Suggest some fun stuff to etch (copper/metal/aluminum)
December 9, 2009 12:10 PM   Subscribe

I've recently started etching aluminum guitar-pedal enclosures (example 1 - example 2 (2b) - examples 3-7), and have been refining the process as I go. What are some other objects that I could etch?

I'm looking for any suggestions for art (objects of no intrinsic use), wares (i.e. a calendar on a sheet of metal, magnets for the months/days), and anything in between.

Be as creative as you want! I'm into implementing multimedia elements into the work (as seen in the second example above), so all's fair game.

Thanks in advance!
posted by pedmands to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Whiskey flasks
posted by twistofrhyme at 12:15 PM on December 9, 2009

Those are awesome! I have an aluminum pressure cooker, and it would be roughly 500 times more awesome if it giant Biohazard and Radiation symbols etched onto its sides. What do use to do the etching?
posted by Greg Nog at 12:16 PM on December 9, 2009

Your work is beautiful! Maybe Zippo lighters and belt buckles?
posted by cazoo at 12:22 PM on December 9, 2009

Sorry, I should add that the surface needs to be as flat as possible, as the screen-resist for the image is transfered by using a household iron.

greg nog- I use Ferric Chloride (PCB etchant).
posted by pedmands at 12:23 PM on December 9, 2009

Hip flasks. Bracelets. Motorcycle gas tanks. MacBooks, iPods and other glass/metal Apple gear. Light-switch and outlet cover plates. Steampunk USB keys and hard drives.

Or pretty much any object you buy from a Muji store: they're full of every possible product in plain unbranded aluminum or glass.
posted by rokusan at 12:24 PM on December 9, 2009

picture frames, computer cases, coasters (attach felt to metal plates), wall tiles, milk man delivery boxes...
posted by WeekendJen at 12:33 PM on December 9, 2009

Clock dials
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 12:38 PM on December 9, 2009

Man, these are great! I unmarked the best answers so far, because the entire page would be highlighted posts...
posted by pedmands at 12:39 PM on December 9, 2009

Your style on your given examples is exceedingly cool.

I would love to have those tins that you have in the kitchen for your flour and sugar and whatnot be etched with proper labels. You can find them in rectangular shapes, or just do the lids.

Right now I'm looking at my ikea desk with the silvery legs and thinking to myself how much more awesome it would be if they were etched with something. I know they aren't proper aluminum, but such things are made, or you could cover a wooden square leg with aluminum strips that you've customized.
posted by Mizu at 1:12 PM on December 9, 2009

get metal slugs from a hardware store and start minting your own currency. This coin is redeemable for one...
posted by abirae at 1:16 PM on December 9, 2009

Identify Imaging Solutions has a whole catalog of Laser-Etchable Products. Some of them may also be etchable with your process.
posted by James Scott-Brown at 1:22 PM on December 9, 2009

Here are some suggestions for etching on glass (if that is possible with your technique):

-etch backwards messages on the bottom of drinking glasses
(so they can be read from the inside)
-etch messages or pictures of eyes on to the lenses of old eye glasses.
-etch mustaches, messages, or cracks on to mirrors
-etch scenery on to fish-tanks
-etch big fingerprints on to windows
posted by abirae at 1:34 PM on December 9, 2009

altoid tins, old ipod cases, make metal covers for guitar electronics, shield them and etch away, face plates for amp's , etc...
posted by Gravitus at 1:35 PM on December 9, 2009

mailbox name plates!

I've done a house number plate on a sheet of copper roof flashing.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:44 PM on December 9, 2009

cut metal pickguards for guitars then etch them. I could use an SG pickguard with a hammer and sickle or a t-34 on it for sure.

But I'm not totally sold on this. Clearly you need to send me an etched cover for my SparkleDrive. Then I will be able to judge what other things you can do. If this doesn't seem obvious to you, just do it. I'll explain later why it is important.
posted by Ironmouth at 2:00 PM on December 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

Bike parts. Most decent bike parts are aluminum. There is already a cottage industry in engraving chainrings in particular, but crankarms, seatposts, and stems are fairly common targets of customization.
posted by adamrice at 2:23 PM on December 9, 2009

tool boxes
lunch boxes
posted by R. Mutt at 2:33 PM on December 9, 2009

This is excellent stuff. I'm looking around my little 1930s cottage and just about everything could use a touch of this...seriously I'm thinking about light switch covers, outlet covers, furnace gratings, the stainless stove top where ON and OFF wore off ages ago, etc.

This is really great and I wish you luck with it.
posted by snsranch at 4:19 PM on December 9, 2009

I have metal coasters (backed with cork). Etching on these would be great.
If size is no object, then kitchen appliances (like aluminium fridges) could be etched too. Either for the steampunk-type look or with a useful wipe clean calendar/memo pad area.
And a big YES to bike parts.

...and post more pics somewhere when you get round to doing more.
posted by jonesor at 4:58 PM on December 9, 2009

Definitely bike parts. Could be a good way to pick up some cash.

I wonder if there is a different way to create the mask that would make it more amenable to funny shapes.
posted by gjc at 6:16 PM on December 9, 2009

SCA armor or machinists tools.
And these folks would like to meet you I think
posted by Iron Rat at 9:13 PM on December 9, 2009

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