish. I may try a spray finish I have by Krylon, but I'm betting it will totally darken the bright turquoise patina that has developed. Bummer...

Thanks,
Sharon in Iowa
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  #78  
Old 2015-03-25, 11:01pm
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the renaissance wax is very soft, have you used it? I bet you could paint it on with a brush...or maybe something like an eyeshadow sponge?
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  #79  
Old 2015-04-16, 9:58am
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Ordered some renaissance wax from amazon today; large 200ml size for $18.90 free prime shipping. I haven't tried the Krylon products yet... got distracted with other stuff. Will try them out this weekend. I have a couple of different things... "Workable Fixatif" for pencil/pastel/chalk drawings and "Preserve It! (matte)" for digital photos. If one of these can seal the patina and retain the bright color, then maybe another more durable sealer can be layered on top without darkening.
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  #80  
Old 2015-04-16, 10:09am
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Phill...

The other day I was checking my "disposal pail" that contains the neutralized sulfate solution dregs and was surprised to find nothing but powder in the bottom. At first I thought that the liquid had leaked out and was a little panicked, but then I looked more closely and scraped at the bottom and there was the baking soda, some blue powder and black from the water I rinsed my graphite brush when I dumped and made fresh. Anyway, obviously the water simply evaporated and now I can just scrap it out of the pail and put in a bag and toss in the trash. Nice and neat and safe.

Sharon
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  #81  
Old 2015-04-16, 10:37am
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Aye, we used to dispose of excess paint by just painting scrap cardboard with multiple coats, allowing time to dry between coats until the paint can was empty and then left the lid off that to dry as well.

Then everything went out with the trash.
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  #82  
Old 2015-04-20, 6:13am
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I use renaissance wax too. I first lightly brush over the piece with my finger to remove the loose bits of patina and salts. Then I gently apply the RW with my finger and give it a quick, gentle buff with a soft cloth.

I used RW on this copper disc. I darkened the disc with liver of sulfur first. The patina probably did turn a little green after applying the wax, but still good color on the finished piece.


Last edited by alphamare; 2015-04-20 at 6:27am.
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  #83  
Old 2015-05-01, 6:39pm
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What a beautiful pendant. May I ask, what is the 2nd layer over the copper disk? Silver metal?

I didn't use the RW on my pieces as it took too long to arrive. Instead I used the Workable Fixatif and it didn't change the patina color hardly at all. I need to do some rubbing to see if it holds in place, but I'm satisfied so far. I'll use the RW on my next pieces for comparison...
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  #84  
Old 2015-05-04, 5:57pm
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I think the second disc is just Aluminum. Never heard of Fixatif. Look forward to your feedback on how the two compare.
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  #85  
Old 2015-06-29, 4:51pm
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I've waited long enough to see how well the Fixitif product worked on the shells... I really like how it didn't much affect the original color. The color is nearly the same as the original. I tried rubbing the shell on my white t-shirt and nothing rubbed off... Success... Now I just need to design the necklace

Sharon in Iowa
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  #86  
Old 2015-06-29, 7:12pm
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Thanks for the update, Sharon.
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  #87  
Old 2015-08-22, 1:41am
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I never did get my supplies for the solution

But now, the DH says he doesn't want me doing it in the house, that the acid is evaporating therefor going into the air, thoughts, I mean sure it does but... ??
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  #88  
Old 2015-08-25, 12:10am
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Tupperware has containers that have lids.

If I were doing this at home I would be pouring it back into bottles of some kind after each run.

Fur kids, dust and creepy crawlies get into anything that is not specifically put away on purpose.

My friend puts her acid etching bath on top of the clothes dryer while drying a load of clothes to get a constant gentle agitation. I think it would probably help with electroforming.

Does Wikipedia have anything to day about off gassing of the chemicals involved? Most acids lose H2O but little else unless they specifically state "Use only under a fume hood" in the warning labels.
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Last edited by Speedslug; 2015-08-30 at 12:24am.
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  #89  
Old 2015-08-29, 9:26pm
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsMeSB View Post
Does anyone have experience using copper powder vs. graphite?

Sharon in Iowa
I tried a copper powder, problem is finding a good carrier for it that doesn't seal it, or wash away and is easy to apply

************************************************** ***************
Here is some additional information on etching, the reversed process of electroforming however the solution (less brightner) and disposal are the same.
http://www.nontoxicprint.com/electroetching.htm
The original posters "recipe" is a very weak solution of about 100 grams per liter
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  #90  
Old 2015-08-30, 6:01pm
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Couldn't it be used the same way I used graphite powder? I mixed GP with floor wax and painted it onto shells and they plated fine. Couldn't the copper powder be used in a similar way? The liquid floor wax didn't interfere with the conductivity as far as I can see... I liked how thin I could make the "paint" which allowed a lot of detail to show through, but a couple of coats were needed...

Thanks for the electroetching info... I've seen some info on this and was happy to find another use for the power supply.

Will copper sulfate solution work with brass electroetching as well as copper? Also you mention "100 grams per liter"... Is that 100g of copper sulfate?

Sharon in Iowa
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