View Full Version : Making new/replacement brass name plates?

06-15-2012, 01:30 AM
Can anyone steer me in the right direction on making my own reproduction brass name plates?

I don't need one for a specific machine (at least not at the moment), but I would like to make one (for now) for a bead roller I'm getting ready to make. I got the idea from another forum, but I thougt it was great idea and really worked for the tool.

Punching a model and serial number as well as a date on the tag is easy but making the non-specific part of the tag I'm not so sure about. I guess you could make a paint mask with enough patience and then use some black spray paint, but paint seems like it would chip/flake/scratch off too easily and far too soon.

Thanks for the help!

06-15-2012, 02:45 AM
I have often used this basic method. The idea is to protect what you want left behind and expose what you want etched away. Then you fill the etched portions with color, if you have etched the information into the plate. Or you color the parts left behind, if you have etched everything but the information.

Here is another take on the same method.

Ferric Chloride is your basic etchant.

This method works well for repeating the same etch. I'm using it to make nameplates for my progressive die. I consider it too expensive for one-off.


06-15-2012, 08:27 PM
Press-N-Peel sheet works good for a mask but you do have to print your image on the sheet with a laser printer or copier. You then heat-transfer (iron) the mask to your brass sheet and peel the blue sheet away. After etching, rinse but leave the mask in place. From here, you can go directly to your brass blackening bath to blacken the background. Then just strip the mask with lacquer thinner or acetone. You're left with shiny raised lettering on a black background.

By the way, the blackening bath is a chemical formula and isn't affected by acetone. Let me know if you need a small quantity of the sheets and blackening chemicals. They need to be mixed and used when needed. The mix can't be saved or stored.

The Press-N-Peel sheets are from Techniks: http://www.techniks.com/
The chemicals come from The Science Co.: http://www.sciencecompany.com/

Mike Burdick
06-15-2012, 09:06 PM
If you need some "practice" with etching nameplates maybe you might give these examples a try...


The downloads come complete with a reverse image so you can start learning the technique.

By the way, once you do the artwork for the nameplates you want maybe you can add them to the site so others can have them too!

06-16-2012, 12:18 AM
Thanks for the links guys. . .way more than I hoped for and way more application for this and my situation than I would have expected!

06-16-2012, 12:57 AM
And don't forget to read Mike's excellent article on the transfer process at the top of the same link. He goes into much more detail.

Wow Mike! Can't believe it's been over five years since that Timken Bearing Decal. It still looks good on the A-C lathe. :)