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Photosensitive Stencil Material

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  • Photosensitive Stencil Material

    Yo Guys,

    I have a question for you artsy-fartsy folks.

    Years ago, there was a photosensitive material that was used to make a somewhat long lasting stencil. I am nearly certain it was made by 3M. I used it when I was doing a lot of gun smithing work. I learned this process from Reid Coffield at Brownells. In fact, Brownells sold a homemade video tape of this process ….. which I no longer have.

    Often times, witness marks, Trade Marks, patent numbers or dates, logos, or serial numbers were lightly stamped into the receiver or barrel and over time, either from abuse or normal wear, these markings were “dinged” or nearly worn away. Too, if a firearm were to be restored, occasionally these marks were lost or partly deformed during the buffing process just prior to applying the metal finish, e.g., bluing.

    A conscientious gunsmith is sensitive to these issues and very particular taking pride in the fact that his work did not deform or obliterate important markings. To do so would devalue a firearm and this makes the owner of the firearm very unhappy. Too, the conscientious gunsmith will restore back to original condition worn lettering, logos, and such.

    To copy a marked part, lamp black was applied to the area. Then using frosted Scotch Tape, the tape was carefully applied over the marks then lifted up bringing with it an exact duplicate of the outline of the marks needing repair. The tape was then applied to a white piece of paper for safe keeping and further work. During that time, we didn’t have scanners and Adobe PS. That paper bearing the tape was placed on a photocopy machine and the image was enlarged. The enlargement was also enlarged and the process of enlargement continued until you had a rather large image with which to work. At that point, art work began. Deformed or missing parts of letters or logos were hand-drawn to restore these imperfections. Once completed, the corrected version was taken back to the photocopy machine and reduced again and again until the original size was obtained.

    At that point, the corrected image was contact printed onto a photosensitive sheet by exposing to UV light. When the photosensitive material was developed, an open face stencil was produced bearing the logo or mark. This stencil was allowed to dry and carefully positioned on the firearm securing this into position with vinyl tape. With exception of the stenciled area, the entire metal part was wrapped in plastic ensuring that no metal was exposed except the tiny area of the open face stencil. One could not have leaks and a test run was initiated by first using fresh water and checking for any leaks.

    A hefty solution of saltwater was concocted and poured into a plastic bucket. The negative terminal of a 6 volt tractor battery was connected to a rather large piece of flat steel and this metal plate immersed in the solution. The positive terminal was attached to the metal part that was to be restored at a place that was not exposed to saltwater then the part was submerged in the brine solution.

    In no time, lettering, marks, etc. were quickly and deeply etched into the metal and I might say this rendered fantastic results.

    If I’m not too far off mark, this material was similar to, if not identical to, a product once called Para Type. Para Type was a wax transfer lettering, hence, “Para” indicating paraffin ...... I think. These letters came on a clear plastic sheet. You would simply place the letter at a desired position on a piece of paper and rub the plastic causing the letter to transfer from the plastic and stick to the paper. The significant importance of this product was that this material adhered to the metal surface serving as a “wax barrier” thus preventing unwanted seepage of saltwater under the stencil causing a “no-no”. If seepage occurred, if would be far greater than an “oops”. One would have to break out the 3% nickel steel rod and gas torch and put metal back.

    I am looking for this photosensitive material or something that will allow me to achieve the same results using the same etching process. I have attempted a web search but to no avail. Are any of you guys aware of such a material that can be used in this process even though the material might not have been originally intended for this use?

    Harold
    Last edited by hwingo; 01-06-2008, 02:45 AM.
    For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
    Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.

  • #2
    not sure about the photosensitive system but you can get metal marking systems that appear to use a similar electrolytic system.
    try this gives some info http://www.trendmarking.com.au/metal...g-systems.html
    Peter
    I have tools I don't know how to use!!

    Comment


    • #3
      I dont know if this helps but Iv heard of a two step brush on process years ago for theft recovery of items that have had there serial # removed, it worked on the basis of metal density and in effect what it did was bring up the numbers due to the difference where the numbers were once stamped because the metal underneath was more dense --- dont know how well it would work on something that was engraved as this is a lighter impact process.

      Comment


      • #4
        All you need to know here.

        http://www.etch-o-matic.biz/index.htm

        Includes prices etc.

        .
        .

        Sir John , Earl of Bligeport & Sudspumpwater. MBE [ Motor Bike Engineer ] Nottingham England.



        Comment


        • #5
          check out circuit board etching. you might be able to adapt some of thier techniques.. im thinking the iron on method onto some brass sheet. then you could etch it and have somewhat of a stencil.

          reading about how you electrically etch the markings, you might even be able to iron the toner right onto the part, and it would protect the other areas from etching since its a form of pastic..

          i think www.makezine.com has an article about etching altoids containers using the toner transfer method

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          • #6
            Etchings

            Originally posted by John Stevenson
            All you need to know here.

            http://www.etch-o-matic.biz/index.htm

            Includes prices etc.

            .
            Well, well John.

            There's no beating you!!

            A whole new slant on the old "come up and I'll show you my etchings" "line"!!!

            But that it is a seriously good product even if it only lives up to half to its "promo".

            Many thanks.

            I will chase it up.

            Comment


            • #7
              The ech-o-matic they work as advertised.... Nice people to work with as well.
              Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.

              Comment


              • #8
                I am nearly certain that Etch-0-Matic has precisely the material I need. They call it duro stencil.

                I have a very old Etch-0-Matic from years ago and I have used it with some success but etching when using this system is very superficial. My unit uses the old style typewriter blue stencil for memo-graph machines. I was unaware of their duro stencil. If this is what I think it is, and it looks like it might be, when using the duro stencil and the etching method I described above, one can easily etch to a depth of 1/64" (and in some cases deeper) before outline crispness begins to deteriorate.

                I will order the stencil material and give it the "old college try". If it works well, I will re-post my results in this thread.

                Thanks to all,

                Harold
                For those having fought for it, Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know.
                Freedom is only one generation away from extinction.

                Comment

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