How to etch brass. Kit’s collar. (Charmed)

We love it when someone reads our blog and asks us if we could do
something that we hadn’t thought. When this is the case and its
something within our capabilities, we start to investigate very soon.

It’s more fun the less we know about the technique that we will need. So
whatever the final result is, and regardlsee the potential client likes
it or not, we will learn something new, and this is the case that I’m
writing today.

One day we received a request asking us if we could make the pendant of
Kit, the Charmed series cat. After a quick search on google we saw it
was this:

Kit, el gato de Embrujadas

Let’s go on. We got some brass and investigate how we could record it.
It is common for artists to use nitric acid (lowered) but we preferred
to opt for the ferric chloride, because it emits no fumes and is not a
hazardous substance. As I’m not the appropriate person to give chemistry
lessons, this is what Wikipedia tells us about it:

“In industrial application, iron(III) chloride is used in sewage
treatment and drinking water production. In this application, FeCl3 in
slightly basic water reacts with the hydroxide ion to form a floc of
iron(III) hydroxide, or more precisely formulated as FeO(OH)-, that can
remove suspended materials.

It is also used as a leaching agent in chloride hydrometallurgy, for
example in the production of Si from FeSi. (Silgrain process)
Another important application of iron(III) chloride is etching copper in
two-step redox reaction to copper(I) chloride and then to copper(II)
chloride in the production of printed circuit boards. “

Ours comes from an electronics store because, as we have seen, it’s used
to make printed circuit boards.

Disolución cloruro férricoWith no references to the amount, we did it as many times …at a guess. For the amount of water you see in the picture above we use 2 full tablespoons. This post is pending to update with better information if we make further testings.

We recommend using warm water to promote the reaction.

The resulting liquid can be reused, but every time we use it will run worse.

Plancha de latón limpiaWe prepare the brass only cleaning the surface, because it was an old plate, very dirty, and we need a fairly clean one to stick the mask.
As you have read in olther posts,we have a vinyl cutter, so once more we
used it to cut the masks we previously developed (vectorized so that the machine can cut, not just an image).

Máscaras de viniloThese masks are those that avoid  the corrosion it in the covered area.

There are several methods to do this, from the most complex using
photosensitive material, to the simplest one, drawing the part that we do not want to record with a permanent marker.

Latón con máscarasThe important thing here is a very good sticking of the mask in brass,without bubbles, which can allow the liquid to enter. Also, the more time is immersed, and deepen the brand, will be easier than vinyl starts to peel. Although the photo does not show it, the plate is also covered on the bottom to avoid corrosion on both sides. It’s up to the piece we’re doing and what you want to achieve.

We submerge the board in the solution that we have prepared with hot water, and if possible, to help the process we will move the container creating “waves” to clean the excess brass. We did this during the first few minutes but then we left it about an hour to continue working by itself.

Inmersión de latón.

This was the result after removing the mask, and after cleaning with metal polish:


After cutting the silhouette with an adequate metal cutting blade in the drill/multitool, and much patience, polish it with the right accessories for that tool (polish paste and felt tip).

As the drawing is well marked, it’s easy to paint it and remove the excess of paint from the polished surface.

We recommend to varnish the surface, because the brass gets really bad looking with time.

Colgante acabado 2

Colgante acabado

Another option we have, if we only want to shade the previously polished
metal, is doing it by hand with a sponge, here’s a summary:


The next thing we will have to prove is make fretwork drawings. Soon we will let you know.

Meanwhile, if you like this pendant for your cute kitten, you can purchase it here.

Our first model.

Back in 2005, mid-year, we started our career in the world of models in “Escala Maquetas”. In this case it was a mega-project in La Manga del Mar Menor (Murcia), although at this point I do not think that they will do it. Obviously I will not say names of projects or promotors.

Estructura de hierro
Structure iron pipes.

The order was a three meters (diameter) circular model  (to satisfy the proposed scale).  We made ​​a structure, divided into three parts, of iron pipes lined the sides by PVC to lighten weight because the buildings it would be made in methacrylate. In this project there was everything, big buildings, houses, golf, fonts, etc… So yes, we started with the simplest model we could began.


As I said earlier, this model had everything, as 6 tall buildings, a hotel, a spa, a putting green (putting course), 22 terraced houses with its own jetty, a parking occupying the entire surface of the plot, because everything previously said was at a higher level.
Unlike the usual way, which is to make buildings with four walls of any material and empty inside, this was made by forged as the real buildings. Why make it so? So simple, these buildings were like a ladder, so the easiest way to do this was by floors.


As you see, it was the easiest way to do it, although we had to glue the outside scratched parts as the original project. The hotel was also made with the same method as the buildings, also because it had same staggered form and was crowned by a helipad between the two towers that formed it.
The villas, 22 townhouses divided in two groups of 11 in different places of the plot, as the scale permitted us, we made the of methacrylate blocks with the different items seen like pillars, pergolas, balustrades and other posts, were attached it above the blocks. These items were also made ​​of methacrylate.


The area of ​​the golf course (putting course) was made into a methacrylate plate with artifficial grass above and  the different lawn areas were painted on a darker green to differentiate it. In this model we put a transparent plate to see what was underneath, there, it was a car park which stretched across the bottom of the project.

In the center of this model was a spa consisting of a round building with a dome and several water fountains from which I have a good memory since that I made it by placing bits of fishing line attached to one another and the truth is that it was quite pretty.

So, this was our first model.  Here you have more pictures of this project. I hope you liked it.

Vista completa
Full view.